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NAX: Too much of everything is not enough for us - Odessa American: Columnists

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NAX: Too much of everything is not enough for us

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Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am

Despite the fact that we live in the “land of plenty,” a lot of Americans are finding that it’s not enough.

Yes, we have a great bounty of advantages on most fronts, yet we hunger for more.

Case in point: How many times have you surfed through your 50 or 100 or more channels on that dazzling flat-screen television and decided that there’s just nothing worth watching?

Sure, that happens all the time. Included in these complainers are older folks who undoubtedly would remember when they were lucky to have a blurry black-and-white TV that could pick up the one or maybe two local channels — but only if the rabbit ears had the foil wrapped on them just right.

Same goes for the old taste buds. A daily dilemma is deciding where to go for lunch. Nothing sounds good. Been there and done that.

But that array of possibilities is positively mind-bending if you can remember when fast food involved a car hop and variety meant putting cheese on your hamburger.

Back in the day, you had relatively few options when it came to listening to music. You could go hear it live, you could buy vinyl records for your turntable or you could tune in to a favorite station on the radio.

Now you’ve got your super stereos, your car sound systems, your CDs, your iPods, your satellite radio, your … well, you get the idea. How ironic is it that the Beatles can be crooning “Yesterday” in your ear just about anywhere you go?

You can listen to books talking or invest in a special device that lets you electronically read a new novel or even a newspaper anywhere and any time you want. Still, we shrug and say that we just don’t have time to read anymore.

As for transportation, we have airplanes that can deliver you most anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. But even if they can get you to the ultimate place of plenty, Las Vegas, in a couple of hours, you gripe about having to take off your shoes for the privilege.

And speaking of Vegas, imagine being able to take your Depression-era grandparents into a casino where millions of dollars, literally, are being thrown around by gamblers every hour of every day. And you’ll see patrons of these places griping because there aren’t enough of their favorite slot machines.

Then, when the process of giving away your money gets boring, you can hop over to the bountiful buffet where nothing really looks good and you’re upset because the desserts just aren’t exotic enough.

Each day we get in our boring vehicles — never mind that they have remote controlled everything, seat warmers, voices that can direct you to whatever you want to find and more creature comforts than Henry Ford could have imagined — and wish we had that SUV the size of a bus with four-wheel drive we’d never use and designer touches that we’d never notice.

Really, what it comes down to is the fact that we’re bored with our fabulous array of everything. So we’re forced to embrace this great new vista that they’re calling retro. Boy, weren’t those 1950s and ’60s something?

Odessa, TX

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