American Dream

Come with me. Let us un-dream the American Dream. Let us undress her, him, or it—The Thing—and have a look. It won't be a pleasant sight but we had better do it quickly because The Thing has a contract to kill us before we wake up and see the light. Sure, it wants to sell us one more beer, one more pack of cigarettes, one more automatic weapon—one more something—before it finishes us off, but it won't be long now. Awash in alcohol on pill hill and stroking with pleasure the barrels of our guns, we are becoming unruly. What is This Thing, This Monster, with blood on its lips and flesh in its mouth, big of belly, small of mind? Come with me, let us see. We can begin with the automobile.

The American Dream, The Thing, is owning so many automobiles that you don't know the exact number—and can't remember where you parked them all—but feeling bad about only one thing: that you can drive only one at a time.

The American Dream, The Thing, is being better always and deserving more. It is having the Lion's Share without working for it. It is making money off of money and others' labor and saying you worked hard for it. It's also about "risk taking." It's about robbing the retirement fund and dipping into the school lunch program. That's risk taking of a sort, right?

It's about sound-bite lies fed to a nation of "educated" citizens who nevertheless can't think. And it's drubbing experts "so called" and labeling science a hoax. Who needs more than the "science" of the church if it gets you what you want? It's about evangelical jelly notions and anti-abortion mother murder.

It is talking on the cell phone anywhere and everywhere—in the car, on the plane, in the bar, in the bathroom stall, pew! ... —and saying nothing at all. It's about being "connected," as your mobile provider says, while being totally disconnected from heart and mind.

The Thing is about being smug but thinking of it as having pride or healthy self esteem—better than being a loser or a twit like those others, right? Fuck 'em!

The Thing is about being an irritating asshole with diplomatic immunity or an utter bore with the mind of a whore.

The Thing is about about having a college degree but not knowing fact from fiction, deduction from seduction, make believe from the actual world.

The Thing is also about blocking the aisle in the market even if there is only one other customer in the store, and it's about insisting that you got to the register first even if you didn't, because Americans are always first, right? First on the moon, first in line!

The Thing, The Monster, is about "playing by the rules" unless they apply to you; then it is your rules, the rules of a winner.

And The Thing, the American Dream, is about being rich—or appearing so—even if you're deeply in debt; because rich is the one and only True American Value, and appearing so is second only to being so.

The Thing is also about being cheerful even when you are deeply depressed, even suicidal. There are pills; take 'em, bud! It's the patriotic thing to do. And it's about having friends, lots of 'em, even when you have none at all and the few who know you dislike you.

It's about being happy when you are sad. Never let on! Smile when the tears flow; suppress that sob, Sal. Want a hard "happy" slap to bring you around?

The American Thing is also about being on top of every situation even when you are totally out of control and hopelessly confused. It's about being captain of a sinking ship and shouting nonsense orders while it goes down. "Do this, do that. Batten down the whatchmacallit! ..."

And The Thing is about glib answers to deep questions, crafty denigration and  denial. The American politicians is the true master here.

It's also about a complete reversal of values: portraying everything bad as good, everything good as bad. Here the murderer is the saint, the saint the murderer; up is down and right is left ...

And it's about one underlying value only, money, but denying it.

It's also about being shocked and outraged by anything that even a child understands as normal and healthy. And it's about not being shocked or outraged by anything truly deplorable. Dead bodies in the streets, gaping wounds? Normal stuff in the American Dream, which does not include nightmares. Tear gas, flash-bang bombs, bludgeoning of First Amendment rights protesters? The American Way, now get out of mine.

It's about big breasts, wide hips, and fetching smiles—but no whores, these girls. It's about big dicks, powerful abs, and tattoos—but nice guys, really, what the fuck?

It's about attitude, projection, and a winning look that says beat it, out of my space or Myspace.

It's about eyes and eye shadow and aftershave and a "cool" Hollywood demeanor.

And oh, yeah, it's about diminishing language resources: Hey, dude, what the fuck, ohmygod, cool, awesome!

It's about shooting first and asking latter; it's about drones and moans and the collateral damage of mothers and brothers and silly-no-more, silenced little sisters. It's about dropping the bomb first so that they don't get the chance.

It's about money schemes and banking "creativity" and foreclosures and offshoring—never on-shoring!—and one goddamn scheme after another; and business guys without ties trying to look like you and me so they can pull your wallet; and even politicians who are business guys at heart if not in fact doing the same, wanting you to think that they have your interests at heart when they definitely don't; and fat-cat college administrators paying themselves enormous salaries "to attract and retain top talent," which these days mean foxes; and it goes on and on ...

Like what you see here? Want to look at this body some more? Want to poke the American Dream with a stick and see what else come out? Maggots, flies, a swarm of hornets out of the ass? Want to see it get an erection and come? Want to hear her joyful gasps as she stretches her body, arches her back on the soft white sheets and he thrusts her flesh with the Big American Dream Dick, which isn't actually that big? Want to see the bombs fall and the village go up in flames, the little ones screaming for their mummies? Want to listen to complete jibberish, utter nonsense? I can take you there to see The Thing, The Monster, The American Dream. I have the booze, the pills, and all the time of one standing in the unemployment line.
—Louis Martin