Thursday, February 03, 2011

There's an undercurrent of disenchantment, bitterness and regret in middle class American life that's not present in Europe or elsewhere. This is attributable to the "American Dream" and all its derivations and perversions. We have high hopes here. High aspirations. What that means, of course, is that many - perhaps most - of us will be disappointed. In Europe, they may take to the streets, they may or may not extract what they desire from their authorities, but when they put up their feet for tea (or wine, or beer) they are largely content. Here we seethe through an evening's reality TV until our senses are sufficiently numbed to drift into fitful slumber. I am also certain that this, combined with our fetishization of guns (maybe the two are related) is why we experience gone-postal massacres with a regularity you could set your watch to. The Land of Opportunity is necessarily also the Land of Failure.