The end of the American Century.

It must stand as the harbinger of a final decline, the time when our affluence is no longer luxury, merely excess.  The conceit of an empire is revealed in that moment when the avarice that started out as a hunger ends in nothing but lethargy.

To go to a roadside stand on a summer's day, order a small ice cream in a cup and be confronted with an amount that easily fills a pint-like container to its brim -- this picture is not plausible in any sense. It is too damn much ice cream, it does not meet the definition of "small", it will make the little children fat.

Ah yes, the little children, I think of the little children.  What will happen to the wee ones?  They will soon not be so wee anymore, not because they have grown up but because they have grown out, from string beans to watermelons. (And if it will do that to a small child, what in God's name will it do to a middle aged man?)

In other words, if that's a small, how big is a large?

And we worry that we have a national obesity problem.

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