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The Good Life

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   1 comment
Message Bill Burkett
An essay on today's times

As I took the towel from my pocket to wipe the sweat from my eyes, I looked up to see the monstrosity passing along this one lane dirt county road. That monstrosity was a spanking new Ford two ton truck with every bell and whistle imaginable towing the most immaculate horse trailer fit for a king. In today's market the truck and trailer combination obviously cost well over $85,000.

Just down the road another mile, a Dallas contractor has purchased a little over 700 acres of cedar infested land that has little to no grass stand for livestock or wildlife. The old property supported only about fifteen cows for the past thirty years. But today, as one concrete truck after another; a massive eighteen wheeler with nothing but cabinetry, and a stone mason and other construction specialists make this old road into powder, a sprawling 4500 square foot hunting lodge suggested to cost just under a million is being erected. Like so many other such ventures within an hour's drive, they plan to build a $750,000 high wire fence and have controlled hunts with domesticated wild game.

And for you hunters, that actually means they buy pen raised quail and release them only a few minutes before a hunt; turn out domestic raised deer and elk that have been raised specifically for these hunts; and turn out a buffalo, on demand to add to the bow or gun enthusiasts need to act out a fantasy of being a big game hunter. The fantasy is Botswanna. The reality is no more than shooting a domesticated animal in a pen.

In town, the foreclosure lists are just beginning to rise as the $300,000 homes that have only been lived in for a couple of years start to hit the market. Young professionals living in excess; or older folks leveraging their accumulated worth to chase the American dream? Which excess was it?

Actually, it's been both.

They couldn't make the dream work. The slide rule was used against them; the treadmill accelerated and bumped them off; and the dream was a mirage, not a reality. The door to the "good Life" was just slammed in the face with the chill of mythical dreams and failed promises.

In a world laden with excess, Ronald Reagan blessed America and said "Greed is good". Since then, two generations of our young folks have been programmed to believe in grabbing everything you can; living with exorbitant debt, and working till you drop. Their parents were the first spoiled slobs of America - my generation. What a lazy bunch. We had the new math, the new adult toys, and the glitz of every dream. While our parents had been raised to believe that everything was possible in America, they had also been raised as products of the Great Depression and the great World War. They knew sacrifice. They abhorred debt. They valued true value.

We worried less about debt; were lulled into believing that life was a sock hop, and that glitz and glamour were reality.

But our children were unleashed with the credit card plastic and plastic became their real lives.

The race was on to compete. Compete. Compete. Compete with each other rather than cooperate.

They began force feeding younger and younger kids to compete as well. They worked to get their kids ahead in education and the first drive was some mental prize that being first was best; that being biggest, loudest and richest was supreme.

And then the Soddom and Gommorha story of the decline of this once Great Nation was unleashed as well to the rest of the World.

Yes, it was born in God's country. It was lavish, brazen, brash, vulgar and, and excessive.

In 1955, every child of white skin tone believed they could achieve great things. Black children and Hispanics dreamed they may one day be equal.

In 1995, every white child was raised to believe they were one of two categories; the Bold and the Beautiful or the Ugly and Downtrodden. And their was an elitism far greater than at any preceding time in American history and an accompanying race for those not born into the elite society to get in. As with every generation, every individual made a conscious choice.

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