"Maybe that seems overly dramatic, but I think there’s something important in the enumeration of generic chains that exist throughout America. Taken one by one, they don’t seem that interesting – just as it’s not particularly interesting to listen to one stranger recite a generic talking point. But over the course of all those miles, there’s a kind of rhythm that develops, and with it comes the realization that maybe what makes any of it distinctive is how generic it all is. And that maybe these divisive figures — the Bachmanns and Ryans and Kings of the world — didn’t emerge from these places in spite of the banality, but because of it.
"It seems to me that much of American life has become generic: The arid strip malls that barnacle this country’s towns don’t seem too unlike the rote political talking points put forth by the lamest pontificators in the media and the biggest hacks on the Beltway. We buy it all — from routine tuna sandwiches to the chorus of 'cut taxes and spending' – because there’s comfort in the familiarity. Or maybe not comfort, but the idea of comfort. Comfort is the hand of a loved one on your shoulder. It’s the deserved respite from life’s labors. It’s home.
"The idea of comfort is the spurious confirmation that the way you view the world is without a doubt right."