The killing notion of the American Dream

People seem to be afraid of what they cannot see: that what they cannot touch and eat and feel doesn’t exist. When all the while they are being controlled by a far greater force than they could ever imagine. The force of an ideal and the power of how we think others see us. It is a dangerous illusion that a sense of noisy might – a Tomahawk missile sent in the night – will make us strong and keep us safe.

And it makes me wonder, as I walk long and hard in the hills outside Oslo (in a land that used to only feel boring, before I knew the wonders hidden in quiet and the great gift of having time to think), if the whole essence of the American Dream is deadly. That George Carlin was right when he jokingly said in performance that the American Dream can only happen when you are sleeping. Living abroad, living far away from America, has given distance from this killing notion of the American Dream, of the devouring demand (on each of us and the planet’s resources) of this illusion. I’ve finally recovered from the potent effect of my mother’s phone calls, to wherever I happen to be living, informing me in her loud and shrill voice how so and so has “made it.” It used to leave me bleeding and struggling for breath, with her unspoken assumption that I hadn’t done so and if I hoped to stay part of the tribe of the acceptable I better rush to do so, to make it. But now, with the epitome of this American Dream as so-called President, in front of our face no matter how far you travel away from America, makes me see ever so clearly how the powerful sorcerers at work have created a most dangerous and devastating myth.

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