Everyday choices enable excess

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Matt Murphy

I would imagine if someone came to America for the first time, they’d find no better cross-section of this country than at a Denny’s.

They’d learn a couple of things at America’s Diner. One, Americans apparently can’t read, because there are more pictures than words on Denny’s menus. The second is that America is a place where one can have everything.

I’m fairly un-American in that I can count the amount of times I’ve been in a Denny’s on one hand. But I found myself there this past weekend, which was when my roommate remarked, upon browsing the thick, laminated menu, “Geez, is there anything you can’t order? Everything says ‘and’ after it, not ‘or.'”

In a restaurant where one can order a hamburger and a side of pancakes, I thought about how that sentiment is so representative of our society as a whole.

It’s what America was built on — having whatever, whenever. Nobody can tell you how much is too much, like those damn Commies.

The ideals that once made America’s free society the envy and model of the world have become distorted so that they are almost unrecognizable. We are now a society of excess and greed that doesn’t know how to say ‘no’ or ‘stop.’

The word ‘or’ is no longer a part of our vocabulary. We have had whatever we want whenever we want for so long that we are now one of the fatter and dumber nations in the world.

Maybe I’m feeling a little self-righteous because I just saw the new Captain America film. It’s hard not to be after spending two hours with Steve Rogers.

Perhaps this generation has enough self-awareness to look around and change the way it lives. I’m not holding my breath.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @matthewcharlesz on Twitter.