Exiles On Main Street

"He lost his job during the pandemic and hasn't tried to get a new one because he started heavily drinking -- like real bad heavy drinking," she said. She could be anyone, and the same goes for him. Nominal spending on beer, wine and liquor at retail stores in the US is up almost 25% from before the pandemic, according to the Census Bureau. On an inflation-adjusted basis, spending on liquor was 18% higher in December of 2022 compared to pre-COVID levels. "Of course that's taken a huge toll on

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9 thoughts on “Exiles On Main Street

  1. … is US nearing a deep cultural existential inflection? Or, is this level of class inequality and despair typical and near-equality the exception – a continuation of 400 years of class strife (white trash: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27209433-white-trash)? Then, ask … what’s the connection to H’s post (economic) and the increasing visibility of nationalistic racists militias? … easy to be fearful of our future … with the final question, how can i help avoid that outcome?

    1. The way to stop being fearful of the future is to become engaged in the mitigation of its ills. Over my last 25 years of life I have worked to support, actively and through donations, those seeking to end the suffering of substance abuse, those who would feed the hungry and those who house the homeless the the victims of domestic abuse. I would add that my college roommate was one of H’s statistics above. He was a high-functioning alcoholic from his high school years until his death last year from alcoholic dementia and liver disease. I know what I do with my wealth today is not the same as active participation on the front lines as I once did, but I believe it is, nevertheless, something that does real good, not enough, perhaps, but still real. I am mostly a solitary soul but I still patronize my favorite family restaurants and over-tip all the staff. I have a good gardener and a good team of housekeepers.

      Great start, sir.

  2. Ironically (at least based on how you have portrayed yourself) you seem to need this woman to alleviate your loneliness but also to allay your guilt for being one of the “storytellers” who sold her down the river, turning her into an expendable serf, to quote a previous article, and apparently turning you into a misanthrope who almost succumbed to the very epidemic of alcohol induced death that your work perpetuated. Cool paradox, respect for being vulnerable, I think it illuminates the death spiral that American culture if hurtling down.

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