Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape

By John Miller | Go to book overview

8 THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Though it was January, the bright sun and blue sky of a recent Sunday afternoon reminded me that in California, summer will not be confined to its own season. In California, summer insists on appropriating all seasons.

In California the hegemony of summer, even in the heart of January, seems only normal and to be expected. The New Man is very much at home in the protean reality of the New American Landscape. He has come to expect, in California at least, the environment and the weather to have the appeal and consistency of the figurative and literal atmosphere of a shopping mail.

In California the distinction between inside and outside has become as meaningless as distinctions among the designations urban, suburban, and rural--an observation I made in earlier chapters. Increasingly, for the New Man the only distinction worth noting regarding the environment is the degree to which it is designed to focus attention on the individual consumer. On the New American Landscape there are only two modalities. The first is focused on facilitating consumption, and the second is that which will soon be focused on facilitating consumption. Simply put, no other classifica-

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