Sunday, April 20, 2008

California = The World's America?

From Judith Freeman's short story "The Botanic Gardens:"
California is to America what America is to the rest of the world [...] It's the land of milk and honey [...] In California, we're surrounded by prosperity and abundance and, of course, there's the physical glamor of a place so popularized by the movies. But many Americans think there's something vulgar about it, too, as if California were a modern-day Babylon, bereft of values, and harboring all sorts of decadence and extreme behavior [...] So many people see California as an impoverished place in terms of its values, but at the same time, given a chance, they might live that way, too. It's so seductive [...] There's a love-hate relationship. As an example of what can happen within a permissive framework, when resources are plentiful, California is a very interesting place to study. In terms of economic theory, it's the epitome of conspicuous consumption. It's my feeling that America looks this way to the rest of the world.
In her book "Family attractions."