A long, expensive, much-publicized contest is now
over, and--NYC won. Did anyone think Chicago's
Sears (Willis) Tower had any chance against the
emotional power of the phoenix-like World Trade
Center 2.0? The two structures are very close in
height; there was a squabble over duelling definitions
of antennas allowed, etc. New York City now has
the nation's tallest building, if not the world's.
In normal times I don't object to obsessing on the
signally silly, like the above-mentioned race to the
top, but with new, ill-advised trade agreements
(the TPP), persistent high unemployment (recall
that 3-5% was considered "structural or normal"
for decades) and apparently successful efforts
aimed at bringing the U.S. back to a harsher, more
rights-impoverished era continuing, this is no time to
concentrate on "fun", or less substantive matters.
...But fun is a never-ending national focus, except for
horrifying tragedies like the latest typhoon in the
Philippines, death toll of ~10,000 expected. Right
now many of us are galvanized into helping with
funds and goods, but such concerted care fades,
and our persistent problems remain, dealt with
in haphazard or downright wrong fashion.
PLEASE: Let's have more serious emphasis
on tackling what matters, punctuated by rest
and recreation, yes, yet not as the main goal
and activity in life.
Such silly quests brought Ancient Rome to her
knees and the vandals. Such may quite easily
define our decline.