December 31, 2022

I was recently asked about what life is like in a developing country. What an interesting question. My country, the US, is definitely developing. The other day during a drive, the development of new buildings and apartments being constructed reminded me of this fact.

In addition to physical structures, America is developing in other ways. But referencing these developments specifically is difficult. I see things about American on the news, such as mass shootings or smash and grabs, but I've yet to see these events actually happen.

How the media portrays information is dramatized. This morning I read a story about Elon Musk's changes at Twitter being a "nuclear train wreck". He's been in charge for less than two months. It's important to understand today's news isn't about the news. Instead, it's about how the writer — or the entity controlling the writer — wishes influence their readers.

Many years ago when studying journalism, I decided that if I were to make the effort of drama chasing and dramatizing stories, I want to get paid more than what a journalist makes. This is one of the decisions that led me to pursue writing ads.

But after 10 years of writing ads, I'm at a crossroads. It's no longer as fulfilling as it once was. While I still enjoy writing advertisements, my heart yearns for something bigger. This feeling grows when I continue to see how writing shapes the world.

I no longer want to write words that sell widgets. I want to write words that make history. The type of history I want to write is uncertain. But this is my current goal – to find a message I'm so passionate about, I work endlessly to spread it. Perhaps more reading more books would influence my decision. So, today, I will seek out which books to read next.

On a personal note, I'm currently in Henderson, Nevada. It's a city about 25 minutes from the Las Vegas strip. A couple interesting changes I've noticed here vs. other countries:

* People are taking less care of themselves. Most are overweight and walking in pajamas and slippers. I've yet to see any woman I consider attractive. (Aside from my wife, of course.)

* The food tastes different, even fruits and vegetables. I'm not sure if it's GMOs or something in the soil, but it's noticeable. I'm sure I've gained weight and I haven't changed my diet from how I eat in other countries.

* Driving is necessary. You need a vehicle. Something simple like walking to the store can take hours, but in a car it's just a 10 minute drive. Walkability is an afterthought in most places.

These changes are not new for me. I noticed them ~5 years ago when I started traveling outside the US. The food change is a deep concern and it relates to the other two changes. Perhaps encouraging a healthier, fresh-food diet for Americans is something I can make history about.

Time will tell. Need to think about this more.

I'll let you know how it goes and what I decide. Until then, Happy New Years!

Raymond Duke