Wednesday, May 8, 2013

America the Hedonist

The past 3 weeks have passed idly in Houston, the first week being an odd adjustment with regards to jet lag and re-acclimatizing to the culture I was raised in.  Big cars, big meals, strip malls, meager public transport were all tell-tale signs I was back in America (specifically Texas).  It was a reverse culture shock of sorts after being abroad for 15 months where things seem to be done more efficiently.  Americans overdo things and are highly inefficient, while being very impatient, a terrible combination bolstering a NOW culture of instant gratification.  We can’t seem to cope with slow internet, normal calorie sized meals, traffic or queues at the DPS, but we tolerate huge portions, driving solo in V8 trucks and a lifestyle of buying unnecessary things.  A product which was revered just a few years ago as an innovation in communication (iPhone 3 for example) is now scorned by those same people as an inferior product which leads to inefficiency, time lags and a flaccid cool factor.  Get real people.     

America doesn’t foster an environment of learning and curiosity anymore, but rather buying, consuming and opposition to something (anything).  Our independence and our status as the most capitalistic, quasi democratic country make us feel entitled to complain about anything as long as its something.  We need to be satisfied in all facets of our lives and any source of disappointment should be spoken out against rather than simply rolling with the punches and realizing everything can’t be tailored to our specific needs.   We’re a country of 312 million people who are all in a hurry looking for our niche comfort zone and products.   Someone inept is to blame for anything that slows us down or fails to satisfy us. 

What we praise as American culture these days is nothing worthy of boastfulness.  Overconsumption of food, drink, media, religion, sports, technology, celebrity gossip?  I've been smacked in the face by this upon returning and it doesn't appear to be letting up.  We no longer give merit to literary achievements, scientific breakthroughs, or humanitarian efforts. Diversification by way of immigration is a bane and something we should be afraid of lest we lose our jobs and become insolvent to pay off our multiple televisions and cars.  

We try to make up for these shortcomings of inefficiency by recycling or driving an efficient vehicle, for example, because we know how wasteful we are relative to the rest of the world, but who are we fooling?
But fuck it, who am I to speak?  I'll be driving 10,000+ miles over the next 2 months driving around the US indulging in my self made independence as well...  but it doesn't necessarily feel right.  Hedonism at its best. 

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