The Anestehtized
Excerpt from Garrison Keillor's Leaving Home (Viking Penguin, 1987):

In Minneapolis, they tore down Met Stadium for a polyester ballfield with a roof over it, a ghostly greenish plastic baseball mall, and all those lovely summer nights were lost. The night train to Chicago was taken off, another broken romance, and all the little truck farms around the Twin Cities disappeared that sold fresh tomatoes, squash, and sweet corn at roadside stands or off the tailgate of a truck. Immense shopping malls sprang up in their place like fungus on the grass. One Christmas, after I wrote a book, I stood autographing copies of it for six hours at a chain store in the Ridgedale complex, as large and bewildering as an Air Force base, and felt its peculiar dementia, low and steadily throbbing from fluorescent lights, air conditioners, and electronic systems including synthesized violins playing homogenous hymns to anesthetized people, and knew that somewhere we had gone wrong.

Â…Life is complicated and not for the timid. It's an experience that when it's done, it will take us a while to get over it. We'll look back on all the good things we surrendered in favor of deadly trash and wish we had returned and reclaimed them. We may sit in a cool corner of hell and wish we had kept the ballpark, built the shops elsewhere, and not killed off all those cornfields.