"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to [eat well],
The wretched [compost] of your teeming shore.
Send these, the home[stead]less, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my [trowel] beside the golden door!"
Two recent pieces of news have me wondering: what is the good life in 2012? The first is an article by John Laumer about the decline of car culture. His observation rings true, I care more about my phone than my car. Amongst my peers I overhear more conversations about phone plans than I do about horsepower or antilock brakes.
The second is that Williams Sonoma is launching an "agrarian" line of homestead gardening products, and nothing says "mainstream" like Williams Sonoma. What a victory for the cause!
If you believe the American Dream still lives at all, there's no doubt it must be shifting. Constant changes in our values, our technology, and our knowledge alter our aspirations in our personal lives. We are evolving our understanding of what diet best serves our health, and what consumer choices best balance our relationship with the planet. Our tastes, too, are changing, as technology gets cheaper and faster. I actually expect changes in this graph, which ends in 2003:
I expect the next decade to reverse a hundred year trend of decreasing expenditures on food.
What does it mean to pursue happiness in 2012? Do we still want President Hoover’s promise of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage?” My generation might prefer a laptop or an iPhone to the car, and many Americans today might prefer chickpeas to chicken in their crockpots. The American Dream 2.0 might be: “a garden on every lot, and a mobile device in every shoulder bag.”
Farmscape can help you with the first.