Monday, June 18, 2007

Getting Smaller

I used to be a habitual reader of Paul Krugman in the New York Times. As a graduate student I taught an introductory Economics course to undergraduates and required the students under my tutelage to read and write their comments on Krugman's two columns a week. Now, that the New York Times Websites charges to read his column online, I no longer am able to read each one of his columns. This weekend my local daily ran a Krugman column in its editorial section. I learned that Americans are getting smaller.

Apparently a new study is out revealing that Americans are now on average three inches shorter than their European counterparts. We are also the shortest among the 18 top industrial countries despite having the largest per capital GDP. Thirty years earlier we were the tallest and three inches taller than our European counterparts. That is quite a switch.

Things do not look good for America. We are a dying nation. Everywhere we look around us we can see doom. Even our myths (television, games, Internet, etc.) are all about death and destruction. 9-11 was just a foreshadowing of our eventual collapse.

Krugman, ever the economist, explains our declining height on socioeconomics. Although partially right, he only alludes to the specific problems. Our bodies are made of the earth. We are destroying the earth that we are living upon. As the quality of our environment deteriorates, our bodies follow suit.

We have been consuming oil, coal and chemicals for so long we have forgotten we are nourished by the soil. We flush our soil away to the oceans and our bodies are a reflection of the meager shape of the topsoil we grow our food upon and the modified foods we pump into our bodies without the slightest notion or reverence for the Earth that provides for us.

Over time we slowly wilt away as cancers and disease consume our weakened flesh. For this to be happening physically before our eyes without our conscious acknowledgment can only be explained by minds that have become increasing numbed and slowed as a collective Alzheimer's disease slowly eats away a memory of our more glorious past while we operate under the continual disillusionment that we are an all-powerful and giant people, even as we verifiably shrink from existence.