When the land for my suburban Chicago subdivision was bulldozed in the late 1960s, the topsoil was scraped off and sold. Wildflowers and trees were scrapped for landfill. Developers left a blank dirt slate, ready for the new homeowners to chalk the sum of their desires upon it.
In the charming but apocalyptic movie WALL•E, Disney-Pixar spins the story of a cute robot set against a grim backdrop of a future Earth dominated by trash and pollution, uninhabitable for plants, animals or people.
Writers of memoirs used to be people who had explored the North Pole or starred in films or run for president; their writing was a final act of summary. These days memoirs are more often ordinary people’s chronicles of unfolding discoveries.