Debt, Junkies and the American Dream

By: Ernie Hurt

With the civil unrest in Missouri, Numerous Veterans without proper medical care and the memories still lingering from our country’s recent recession, you really have to ponder and search in your heart when confronted with term “The American Dream”. It is not tossed around as often as it once was, perhaps because today’s generation sees everything suited to the individual, and not as a whole.

The future holds the demise of the once dreamed perfect world of white picket fences and happy kids with crew cuts and first string slots on the local football team. I mean if you approach the term from a modern new age train of thought, the American Dream is all a based on perspective.

No longer is the world thought of in groups of people but groups of groups. Each individual family separated from the next like some mutant cell. Each cell with its own ideal of its own perfect future. No longer will the notion of a steady job, hard work and an honest 40 years with the same person really count for anything.
With the technology of today and the ever excessive mainstream, people only see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, while no longer caring about the staples in life. The blood, sweat and tears that are the meat and potatoes of life. The mind frame of the general public tends to lean toward get it now and damn the consequences. Whether it’s a rent to own Smartphone that you will be paying on till your kid goes to college, or the six thousand dollar credit card purchase to remodel your kitchen. All new stainless steel appliances and handmade oak cabinets, built in some Amish slave shake in central Ohio. I hope you really love your new granite counter-tops, because I will be dead before you get that bill paid off.

The average debt of credit card carrying Americans as of 2011 was $15,000. To some this figure is nothing, but coming from such a humble background, I can tell you it’s a lot. That’s only the debt, from credit cards not including student loans, which are often referred to as “good” debt?

GOOD debt? That’s truly a contradiction. I understand that our nation was built on the credit and debt system but why should every other person you pass on the side walk be up to his ears in debt to as it was once said “Keep up with the Jones’s” ?
The term was coined post WW2 with many shell shook veterans returning stateside. Many shipped out prior to their 17th or 18th birthday they had no idea what to do with their future when they came home. All they could do was what that they were taught; follow your in father’s footsteps. A large home, ever smiling wife, and perfectly polite kids; warm summer BBQ’s to unwind on the weekends, with varying amounts of the publicly acceptable relaxant alcohol. Bowling and drive in movies for you and the kids. Just to leave a simple conformed life, while working your fingers to the bone yet being able to really enjoy what you have knowing it was yours. Even though your 20 year old Buick was brash and rusted, you worked many hours to keep it on the road.

This one size fits all life would only last a couple decades before young people started thinking different and shaking the foundation of what was an acceptable future. Their children would further question social norms but relying more on the internet and social media as an outlet for distain. So much flash and monetary bullshit is circulated through the internet it send most people into frenzy’s, often taking out their vengeance on their credit cards, and leaving a large bill for shit you’ll probably only use once… Falling evermore into debt to uphold a make believe image that is being bottle fed on you every time you turn on your T.V.
As I said before it’s all a matter of perspective to the individual now. A great doctor once wrote about his American Dream;
“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”

-Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

 

He had a very different idea of what constituted a great life. He mentioned “The American Dream” numerous times in his works, often referring the spirit of this great country. He dove into the world in order to try and understand why people spent their lives doing meaningless, remedial jobs to finance lives that would never be remembered by anyone but family and friends.

I really identify with his quest find the heart of this madness. Is the evil government at fault? Are they moving their chess pieces around to manipulate the public far worse than any Nazi mind-control machine ever fathomed. Spend your imaginary money on useless bullshit just to keep the wounded beast called the economy from breathing its last breath.

Numerous celebrity endorsements and a focus on a higher standard of living have forced many into severe debt. Why drink whisky when I can swipe a credit card for scotch? Are America’s money woes based on inflation and the rise in the cost of education?

No one can be certain….
The American dream was and always will be a facade of from the dark recent past. Out of the box thinking is in, inevitably killing off old preconceived notions of how life should be lived. This may be for the better or worse.

I’ve seen many young adults leaching off their old senile grandparents only to be shat into a world of doom and uncertainty when granny meets the reaper. Or perhaps the junkies who live in government sourced housing, only paying forty bucks a month for rent, using their kids to get food stamps so they don’t starve during late night drug binges. They could care less what the next fuck thinks, as long as they get their checks the first of the month and free minutes on the cell phone.

I hate to criticize people’s lives, as I am a cluster-fuck of sorts myself, but any 23 year old person on disability for a bullshit reason, gets no respect for me. Not that it matters to them because they have reached their life’s ambitions of $700 dollars being deposited into their bank accounts the third day of the month, regardless if they even left their recliner.

In today’s America not too many fucks are given by the majority regarding how people see them, but yet they have to have what is new and popular. This leads us to debt, and nurtures Big Banking’s hold on our “American Dream.”

The thought makes me shiver and wonder if we really understand the concept of the future…