Saturday, September 16, 2006

American Dream? American Nightmare.

The minister at my church is giving a sermon tomorrow called "The Death of the American Dream," which he described in the newsletter:

Post World-War II America saw a tremendous burgeoning of what's called the "American dream" - both in terms of economic progress and the expansion of our liberties. Lately, however, it seems the dream has died. It is no longer possible for most of us fully to enjoy the benefits of our society, and more of us are being disenfranchised. This has been accompanied by the replacement of idealism and long term commitment by "what's in it for me today?" I'll link this post to his sermon text after it's available on-line (updated 9/18/06).

I've also been reading Anya Kamenetz' book - Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to be Young, which also makes the argument that the American dream - at least the economic part - has died.

But what if the American dream is really the American nightmare? At the first lecture last night, several people got very emotional talking about the lack of community - that people are so plugged in to screens and phones, they don't take walks and meet their neighbors for face to face conversations anymore.

It's very plausible to me that, if we survive the transition back to a more 19th century level of energy use and population density, with walkable towns and work that really sustains life and community, what follows modern technological society may very well be an improvement on the dissociated existence that's currently the most readily available possible lifestyle.


  • How depressing it is to listen to all the negative dribble today. I prefer listening to, and reading, people who have more "up tempo" messages. I mean c'mon, if we're all looking for "shit" to happen, we'll find it: and vice versa. We'll come out of this and we'll all be better off because of it. Oh, and by the way, Al Gore's head is up his you know what. It seems to me we must be mighty full of ourselves to actually believe that our activities can actually influence the temperature of the globe! Check out some geocycle sites, we are in one, and it doesn't matter what "we" do. The earth does it what it wants.

    By Blogger Jim, At 4:08 PM  

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