24.7.05

Berry Picking


As they say, “when in Rome”. This weekend we headed 2 1/2 hours into the Cotswold’s to do something that I can only assume is a very English thing to do. We drove miles out of town to go berry picking near some place called "Stowe on the Woll" (wha?). We went with our mixed couple friends. One English and the other American. I can only assume that our English friend has been getting a hard time from his friends and must defend his mother country a lot, because he is a fierce American basher. On the 4th of July he started t debate with me why England lost the war. American bashing is not uncommon in the UK or Europe for that matter, and I guess it’s hard to blame him considering his wife is American. And as Americans we have come to expect it over here...and usually carry on with most of the jokes.

Today, I decided to argue the difference between the American way of life and the rest of the world. And my wife, poopah1 as you know her now, starting giving me looks. She is wary of me spouting off about America coming across as we are better than you because blah blah. However, my theory is the major difference between them and us and everywhere else is that in America: it’s really easy. It is what America is built on, it the glue, the fabric and the road that it arrived on. Everything is easy. My theory is simple: if goods are easier to get and use then more people can afford them and want to use them. It’s a cycle and it’s what keeps the US economy growing. I buy a hand chopper so I can chop more onions, then I use more onions and so I buy a bigger powered chopper. Then the chopper isn’t big enough so I buy a bigger one. And the story goes on like that.

So we use more, we create more, and do it cheaper. I know you all fall into this trap. There is always something bigger better that will make our lives simpler. It’s just a basic fact that Americans thrive on convenience, we have drive throughs, we go to wal-mart, and we use dishwashers, dryers and moombas. We have great big cars because there may be a time when we need to haul a lot of stuff, even though every time you are in traffic jam and look to your left or right every SUV is a solo driver. We have giant highways with 14 lanes and air conditions and Swifers. Why? Because we think it will make our live easier. Now I never claimed that convenience provides a wholesale better life. That is definitely not the case.

In saying all that, life is not necessarily better when it’s easier. American society is a throwaway culture, we use a lot of very cheap things break them, toss them and buy more. What a waste. Food is made from the same basic ingredients in every restaurant. Giant rolling trashcans just make you want to fill them up before you take them to the curb. We don’t recycle because there is no curbside pickup and even then it’s such a chore. Spin fishing, snow boarding, and powered knives? Because of the ease of transport, storage, and size of the market: America is the easiest place on earth to live.

And it’s cheap. Is that the right word? Yep we’re cheap and we miss out on a lot of good things because of it. I’m starting to understand that cheese is better when it’s not a strange yellow color. Washing my own dishes is not so bad, I live with out a microwave and have not missed it one bit. TV only has 4 channels. So now I have time to Blog rather than watch washed up movie stars trying to save tv. Easy and simple are not the same either, I've discovered. POSTED BY POOHPAH2

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