The Free and the Dead
12/07/2009 § Leave a comment
When the time comes when we do look back to understand what went wrong, I think we’ll see that the Woodstock generation went off the rails in 1980, with the election of the actor, Ronald Reagan, who really established the idea that a society could benefit hugely just by lying to itself, or simply pretending. It wasn’t "morning in America," of course. It was more like eleven-thirty at night, and the rest of the world had eaten our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we decided that inflating our national self-esteem was more important than paying attention to reality. That was when we became a something-for-nothing society — and, incidentally, it was also the take-off point for legalized gambling all over America (an "industry" based on the worship of unearned riches). And that was, coincidentally, the moment when we became a nation of dupes, grifters, marks, and suckers.