I think it's not a secret that I think something has gone way wrong with America, and that things are not going to turn around until utter national disaster has happened and there simply is no choice. Let's look at a few reasons why I think that:
- A broken media. But this is always been true. What is new today is the phenomenon of crapflooding -- flooding people with so much information from such a wide variety of sources that they are unable to pick out the grains of truth from the flow of utter crap flooding our airwaves and our media. Searching for truth in the babbling cacophony that is our modern-day media is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, it's there, but carefully hidden under piles of reeking money feces. Back in the days when there was one or two major newspapers in any given town and three networks, it was much easier to dig out those little shards of truth hidden in all the utter crap.
- Apathetic narcotized population. As long as they have a job (no matter how much they hate it), as long as they can come home and watch their narcotic television shows and play their narcotic video games, they're happy. They don't vote, they don't research the candidates when they do vote, they can't name who their Congressman or Senators are, hell, half of them probably would agree with you if you told them that President Reagan should resign because he's getting too old to be President.
- A broken political system. The political system has gone astray from any attachment to reality and devolved into a freak show of cowards and babbling lunatics, incapable of spending much attention on any real problem or accomplishing much beyond wasting space and air. Given the previous entry, it seems unlikely this will end anytime soon.
- A broken social infrastructure. Ironically, the evangelical Christians are probably the only group in America that still has a working social infrastructure, one where they know their neighbors, go to church every Sunday and greet the people on either side of them in the pew by name, help each other in time of need, and donate significant sums of money to charitable causes that they agree with. Most of the rest of America is no longer like that. Most of us don't know our neighbors, have no groups of people with common cause that we meet with on a monthly basis to share and have community with, have no sense of community. We are isolated in our homes, with only our televisions and our computers as our friend. This is no way to organize a society, this is a way to create a society of sociopaths -- which is what it's doing.
- A broken *physical* infrastructure. Conspiracies by auto makers from the 1920's onwards accompanied by racism in the late 50's to late 80's led to the explosion of suburbs, the collapse of cities, and the utter ruin of most fuel-efficient mass transit systems. Efficient electrically-driven light rail systems were the norm in most American cities prior to the 1940's, and even many small towns prior to the 1940's had heavy rail service connecting them to the rest of the nation. Today, for most of America, the only way to get from here to there is by automobile. The thing is, the automobile is not a sustainable system. It is not sustainable environmentally, it is not sustainable on a per-capita infrastructure basis (requiring acres upon acres of land for nothing but its physical housing in shopping areas and homes and a highway capable of carrying 100,000 automobiles per day takes up ten times more space and requires ten times more maintenance than a rail line capable of carrying 150,000 riders per day), and it is not sustainable spiritually, leading to sterile suburbs where nobody knows anybody and where you can't do anything because anything you could do -- shop, attend plays, whatever -- is somewhere else. Yet America's infrastructure today is built around the automobile, and the hurdles to re-urbanization are formidable. For most Americans, you will take their autos from their cold dead hands... a prediction that will, sadly, likely come true.
- A broken educational infrastructure. America's educational infrastructure has always been creaky. This has never been a nation that worshiped intellectuals or cared much for intellect. Americans prided themselves on being a nation of doers, not a nation of thinkers. But today's schools prepare students neither for thinking nor for doing. Unless, by "doing", you mean "bubble in pointless bubbles on endless Scan-Tron cards". And then these students hit the universities, which themselves are under attack, confronted with endless budget cuts because the lizard people need their tax cuts after all...
So anyhow, that's my read of the future. I hope I'm wrong about the body count before things hit bottom. But I doubt it. I seriously doubt it. Winston Churchill once said that Americans always do everything wrong until there is no choice but the right one. Thing is, there's a *lot* of wrong choices that can be made between now and then... and most of them end up in complete and utter national disaster, with something better emerging only from the ruins at the end after a lot of dead bodies...
-- Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin