William R. Greer, “In The ‘Lite’ Decade, Less Has Become More”
New York Times
August 13, 1986
Sociologists say that “lite,” which started as a marketing term used to denote dietetic products, has become a metaphor for what Americans are seeking in disparate parts of their lives. In their relationships, for example, they have turned away from soul-searching and stress of emotional commitment; at the movies, they would rather watch an invincible hero, like Rambo or the Karate Kid, who never lets the audience down.
The Light Decade is a time when men and women can “fall in love without paying the price,” as a Honda Civic advertisement promises. They can undergo psychoanalysis in one sitting, because today’s psychotherapy skips the formative years, namely childhood. For health care, busy executives can turn to a so-called Doc in a Box, a storefront medical clinic with extended hours, higher prices and no appointment, no referral—no medical history necessary.