OK, OK, so the economy in particular and the world in general are going to hell. So what else is new? That’s been the same headline for a couple thousand years now. Whether spelled in Persian, Egyptian, Latin or King James English. And yet, somehow our flawed species seems to survive. Not gloriously, but by the skin of our teeth.
Right now, right this very ugly minute, two of America’s most favorite pleasures are in big trouble. First, the great American breakfast. Second, the great American small town. Now I know perfectly well most of us may not think about them and their present dangers, but that may be all the more reason to worry.
America’s most popular breakfast fruit is the noble banana. A glorious product of the Indo-Malaysian regions, it currently tops American breakfasts by the tens of millions every morning. Trouble is, the wondrous banana is in big trouble. According to Australian National University researchers, virtually all this fruit’s species have failed to cross breed in the wilds over the last 7000 years.
The result has been one of those good-but-bad results for which science is so infamous. To increase production, we have cloned banana trees, making each plant and its fruit genetically identical. That means greater vulnerability to disease, which in turn could someday mean yes-we-have-no-bananas!
The other worry hiding behind our more notorious headlines is what’s happening to those idyllic small towns Americans and Norman Rockwell so love. The facts now show that while urban and suburban communities are each thriving in many ways, these little picture-postcard countryside towns are not. Instead, they are dying from lack of jobs, services, and quality-of-life.
The result predicted by some demographers and sociologists is the gradual disappearance of our charming Mayberrys from coast to coast!
What to do…? Correction. In these angry times, the question will probably be: Who to blame…?
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