Friday, January 1, 2010


Cornfields made up much of the Midwestern landscape where I went to high school in the 1960s. These fields were organized in widely spaced rows. Country roads ran for miles through cornfields and the long straight rows seemed to radiate like the spokes of a wheel as you drove past.

After high school I moved away, feeling no special regret for the agricultural landscape I was leaving behind. All the same, I did return for my 20th high school reunion. And that's when the cornfield trauma occurred. There were still cornfields everywhere. The only thing was that they looked totally different than the ones I remembered.

New strains of corn and new farming methods meant that the fields were much more thickly planted and rows were no longer visible at all. The new cornfields looked like gigantic lawns of overgrown grass.

That cornfields had ceased to look like cornfields seemed as monstrous to me as if snowmen had ceased to look like snowmen. And I expressed my outrage whenever I could find an audience for it, but none of the locals seemed impressed.

Top image here. Middle image here. Bottom image here.