1. "Food and Drink"
3. "Having Fun"
"Lord Knows What Else"
is a choice from the last bit of the "American Averages".
Please note that most of the time I am quoting only a part,
sometimes a small part, from the section I quote from.
And there also is an endnote, in which I
explain there is to be no more.
"Food and Drink"
In this section, there are mostly figures I do not know the stability
diet has changed.
I think these are fairly
90 per cent more beef than we did in 1950.
Only a quarter as much butter as in 1910.
65 per cent less cabbage than in 1920.
42 percent more fresh and frozen food than in 1960.
10 times as much food colorings as in 1940.
Nearly 7 times as much margarine as in 1910.
A third more sugar and other caloric sweeteners than in 1909.
about white bread. Seventy per cent of all bread (..) is (..)
It's probably roughly
the same in Holland.
25 to 30 per cent of the food that gets to the supermarket gets never
I know I
should cut down. In 1974, the average American was eating 200
calories a day more than he or she did 9 years earlier...
More probably than not,
most of that is the additional sugar.
news. (..) obesity may be hereditary. (..) 84 per cent of parents
who are both slender are slender too.
I have no idea, except
that it seems a considerable size is not. (But how large
pickle me in brine! The average American consumes 60 times as much
salt as he or she needs.
This depends on the
veracity of what is needed. I did read recently it may be more, but
even so the consumption is high.
American appetite. By his or her seventieth birth day, the average
American will have eaten 150 steers, 24,000 chickens, 225 lambs, 26
sheep, 310 hogs, 26 acres of grain, and 50 acres of fruits and
Being myself nearly 63
and 1.95 meters, it is likely I ate that amount already...
national sweet tooth. The average American eats about 93 pounds of
sugar a year.
And no doubt rather a
lot more now.
beef comes from. (..) your average 1,000 pound steer yields but
615 pounds of carcass, which, when bones and fat are cut off, yields
only 432 pounds of beef (..).
Which is in part
explained by the fact that in 1910 people worked a lot more.
Eating less than
Grandpa. The average American eats 4 pounds of food a day. In 1950,
she or he ate 4.1 pounds. In 1910, she or he ate 4.4 pounds.
As far as I know, this
only got more serious a problem. (But I don't drink, and almost never
drank, and never got drunk.)
Alcoholism is a big problem. (..) estimates there are 9
million problem drinkers, that their problems affect the lives of 1
person in 6, that drinking is a factor in close to 30,000 highway
deaths a year and 20,000 of these deaths are caused by drivers with
"ongoing drinking problems, that half the murders and a quarter of the
suicides - 11,700 deaths a year - are related to drinking, and that the
whole problem represents an annual $ 15 billion drain on the economy
gap. The people of only two countries - the Soviet Union and
Poland - outdrink Americans.
Would this be a constant?
This section is mostly, but not only, about cars.
Getting there by all means. The
average American travels 8,080 miles a year.
No doubt outperforming
everyone else: Cheaper gasoline and larger distances are two reasons
talk cars. For everyone who buys a new car in America, 3 people by
a used car.
Interesting... and my
guess is that is still around the same.
car-people ratio. For every 10 cars bought in the United States in
recent years, only 7 have been scrapped. This leads to a diminishing
car-to-people ratio, to wit:
I am not certain, but it
seems now it is about 1:1.
Persons per car
Projected by the
National Automobile Dealer's Association:
auto gap. There is 1 car for every 25 people in Mexico, 1
for every 18 in Brazil, 1 for every 6 in Japan, 1 for every 37 in Hong
Kong, 1 for 23,378 in China.
This is bound to be
lower now, though I do not know by how much. In any case, it is a great
pity there are so many private cars: 75-95% of nearly
everything that gets transported is wasted.
school bus is safer. A child is at least 9 times safer in the
school bus than in the family car.
This is a great pity,
also in the US. (And I never owned a car.)
choo-choo. Nearly 2 out of 3 U.S. communities have no rail service
at all (..)
versus war. Anyone living in the United States from 1900 though
1976 was 3 times as likely to be killed in a car wreck as in a war.
It's a statistic...but
OK: Even with 2 World Wars, there was a much more effective way
to be dead before your time in the US, especially for males.
America. On average, you're safer driving in the United States
than in any country in the world.
One important reason
being that there is much more country.
know when. For every hundred miles you drive you face 1 chance in
303,030 of being killed in a wreck. The risk was almost 5 times as
great 50 years ago (..)
Which at least suggests
driving was fairly dangerous.
up for her. Women are behind the wheel 2 out of every 5 cars
pulling into gas stations. One car in 4 is registered in a woman's name.
Meaning - taking the
income difference in consideration - driving is about as likely for men
as for women.
those young singles go! (..) young singles take 3 times more
pleasure trips, go farther, and spend 60 per cent more on vacation than
Sure, but when else can
they do it?
And we have arrived at fun, or what is or was supposed to be
pep. Of every 100 Americans
This again is a
22 walk for exercise
14 do calisthenics
at the flicks. The average young American goes to 5 movies a year.
The difference is TV.
On the average day, 3 million go to the movies. That's way down
compared to the peak of 1946, when 11 million went to the movies each
and friends. Half the people in America between the ages of 18 and
25 admit to having tried marijuana at least once.
This is for the 1970ies.
It's bound to be more now. Indeed, it very recently got legalized in 2
states (as indeed is by far the sanest).
our drug preferences. Among Americans 12 and older, marjuana is
used by 1 of every 11 persons. (..) amphetamines are used by 1 of every
95 persons 12 and older, cocaine by 1 of every 107 (..) and LSD and
other hallucinogens by 1 out of 155.
I have no idea how this
relates to the current numbers, except that there are fewer smokers of
One of every 2 Americans 12 years and older drinks alcohol, and 1 of
every 3 smokes cigarettes.
darned commercials. One of every 3 adult Americans is willing to
pay a yearly television fee in order to get rid of commercials. (..)
But 2 out of every 3 adult Americans said that commercials constitute a
fair price for television entertainment.
One of the important
reasons for me not to have a TV, for the 43rd year in succession, is
that I do not want to be lied to, if I can prevent it. And the whole
notion that "2 out
of every 3 adult Americans said that commercials constitute a fair
price for television entertainment" is complete and utter crap.
for me. (..) They were asked what they don't do. (..)
Actually, I do not do
any of these things. But then indeed I am ill.
One in 5 working Americans never goes to the movies.
One in 4 never goes to parties, nightclubs, or dances.
Three in 10 never go to museums, concerts, plays or lectures.
One in 5 never does anything athletic.
One in 5 never works around the house or yard for pleasure.
One in 5 never goes to church or temple.
For every girl or woman who fished in 1972, 3 fished in
1977. For every girl or woman or scuba dived in 1972, 4 scuba dived in
This was selected
because it's a major difference. (But I have no idea about its
constancy, though my guess is the female scuba diving might be
considerably more these days.)
comes WHOOSH. (..) Counting only persons over 16 years old, 1
American of every 13 skis. (..)
Having learned to ski in
Norway, this shows skiing is underrepresented in the US (and everywhere
except in Scandinavia).
There are 7 downhill skiers in America, for every cross-country skier.
catch some action on the box. When asked to name his or her
favorite television program, 1 adult American in 6 picks a sports show.
The typical American man devotes more than a quarter of his TV time to
sports, compared to 15 per cent of the average American woman.
This is a sickness.
channels. Back in 1964, 22 per cent of the homes in America could
get only 1 to 3 channels on their TV sets, and only 4 per cent could
get 10 or more.
Hence: This is very much
from the beginning of TV-watching, that really took off only in
Now a third of all homes get 10 or more channels, and two thirds
get 7 or more.
skin flicks? One American out of every 3 polled by Gallup in 1977
said that he or she had seen at least 1 X-rated movie.
How honest was that? In
any case, as is and as has been the last 15 years or so, the greatest
attractor of the internet is porn.
all sweaty? Of every 4 Americans, 2 prefer to spend their
leisure time sitting around, relaxing. One prefers going out to a
movie, bar, or restaurant. The fourth chooses exercise of some kind or
It's more or less as one
vultures. Of every 100 Americans
I don't have any idea
how this is now.
36 go to museums
29 go to plays
25 go to rock or folk concerts
13 go to classical concerts
11 go to dance performances
every 100 Americans
I am especially amazed
at the gardeners and the singers. (Then again, I have played chess
daily for 25 years at least.)
39 do handicrafts of one kind or another
22 paint or draw
18 play a musical instrument
11 sing in a choral group
5 play chess
1 is an ardent photographer
watching less television? (..) the typical American 18 or older
watches 3 hours of TV on an average weekday and 3 hours 25 minutes on
an average weekend day.
This is worse now, and
was quite bad then. It really is a waste of time, even though it also
is - in fact, if probably not widely acknowledged - what most men seem
to live for: To be able to watch TV.
Two out of every 3 adult Americans watch TV every day. Nineteen of
every 20 watch at least twice a week. Only 1 in 50 never tunes in at
and the tot. The average preschooler watches up to 30 hours of TV
a week - a total of 6,000 hours before he or she sets foot in a
More or less the same
the murders. By the time he or she graduates from high school, the
average American has watched 15,000 hours of television and has seen
350,000 commercials and 18,000 murders.
And more of the same.
Whoever saw 18,000 murders?! (I certainly did not, but as I said: I
have no TV since I was 20. Almost everybody else did.)
cycle of TV watching. (..) the average kid, during the first 16
years of life, spends as much time with television as in school.
That committee was a
bunch of complete and brazen liars: TV viewing IS THE "universal, global,
nonrational, automatic manifestation of behavior".
In a study of sixth graders, over a quarter said they watched
more than 5 hours on school days. (..)
The committee says TV viewing is not the "universal, global,
nonrational, automatic manifestation of behavior", it seems.
of pianists. Two out of every 5 American children take piano
lessons at some time or other. (..)
This is just to end on
another note - and unfortunately I do not play an instrument, though
the one time I ever got a chance to play a piano, for some hours, it
was clear that I lost a lot by never getting a chance to pick this up.
Roughly half of the kids who took lessons can still play, at
least a iittle bit, as adults.
4. "Lord Knows What Else"
This indeed is a varying and last section.
banks. (..) the typical bank robber is an unemployed, unskilled
man, 18 to 25 years old (..)
In case you doubted
this. Then again, it is especially the male of 18 to 25 who creates
most problems anyway.
The average bank robber got away with $ 4,858 per job in the United
States in 1977.
I have absolutely no
idea how this is now.
the dogs. For every person in the United States, there are 4 or 5
Which means that there
are, just in the US, over 1 Billion pets.
guilty, the innocent and the still pending. Of every 100 people
charged with a crime in the United States, 36 are convicted, 12 are
acquitted, and 34 are referred to a juvenile court. The cases of the
other 18 are still pending.
Again, I have not much
of an idea how much of this is still the same. Buit what is fairly
striking is the juvenile proportion.
diverse. One American in 8 is black, 1 in 16 is Hispanic, 1 in 10
is over 65, and 1 in 3 is a child.
This seems to be about
the same, except that there are more Hispanics.
mostly city folks. Seven of every 10 Americans live in
metropolitan areas, 3 of them in cities and 4 in suburbs.
Probably more or less
the same, except that the proportion will be higher.
Americans. For every $ 100 earned by the average American family,
the Indian family earns $ 61. The typical Indian lives to be 44, a
third time less than the average American. Suicides among American
teen-agers are 3 times the national rate. The average educational level
for Indians under federal supervision is 5 years of schooling. (..)
And this is to end the
book, at least in this selection: The "first Americans" have been
destroyed mostly, and without there being a need for this.
Between 1890 and 1970, the Indian population increased by 320
percent. So did the US population.
Well... that was it. I do not believe I have in 10 years spend 4
successive days on one and the same topic, but I have now. Why? Mostly
because of what I wrote yesterday at
the end: This was, both in the US and in Western Europe, the ways
people spent their lives from - roughly - 1968 till 2008.
My own guess is that we are at the end and that the coming century will
be quite different and quite difficult.
But I might be wrong about this, though this is less and less likely.
In any case: This was a survey of the top of civilization, ever. And if
it grows less, it is - mostly, though not: totally - due to the average
level of intellect.
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: