We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Greenville, Maine, on the shores of Moosehead lake, is a town where one reaches the edge of civilization. A few years back a McD's was opened there. It lasted about a year or so. The local folks preferred their mom-and-pop cafes. Ever heard of a McD's closing anywhere else?
This post recalls the excellent book "Nine Nations of North America" published back in the '80's by Joel Garreau, an editor at the Washington Post. The inspiration for the book apparently was the competition among his reporters in the field to see who could be sent to the point furthest from a McDonald's store.
The resulting book is a captivating, insightful examination of regional cultural differences in America and became quite a reference for marketing people, political consultants, travelers, cultural anthropologists, et al. I have been looking for the author to update this wonderful book but so far have not seen it. It is still worthwhile reading, and has stood up pretty well, although now 25+ years old.
Take heart! I hear lard is making a comeback. My brother has been testing my mother's recipe for pie crusts and has (finally!) reached the conclusion that only lard will give him the flakiest pie crusts. Even CRISCO has changed their formulation to make it "healthier" so now the shelf life of an open can has been cut by months. It goes rancid a LOT faster these days and doesn't seem to work as well when frying. Everything seems greasier. Maybe McDonald's will 'test market' lard fried french fries again and just bow to the inevitable. Potatoes fried in rendered animal fat just taste better hands down.