Today, in my ongoing program to Keep the Kids Occupied While Mom is in England, I took the kids to Great America, an amusement park not far from our house.
Great America is your basic big, corporate amusement park that has a few themed zones (the water park has some nods toward Australia– at least, those parts of Australia that bear a remarkable resemblance to the South Pacific), but the overriding theme always is, CAN HAS I YR MONEYS?
But there’s one distinctive thing about the place. Like most amusement parks, Great America skews to the lower end of the population curve: its clientele consists mainly of teenagers, and parents with young children (teenagers not wanting to be caught dead in a public place with their parents).
So it’s notable that the crowd is probably 80% East Asian, South Asian, and Hispanic. A couple years ago I heard that someone argue at a conference on the future of families that if you want to sell breakfast cereal or houses or vacations to California families, it’s worth realizing that the families with Mom chauffering the three kids around in the minivan while Dad’s at work– in other words, the traditional American nuclear family*– are more likely to be named Ramirez or Lee or Singh than Jones or Parker.
This is the future of California. It would completely freak out Lou Dobbs.
* Leaving aside that “traditional” and “nuclear family” are oxymoronic, unless you compress your notion of “traditional” to include things that are only about fifty years old.
[To the tune of Jean Sibelius, “Valse Triste, Op. 44,” from the album “Finlandia/Tone Poems”.]