The mariner gave his alter egos the day off today. He is free to walk on the sunny side of the street.

In the current Atlantic magazine, James Fallows has an article about “the real America.” Fallows and his wife took a nationwide tour of cities in their two-seat airplane; they flew at an altitude of 2,500 feet. Starting with a flight to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 2013, through a trip to Mississippi last fall, James and Deborah Fallows made extended visits to two dozen cities, and shorter stops in another two dozen, covering a total of 54,000 miles in their single-engine propeller airplane. The longest swing was from November 2014, when they left Washington for the West Coast—with stops in West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Arizona—until the following July, when they returned via Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, and Ohio.

The Fallows discovered a layer of American ingenuity that is never reported in the news media. In fact, James is serious when he recommends that citizens stop following the news. Some excerpts:

“For instance: Last spring we met a group of San Bernardinians in their 20s and early 30s who called themselves Generation Now—San Bernardino. They were white, black, and Latino. (The city is about 60 percent Latino, 20 percent white, the rest black or Asian.) Some had finished college, some were still studying, some had not gone to college. They worked as artists or accountants or in part-time jobs. But all were involved in what you could call a raveling-up of the town’s tattered social fabric….

“I was just pissed off,” an artist in his 20s named Michael Segura told us. “By the time I was old enough to vote, everything was in such terrible shape in San Bernardino. We just heard all the time that it’s a city of losers. We’d had enough.” In early 2013, just after the city declared bankruptcy and appeared to be at the depth of its hopelessness, he and a handful of friends began efforts to engage the city’s generally disaffected residents in improving their collective future….

“Through my working life, as a California patriot I have waited for the time when the news-media base would shift to the West Coast. I am waiting still. But nearly everywhere we went we were surprised by evidence of a different flow: of people with first-rate talents and ambitions who decided that someplace other than the biggest cities offered the best overall opportunities. We saw and documented examples in South Carolina, and South Dakota, and Vermont, and the central valley of California, and central Oregon.” [end quote] See:

Primarily, labor lost its political dominance in the US because of rapid technical advancement in the computer industry; Capitalists, those who bought the computers, have become more important – the demand for labor has dropped steadily. Given Fallows’ extensive, on-the-street comments, it is a good sign that, from the bottom up, Americans already have started Bernie’s revolution.

Good reading if the reader wants a sunny day.

(But you can’t watch or read about the news)

Ancient Mariner

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