What kind of place is America in 2011? Sadly, it is one giant sea of conformity. If you traveled across the United States 40 or 50 years ago, you would encounter a vast array of cultures and you would meet a wonderful mix of people. But today America is slowly but surely becoming standardized. It seems like wherever you go you will find a Wal-Mart and a McDonald’s. Thanks to Hollywood and the mass media, people all over the country dress the same and look the same and talk the same. Sure there are various subcultures out there, but even many of those subcultures are virtually the same on one coast as they are on the other. The things that gave flavor to our local communities are dying off in favor of greater conformity and greater profit. Today, most retail stores and most restaurants are corporate owned. Most small businesses that attempt to go up against the Wal-Marts, the Targets, the Burger Kings or the Home Depots of the world have already been stomped out of existence or are in the process of being stomped out of existence. Eventually, if we are not careful, corporate conformity is going to dominate everything from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Some may view this as “progress”, but is this really what the American Dream is supposed to be all about? Is this really the “America” that we want to pass down to future generations?
Our society has become so homogenized that we don’t really question it anymore. We all watch American Idol, we all buy the same boring looking cars we see advertised on television and we all buy the same mass-produced corporate products down at Costco.
For many Americans, doing something “exotic” means going out to Applebee’s on Friday night.
If you are under 40 years of age and you have never been out of the country you should really make it a point to do that. Today there are millions upon millions of young Americans that have no idea what “another culture” even looks like. All they know is how America does things and they have been taught that the American way of doing things is always the best.
Sadly, sometimes we think our way is so superior that it should be forced upon the rest of the world.