Friday, May 13, 2011

So much feels lost

In a recent interview with Kelly Reichardt, director of the new film "Meek's Cutoff", she describes her experiences on the road and the monotony of the American highway system:

"Ever since I was a kid, we had one of those piggyback campers where you could ride up in the bed; I don’t think you can do that anymore. We would go from Miami to Montana pretty much every summer and take a different route out west. I’d be in that bed looking out the window, and there was just a huge feeling as each state changed, and I had my little transistor up there and got local radio, and every place was just so distinct. We would camp our way across the country. And as it’s turned out, I continued doing that. In my 20s, I used to get those rent-a-cars and drive to the next state and wait for the next car, and that decides where you’re going to go. In these last years, I’ve been going back and forth between Oregon and New York, and the drive is now just something to get through. The interstates are horrific, there are no local radio channels. It’s Clear Channel, conservative corporate radio, all the way across. It’s just a series of chains, and they never end. Days Inn, Applebee’s—you really have to go far off. Even when you take the smaller roads, you still see the motels and stuff have all been run out of business. The gap between the big corporate motel and the mom-and-pop motel is huge now. It’s not exciting. It’s not an adventure now. It’s really just more of a chore. Once you get past Colorado, there are states that are very beautiful to drive through. But you can’t help it—you have a lot of time to think about what it could have been, how great it could have been, and it’s just depression, I guess. The things that Americans value, and it has been passed on to people outside of America now… So much feels lost. It’s hard. It used to be a really inspiring thing that I would do, and now I find it just really depressing. The complete corporate takeover of the country is so evident, and you can’t escape it. Your choices are so few, and they are so bad."

I agree completely.

For further thoughts on the human habitat, check out the Kunstlercast - an excellent podcast by James Howard Kunstler.

Speaking of movies - if Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is playing anywhere near you, it was captivating and highly recommended:

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