January 03, 2006

Franchised Yurts

Inspired by Colin McEnroe's radio show (and blog) last night, listened to en route from Hartford to Milford. I would have called in but I was speeding down the Merritt and it was raining and nasty out....

First, the Great Room - the lamented merging of family room, kitchen, dining room, where kids do homework, parents cook meals, TV is watched, videogames played. This strikes me not so much as a deconstruction of Victorian properness and "a place for everything, everything in its place" ethos, as perhaps an evolution to a more eastern style of living and being. I am reminded of a movie we recently rented, wherein an extended family all lived in a yurt. A great room, indeed.

As for the franchising of America, the prevailing of corporate franchised food experiences over local eateries, well, I ate at the much discussed Macaroni Grill - on a recent trip to Tustin CA (as opposed to West Hartford). I submit that our franchise culture, even as it digests our cities and regions, binds us together across state and regional lines, across red state / blue state boundaries.

Not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I enjoy popping in to Jazzercise franchises all across the country, and am universally welcomed and find a familiar workout experience. Are we liberals less strange to the heartlanders for having sat down to a similar meal at Chilis?

Perhaps the blue / red divide will be forded and national schism will be avoided not through deft politicking but rather through a pretty decent entree and a waitron who will be taking care of you tonight.....regardless of who you voted for in the last election.

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