The Awl visits the Minnesota State Fair and picks up on the way that agriculture is still presented as the centerpiece, even though most people have no relationship to agriculture anymore. Since the first time I visited the fair in the early '80s, it has transformed from something like a trade fair vibe to a museum of a forgotten lifestyle. Or as The Awl puts it:
They are petting zoos for the 90-some percent of visitors who no longer have any connection whatsoever to the fundamental pillar of local society going back to whatever beginning you're inclined to believe we had.
It wasn't that long ago that agricultural subsidies were discussed with the same rigor as health care is debated today. My sister and nieces still live on a farm in Minnesota. I thought of them the other day when someone casually mentioned Farm Aid, which I'm surprised to learn still exists. Farm Aid -- that was a big deal once upon a time!