I would like to have some photographs
to submit for this essay, but I guess, absent a digital camera and
time to assemble a collage, the mind will have to be the screen
on which images play.
I have been reading a book which
touches on various issues of philosophy lately. I finished a short
piece written by a French philosopher warning us about the mechanization
of spirit, found in the increasing uniformity of life.
I have had the good fortune to have
traveled quite extensively in the United States and abroad.
But lately I have been struck by the reality of our cultural uniformity.
Draw the picture for me - get off
an airplane in any major city, and rent your car from Hertz or Avis,
and proceed to pick up a couple of things you desire in your travels...
Batteries at Circuit City
Toothpaste at Walgreen's
A book or CD from Barnes and Noble or Borders
Lunch or dinner at Macaroni Grill, Chili's, Applebee's or the Outback
Not to mention places like Wendy's, Burger King and KFC et al.
Need a snack?
Order in from Domino's or Little
Get your oil changed at Valvoline
Let's not forget stuff from K-Mart or Wall-Mart.
Need office supplies?
There they are, right over there
at Office Max or Staples or or or or.
I know about the quote that says,
wherever you go, there you are. But hey.... now we can go
wherever we want, and stroll down store isles as if we never left
And we call this culture?
Henri Bergson's words:
"What kind of world would
it be if this mechanism should seize the human race entire, and
if the peoples, instead of raising themselves to a richer and more
harmonious diversity, as persons may do, were to fall into the uniformity
From where I sit, it seems we already
have fallen, and I seriously doubt that this culture will ever get
up out of the plastic.