Each time I come back into the United States, I notice a slight degradation of the social construct of how people are treating each other. It is subtle, barely noticeable, and if you were living in it, I doubt you would really sense or see it. I think the entire process is more akin to just eating a little bit more each day, that extra snack, the weight gain slowly creeps up on you until several months later you realize, "wow, I gained a lot of weight, how did that happen?"
I am making the same observation about the quality of things in our lives as well. There seems to be a wholesale dilution on the quality of stuff in the united states. While I can give you some keyframes of when the process started, it is not a process that happened yesterday, but over the past several decades.
What I am getting to be in this week with my brother and sister in law is more of a life that I used to have before I started a lab. I wager it is similar to many Americans. You get up, go work, and the in the free time you do things to be entertained. As a kid, the idea of going to a restaurant was a big deal. When I was on the road, amid several thousand shows, I was eating each meal in out or with catering. Then on one magical day in New Orleans, I started to learn to cook food. Today, I find that more fun than going to restaurants and keeping one's weight in good check.
Going out in the USA for the masses? Is probably like taking a fat pill. The calories in many meals are enough for a day, you have the size that is four times the average in the '60s, we are ingesting an enormous amount of processed material, and the overall quality of the food in the distribution is being genetically modified and traveling for thousands of miles to get to your table. When you add the invention of a drive through or ease of eating and lots of hip marketing ideas and places with not enough talented chef and/or Indians in the kitchen to do the work – you will simply get a watered down, diluted experience. Over time. This becomes the new norm.
I noticed this quality diversion via beer taps and service in three different places in the last two day. I rarely drink, so the idea of me hoisting a pint with my brother is rare. Having been around the planet, I have tasted many of these beers in their native land. What I joke about in the USA is we take ideas, for example, cuisines of the world and alter them just a bit to make them "Americanized" for the taste buds.
Two nights ago I had a flat Guinness, which they label a "nitro," and I didn't complain. Had this pint been poured in Dublin or any of Ireland, the barman would have been aghast with either his unclean pipes or not running enough beer through the taps. It was flat and sad for a pint. Then at lunch, my brother and I went to a place that is a beer & deli where I was treated to a pint of fantastic something and a meal where you could taste all the various elements of a beer. Last night we went to an Irish pub, and I was served a lifeless Smithwick's. I mean, they served it with no head, life, or…it sucked.
the issue isn't the beer was bad, instead, the time in the tap lines, and/or people are ignorant of what a good beer tastes like.
The beer analogy is something that I can quickly push out to all of American society these days. It isn't that the quality is bad, but instead, in the effort to squeeze profits out of everything in the short term – we are destroying quality, taste, and flavor to the masses. The 1% of the planets that owns most doesn't operate or live in this space. The best of the best will always cater to this group for profitability. But for overall quality to the masses, there is no reason everyone can't have good tasting, healthy, and flavorful food that is not some chemistry formula in the ingredients list.
As for life – we get a choice. Perhaps while it is later in my life, I am simply tired of slipping backward with mediocrity with people. There is an exciting project on the horizon with us that creates something more from the past where physics is handled not digitally but with physical "analog" reality. what is so different is the quality of what one hears in such an environment, yet, the question is, "why to build it in a world that doesn't care about great sound?"
The reason is simple. There still is enough people that can hear and care about it. Perhaps a trend can be sent to instill and change. Quality has various levels and cost…but there is no reason everyone can't enjoy "good."
the current idea of "good" really is more like mediocre merde than anything.