Like anybody with two brain cells to rub together, I’m deeply concerned by all the things that are wrong today—the economy, the environment, the erosion of civil liberties, etc. ad nauseam.
But underneath it all, the fuel for all the things we see in the news today, is the underlying malady: The decline of America.
Histrionic enough for you yet?
But seriously, the America I grew up seeing in the movies and the books was a place of, above everything else, competition. A place that wanted to be the biggest and the best. A place that put a man on the moon because it was hard. A place that looked at other countries and said, “We’re going to do better than that.”
I look around today and I see a place that’s degenerating. It’s like we’re not even trying any more, but wander around in a daze like crackheads looking for the next boost to fix everything, right now.
What got me on this track was returning to America from my vacation this summer. I flew in through Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, located in the capital of the world’s last remaining super power and it was like I’d landed in some third-world shithole. Really. The lines were enormous—about an hour and a half to get my baggage—the building’s A/C was on the fritz, everybody was glistening with sweat, the whole place was utterly chaotic, and to really bring home the third-world theme, dingy walls, cheap, scuffed flooring, and uniformed people so amazingly bored and seething with discontent all you wanted to do was avoid whatever had happened to them. Welcome to America!
This is what America—and not just America, but the freaking capital looks like when you enter. Of the world’s last super power. A place that apparently can’t even make its airport look like anything but an entrance to Fail.
How are the roads where you’re living? Any bridges fall down lately? Seen your kids’ school lately?
But I guess as long as we keep gay people from marrying we’ll be all right in the end.
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.