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Levittown 1951

by Sven Curth

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Levittown 1951.
(or "The rise and fall of the American middle class)
copyright 2007 Sven Curth

It started out in Levittown in 1951; the future looked enticing - the war had just been won. The nation started building, flush with new prosperity, the up-and-coming middle class: The American Bourgeoisie. Soon a maze of superhighways was strung from coast to coast, and no town was quite complete without a shopping mall to boast. An endless chain of burger joints and discount stores and car dealerships littered the landscape of what was once agrarian America.

...And safely squirreled away in all of their little "ticky-tacky" homes the people went about their lives like so many inundated clones; they procreated happily and watched their television shrines so the corporate world could tell them what to next go out and buy.
And the colleges were crowded, and the paychecks kept on rolling, and they occupied their spare time with TV sports and golf, and bowling.
...And they removed themselves from nature, and they removed themselves from death, and they embraced their newfound culture with every thought and every breath.
...And the poets sang of revolution; social change and love… songs of discontent, and anger at the very world they were begotten of
...And things that once were recreation became billion dollar icons with hordes of blind-devoted followers and overpaid pop-culture gods.
…And as the women attained social seniority the men became emasculated and androgynous; superfluous in a world of manicured lawns, supermarkets and SUV's.

...And even the rebellious were predictable with angry anthems and conspicuous clothes, screaming anarchy in unison and playing out their scripted roles while the real money and power remained in the pockets of the few; handed down by generations to their spoon-fed, sheltered youth.
...And as the people grew fat and overindulged all of their jobs were shipped away thanks to inept elected leaders by whom they were readily betrayed into believing that their children, and their taxes, and their toils were spent defending global freedom – while they were shedding blood for oil.

...And now a clueless population of over-regulated sheep listens tacitly to the rhetoric of politicians, cops and priests. As they wallow in the pavement of their filthy, urban sprawl… blindly faithful that someone, somewhere will maintain and lead them all… Secure in the conviction that "everything is gonna be ok", that their way of life is free and righteous and that America is great.
As their money loses value and their stocks begin to crash they'll wonder how to maintain a consumer society when the consumers have no cash. As the bitter turmoils of the outside world begin to break down their walls and the social strains of jobless poor begin to encompass them all they'll look back nostalgically to the suburbs and the cities; when there was house and a job for everyone. For $100 down – you could live the good life in Levittown – in 1951.


released March 1, 2007
Sven Curth


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Sven Curth Lake Placid, New York

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