Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Golden Age Of Residential Industrialism

It is well known that most of the things that man does later gets divided up into ages. Man, prone to giving much thought to his own output -- mental, physical, musical, spiritual, and industrial, just to name a few realms -- makes these divisions after he's done thinking about it.

The ages, to give them their typical monikers, are Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Paper. So we have the Golden Age of Whatever, comic books, classical music, rock 'n' roll, architecture, dentures, hoop skirts, sack dresses, hula hoops, gila monsters, paper sacks, grocery stores, art, and so forth.

Then there's some decay -- and self-consciousness, which I'll say more about later -- and next thing you know, the Golden Age gives way to the Silver. With comic books, just to mention one I was reasonably familiar with at the time, the Silver Age coincided with an increase in price, leading every kid in town to pronounce the Golden Age officially dead. Back then, two more cents was a huge thing.

Then you go from Silver to Bronze, meaning everything is a little more inferior to the way it used to be. In rock 'n' roll, once we got to disco, that was the turning point between the Bronze and the Paper Age. We felt like wadding it up and throwing it into a big boogie inferno.

So everything has its ages. I said I'd say more about self-consciousness having something to do with the passing of ages. That's true, leading me to state that it pays to be non-reflective. An example of this is: In the Golden Age, the item is used enthusiastically for what it's intended to be. But by the time you get to the Paper Age, the item is carefully collected and off limits. The big difference is self-consciousness, which ruins everything.

It's like Adam and Eve discovering they're naked. Self-consciousness. Suddenly, the Golden Age of innocence passed, and now they were wearing non-acidic, Mylar, collector-quality clothing to keep their genitals in mint condition. That's what caused the problem between Cain and Abel, which one was going to own their dad's preserved, collectable "sex," being the first of its kind in the world, and, hence, the "sex" of perfection from the Golden Age of genitals.

Well, guess what, residential industrialism is now in its Golden Age! We, all of us who have factories in our back yards, have that first flush of confidence and pride. We're stamping out the first of many items, consumer goods for the most part. We have the Golden Age-ish camaraderie of people together in a common purpose. And maybe best of all, we have the philosophical father of the movement still alive, that individual being me. People know they can still ask me questions and get firsthand "living history," as I relish the opportunity to rehearse some of the details, especially with young people who come by to visit and look up to me.

That's the way it was with Colonel Sanders, too. He had the Golden Age of KFC ... when he was alive. So he did it all, made the chicken, mixed the potatoes, took buckets out to the side of the road to sell, and appeared in commercials. Then when he perceived he was about to die, and that the Silver Age was starting, he posed for pictures -- especially the iconic logo of him they use today. That was his way of hoping he could extend the Golden Age, which of course he couldn't.

Then KFC hit the Bronze Age, and finally the Paper Age, becoming an increasingly terrible place to eat. I know I can barely stand to go there. Just the thought of it makes me a little nauseous. And this is a place we used to drive 50 miles to eat at back in the Golden Age. I had a couple teeth messed up in a car accident and couldn't eat solid food for two weeks. But the staff at KFC -- in the Silver Age -- used to hand feed me their delicious mashed potatoes and gravy. But I wouldn't eat them now if I were toothless. It's the Paper Age.

You go to KFC and right away you can tell, these people don't want me to eat their food. Just pay and sit, thank you. You see a little sign over the chicken, "Grilled chicken is available upon request." Upon request? What kind of buffet is this? I'm here to eat! Get the crap out here! But it's the Paper Age, they can't help it. I used to say, right when they were still on the cusp of the Paper Age that KFC had a subliminal message going out to each table, "You're full, you're full, you're full." Then at the door on your way out, it said, "Come back soon, come back soon, come back soon." I used to get some laughs from my family for that line when we were there, because they all knew what it meant. It meant KFC was chintzy with their food, and last time I was there, they still were. As further evidence, they give you the world's smallest plate and weird spork utensils that can't actually handle food.

You can tell, the way I went on at length, that's quite a subject for me. True. I've thought of it a thousand times, and, like I said, I used to get some good laughs out of it with my family. They'd all nod in agreement, laughing, because KFC's oddball policies are so obviously antithetical to the spirit of pleasant dining, you'd have to be brain dead not to notice it. For comparison, just imagine going to McDonald's and getting an empty bun and looking up to see a sign, "Hamburger available upon request." I mean, it's ludicrous!

Anyway, this is about the Golden Age of Residential Industrialism, which age we're still in. I say this with some trepidation because of the whole matter of self-consciousness. It's tough to be self-conscious and maintain the Golden Age. And with so many of the "ages" in modern times already being either Bronze or Paper -- almost everything! -- it's tougher to keep yourself at that initial stage of excellence. Which is even more reason why we need to work like the devil to keep it going.

Someday, assuming we eventually flub our way into the Silver, then the Bronze, then the Paper, at least we'll have the Golden Age well documented, thanks to my blog. We'll have a good record of how the movement started, what we were doing, what our struggles with the major industrial powers were, and of course the philosophical groundwork for the whole thing. And that's some consolation...

With my fellow residential industrialists, I plead, do not let rot and decay get into your thinking or your plants! Once we start losing our grip, that'll be it! The key to our success is to keep the Golden Age going! Let KFC's shameful example be a huge red flag to each one of you. Colonel Sanders eventually died. And with the decline of a once great restaurant, he spun so many times in his grave he went through the bottom of the casket and is nearing the core of the earth. That's really bad.

But you've still got me! So, please, don't let the Golden Age of Residential Industrialism die!

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