Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seeing The Devastation First Hand

It's one thing to pay attention to the news and try to digest just how bad it is across our now third world country; it's another thing to actually see it with your own eyes.

A couple of years ago my wife and I moved from the Pacific Northwest down to the Great Southwest. We've always made a point when we traveled to take William Least Heat-Moon's blue highways, avoiding interstates. So on that particular trip we edged down the west side of Utah, taking our time by staying on two lane roads, going through and passing by a lot of bedroom communities outside the Salt Lake City area.

What we saw was shattering. Mile after mile of housing developments completely abandoned, and from appearances, starting to decay. Thousands and thousands of new units and abandoned half builts that were dreamed up probably just before the start of the depression, and unless squatters move in are going to rot into the ground, because no one is going to buy them now without extensive repair. Forty, fifty miles of Beaver Cleaver type neighborhoods, mostly completely built, left to the elements.

Now I don't consider this a horribly bad thing in and of itself, because wasteful and stupid americana has always seemed unsustainable and doomed anyway. But this was two years ago and a clear indication that things were changing. As a matter of fact if you travel about the west plenty of towns and cities were plenty full of themselves over the years. They incorporated lots of empty desert - miles and miles of dusty nothingness in vain hopes people were going to flock to their bumfuck outpost and by jeebus they were going to get magnificently rich. All over the country, really, town limit signs are ridiculously placed. There's no better illustration of this than coming down over the pass into Pahrump, Nevada from Death Valley, where square miles of streets were laid out and not a single structure was built.

All right, bad planning. However the existing country is falling to pieces. There's no getting around it - we're a collapsing third world nation and our infrastructure is decaying fast. Some of our interstates are almost undrivable. Don't believe me? Try highway 84 east of Boise. Or interstate 5 around Shasta. Maybe a hundred other places where I've traveled that are almost too dangerous to drive. Take a close look at the miles of bridge supports around New Orleans and get back to me how comfy you feel going over them.

On this trip driving through Alabama was a real eye opener. Hard to believe this was the United States. The environs around Birmingham and Montgomery looked like what Germany must have looked like after WW2. Escape From New York bad. Road Warrior bad. Busted up abandoned vehicles. Whole malls shuttered and smashed windows. Undrivable streeets, bars on windows everywhere. Give me a fucking break, this is the Greatest Country On The Face Of The Earth? It's no coincidence that the population there is mostly black, just like it's no coincidence that two big american cities with large dark skinned populations, New Orleans and Detroit, lay in ruins.

I'm just commenting on a few places; I imagine most of the rest of the nation is decaying just as badly and just as rapidly. This country is dying a quick death and I don't think most grunting, Foxified, brain dead murricans even realize it, as long as the television is on and WalMart is open. It's like the highway in the movie "Brazil", where constant billboards line the road hiding total filthy devastation behind them. Or roads through clear cuts in the northwest where they leave a hundred feet of trees to mask the endless forest death beyond. It's like, as the bhagwan shri rajneesh up in Oregon called it, shiny barbarism. Terminally stupid people distracted by baubles, while their country disintegrates into delapidated rot.


Anonymous nick z said...

Hmm... good time for Hollywood to do some on-the-scene science-fiction end-of-the-world movies. Or how about a reality-show called "Loserville"?

24/3/10 7:36 AM  

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