I’m Hardly a Latter-Day Steinbeck or Kerouac, but Still…

I'm struck by the starkness of the post-market crash/credit crunch world in which we live. I've posted blogs about deserted train stations, empty train cars and the rise of a new, if fictitious, 24×7 all doom-and-gloom cable news network that gleefully reported on all the negativity.

Today's trip to Newark Airport served as yet another case in point. There were five people in front of me on the security line and only one security checkpoint open. Passengers and TSA agents alike seemed like survivors of an apocalypse, going through the motions like automatons. Later, in the Continental lounge, I shared what is probably a 30,000-square foot reception lounge with perhaps 10 other travelers.

But, the most chilling of all the sensory experiences is the almost eerie quiet. The
silence at times is deafening. Don't get me wrong. I'm the first one to complain about screaming kids, pushy grandparents and boorish gate agents. But, Newark's Terminal C reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode. Unlike Rod Serling's Zone, though, this is all too real.

I would think it was these types of sensory experiences that inspired John Steinbeck to write The Grapes of Wrath and Jack Kerouac to pen On the Road. Whatever their motivations, I'm sure latter-day authors and poets will weigh in with their takes on our modern wasteland. It's hard to believe so much has changed so dramatically in just 90 short days.

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