Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Is The California Dream Turning Dark?

Nov 3, 2015

For over 150 years, California has collectively embraced an identity as a place where people go to reinvent themselves and to remake the world. From the Gold Rush to the Silver Screen; from valleys of wheat and oranges to valleys of microprocessors and software – the Golden State’s story is one of innovation and riches, but also tension over what has been lost in the process of creating the future. 

With a new piece in the New York Times (My Dark California Dream), writer Daniel Duane suggests that California is entering a new age, one where the California dream isn’t filled with sunny optimism but a much darker vision – one filled with in his words a “profound sense of loss.” From urbanization of nature to the housing shortage in the Bay Area to the effects of drought and climate change, Duane paints a picture of a California that is not as bright as the one previous generations enjoyed.

But is this anything new? Or is the lament over what has been lost as old as the California Dream itself? Duane joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his column and his thoughts on what California, both the idea and the place, mean today.