, and I were sitting at Mona's on Friday night, waiting for our gyro
platters and sandwiches. The subject of restaurants and store chains came up. I theorized that because America is such a large country
being suburbanized all over in pretty much the same way at differing rates of speed, one of the things we can relate to is corporate entities and their variations. Food Lion
, Winn Dixie
, Piggly Wiggly. Sonic
was born in Oklahoma and Mississipi always had them, but I had never seen one before I moved to New Orleans. Krispy Kreme
was a staple in Virginia, but here they just recently opened their first store in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb. And then the people in the French Quarter shopping at the Gap
, the purpose of which is still lost on me.
I am a child of the eighties, but I find it amusing that the only way that mainstream consciousness, being shilled by e-mail forwards, differentiates generations from one another are the products from that era. I wonder if there are any "you know you're a product of the 70's if" forwards going around. Probably not, as those would not be as topically amusing. Or the 20's. What products would have united that era, or would it have been movements or schools of thought that sprang up, or historically significant events that would have classified them?
There is that feeling that we just aren't as meaningful as we once were, that as our world becomes inundated with things and images of things, our purpose beyond them becomes hazy and muddled. Not many people want to discuss the real issues, like latch-key kids, the Me Generation, Reaganomics, or the John Hughes portrait of being a teenager caught in the money trap. At least not with the goal of a half smile sort of humor.
And then there's that you know you've had too much of the 90's when node, and those like it, that seem to threaten a presence in our subconsciousness until the end of the world.
"This dude who's got control of the White House now, he's gonna do a lot of damage," Cusack says. "I think people are gonna respond to all the hypocrisy of this Bush administration. He's sort of like this great sort of symbol of inversion to me - the inverse of the truth. It's like the ethics of the new millenium, the new dawn: All you have to do is say something and it's true. It doesn't matter if it's based on any core principle; it doesn't matter if it's based on any facts. The most important thing is the aesthetic. If you have a passionate aesthetic, that's all we need to do. All you have to do is say it. 'I'm Muslim.' But you don't actually ever go to a mosque. You don't have to give up pork. You don't have to do anything. You don't have to believe in Allah. You just say it. And maybe wear a turban. That's the level of the hypocrisy and stupitidy that's going on right now."
----John Cusack, in an interview for Details Magazine, June 2001