Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The American Nightmare (by anon)

The American Dream is dead. What we're really living is an American Nightmare.  Here we have the illusion of freedom, while we are truly bound by invisible ties of the government, money, and society in general.

We must get a job in order to sustain ourselves and our future families, and we want one that pays well and is desirable, so we go to college, which is expensive, and unless we receive generous scholarships each year, are able to spend every minute of free time working a decently paid job, and/or have parents who are loaded, we're probably going to end up with some debt.

After four years or so, we graduate, and chances are, we're in a lot of debt, and our job options are extremely limited. We take a job that isn't our dream job because we have to make money somehow.

We try to save up so we can live on our own and pay off our debt. Marriage, along with starting a family, is also not far down the road, but unfortunately, it's going to be hard making enough to raise children and provide them a home, so whoever we marry will also have to work, and we can only hope daycare doesn't cancel too much of our income. Plus, we also have other expenses to consider such as utilities, a cell phone, a car, insurance, medical care, etc.

To save money for all this, we have to eat cheaply. The only things we can really afford are the processed and/or frozen foods packed with preservatives, MSG, artificial flavor/color, high fructose corn syrup, and about a hundred other chemical ingredients. Not to mention McDonald's has an appealing dollar menu.

Now we're stuck to an unhealthy diet due to a lack of funds. We gain weight, our skin breaks out, we get headaches, we can't sleep, and we're always tired. We skip breakfast and lunch, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and try a bunch of different products to help the bad skin, headaches, and sleeplessness. However, we continue to suffer from the side effects of our poor eating habits, so after we try some fad diets, weight-loss pills, and a plethora of over-the-counter drugs, we realize we're not going anywhere, while our money is. Finally we go to the doctor and discover we are overweight, developing stomach ulcers, and we have high blood pressure. After paying for the doctor visit, we pay for the drugs he/she prescribes us, and we start taking the pills. Somehow though, we aren't feeling much better, and the side effects are horrid.

Now we're really stressed out and anxious, as we see our health is deteriorating. Not to mention we have added stress from working a job that we don't enjoy, and worrying about bills and what the future will hold. Despite that we go to church and try to focus on how this is all part of God's plan, all of this anxiety builds up, and we wish we could get away. But we can't do it, so we choose the next best thing - a big screen TV, which we put on the credit card.

When the workweek ends, and we finally get paid, we want to have fun, so we go out and get drunk with everyone else on Friday night, because somehow, it helps us forget the day-to-day stress. Yet, we wake up the next day, and grimace, as we face reality again. And since we're afraid to buy/use pot because it's illegal, we stick to drinking, and it becomes a habit, and we slowly dread the days more and more.

As this continues, we get depressed, and realize that we're unhappy, and our relationships start to fall apart. We buy some crappy self-help books, and try meditating and following others' advice for how to live happily, but this endeavor is short-lived, as we still find ourselves in constant despair. While we're unsure of the actual causes for our sad state of mind, we decide to see a mental health professional, who says we have a "chemical imbalance" in our brain for which the cause is unknown, and prescribes us an anti-depressant. And we think, "this will be the cure".

Meanwhile, we're getting older, working an unsatisfying job, money is tight, we have a bunch of debt/bills to pay off, we're trying to own/maintain both a house and at least one car, we are killing ourselves with harmful food and drugs, we try to escape by zoning out in front of the TV and getting drunk, and to top it off, our relationships are failing. And we haven't even started a family yet.

While all of this is going on in our lives, we realize we are showing early signs of aging, our hair is thinning out, our teeth are getting yellow, our skin is drying out, it's hard to move around, and we feel tired, constipated, and sore. So we go to the local drug store and buy a product or two for each of these ailments, hoping they will fight the symptoms of living in America. Yet, one day we will discover that we must fight the cause rather than the symptoms, and we will finally leave this crumbling country to live a real life elsewhere, where we can truly be free, happy and wonderfully accommodated to pursue our dreams.


  1. Thanks for your post.

    So what classes are you taking this fall?

  2. This is pretty much the truth of it. We frown on sucide so much when sometimes I think either that or a option like moving to a place that is very different are the only options.

    If a movie really sucks halfway through and there are no signs that it will improve, no one should blame you for walking out early.

    Prof. Chaos

  3. uh, u arent really thinking about leaving early r u?

  4. Leaving now might even be a little late, but fortunately not too late, I don't think. And hopefully in a year and a half when I graduate, it also won't be too late. Regardless, I wouldn't consider leaving now as leaving early, if anything, it'd be right on time to leave now.

    However, I do have school to finish and somehow, I feel like it's important that I stay here, and assert my patriotism by sticking it out, and maybe contribute and actually try to do something to help reverse the country's sickness, instead of abandoning it.

    BUT, remember how a lot of people decided to stay in Germany, because they felt they should be loyal to and trust their country, despite the trouble that seemed to be brewing with the Nazi's, and before they knew it, the Nazi's took over? We know what happened to many of those people. I'm not saying someone is suddenly going to start another mass genocide (although it is possible); I'm just saying that sometimes things look one way, when they really are another way, like appearance versus the actual. And a lot of times the appearance fools us, and we don't realize the actual until it's too late, and we have no choice but to face it.

    I believe bad things really are coming, and it's only a matter of time before our window of opportunity to escape closes up on us. We are too distracted these days with sports, television, facebook, celebrities, video games, and American culture in general to see what is happening to us, and this country as a whole. We're wasting away, as slaves, while the mega-wealthy sit comfy in their yachts and private jets and million-dollar vacation homes.

    Maybe all the workers will decide enough is enough, because their job isn't satisfying, the money they earn is not proportional to the money that companies make from their labor, the Walmart food and prescription drugs are killing them while the big wigs at the top of the corporate ladder sit back and collect at their expense, and opportunity and freedom are both just a cruel joke, a ploy to keep us citizens here, down in this pit, so we can continue to be duped, had, taken for a ride, stolen from, f***ed, or whatever you'd like to call it.

    A catastrophe awaits, one way or another, and I don't want to be around to see or feel one second of it.

  5. Holy fuck this is depressing! Why the fuck are you so depressing? What kind of life would make you happy? Running naked in green pastures where you suck the teats of cows?

    Here's the other side. Life can be pretty great. I live in a country where famine isn't widespread, disease isn't eating my body away, there aren't guns going off outside my apartment right now, there isn't religious persecution like the Inquisition going on. By ALL measures, life is just dandy when you compare it to what it is like elsewhere. Hell, I'm doing great in school, I've got a job that I can tolerate ok, and an awesome boyfriend.

    Unless you have some goddamn disease and your brain is being eaten away, take your cranky-ass fucking dribble and spit somewhere else. You know, attitudes like yours, in a place that is fairly tolerable compared to other places and times, are what make life bad.

    I feel sorry for your friends who have to put up with you. oh wait, you probably don't have friends with an attitude like that.

  6. Oh I know there's another side, anon 8:04. In fact, I'm doing just about as good as you from what it sounds like, and I too have thought about how great it is to walk outside and not be afraid of getting killed, to always have food available to me, and to have a solid roof over my head, and to have running water, etc. etc. And I can see how in comparison to some very poor third world countries, America is not bad at all.

    But haven't you ever thought that you're living your wonderful life somehow at the expense of all those people suffering in those other countries? Haven't you ever wondered that maybe you're contributing to something very large by living in America, something that actually might be further harming those starving, disease stricken countries?

    Unlike you, I am thinking about what's going on around me, and I'm not just thinking about how MY life is going well, because I already KNOW that my life isn't bad according to your standards, and from my own, egotistical, narrow perspective, I am living rather comfortably, especially compared to those who live in very poor third world countries.

    But I'm thinking about my life on a deeper level, from a broader perspective, and I'm thinking how my life could impact future lives in America, and how my life is actually affecting others' lives right now, directly and indirectly. I'm thinking about how others in America are suffering, and how I'm contributing to and enabling it. I'm thinking about this country as a whole, and how, although my personal little life may seem very nice and whatnot, I'm really contributing to what I feel is a considerable amount of greed and corruption, and I'm just supporting those power/money hungry people at the top, and going along with their scheme. What's more, in a way I could be supporting all of the outside, far away suffering from which you seem to have totally disconnected yourself.

    This post wasn't meant to be complaining or "dribbling" about how shitty America is. This post was meant to make people think about this side of things, and how a lot of us are like mice in a wheel, practically forced into perpetuating mental and physical sickness, and perpetuating the growth of power and financial accumulation of large corporate leaders, who care very very little about the well-being of individuals living in America. But we trust that somehow, there are people out there protecting us, and that government organizations really have our best interest in mind - but they don't, because money and labor, OUR MONEY AND OUR LABOR, is all that interests the government.

    Of course I can sit back and say my life is great, and just be ignorantly content in my own little bubble, like you, because I'm not experiencing any immediate harm. Thus, the immediate appearance of reality, in a single selfish frame of mind, is relatively nice.

    But I happen to believe immediate appearance does not equal reality, and I believe there's something happening behind the curtain of immediate appearance. And you don't even realize there's a curtain at all. You know that saying, "there is more than what meets the eye"? Well, there's also more than what meets the mind.

  7. Unlike me? Am I just some dumbfuck schlep who paints my toes in the bubble of my own fantasies? what the fuck. You make it sound like you are the only deeply reflective person around. Talk about putting me in a box! Talk about putting yourself on some pedestal. How reflective is that. My fucking god, "ignorantly content in my own little bubble."

    Let me tell you, it is perfectly fine to enjoy my life for the way it is right now. I'd like to change some things but who cares. At the same time, I can also see that there are bad things happening all over adn that maybe I'm helping those bad things happen. So I buy stuff at Walmart and I know that Walmart shits on women a bunch. I can try not to buy things at Walmart but sometimes it is just easier. I am aware of my situation to an extent but I guess not to the extent you fancy yourself as having!

    Maybe I'm the one at fault for having you view me as an bubbly idiot. But your post was realy one-sided. My first comment wasn't one sided. I was pointing out the other side. But you then viewed me as only able to see the other side. Even though that's not what my comment said. Maybe you need to take some of your own advice. Maybe you need rethink the immediate experience of my comment. There's more than what meets your mind.

  8. Anon 2:07 -
    I know there is always more than what meets my mind, which is the central difference between you and I, for one thing.
    Second of all, your language and overall tone is strong and bitter, both in your first comment, and in your most recent comment, which kind of makes me feel like you're on the defense about this, just a little.
    I'm not trying to put myself on a pedestal - I apologize for making it seem that way.
    Honestly, I just feel like from your first comment, you were someone who took the comfort of your own life and used that as evidence for why America is just "dandy". And to me, that is like being in your own bubble, and not being concerned with or thinking about what's really going on around you.
    You certainly want to convince me that America is a great place to live, but you don't seem to want to face the serious problems the country has. For instance, about Walmart - you can admit it's a problem, but you pretty much just brush it off, because it's not hurting you directly (yet). And you say you shop there because it is easier... well did you ever think maybe you couldn't stop shopping at Walmart even if you really tried? And doesn't that sort of scare you?
    It is OK for you to enjoy your life the way it is; I'm not criticizing you for that, nor am I trying to tell you that you shouldn't enjoy your life in America. I'm just saying, think about things. Think about whether or not you really are being taken for a ride, and think about whether or not real dangers exist. I've thought a lot about it, and I think they do exist, and I think we should all be very concerned about them, but we're just grazing along, like sheep.
    Basically, you just don't seem to be taking the problems this country has seriously, and I fear this is due to your lack of experiencing the negative effects of these problems for yourself. Also, I think you saw my post as a big giant pessimistic complaint, and you just want me to see the brighter more blissful side of living in America. But to me, the brighter side is the ignorant side, and once you leave the ignorant side, you can't go back to it. Ignorance is bliss.
    So, I've come to the conclusion that you just don't care enough because nothing has really affected you directly. So I'm not going to make much of an effort now to convince you to investigate and think critically about America, what I am saying, and what just might be going on behind the curtain of appearance (which is mostly painted by the media) because you will believe whatever you want to believe. And I'm leaving it at that.

  9. Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.

    Prof Chaos.

  10. "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." -

    -- Helen Keller