I’m pretty much over America. You?
Speaking of which, let’s talk “American Dream,” shall we?
I suppose — and the historical record bears this out — that once, long ago, back in the hazy mists of time, there was such a thing as an “American Dream,” one that was attainable by many. Not all, mind you. At various points in our checkered past, the likes of indigenous people, blacks, Jews, Chinese, Irish, Italians, Puerto Ricans, and Arabs have been proscribed in one way or ten thousand others from reaping the benefits of that so-called dream.
The optimists among us — and I’ve been one of them — subscribed to the thesis put forward by Molly Ivins in the 1990s, that the history of this holy land was one of a gradual extension of Constitutional (as well as social and economic) rights to more and more of our populace as the decades rolled on. We optimists dearly embraced that proposition when Barack Obama, a black man, was elected president. Basically, we said, See?
Chief among the perks of that American Dream were home ownership, retirement savings, a lifelong job, and the surety that one’s kids would do better, economically, than one’s self. For a large swathe of Americans, say as recently as the 1960s, that really played out.
Now, of course, that American Dream is dead. Wealth has been funneled upward in a seemingly inexorable resistance to the gravity of democratic prosperity. Homes are getting untouchable. Hell, even in places like Bloomington, Indiana, rental apartments are becoming too sky high for the average citizen. Savings? What’s that? And your kids? Good luck.
Yet we’re still dreaming, even if we all are cognizant of the fact the the American variety thereof is dead and gone. Yeah, we’re dreaming, and one of the prime proofs of it was the election of Li’l Duce as president in November, 2016.
Tens of millions of people are enraged that the American Dream is far beyond their reach, that it’s an anachronism. Yet they still believe a rich man can save us. Only a billionaire can say, “Only I can fix it,” and have an electorate believe him. That’s because we still believe uber-wealth is might, uber-wealth is right.
And, do you know what else we believe? That even though we can’t keep up with our mortgages anymore, that many of us can hardly afford a monthly rent, that too many of us need two and three jobs merely to make ends meet, we still, each and every one of us, can become a rich guy. Like Steinbeck said, “The poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
See, there is no more American Dream — only an American Pipe-dream.
The fact that New Albany’s Dan Canon wore a Notorious RGB T-shirt under his dark suit and blue dress shirt as he argued Obergefell v. Hodges in the United States Supreme Court back in 2015 makes him my fave in Indiana’s 9th District race for Congress next year.
That is, fave in the sense he’s my preference. Not in the sense that he’ll win.
A certain fellow named Hollingsworth is, himself, a privileged beneficiary of the American Pipe-dream (see above) and can pay for any sized victory he’d like.
Business Is Good
I’m hearing high end auto repair shops in Bloomington are doing land office biz these days.
Why? Because Indiana University is turning — hell, has turned — into a destination for uber-rich Asian kids who tool around town in Maseratis and Jaguars, Teslas and even Bentleys. These kids are so loaded that they care little if they crack up their expensive wheels. They’ve got plenty of dough to fix ’em right back up.
In fact, a significant number even have enough ready cash in the form of monthly allowances that they can plop a wad down whenever they’d like on an auto salesbeing’s desk and drive out in a new princely carriage.