The Hawks have grown and thrived in the same time frame of the spread of capuccinos to rural American culture. We have witnessed the grand opening of a Starbucks in Provo, Utah, sampled sophisticated single source brews in blue highway towns, stood behind bearded mountain men as they enquire into croissants and scones, their trucks idling in the gravel parking lot. The nasty swill that was a pillar of rural Americana is being knocked over town by hamlet by town square. Change is as possible as it is unlikely. Yes we can.
Could left wing organizations win America back via coffee culture? Let’s not forget that this was a land of radicals, Wobblies, Communists, socialists, beats and bohemians, powerful labor unions that delivered the vote for representatives who feared and served the people and the common good. The collapse of this commonality has been breathtakingly fast. We live in its rubble now. The average working man now votes Republican, watches Fox News, and thinks teachers are overpaid. Will green shoots rise from these ruins? What if the funds donated to Moveon.org and their now tedious and salaried dance with the power structure went towards a chain of socialist free trade coffee houses staffed by sexy and brilliant eco aware youth handing customers a copy of Counterpunch with each impeccably pulled ristretto? Could Environmental Baristas For America (modeled after Teach For America) recruit the best and brightest to serve high end espresso to under-served middle America? Cafe begets outdoor farmer’s market begets local small farming vegetable swaps, bicycling, political discussion groups, local activism and cultural happenings. Rural America finds the balance of 1936, or 1926, or 1876. Facebook falters. Twitter withers.
We get ideas. On this post-wedding morning we walked across the street from our Town of Mt. Shasta modest motel, the Alpine Lodge, to an enticing stone storefront espresso establishment, Seven Suns. Jackpot! Excellent breakfast burritos, scones like big cookies, Americanos and soy capuccinos a cut above decent, reggae wafting through cool subdued lighting back rooms. Hence the above speculation on the rebirth of American culture. It’s not impossible.
We get more ideas: The death blow to wind and solar generated power in any eco debate is the lack of power storage. Winds often blow strongest at night, when electricity demand is down. Solar power declines in winter. Giant batteries aren’t practical. How to store electrical energy? Well–how about mechanical storage? The new 1776 foot high World Trade Center could be built on a hydraulic platform. Excess electricity from wind turbines and solar panels now covering every square foot of Manhattan rooftop can be routed to motors that raise the hydraulic platform and the World Trade Center 200 feet in the air, raising its peak height to 1976 feet, making it even more height prestigious and bolstering America’s deflated self esteem. When Manhattan’s electricity demand exceeds solar/wind output, the platform lowers, the Trade Center’s massive weight driving generators that light up the Great White Way.
The presidents of Mt. Rushmore could be similarly jacked up, the gigatonnage of a mountain top storing a whole region’s worth of electricity. The ruined coal mountaintops of West Virginia could be converted to energy storage platforms as they’re being cosmetically rehabilitated. Let’s jack up all of Las Vegas as its population flees for more rational places to live. Put our wastelands to good use. Phoenix. And West L.A.
Not all our ideas are good ones. A chain of Nevada brothel/medical marijuana clinic/gas station centers called Ass, Gas, and Grass (Kids Eat For Free) might create more problems than it solves. But noted in the interest of not spurning The Muse.