Americana is dead. The American dream is just that, a dream. It’s sad to think that most things American have faded into history. Local mom and pop shops and diners are closed and demolished in order to make way for big corporation. The closest thing we have to the old time way are local convenience stores that happened to sell slices of pizza and maybe a halfway decent sandwich, even local small coffee shops are closing to make way for bigger brand name coffee shops. I can’t turn a corner without seeing a Tim Hortens or Krispy Kreme popping up as if they just sprouted over night. I want to know why my old neighborhood needed 4 McDonalds when the town was only four by two miles. A lot of our local ice cream shops have closed and it’s sad because these owners had brilliant marketing plans, one of our shops was shaped like a windmill, they just couldn’t compete with the prices that Dairy Queen could offer. Everything is changing and we just keep sitting back and watching as our very culture and history are being raped, plundered and pillaged. What was once a family owned video store is now a Blockbuster, a local record store is now a FYE. Small business is almost gone and big business is taking over all the while we just sit on our asses and twiddle our thumbs. America is so wrapped up in themselves that they only care about their personal rising economic problems that they forget that the more money they spread around the better the economy does. All we our doing is hoarding what we have and completely ignoring everyone else. We have the mentality that as long as we, as an individual, are ok then fuck everyone else. Wouldn’t you love to walk into a town and see the townsfolk using the local markets and shops? Wouldn’t it thrill you to no end if you saw the Walmart with a going out of business sign in the front? While the small towns get smaller and the big cities get bigger we lose more and more of ourselves each day. In the past people used to define themselves by where they were from, now it’s by what designer you are wearing or what car you drive. Local roadside attractions close because people would rather stop at outlet stores, in a year that person will not want or remember a specific item they purchased at that store but if they stopped to look at the worlds biggest frying pan or worlds largest ball of twine, those are memories that last forever.
Only one beacon of light shines. The last hope for Americana. The dream made into reality. Dive bars. The bars you usually drive past and most never really acknowledge. You are sometimes afraid to go in and wonder what kind of caliber patrons will you find. Let me tell what kind of people frequents these places, Americans. Americans like you and me, the ones searching for hope in only two bucks a bottle, a place where people do know your name. A place where you will be remembered and a place that will miss you when you are gone. A good dive bar can supply you with new friends and new exciting stories. It can give you direction and new outlook on life, it’s almost certain that someone has it worse than you do and they will be more than willing to tell you all about it. A gathering place of the lonely and broken. You will build relationships, companions. People whom you will be able to call friends. Hard working people, the proud and true citizens of this slowly decaying country. I don’t mean to sound obtuse but we have to help ourselves before we can help anyone else. We sometimes get distracted by catastrophes that happen elsewhere that we forget that we have hungry people right in our on neighborhood. We dive bar patrons must rise up and reclaim what was once great about this country, closeness, togetherness. We must stand with our brothers and sisters and help right mom and pop. The closeness will bring us together and will help us understand our differences. We are all the same. We are people. We are citizens. We are American.