no dj i really don’t believe americans have the character that they claim to have. there is a deadly lack of leadership and management at a grassroots level–something every vibrant democracy needs.
generally, people have been doped into the profit motive in all things, affording someone else to make increasingly more decisions for us. the american dream is the car and detached house and kids and dog and daycare and vacation and anything that runs on oil. what matters most in the american dream is money. above all things, it’s money.
this hasn’t become possible through any scary orwellian styled conspiracy. americans have made the idea of money-above-all-else fashionable and cool and even a cultural norm (you’re crazy not to think that way). it’s possibly a part of our cultural identity, right? everyone has a right to be successful in america–defined by net worth and material wealth.
more than a mother’s love, god, or even your children’s health–more than all of that is money.
sure, some of my american friends will be angry when i say something like that publicly, but one only needs to look at our savings or income to debt ratios to prove what I say true. look at our models of success. some of the most public have acquired their wealth by lying, cheating and stealing but that matters not, does it, when you think about their net worth. their rich and therefore famous; above all is money. if you got it, flaunt it. if you don’t, emulate those who do.
and religion has become like a great opiate of the american people in this. as long as god is there to watch, guide, and punish you like a child, you can consume at an idiot’s pace and not feel one iota of responsibility. what’s more, this religious extremism is mutating into frantic and fanatical politicization. whatever it is that might benefit the little people is declared “socialism” and therefore the equivalent of whatever american christians fear and loathe most as ungodly and “unamerican”. we now popularize a universal rejection of anything that challenges our ideal of the profit motive and money-above-all-else.
so instead of neighborhoods and communities designing their own alternatives to rising gas prices, we see isolated, independent capsules of american suburbanism watching TV shows and reading newspapers and clicking internet ads that come from a single company. the american melting pot has become a pot of melted americans.
so, to reiterate, i really don’t believe americans have the character that they claim to have.
in life, sometimes we just get what we deserve. and we’re getting it, and without a blue’s clue as to what to do about it.