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The Apotheosis of the American Dream

What a pleasure it has been to learn how to use my Android smartphone! Granted, everybody else on planet Earth went through this seven years ago. I even took a couple photos, just so I would know how. But I think I'll continue to carry a regular digital camera, with its 18X optical zoom.

Perhaps I should reconsider that. After all, the smartphone is always with you. For instance, yesterday I missed a potentially great photograph. Long-suffering readers know that that means a photograph that tells a story, or is a visual metaphor of an important part of the human condition. They also know what it doesn't mean: a purdy picher.

I had just finished the appointment with an attorney who made my last will and testament, then went to knock off other errands before the migration north begins. I got rid of an annoying aluminum extension ladder that I have carried in my van, after replacing it with a collapsible telescoping ladder.

As I rolled into the landfill to dispose of the ladder, it struck me how strange it was to be there on the same day that I signed my first will.  There was a message here. But composing an essay takes time. It would have been nice to take a photo of the dump, and think of a good caption or essay later. 

There is something thought-provoking about visiting a landfill -- as there is at a graduation ceremony, wedding, or funeral -- even for people who don't do a lot of deep thinking. 


  1. I made a comment on your New Blogger theme which you have apparently taken down. I said something to the effect that it looked like the Occupation Of Independence had been hacked by the Russians.
    "What a pleasure it has been to learn how to use my Android smartphone! Granted, everybody else on planet Earth went through this seven years ago." Not everybody - I'm waiting for them to quit coming out with Beta models and release the finished product which needs to have a useful life similar to the old rotary dial.

    1. Rotary dial, eh? I go back even older than that. My grandparents used the wooden box type, where you turned the crank, spoke into a mouthpiece that came out of the box, and listened with a separate earpiece. My grandmother used to eavesdrop on her sister-in-law's conversations on the "party line."

  2. Even purdy pichers represent an aspect of the human condition. Otherwise, they would have no appeal. It seems people have always striven for the ideal, the perfect place, perfect situation, perfect relationship, perfect life and that is what (I think) people want to think about when they are attracted to purdy pichers.
    However, being a Realist, I would prefer a picture of the burial of a stepladder. Thinking too much about perfection leads to a constant unhappy and dissatisfied state of mind.


    1. Sorry, George, my first comment didn't really address what you said. You are putting forth, in your own words, the notions of Plato, about equating "the Good" with "the Beautiful." That idea has had many fans over the years.

      But Tolstoy and I don't like it! (grin)

  3. I'm not sure I made my point of the opportunity missed at the landfill. It is easy -- too easy -- to look at all that crap and then deliver a sententious sermon about the American Way of Life.

    But a really good photographic ARTIST could have found something visually interesting there -- something that affected the viewer more than a wordy sermon would.


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