Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape ⋆ Politicrossing
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Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape

Must we bear witness to one more bumper sticker proclaiming that some insecure guy loves his dog?

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“There are moments in history that divide eras, moments that serve to direct our attention, to inform us of a fundamental shift in collective perception, in professed values.”

Although he wrote Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape 23 years ago, and the book received no acclaim, John Miller, co-founder of Scenic America, was on to something.

“The emergence of the New American Landscape is such a moment,” Miller said, “whose significance, for the most part, is a steep detection of sociologists, historian, and architectural critics alike.”

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The [Greedy] New American Landscape

Keeping in mind, that his writing pre-dated the statue-toppling Leftists, here are my notes and excerpts from Egotopia:

So little of our historical landscape remains, replaced by the “New American Landscape,” that it’s hard to appreciate our present aesthetic deprivation, having few opportunities for comparison.

Must we bear witness to one more bumper sticker proclaiming that some insecure person loves his dog? We have been transformed from a society modeled on the professed virtues of balance, harmony, rights, and responsibilities to one that celebrates self indulgence in the name of self-liberation.

The ugliness of our environment is a function of our transformation from a society to communal values to one that celebrates and encourages individual self indulgence. Greed, ignorance, mindless science and technology, and excessive materialism contribute to both environmental destruction and a public confusion and ambiguity about aesthetics.

Self-absorption Reigns

In a historically brief 50 years, America has turned its back on community, as community has been traditionally defined, and embraced the suburban cultural breeding ground of self-absorption.

For people whose identity increasingly depends on what they consume, advertising messages are no longer irritating, intrusive, and inane but informative, sustaining, and nurturing.

We appear indifferent to the physical and environmental loss of our cultural heritage as, one by one, authentic small towns and charming country side are paved over.

Concurrently, we seemed pleased and satisfied in having created a physical environment in which it is literally possible to be no more than minutes by car away from refrigerated soft-drink.

One Big Shopping Strip

The great suburban transformation has remade travel, from one part of the New American Landscape to another, into merely physical motion. One travels thousands of miles to encounter the same chain stores, the same chain restaurants, and the same chain motels.

The New Man imposes himself on the environment, first by his obvious presence (car, camper van, boat trailer, videocam, screaming kids, barking dogs) and then by conditioning sales- savvy vendors to cater to his tastes. Ultimately, travel in America promises adventure and novelty while delivering standardization and mediocrity.

Of all the players appealing to the debased sensibilities of the new man, none is more capable, calculating, nefarious, and successful than the billboard industry. It has succeeded in corrupting and tainting public aesthetics, public welfare, and public consciousness. Billboards are intrusive, obnoxious, annoying, and, unlike television, they cannot be turned off.

America, the Once Beautiful

During the 1980’s the billboard lobby attempted and often succeeded in incorporating the following civic minded notions into law:

  • Modify the highway beautification act from protecting scenic beauty to preserving “Communications through the outdoor medium.”
  • Abolish the traditional use of municipal authority to remove billboards.
  • Required that all trees blocking the billboard would by law be cut down at taxpayers expense.

The billboard industry maintains that billboards save the traveling public from being bored out of their minds. They stand tall on the very border of parks, across from schools, churches, hospitals, and even within sight of cemeteries. They are a common place on sides of busses, and bus stops.

Some cities permit billboards to be placed on parking meters. The U.S. senate seriously debated selling advertising space on mail trucks and neighborhood mailboxes. Billboards have been erected on ski lifts, on golf kiosks, in little league parks, and on soft drink vending machines.

What is Art?

The billboard industry has contended openly that billboards constitute art and has promoted the notion that we should evaluate individual billboards for their effectiveness, artistry, and eye catching appeal. Marshal McLuhan would have understood the billboard industry’s need to seduce the public into focusing attention on the message and not the medium.

Billboards hawking alcohol and cigarettes nearby schools are potentially far more insidious than the availability of pornographic tapes in an adult video store.

Each day, they’re subjected to the grotesque and vial commercial solicitations, the intrusiveness and insanity of which would have shocked our collective sensibilities only a few short years ago.

Today we do not consume to live. We live to consume.

The Advertising Mob Rules

We have created and institutionalized a mob which sets for us our societal standards, cultural icons, and norms of behavior.

They now determine how America looks and feels. We have been guilty of being too generous with those that would debase our society.

Long have we been devouring our moral capital. Many are satiated on the heady narcissistic nutrients that flow so generously from our cultural bounties. Yet, even they might realize that their gluttony foretells a mighty fall.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Family

Send Boatloads, Not Plane Loads, of Migrants to Eastern Seaboard Sanctuary Cities

Ultra-wealthy liberal communities don’t want to handle an ultra-thin fraction of border-crossing illegal immigrants

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The Über-Liberals of Martha’s Vineyard got a tiny, tiny taste of what Texas and Arizona endure every hour, of every day, with no end in sight. What a wonderful glimpse for all the world to see: how an ultra-wealthy, sparsely populated island, in a virtual sanctuary state, handled a thin fraction of border-crossing illegal immigrants, yearning to be free! They sent them away in less than a day.

All those yard signs, all that virtue-signaling, and it all added up to what? Gross hypocrisy. Then the blame game started. DeSantis and Abbott… they are simply evil men, using the poor as political pawns. How do we know? The liberal press is blasting out this message via bullhorns.

As any thinking person knows, the blame lies in Washington, DC thanks to the lax administration of Joe Biden, his lackey Kamala Harris, and the super-incompetent Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

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Making the Dollars Go Further

Apparently Governor DeSantis had to pay handsomely to fly the 50 “exploited souls” to Martha’s Vineyard. However, here is a solution for sending even more, at a far lower cost per person. Buy or rent one of the many cruise ship for sale from the cruise companies which have been hit hard over last 30 months and that now seek to reduce some of their inventory.

Personally, having cruised 39 times, and I can tell you that the these big ships can comfortably accommodate between 2500 passengers. The mega-ships can accommodate 4500. For a short trip up the Atlantic coast, doubling and tripling the number of family members in each room would sum to nearly 10,000 on one voyage. From Texas, navigating the Gulf of Mexico, or directly from Florida, heading up the Atlantic Ocean, a ship could reach Massachusetts within three days.

During the time of the voyage, the facilities on board are excellent. There are health clubs, saunas, steam rooms, a running track, and even a swimming pool or two. These guests of Joe Biden, transported by governors, would actually enjoy themselves on the way up, and then, by golly, be rewarded via the largesse that represents the good people of Massachusetts.

Fulfilling Sanctuary Dreams

Governor DeSantis, as well as Governor Abbott, employing cruise ships could then supply all the sanctuary cities along the Atlantic Seaboard with exactly what they’ve been begging for. After all these years, hey, why not make a wonderful delivery to Baltimore, and then Rehoboth Beach, Delaware where the Bidens frequent?

And how about 1,000s of migrants delivered to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Hamptons in Long Island? Don’t forget Bridgeport and New Haven, Connecticut before proceeding to Newport, Rhode Island, Nantucket, and Boston. For good measure make some deliveries to the resort towns in Maine.

What a marvel to behold, as these self-described caring destinations welcome thousands and thousands of migrants, all at once, and artfully absorb them. Sure, there will be some adjustments; such locales will have to spend big bucks for food, shelter, and clothing for these new arrivals… and then find them longer term homes and jobs. So what if local schools are not equipped with foreign language teachers and curricula so that the new children can get up to snuff? Isn’t that what sanctuary cities are all about?

Just Checking In

Let’s revisit all of these places one year later and see exactly how these welcome guests have feared. How about crime? Have they had run-ins with the law? What about the schools? How about public health? Let’s take a very accurate snapshot of what happens on the day they arrived, versus one year later, two years later, and three years later.

Having people dumped into your community, or your home for that matter, despite liberal virtue-signaling, represents a huge change in how you live, and how they live. It’s humanitarian to help a migrant in need. Thousands of migrants, or tens of thousands of them, all at the same time, dropped into a community is not a humanitarian gesture, it is an attack on your way of life.

As Henry Kissinger famously advised then German chancellor Angela Merkel, helping one person in dire need to come to Germany is a humanitarian gesture. Having great masses come to Germany threatens your culture.

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Elections

Interview with My Son Hunter Producer Phelim McAleer

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My Son Hunter

Phelim McAleer is one of the most courageous men alive today. He has produced many movies that depict true stories that the mainstream media tries to cover up, like Gosnell, the story of America’s most prolific serial killer, Abortionist Kermit Gosnell. His latest movie, My Son Hunter, is a viral sensation that tells the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and the corruption of him leveraging his father’s office to do big deals with Ukrainian and Chinese oligarchs.  This is a powerful interview with a brave men, telling a story ripped from the conservative media headlines and bringing it to a man audience.

The late Andrew Breitbart said that politics is downstream from culture, and he was right. This movie is part of the Right’s effort to recapture the culture from the Left.

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