Scott Webb

The Great American Experiment Failed, And We’re All Proof

Ah, the subdued glow of the streetlights slowly turning the sky above the treeline into a mess of fiery orange. Does it get more suburban than this? The distant, fainting glow of the stars above you, a murky silhouette of the moon, all mixed in with the quiet hum of cable television and the whirring of air conditioning compressors. The only reminder of our ancestral heritage being the illusion of danger that the orange of the streetlight bulb represents. It shoots up to the dark clouds, only subdued by the dense leaves present on the hearty pines and firs that populate this subset of the great American experiment.

Our grandfathers were the first to live like this, abandoning bustling, crime-ridden city streets or the curse of life on a rural farm for the chance to participate in this new frontier of American life. They were promised a life of convenience here. White picket fences, crystal clear swimming pools, concrete tennis courts, exceptional schools, affordable housing, and a short drive to work or wherever else they needed to go. It all worked for a long while there. Massive interstate construction led to thriving communities, dense with friendly neighbors and profitable jobs. There were quaint downtowns all across land that used to be occupied by grazing cows or nothing at all. People were content here.

Slowly but surely, much of that disappeared. That sense of community, that sense of security even, has slowly evaporated as the years have gone by. Our grandparents were sold a lie that they passed down to our parents and is now getting passed down to you and me. That little fib being the promise of unlimited growth in these newly incorporated towns. Corporations took advantage of conservative tastes, the government milked the land dry of everything they could, and now all we’re left with is a mass of dilapidated McMansions, empty shopping malls, and soulless chain restaurants. The people occupying these homes haven’t even realized what went wrong yet, they’re too busy shoveling microwave dinners down their throats and rotting their brains with whatever’s on Xfinity.

We really could’ve had it all. couldn’t we? Alas, that America was nothing more than a long-term delusion propagated by the same people ready to sell you their next great experiment. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing but the eternal glow of the streetlights, a sky so impacted by light pollution you can’t see the stars, and an abrupt end to the idea of any tangible “American dream.” See you all in the metaverse.