Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

what exactly is the American Dream?

no, seriously.  I don't really have any idea.
Permalink the great purple 
July 16th, 2007 1:43pm
Hulk Hogan and Britney Spears making out in the backseat of a Nascar underneath a pile of cheeseburgers.
Permalink hello. 
July 16th, 2007 1:46pm
American Dream

. Great job for dad
. Stay at home mom
. A big house in the suburbs with white picket fence
. Two cars in the garage
. 2.3 children
. Hot latino pool-boy for mom
. Secret liasons in gay bathhouses for dad
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 1:46pm
"The pursuit of happiness".

A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, good schooling for the kids, a good secure career that provides a good income for yourself and your family.

Hopefully a two or three-week vacation every year, so your family can have 'meaningful experiences' together.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 1:48pm
Ending with a shot to the back of Dad's head by his sexually confused neighbor.
Permalink  
July 16th, 2007 1:48pm
The wikipedia article seems to be about right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 16th, 2007 1:48pm
Michael B pretty much nailed it.  We can't afford the pool boy though, unless we sponsor visas for some of my wife's relatives.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
July 16th, 2007 1:48pm
You have 2.3 kids, Clay?
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 16th, 2007 1:49pm
No, that's the plot from "American Beauty".

I mean, I know we here in America tend to confuse our movies with real-life.  But that movie is SO not real-life (unless your real life ambition is to have an affair with your daughter's hot-but-clueless girlfirend) that it really shouldn't apply here.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 1:51pm
Folks, Id like to sing a song about the American Dream

About me, about you
About the way our American hearts beat way down in the bottom of our chests
About that special feeling we get in the cockles of our hearts
Maybe below the cockles,
Maybe in the sub cockle area,
Maybe in the liver, maybe in the kidneys,
Maybe even in the colon, we dont know

Im just a regular Joe, with a regular job
Im your average white, suburbanized slob
I like football and porno and books about war
I got an average house, with a nice hardwood floor
My wife and my job, my kids and my car
My feet on my table, and a Cuban cigar

But sometimes that just aint enough to keep a man like me interested
(oh no, no way, uh uh)
No I gotta go out and have fun at someone elses expense
(woah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah)
I drive really slow in the ultra fast lane
While people behind me are going insane

Im an asshole (hes an asshole,what an asshole)
Im an asshole (hes an asshole, such an asshole)

I use public toilets and I piss on the seat
I walk around in the summer time saying "how about this heat?"

Im an asshole (hes an asshole,what an asshole)
Im an asshole (hes the worlds biggest asshole)

Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces
While handicapped people make handicapped faces

Im an asshole (hes an asshole,what an asshole)
Im an asshole (hes a real fucking asshole)

Maybe I shouldnt be singing this song
Ranting and raving and carrying on
Maybe theyre right when they tell me Im wrong...
Nah

Im an asshole (hes an asshole,what an asshole)
Im an asshole (hes the worlds biggest asshole)

You know what Im gonna do
Im gonna get myself a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado convertible
Hot pink, with whale skin hubcaps
And all leather cow interior
And big brown baby seal eyes for head lights (yeah)
And Im gonna drive in that baby at 115 miles per hour
Gettin' 1 mile per gallon,
Sucking down Quarter Pounder cheeseburgers from McDonalds
In the old fashioned non-biodegradable styrofoam containers
And when Im done sucking down those greeseball burgers
Im gonna wipe my mouth with the American flag
And then Im gonna toss the styrofoam containers right out the side
And there aint a goddamn thing anybody can do about it
You know why, because weve got the bombs, thats why
2 words, nuclear fucking weapons, OK?
Russia, Germany, Romania, they can have all the democracy they want
They can have a big democracy cakewalk
Right through the middle of Tiananmen Square
and it wont make a lick of difference
Because weve got the bombs, OK?
John Wayne's not dead, hes frozen, and as soon as we find a cure for cancer
Were gonna thaw out the duke and hes gonna be pretty pissed off
You know why,
Have you ever taken a cold shower, well multiply that by 15 million times
Thats how pissed off the dukes gonna be!
I'm gonna get the Duke, and John Cassavetes,
and Lee Marvin, and Sam Peckinpah, and a case of whiskey,
and drive down to Texas and say.....

(Hey! You know, you really are an asshole!)
Why don't you just shut up and sing the song, pal?
Im an asshole (hes an asshole.what an asshole)
Im an asshole (hes the worlds biggest asshole)

A-S-S-H-O-L-E
Everybody
A-S-S-H-O-L-E

Im an asshole and Im proud of it
Permalink Send private email (100+85)/2 
July 16th, 2007 1:51pm
Michael, you watch way too much HBO.

I think the model in the last 50-60 years to be tat you have a husband, wife, 2-3 kids, a swimming pool, house in the suburbs with a two door garage.  Married after college in whatever professional job; doctor, lawyer, business-man.

The new model of the American Dream (to me):

- Lots of travel
- Professional job with the ability to telecommute, set your own hours, and get at least 2 months off during the year.
- Sometime of parternship which may not involve marriage, see Angelina by the time you are 40 or so.
- House, Loft or similar in the midtown.  Possibly house in suburbs.
- Career with many connections.  Eg, you can stay at one place for a couple of years but your reputation and experience will get you similar jobs if you decide to change.
- 0 - 2 kids
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 1:52pm
"Ending with a shot to the back of Dad's head by his sexually confused neighbor."

Lol. Yeah, I saw "American Beauty", too.
Permalink Full name 
July 16th, 2007 1:54pm
I am failing at my american dream.  If it weren't for my ok career I wouldnt have a whole lot.  And I guess recently but going out with a couple of new faces but not really strong connections.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 1:57pm
I'd like to see our leaders ridden out of town on rails and summarily tried and punished for their crimes.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 16th, 2007 2:15pm
(non-sarcastically) ... finding your place in the world with the least amount of family/tribe/class baggage.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 16th, 2007 2:22pm
+1 JoC.  Though I'd want it drawn out a bit more than "summarily".

Plus, once Bush is no longer President, he won't be able to Pardon all the crimes his Presidency has committed.  We don't really want a 'rush to judgement' in this case, at least not until after January 2009.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 2:23pm
You go out in the morning and you work hard all day. You make a dollar.

Next morning, you use the dollar to buy lemons and sugar - you can get the water & ice for free. You sell lemonade by the side of the road.

You make a profit and use it to buy more lemons & sugar. You keep selling lemonade until you can afford to hire another person to man a second stand in a different location.

Before you know it, you're the owner of a soft drinks empire.

*That* is the American Dream that USAID taught us here in post-soviet spacetime.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 16th, 2007 2:25pm
I'd also like to add, MOST people 'fail' at the American Dream.  Otherwise, it wouldn't be a 'Dream'.

People like Bill Gates and Anders Hjelberg and for that matter George Bush have all succeeded at "The American Dream".  In fact, one of the goals of the Democratic Party is to make parts of the American Dream accessible for everybody.  I think one of the goals of the Republican Party, with their zero-sum-game mentality (if you win, I lose) is to preserve the American Dream only for those with incomes over $200,000 a year.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 2:26pm
Well, ideally he'd be impeached and censured before the end of his term. Pelosi in the oval office isn't exactly on my wish list, but it would be nice to have some semblance of American dignity restored ASAP. We can take her for a year if we must. Really, could she possibly screw it up any worse?

I do want it to be summarily. No love for Saddam, but I think they should all get the same speedy, effective, and just judicial treatments.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 16th, 2007 2:31pm
Not gonna happen.  For him to be impeached would require a 2/3 majority of the Senate -- and the Democrats don't HAVE 2/3 (not THIS Congress, anyway) and the Republican remains of the previous Rubber-Stamp Congress aren't going to vote for impeachment.

But, as I said earlier, immediate culpability for his crimes is the trivial part.  The important part is identifying the precedents he tried to set on Executive Power as illegal and unconstitutional.

His high crimes and misdemeanors so far have killed 3,000 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi's.  The precedents he has set, if allowed to stand, can transform America into a police state.  That's why striking down those precedents is so important.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 2:36pm
Besides, we've done without American Dignity for 7 years now.  What difference will another year and a half make?  Especially with the Democrats in (slim) control of Congress?  The worst thing he could do would be to nuke Iran -- and I don't think even the rubber-stamp Republicans would stand for that.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 2:38pm
I disagree with our policies and with our invasion of Iraq, but I do make a distinction there. This I disagree on, and allow that there is no certainty in its righteousness or otherwise.

I am much more concerned and very certain that his erosion of civil rights and power grabbing is despicable, traitorous, and evil.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 16th, 2007 2:41pm
I don't think the Republicans consciously try to keep people down.

They just don't want to pay taxes. They trivialize how hard it is to be poor and tend to imagine themselves as having bootstrapped themselves out of poverty, when, in reality, most have only migrated from lower upper class to middle upper class.

I am tired of the bullshit heroic bootstrapping stories from fat boomers at the chamber of commerce. They sit around back slapping each other on how hard they worked to get where they are, and the story is invariably of an elite college followed by twelve hour days in an easy office setting. As if that somehow proves that the American Dream is accessible to Walmart employees, if only they would work hard enough.
Permalink anoneemouse 
July 16th, 2007 3:02pm
+1 'mouse.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 3:04pm
+mouse but...

"They trivialize how hard it is to be poor and tend to imagine themselves as having bootstrapped themselves out of poverty, when, in reality, most have only migrated from lower upper class to middle upper class."

There are VERY few people who manage to migrate more than one class upwards on a 9-tiered class system. I don't remember exact figures. But I do remember that it is phenomenally low, like 1 in x00,000's sort of magnitude or worse.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 16th, 2007 3:11pm
Bush cheated on the American Dream.  He had it all handed to him.  The "dream" implies that through hard work you can succeed, not be born rich and spoiled.

The late, great Molly Ivins said of Bush:  "Born on third base, thinks he hit a triple."
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 16th, 2007 3:13pm
Yes, anoneemouse.

I have posted endless diatribes here about CEO's.  Philo tried to argue me down, but like you, I actually get stuck in situations where I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THEIR BULLSHIT STORIES.

My favorite:  last CEO--says he was a drunk, gambled away his last dollar in Vegas, had no shoes, then he saw the light. Got saved.

He and his wife STOLE a company from her partner.  Then just before he divorced her and ran off with the hot accountant, he STOLE the company from his wife.  This is not an exaggeration.

Yet he and his brothers would corner me over drinks and tell me how they bootstrapped it through MBAs, bought companies, after being laid off from their (posh) jobs as VPs at the local steel company with a (lowly) severance package of $100,000.

Oh, the pain of having to listen to them justify why they shouldn't pay Pedro an extra $2.00 per hour. 

These conversations really did happen.  And they really did start because I said something silly like "gee, the Mexicans haven't had a raise in ten years."
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 16th, 2007 3:51pm
"I have posted endless diatribes here about CEO's."

Hmm, it is interesting how you (sharkfish) and American Girl hate the super-rich, CEOs, and Republicans.

Personally, I try to look at the nature of the entire system as opposed to attacking a couple of individuals.  Why?  Because, at present, there is always going to be a "CEO" and is probably going to make a lot more of the money.  On a college basketball team, the coach is probably making a lot more than the college players.

There was this movie, I guess made in Denmark or Iceland or somewhever (Denman may know it), called Boss of it All.  There really wasn't a "boss", the lawyer called all of the shots and screwed the company and blamed it on the "make believe boss" because it is a lot of easier to sick the dogs (employees) on the fake CEO; he eventually hired an actor to play the role for a couple of days. 

I bring this up, because it seems like we have created this false image that call CEOs are pure evil.

In one of the first scenes of the movie; the actor CEO walks in for the first time to see these employees.  One of the employees punches him right after he sits down.  I imagine sharkfish doing that to a CEO one day.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 4:03pm
Some CEOs make $0 salary income?  I think the google founders are making a $1 a year?  is this true.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 4:05pm
Bot, you are similar to those idiots here in the Netherlands that are so fond of the Queen.

You all buy the fairy tales that are there to keep the people happy and to accept the rulers.
Permalink Send private email Erik Springelkamp 
July 16th, 2007 4:08pm
"Bot, you are similar to those idiots here in the Netherlands that are so fond of the Queen.

You all buy the fairy tales that are there to keep the people happy and to accept the rulers"

No, I am just saying that there are a lot of American companies that make a lot of money.  Billions of dollars in revenue, market cap, profit, whatever.  Exxon and the oil companies are a good example.  These companies probably have CEOs.  The CEOs have all of their paws on everything so of course they are going to get a percentage of whatever the company makes but still charge the "service level" people their industry standard incomes.  I think a lot of the oil and gas engineers out in port arthur, tx (where my dad lives) that drive shell, exxon, etc are making 50k-70k.  The Exxon CEOs are probably making...a lot more.

In the case of google, the google CEO founders are probably making a percentage of the google profits while the "engineers" are making standard developer salaries?

Here are google's number from wikipedia:
Revenue 10.604 Billion USD (2006)[1]
Net income 3.077 Billion USD (2006)[1]
Employees 12,238 (March 31, 2007)

A crime against humanity?  Or just facts?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 4:17pm
This may or may not be a good example.  Imagine you buy a house that costs 200k.  You hire a maid and gardener to keep up the house from day one and they are paid a regular maid/gardner salary (I dont know, 20k to 50k, combined?).

The value of the house goes from 200k to 1million over time.  You make 800k in profit.  The maid and gardner are let go because their services aren't needed anymore.  Your bank went up 800k, the maid/gardner lost their jobs.

In this CEO hierarchy example, are the home owners bad people?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 4:21pm
Pelosi is a whore. That cunt PROMISED us she would impeach Bush first chance she got and now that we gave her the chance she kissed Bush's ass, and backed away from her pledge with a bunch of weasel talk.

When the revolution comes, Pelosi will be right next to Bush against the firing wall.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 16th, 2007 4:29pm
Funny, I don't remember that promise, and I heard two or three Pelosi speeches.  She's originally from a Baltimore political family.

Besides, as earlier mentioned, Impeaching Bush is not going to happen with THIS Congress -- not because the Democrats don't want to, but because the Republicans wouldn't support it.  And with a 51% majority, you'd need lots of Republicans to get the 2/3 majority.  Which isn't going to happen.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 4:38pm
what promise?

"However, on May 12 [2006] the Post's Charles Babington quoted Pelosi's press liaison officer, Brendan Daly, as saying "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it."

http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/index.php?itemid=3320
Permalink Send private email  
July 16th, 2007 4:50pm
Well the reddit people seem to be pissed on this very issue. See the protest comments on the main page.

http://reddit.com/
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 4:53pm

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