Any American Dream

This essay isn’t a declaration of independence, I don’t have it in me at this time to declare in such wording incorporating a verbiose set of human rights sufficient to ennumerate the rights of an entire population of people and what they ought to be doing at any moment. Dreaming though, that’s simple to me. This essay identifies an individuals singular American Dream, one that shouldn’t discriminate one person from another. The idea of a unified American Dream evokes, in me, cognizance of a wholly secular mindset of simply being in some idle and captive imaginary state while the American World happens on and around a passively engaged and inwardly focused body that’s in some fleeting state of suspended animation as it moves through various, vast and fantastic series of exotic hallucinations that largely add up to different versions of what people say “The American Dream” is. This essay will explore that much of the concept of an American Dream and the pursuit of it, revolves around simply going to sleep at night and then dreaming as an American – a literal American Dream, and that the pursuit of this will sufficiently describe most of Any American Dream.

I think of Any American Dream as a hypnopompic event for which I’d begin by departing, momentarily, from some fantastic state into a secular world that largely and necessarily would cause me to dreamily filter out most of the details as I stumble through a dark domicile. I’d avoid stubbing my toe or smacking the wall as I brushed cautiously around for a lightswitch attached to only the most dimmest of lights so I can hopefully make it down the stairs without slipping or becoming blinded, only to grab a drink of water from a kitchen and then return to a slumber. That’s about the extent of my to-scale and most vague American Dream, here.

In support of this concept, popular fiction supports a similarly descriptive event in totally different but relatable circumstances. This is observed directly in Brokeback Mountain where Annie Proulx writes, “… he fell into sleep that was not sleep but something else drowsy and tranced until Ennis, dredging up a rusty but still useable phrase from the childhood time before his mother died, said, “Time to hit the hay, cowboy. I got a go. Come on, you’re sleepin on your feet like a horse,” and gave Jack a shake, a push, and went off in the darkness. Jack heard his spurs tremble as he mounted, the words “see you tomorrow,” and the horse’s shuddering snort, grind of hoof on stone. Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they’d never get much farther than that. Let be, let be. ” (Proulx 27). What happened here is that in this scene it’s apparent that Jack and Ennis had found a foundational aspect of their shared American Dream together. Proulx wrote of this state as one where Jack was, “sleeping on his feet”, as if it could readily be identified that Ennis’ character could discern quite readily that Jack’d seemed to have found his in Ennis at that moment. It’s clear that Proulx worded this sentence in such a way as to convey to the reader an underlying theme in this book that these men were living their American Dream, parts of it at least, of what could be had of it in the 60’s in the USA.

In doing exactly this and returning to discussing a common waking state of rising from ones comfortable bed at their home described above – a lot of things would need to support the pursuit of it. For one, there’d need to be water and electricity, for the drinking of the water and the flipping of the switch to produce light. I’d also likely need to own a cup, so ownership of trivial private goods would be requisite. The utilities would ideally be public goods that are largely coordinated by a benevolent government’s mandates that’s got my best wishes first and foremost in its consideration and represents me. I’d have access to at least both of these services, meaning that I’d hope that anyone who wished to identify as an American, and therefore is presumably sympathetic to The American Dream’d be offered the same. So, I’d have this place to sleep in, in which to have the dream, therefore a home would be needed. My American Dream incorporates a home for people as private place for them to live.

All of these things’d need to be maintained for a while, and I’d expect to contribute to that in some way, as a testament of my continued and maintained consent to reside under the system that provides these things, such as through offering a wage gotten from a job. Therefore, these wages should come directly to my posession in the form of some fungible form of money through an agreeable monetary exchange process. Additionally that for this job to predominantly be a net positive to community and social function, so all that’s needed to furnish the appropriate level of payment to afford all of these basics is to spend the time contributing to it. For no more than a quarter of ones extant time, in exchange, each participants involvement in a productive part of culture through a job function would be no less than able to provide sufficiently for all parts of this ability to pursue Any American Dream on no less than a nightly basis. Meaning, this job function should be lasting and not transiently coming and going. Therefore, in paying for housing and utilities, I’d expect Any American Dream to incorporate that the job function to fully provide for these things at the very least. In turn, I think this leaves ample time for opportunity. That the concept of this time is more geared towards a peaceful society, free of slavery, so it makes little sense to overburden the body and mind with any more than a quarter of the available time in exchange for basic living.

In living a life as a progressively responsible job holder, an unabridged education should be offered in order to perform its most basic requirements and not simply stop at being highly overspecialized for the sake of creating people without certain skills in an effort to purposely abuse a population by producing fragments of people by design and to their detriment. Any American Dream could incorporate an education system that’s quite accessible in this modern age where it’s becoming very clear that it’s becoming largely an online endeavour. Here, I’d quote from John Ruskin’s “The Stones of Venice,” about segmented work, much like segmented education, and in there Ruskin writes, “It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided; but the men: Divided into mere segments of men, broken into small fragments and crumbs of life; so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.” (Ruskin 23). This quote, in the context I am quoting it, is meant to imply that when education, just as work, is segmented, so too is the output of the education. It’s for this reason that I have it in high regard in any American Dream. In the same way these jobs are supported by an education, there still needs to be a level of interchangeablility of people, so as to accommodate changes in personnel performing the function that would ensure that adequate represenation of all genders be accounted for and answered to so as to resist and eliminate imbalances in the application of guiding who should do what work – at costs fully furnished by the entitiy that profits most from the work performed.

The tendency toward unrestricted and unimpaired motility should be maintained as imperative, as any American Dream includes people who’ve an almost unrestricted ability to move freely within the confines of the physical bounds of the Earth. The word “motility”, in my opinion, correctly denotes the explicit requirement of people having the right to have access to the outdoors and to travel freely in them, and sufficiently differentiates it from the word “mobility”. This was shown in a popular film, and can be presumed to be a concept shared by all people. In the film, Transamerica, it wouldn’t have been possible for Bree to have had the interaction with her son, were she only to have been permitted (for whatever reason) to have been able to pay the dollar and speak with her son over the phone. She’d initially tried to do this, but her trusted doctor pushed against it due to tending to the issue remotely was perceived to be an impediment to Bree’s pursuit of her American Dream. The scene goes, “Bree: I’ll wire bail money to New York. I’ll-I’ll call a social worker and have someone check in on him. What do you want me to do? Doctor: Bree, honey…I just want you to be ready.” (Transamerica 9:25 – 9:40). What’s important about this scene here, is that it shows the exact moment that the ability to move across the country in an unrestricted manner is critical to any American Dream, and barriers to travel inhibit the pursuit of it.

In pursuit of this American Dream-like state, I’d like for nothing to unreasonably get in the way of me achieving the perception of working toward it nightly. This’d mean that interruptions and deterrments to it should be kept to a minimum, which is to say that the neighborhood in which the home is located in ought to be guarded, policed or otherwise allowed to exist in a peaceful setting. The police have been used for this, previously. Some form of security is important, just as much as its effectiveness at identifying unwanted things, humanely dealing with them, and being empowered to do so. This also would be a service that I would expect to pay for, such as through taxation or subscription. A reasonable example of a failure in this type of security can be directly observed during the American Stonewall Riots. In declaring Americans with minority lifestyles, opinions and counterrevolutionary ideals as un-American security risks, the state engaged in a series of oppressive tactics which included abusing the security of citizens.

Their right to even move freely within the confines of their own home areas and private clubs was possibly the greatest reminder that these kinds of actions are still very recent in history. The American Dreams of American Citizens were limited by denying federal jobs to these people, discharging them from the military, and even firing them from the jobs they do have. These riots were broadly the result of a period of time in which the APA had declared homsexuality as a mental disorder from 1952 – 1974. In reporting on that time Martin Duberman wrote, “On the night of June 27, 1969, the New York City police conducted one of their routine raids on a popular Greenwich Village gay bar, the Stonewall Inn,” (Stonewall and Beyond 1991). That this type of event was performed routinely indicated a drive to stunt the motility and security of these people, to keep them isolated. It’s important to note this failure because it’s the antithesis of the desirable outcome for an American Dream, the opposite of this is the desirable outcome.

This kind of consideration of things that don’t belong in an American Dream could also mean that were I to have someone else living in the same home – their dreams and waking moments shouldn’t severely disturb my own. They may differ so long as the personal pursuit of their own dreams’ve not interrupted severely my own, so the opportunity for people to live together is certainly part of The American Dream. This would mean that some of these expenses incurred in paying for the services described should be shared, equally, and in doing so each additional person in the domicile would need to have available to them the same opportunities to achieving any American Dream I’ve got in mind.

Furthermore, anything in life above and beyond this, to me, is exactly that. I don’t believe that The American Dream is the penultimate goal resulting from the pinnacle of success in life – to me, it’s more of a baseline. Not all dreams are The American Dream, it could even be said that in a lifetime of dreams, The American Dream could be had within a single night. This leaves the rest of life to pursue any other, or potentially greater dreams. This means there must be a means to live beyond ones means, such as access to credit, as well as a way to retain those means, such as access to forgiveness of debts without incurring undue interruptions to the pursuit of this dream.

In this essay I used the explicit condition by which a human would go to sleep comfortably at the end of any day, and rest during which they’d not be interrupted outside of total self introspection. In those dreams they’d find the freedom to pursue any American Dream. In being able to have that peaceful sleep, much needs to happen to ensure people get it, which was what I’d essentially described as Any American Dream. I don’t consider this a radical idea, all sufficiently advanced life on this planet has found a way to exist in nature. If people can’t even get this simple stuff, that they otherwise would have obtained without it, what sort of civilization can be said to even be had? This essay described a rather plain expectation, but focuses on reiterating what’s important to have in Any American Dream that’s not at the expense of other Americans.

In conclusion, it wasn’t the purpose of this essay to wholly describe a non-exclusionary and fully contained American Dream, there are certainly many more things that need to be in the scope of a proper discussion of what people ought to have available to them in a modern civilization. Much of the concept of Any American Dream and pursuit of it, revolves around simply going to sleep at night peacefully and then dreaming as an American – a literal American Dream. The pursuit of this simple action will sufficiently describe most of Any American Dream. This essay was written to identify an individuals singular American Dream, one that shouldn’t exclude any particular one person or another. This new, non-discriminatory, gender and sex neutral American Dream might look like it’s very simple, but many things must happen in order to ensure all have it available to them, and focuses largely on devaluing the perceived infinite value of some hallucinatory future to ensure a constant present.

Works cited

Harlin, Ken. “The Stonewall Riot and Its Aftermath.” Duberman, Martin. Columbia University, 24 Aug. 2011, www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/eresources/exhibitions/sw25/case1.html.

Proulx, Annie. Brokeback Mountain. Scribner, 2005, Amazon, https://read.amazon.com/? asin=B003L77X18&ref_=kwl_kr_iv_rec_1, Accessed 18 June 2024.

Ruskin, John, and William Morris. The Nature of Gothic: A Chapter from the Stone of Venice. George Allen, 1899. Archive.Org, https://archive.org/details/natureofgothicch00rusk/page/22/mode/2up. Accessed 18 June 2024.

Transamerica. Duncan Tucker, IFC Films, 2005. STARZ Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B002OTO38K/ref=atv_dp_sign_suc_3P 18Jun2024

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