“And while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown…”

by Katie Pizzuto on May 30, 2016

in Politics

510053_344563-20140927-applefest_0The American Dream is dead. It is laying by the side of a winding stretch on the PCH, mangled, shattered and gasping for breath as it drowns in the blood that is beginning to fill its lungs. The American Dream has been pummeled, and every last one of us has taken a turn at it, wielding the sword by its back end and taking a swing. Skip the kangaroo court and the fucking finger pointing unless you’re looking in a mirror you flag wavers, because we’re all to blame. The American Dream got left behind, at the bottom of some Woodstock porta potty, steaming, rotting, and suffocated by the mounds of shit that got heaped on it. The flies are swarming. The sun is at high noon. And the second line continues dancing under the parasol of ignorant bliss.

It’s patriotic heresy, no doubt, to speak of such a death, but it’s pointless to discuss it in polite, soft whispers with some other partygoer you’ve managed to corner, while the host’s stereo speakers reverberate to the clichés of a Bon Jovi song. We’re not, after all, having some socially awkward chat about the new neighbors, using our hand to occult our mouths so our paranoid prejudices can’t be heard. This is Taps. This is two coins for the ferryman. This is bye-bye Miss American Pie. The levy is not only dry, it’s fucking cracked and blistered. This one needs to be heard from the proverbial mountaintop. Go tell it on the mountain. The American Dream is dead.

History is hard to know, because history is hired. Somewhere at some time, someone will decide to build a kingdom, be it religious, political, commercial or intellectual, and that kingdom will be built and breastfed by fear. It’s what we’re good at—building kingdoms of fear. We fear the wrath God, we fear the turban-wearing foreigner, we fear the angry black man, we fear fats and carbs and sugars, we fear the wall-jumping Mexican, we fear that rock ‘n’ roll devil music, we fear retiring with more lint than money in our pocket, and we fear anything other than the two-party system that this country wears like old, comfortable, shit-stained pajamas, but damned if the right doesn’t make us fear the socialist, gun-hating bastards and the left doesn’t make us fear the warmongering, gay-hating tightasses.

But even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation can come to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time (and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened). Take enough educational debt, unaffordable healthcare, dead soldiers, intrusive legislation and economic skullfuckery, and then tickle that teetering mound with bathroom stall debates and a complete dirth of decent music on the radio waves and you’d think you would see that generational flash. But the Ego fell asleep somewhere during the road trip, the Id and Super-Ego are now fighting for the wheel, and there is no line to be found anywhere on the horizon. This is the generation of selfie-obsessed navel gazing. It’s the generation that’s so busy trying to decide whose lives matter that it’s sacrificing its own.

So how surprised are we, really, that it’s come down to a “my dick is bigger than yours” fight for the presidency of this shattered freakshow of a nation? How much shock and awe can you possibly feign at money grabs like the ENRON scandal if you whined for government deregulation? And I am no better. I have no duty to obey a system that lacks any moral legitimacy, yet here I am typing on a Macbook that was bought in promotion of capitalism, sharing my words over an internet being monitored by the NSA, sipping a glass of sparkling wine that was made possible by illegal immigrant labor under inhumane conditions that are all but sanctioned by a government that turns a blind eye to such corporate ass grinding. Cheers. Every budding politician believes they are entering the arena for the good of the people. Lofty ideals. Positive change. Upward mobility. Dare I say, freedom. But politics is a bit like fucking— it’s only fun for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling.

One look at the US birth rate right now (down to about 1/10th of what it was 50 years ago) and you can’t help but believe that it’s one huge, collective “fuck you”. Americans in their 20s and 30s are looking around at each other, wondering how many, if any, children they want to bring into the world when the best advice they’ll be able to give them is, “Hope for the best but plan for the worst, kiddo.” We’re borrowing from our grandchildren and leaving them a legacy akin to Barnum & Bailey, but without the safety nets. We were given David Bowie, but we’re gonna leave them Kanye. In the end, the love you take is nearly never equal to the love you make.

The line between martyrdom and stupidity depends on a certain kind of tension in any kingdom, but that line disappeared, and there’s no longer a point in kidding ourselves. The only decision to be made right now, is do you float or do you swim? If you can’t control the circumstances—if the train is off the rails—do you shut your eyes to avert them from the disaster and simply go play a couple of matches of Wii tennis? Do you live the narrow life, moving vertically rather than horizontally? Hunter S. Thompson wrote, “…a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” But the options suck, Doc. It may indeed be a decision to float or swim, but it is a decision made in a septic tank being sucked out by a sewer drain that leads to a leach field. If you believe you are living in the American Dream, you most assuredly are asleep and should probably wake the fuck up. That is of course unless you’re living in Japan or Taiwan. They’re living the shit out of the American Dream.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bradley Cooper May 31, 2016

If I had wrote that, I’d have been sweaty and twitchy all the way through. We’ll donem. May I suggest that the American Dream was always a bill of goods. A selling point to get people to participate in the capitalist schemes of an oligarchy that had been reigned in by anti-trust legislation. The idea, that you could ALL achieve unlimited upward mobility was there for every person that showed they could hustle. Of course if was bound to fail.

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2 Katie Pizzuto June 1, 2016

I stopped several times to gather myself because it kept coming in spurts like I was bleeding out and I had to keep putting pressure on it. It was always a bill of goods, but at one point I do believe it was an attainable bill of goods. There was a point in time where you could get a decent college education without plummeting into debt AND have that degree mean something in the workforce. There was a point in time where one income was enough to support a family if, for whatever reason, that was either the desire or necessity. There was a point in time where upward mobility was absolutely possible. Not that we weren’t still being force fed from the front and fucked from behind, but at least you could smile while it happened. The only ones smiling now are the ones who are still sleeping.

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3 Kyle May 31, 2016

Well fucking stated my friend, we have all been duped one time, sucked in by promises of change, and our new choices are limited to who’s lube is better for the fucking we are about to receive!! There needs to be an intense awakening, but the question still lingers….. Are willing to accept that awakening, or are we going to sit back and take the easy status quo?

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4 Katie Pizzuto June 1, 2016

And THAT, Kyle is pretty much the question that I asked at the end…float or swim? Do we move vertically (living the narrow life) or horizontally. Let’s see. Unfortunately, I’m not overly optimistic for the country as a whole.

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5 4APK.RU August 28, 2017

Oh, and while the king was looking down This could mean two things; Pete Seger remained a traditional folk singer, while Dylan was constantly reinvented himself and therefore became unbelievably popular.

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