Normally I’m not much of a shopper nor do I slavishly visit the ubiquitous classic edifices of the travelers global landscape anymore. I’m a people person, I like to follow them around and watch what they do. Here in Texas the landscape is not dotted with desert pyramids and ruined cities in the jungle, but rather with air conditioned mega-stores for modern shoppers and giant cathedrals of worship for the faithful flocks of Southern Baptists.I trip into the air conditioned Wall Marts and malls to escape from the heat of the sun while others retreat into the church to cool the fire of original sin.
I doubt that modern building materials will last the test of time for future generations of travelers to ponder over and pick through, and much is the shame for that. Because this culture is every bit as fascinating and inherently confusing to the casual observer as all those of the ancient world that archeologists have broken free from the sands of time.
To overlook the modern world and take for granted what we see around us now as uninteresting and banal is to discount what the effect of such incredible largesse may have on future generations. This is history in the making. Will the brevity of this generation be understood when the future looks back from the moon or walks out the ruined foundation perimeter of a 250,000 square foot Wall Mart Super Center?
It’s often said that ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’. Once upon a time this phrase probably described the overwhelming emotion that raw nature and the never ending landscape had on the first western settlers. I’m sure those ex-European emigre’s didn’t have the right adjectives to describe the fantastic landscape that met them when they’ arrived on the doorstep of Texas.
The over sized proportions of the natural world have had an effect on the psyche of the current inhabitants. There is so much space that no one thinks of downsizing anything, including themselves. There is no shortage of big people sporting big belly’s, bigger butts and big hats. If there is an analogy for Texas it would be ‘ The Bigger the Better’.
( to be cont’d)