In the ‘50’s, America had recently finished WWII – fairly unscathed –
And then, without much thought, dove into a deep, largely innocent, materialism –
At country club “blue pools,”
Bigger houses, cars with sharp fins, longer vacations, sometimes even to foreign countries,
Along with a lot of golf, art, alcohol, and sports –
We had it all.
‘50’s novelists commonly wrote about Americans’ inner emptiness
While 50’s churches filled to overflowing with families worshipping a unique conformist “American religion.”
This country has been like a giant pendulum – erratically swinging between left and right –
And between puritan intensity and a “there’s no tomorrow” type of indulgence.
We created an American-persona “God” to serve in those American churches
Relying, however, upon the strength of our military-industrial complex to “save” us –
If needed –
Instantly self-forgetting and self-forgiving anything, historically, we’ve done to others.
No one reads those 50’s novels anymore – they’re too sterile –
True – but depressingly flat.
Nowadays, Americans no longer strive so much for material things –
In part because, for the most part, they’re relatively less affluent than back then,
But still want to understand where all their American “greatness” has gone.
Occasionally, a few Americans have even started musing about the possibility
Of, one day, becoming inwardly wealthy – maybe for the first time.
What a thought!