Tag Archives | American Dream

True Detective Season 2, Breaking Bad, & Weaponized Memes

pizzolatto

Photoshop Art by Jasun Horsley

There were high expectations for the second season of Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and a lot of people were disappointed by what they got. It became a form of strange enjoyment for many viewers to “hate-watch” the show and then bitch about it afterwards via social media. Why was the show so ferociously maligned? Besides the usual sort of backlash that occurs when an artist (Nic Pizzolatto) gains a too-rapid reputation as a cultural hero, only to have it stripped away by the same voices that gave it to him, there was also something subtler and darker at work.

While discussing the show with an H.P. Lovecraft-exegetist, Heather Poirier, she brought up the idea of the American Dream as a weaponized meme. Poirier suggested that people who pursue their happiness based on unrealistic ideals become carrier of a cultural virus and have to destroy parts of themselves in order to attain their goals—or even just to feel like they are attaining them.… Read the rest

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America’s Student Debt Crisis

Picture: j.o.h.n. walker (CC)

Student debt activists and education advocates Kyle McCarthy and Natalia Abrams are tired of the ‘silence and complacency’ that our elected (and duly bribed) officials exhibit in the face of overwhelming evidence of usury and millions of voices of the disaffected. At least two out of three of students take out loans for college and at least 1 out of 5 of those will default.

Via Huffington Post:

Since 1978, college tuition has skyrocketed by over 900%, while simultaneously, grants and scholarships continue to be slashed. The result? Students are forced to mortgage their futures with student debt, from which there is no escape. In 2010, student debt actually eclipsed credit card debt as the second largest consumer debt in the country (second only to mortgage debt, surpassing $1 trillionin total). The Atlantic recently reported that, since 1999, student debt has increased by 511%.

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Why The American Empire Was Destined To Collapse

dollarblowupVia Alternet, author and social critic Morris Berman says that the perverse American Dream made decline inevitable:

The crux of the problem remains the American Dream: even “progressives” see it as the solution — including, I have the impression, the Wall Street protesters — when it’s actually the problem.

The dominant thinking on the left, I suppose, is some variety of a “false consciousness” argument, that the elite have pulled the wool over the eyes of the vast majority of the population, and once the latter realizes that they’ve been had, they’ll rebel, they’ll move the country in a populist direction. The problem I have with this is the evident fact that most Americans want the American Dream, not a different way of life—a Mercedes-Benz, as Janis Joplin once put it. Endless material wealth based on individual striving is the American ideal, and the desire to change that paradigm is practically nonexistent.

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The Beginning of the End? We Can Only Hope

Titanic SinkingPreviously sympathetic commentators disillusioned by Obama’s unchecked lying and fumbling were heartened by the uncharacteristic candor coming from Deputy Secretary of State P. J. Crowley late last week — until he was shit-canned for the same early this week.

But there is still some cause for hope: Hillary has announced her own plans to jump ship at the end of  this term as well.  Check out her blunt statements to that effect here.

Is this yet another harbinger of the destruction of Obama’s career?  A recognition that the situation is so bad that even the filthiest bilge rats see that it’s time to abandon ship? Seems like a reasonable possibility.  Anyone working a political paradigm that relies on unquestioning tribal loyalty to the exclusion of substantive policies the way Obama does should be concerned about the defection of establishment stalwarts.  Very concerned.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. … Read the rest

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Today: Rally To Save The American Dream

In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under attack. Instead of creating much needed jobs, Conservatives are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich all while cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services. On Saturday, February 26, at noon local time, rallies will be organized in front of every statehouse and in every major city to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin.
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How The American Dream Ended

dreamsIt feels as if every media outlet has lamented 21st century America’s declining fortunes and crisis of confidence. Still, it’s interesting to read German paper of record Der Spiegel‘s outsider perspective on the death of the American dream. The United States comes off as a rotted, moribund shell:

Florida was the finale of the American dream, a promise, a symbol, an American heaven on earth, because Florida held out the prospect of spending 10, perhaps 20 and hopefully 30 years living in one’s own house. For decades, anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people moved to the state each year. The population grew and grew — and so too did real estate prices and the assets of those who were already there and wanted bigger houses and even bigger dreams. Florida was a seemingly never-ending boom machine.

America has long been a country of limitless possibility. But the dream has now become a nightmare for many.

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