National Public Radio:
You probably don’t see much of what you do as having a spin. And you don’t have all that much spin to what you do. But your gig with the American Dream is so spinned with rhetoric that it sees the American dream as sacred. Your reports seem to be delivered in a breathless awe. The American dream is not sacred. It can be oppressive. It can sustain discrimination. The American dream was dreamed up by the American aristocracy. To keep the rest of you in your place. The fantasy that you are climbing your way up some metaphorical ladder is pure illusion. The game is rigged. But you can’t say that. You can’t look critically at this so-called dream. If you did, you might find that it is a nightmare. I wish you had included some alternative voices who do not necessarily worship the American dream. A feel good piece is offensive. Perhaps it is not possible to actually look at what the American dream is in all of it’s hopefulness and all of its failures. You are not cheerleaders for a system. You are journalists. I wish what you were doing with the American dream was journalism. It’s just more spin.
JUNE 5, 2012
Tim Barrus: National Public Radio: The Great American Dream
NPR is hosting a gig where you send them photographs and 140 written characters that describes your version of the great American dream.
I sent in a self-portrait and a collection of words that — to me — symbolize the somnambulism that is America.
I used words like: Suicide. Death. Move. Get out. Disappear. Invisibility. Change identity. Nightmare. Failure. Loser. Useless. No hope. Subjugation. Drown. Gun.
That is what I know of this so-called dream.
I could have used such concepts as: hustling, survival sex, sucking cock for dollars, addiction, disease, hiv/aids, fucked, phantasy, war, void, equivoque, false, illusion, aberration, anagogic, delitescent, impenetrable, fabrication, lie.
The great American dream is a violence of capriciousness.
It makes me want to puke.
Go to any American city. The great American dream is a ruin of abandonment. It is an impoverished drain of bare subsistence. It is an overfed sum of meaningless stuff that is, in fact, only a vacuum.
NPR wants stuff. They want rah, rah, rah. Sis boomboom bah. They want cheerleaders with pompoms and letter sweaters and tits.
They want the 1950s.
Mark my words. Those will be the hollowed-out ideas that get picked to dramatize what is, in fact, an emaciated malignity that has brought putrescence to the planet. America is a vile place and so is her dream.
Watch. People are going to point to stuff.
Their house, their car, their Fourth of July, their children’s graduation, their cute little babies (the world needs more babies and more babies and more babies), their garbage disposals.
It’s not a place and it’s not a dream I want to live my life in. It is a poisoning, an erosion, a contamination, a rot, a vicious decline, a shit hole.
Your dream is a deliriant shit hole of recidivism.
Your dream is the prison that holds so many of your people. It incarcerates.
It is shoved down our throats from day one. It is the pathology of the status quo disguised as orthopedia that you, too, can participate if you only work hard enough.
The thin disguise of slavery is your asylum.
Watch this space. I will report back whatever whitewash they will scratch about with impunity.