Staying Alive asked where I find these people. Had to laugh at his question because I'm convinced they're everywhere.
It would be easy to say they're of a certain nationality, income bracket and life experience but that's not the case.
They are simply people who - if they watch TV news - rely on CBS/NBC/ABC. I dare say they skim over the newspaper articles regarding world events because - like millions of others - they've been dumbed down to the point of feeling helpless and sure as hell don't want to admit to being clueless. So they insulate themselves in the familiar: family, friends, entertainment, gossip, baby showers, birthdays, weddings, funerals, playing Farmville, the local bar, the Department of Human Services and odd jobs.
They have yet to see the grocery stores empty, the delivery trucks parked, the electric grid go down or the cell service never come back on. Until either or all of those happen they'll hold fast to their mindset.
And by God, anyone who presents a different perspective or talks of having a different experience is considered "weird" or otherwise full of delusional thinking. Even people at the local food co-op promote self sufficiency yet many, many think it overkill to stock food for a year. Afterall, they've worked hard to keep the co-op viable.
In one generation the people have removed themselves from hard work, thrift and self-sufficiency. Many still can still recall the former era but are relieved to be free of its shackles. They're convinced that money and buying what they need is the answer to all their needs. I wonder how many of these people realize their consumption isn't sustainable. When I mention this subject most classifiy me as an anti-job environmentalist. The skullcap of "I should be able to..." and "I'm entitled to...because everyone else has one" is still tightly fit around their heads.
Yet 50 years ago this region was incredibly self-sufficient. Potato warehouses, dairys, slaughter houses and family owned meat markets were common. Huge gardens, root cellars and orchards dotted the landscape. Every little community had its own grocery, repair shop, churches, saloons and community center. Most are gone now in favor of Chinamarts. The old stores, if still standing, have been turned into apartments or storage facilities.
Today, community building has little to do with barn raisings and bringing in the harvest and more to do with paying to participate. Tournaments, parties, festivals, gourmet dinnenrs and fundraisers are the focus. Not that they're all bad it's just that the other basic, helpful activities have all but disappeared. People insulate themselves in front of the boob tube or the computer and complain there's nothing to do while their children whine about being bored.
It's a sad commentary on the whole of this nation and in this region it's very apparent. One has only to drive through the little communities to see signs of "the old ways." Houghton and Hancock have fewer indicators but they are there; trouble is the people are distracted by all the development, the activity and the talk of progressive consumption!