With a headline inspired by Naruto you know I am goofy in the head.
So I am going to post addled from Sleep, addled from work… and pumped up with B Vitamin. Bryan from This Divided State and Huffington Post fame brought up another post in Huffenstuff land. which started a great moment in Myspace.
Before I start off into the crux of my argument as this eventual post was rolling in my head while I was at work I was thinking about how every times I cross rhetoric with a Lefty Blogger its always well thought out and kind.. even if their ideas make me wish I had some hair to tear out their is respect in the morning going on. I like that now if only it was more wide spread it would be good times.
Bryan of course when I called his post offensive rightly asked me to esplain myself.
the mote from his article which offended
I don’t know anything about this woman, but in my minds eye, I imagine her to be this middle class mother with three kids, maybe she’s a single mom. Maybe she’s got a trunk full of groceries she can’t afford and a stack of medical bills she can’t pay for at home. (I’ve got an overactive imagination.) So, this single mother, she happened to be pulling out of a gas station with a camera in her hand. Suddenly, Lindsay Lohan walks by, she snaps a picture and she’s offered enough money to support her family in luxury for the next few years.
Isn’t that the American dream? This is the Horatio Alger story of our times, isn’t it? It’s all the wealth and reward of days gone by, but with none of toil, sweat and perseverance. Who really wants to toil, sweat or persevere in George Bush’s America? Sweating and toiling is for legally documented migrant workers, isn’t it?
First of all the problem here of course is the fact 250,000 Dollars *us* really in our current day and age doesn’t count much for a Horatio Alger story. But thats not the most offensive part. Nor was the ham handed Illegal Alien crack or the cramming in of Michael Moore-esque health care shenanigins. No what he projected was of a woman who her dream was to cash in big on a slice of some one elses 15 moments of fame.
The truth is their is a lot of folks who are out their for hard honest work to accomplish their dream, something which has very little to do with money (but many folks mistakingly think is so)
Bryan works making films… most of which from his IMDB I pulled up look very little like the stuff I’d watch by choice. I imagine the work from a construction of film point is excellent. He gets to live his dream and from the vicarious little view of his life the internet gives me I see a passion he has for the work he does
I have no passion for the source of my current laboring, 7-11. But it is a means to my own dream… a advanced degree and working in the field of policy or intelligence. Or being able to help bring the world together by providing my knowledge into practical areas. But my view of the American Dream has been shifted by folks influencing me at this stage in my life.
My favorite professors. Immigrants who while they may disagree with me politically (even politically within the discipline) they all espouse the greatness of being able to make your dreams happen in America.
I work with Blue Collar folks in a 7-11. Most from Ethiopia, two from China, and one from Cameroon. Their are 5 of us now who are actually born and raised here. Hearing them speak of how great America is and how better their lives are because of the opportunity America presents (even if meeting that opportunity requires hard work) is rather inspiring.
But I also think Bryan has a different view about the nature of America then I do.
Because if we go back hundreds of years we here the same complaints of crass commercialism we do today and we see prior generations of get rich quick artists.
Its one of the Many Paradox’s of America’s soul that we are a land deep culturally in the concepts of the protestant work ethic.. but also deep we are as well a place where the guy digging the ditch with you tells you about this bridge his cousin can sell you.
but Bryan in our back and forth on Myspace adds something else in for color. He spoke of folks wanting to get rich quick as if thats a shift in the dream but it assumes the dream is monetary in nature. and that gets as well into a concept culture warriors on the left and the right get very wrong all the time.
Today we live very much as a society without meaning, focus, or purpose. Many people go out and get money and things… they do so with no purpose. I could speak to my Grandfather who accumulated Assets for the day down the road when he retired. Or my aunt who doled out her assets to help her children do better then she did.
If your dream, if what you think makes you happy is just money then your in the wrong book Horatio Alger isn’t your author its Dickens.