Saturday, 26 February 2011

America Unchained

Last night I finished reading America Unchained by Dave Gorman. A Londoner decides to road trip coast to coast across America without giving any money to The Man (i.e. he has to find independent gas, food, and accommodation). As one proprietor expresses when Gorman explains the nature of their journey "I don't know how it's become part of American culture, this homogenization of us" (pg. 154). And it's the truth that resounds throughout the book. Why has America become so insistent that everything be the same and familiar throughout the 50 states? It's not something that Gorman can answer, but I respect that his journey is attempt not to answer, but show how apparent it has actually become. It's something that is impossible to not be guilty of, no matter how difficult you may try. By the end of the book Gorman points out "Twenty years ago a journey like ours would have been easy. I can't help thinking that in 20 years' time it might just be impossible" (pg. 376). I find that sad and terrifying.

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