Sitting in the comfort of my La-Z-Boy home, aglow by the electric Jesus ray piercing the darkness of my living room from that infernal idiot box, blasting bubblegum for the balmy gray matter between my ears, I began to irresponsibly ponder the American Dream. These days, it’s a romantic notion perpetuated by canned laughter and three camera shots. Our politicians campaign on it, but do little to usher in its existence, because most of them believe, like most of us, that it already exists, being fed the lie or the memories of those that have gone before us.
According to the old and forgotten, the folks we hide away in our nursing homes and back rooms, gray-haired prisoners to medieval racks called hospital beds, it was once obtainable and is out there somewhere. Terms like bootstraps, hard work, putting your back against the wind fall on deaf ears, retarded by the years of noise from D.C., Hollywood, and talking heads we call journalists, but who bear little resemblance to truth seekers glorified in overpriced universities across this nation of ours.
Yes, the American Dream is nothing but a daydream now. It’s wishful thinking, a resurrection waiting to happen. But the three days prophesied by the true American believers have a tiny problem. The tomb is not empty. The bones of saints, patriots, mom and pop businesses, rights, and liberties are piled high and dry. The stone has been rolled away, but not because the dream has risen, but because the tomb is overflowing and stinks.
Death is all around. It’s in our cities, our homes, our dreams, and our future. Our brain’s short memory, and inability to read and understand history, believes it started on September 11, 2001. That was the apex, not the beginning. Our moral decline, as well as our pursuit of happiness met its demise long before we even took notice. It started during the Great Depression, the era of when the American Dream was at its highest. It was at that time, the moment of when the Dream was no longer a philosophy of life here in these United States, but it became a mantra, propaganda for the political machine to dust over the weariness of the people. It was a time of when the answer to America’s problems was war and not change. And it is a mantra we continue to this day.
We no longer fight wars to protect the freedom of the American people, but we fight wars to spread the mantra, to protect our economic interests, and to raise our flag on foreign soil as a testament to that mantra. All the while, back at home, we sit silently by, sacrificing not our lifestyles, but our freedom, our liberty, the very thing our leaders claim our boys and girls are fighting and dying for in the wastelands of prehistoric nations. We argue about speeches and bullet points. We foam at the mouth and seethe and gnash our teeth at our neighbor because they are gay, Christian, black, white, men, or women. We want to be left alone, allowed to grow fat and weary at the same time. All the while, we post photos of flag draped coffins, empty boots, and weeping families with the words “Support Our Troops” in bold letters above them. Yet, our support is empty, because it has no meaning. We’ve been duped into believing that our children die for our freedom. But if that were true, the frontline of our moral wars of liberation would be among the monuments of D.C., at the steps of the Capitol Building, White House, and Supreme Court. However, we’ve become house pets, dogs that receive pats on the head for good behavior. Only if we would wake up, our leaders would fear the dog, not because of the roar of its bark, but because of the pain of its bite. But, they know better. They know that the dog is on a tight leash called money, behind a fence called contentment, in a yard called apathy.
Yes, the American Dream is nothing but the American Daydream, because daydreamers never act. They stare with sweet sorrow out the window of discontent and think only of what if. They are “C” students who only want enough money to buy entertainment, all the while crying for more, but never really doing anything about it. And the dog gets its scraps, thinking it is a part of the family, but never really given a seat at the table. Its master rests comfortably on a bed strewn with silk sheets and soft pillows, because he knows that the dog is in the yard. He knows that the dog will always be in the yard, because a dog never bites the hand that feeds it. And so, the Dream is dead and the only thing that can pull it from the cold grip of its leaderless grave is a miracle or for the dogs of discontent to break from the leash, jump the fence, leaving the comfort of the yard and dig up those dried old bones, and finally reclaim that which is theirs – the American Dream.