"Confronted by a torrent of bad news from our capsized economy, many people anticipate at least the kind of unrest that has already broken out in many countries, but we are so docile, really. Some people I know speak of heading for the hills and stocking up on canned food, potable water, guns and slugs — the bunker mentality. But instead of fleeing one another, like we’ve already done for half a century or so, shouldn’t we figure out how to be closer in every sense? Why not shorten distances and trim all excess from our lives?
"More Americans are experiencing poverty by the day, and I’m certainly not making light of destitution, but it doesn’t seem to me that increasing consumption — “growth” — is the answer. My ambition was to become an artist, before I switched to something even more practical, poetry, but one need not be a bohemian to value activities that reward the mind and spirit.
"Smaller portions are in order. Simplicity is O.K. It’s time to slim down.
Linh Dinh is the author of four books of poems and two short story collections, including his most recent, Blood and Soap. His novel, “Love Like Hate,” will be published in 2010 by Seven Stories Press.