On the Status of the American Dream

On the Status of the American Dream

Opinion by Timothy A. Gates, CW Correspondent

The flurry of activity from the national level to the local level in the days following the Fourth of July Holiday has produced a week of stark realities. Not to belittle lives lost or acts of treason committed by high-ranking officials, two items of note include a Federal Ruling suggesting that the Dusky Gopher Frog has more rights than citizens, and the Tammany West issued the strongest statement against Helis Oil and Gas Co. to date from a local media outlet:

“If ever there was a set of executives who cared less for a local community it will be hard to find them.  If Helis Oil officials truly cared at all for operating as a ‘good neighbor’ wherever they look for oil, they would pull up stakes today and call this endeavor quits.” – Kevin Chiri, Editor, Tammany West


Lawrence Britt wrote about 14 Characteristics of Fascism in the Spring 2003 edition of “Free Inquiry” magazine*, compiled from research of past fascist regimes.  At a quick glance, this Country is running fairly strong on all 14 Characteristics. While the political theory tends to be overgeneralized and applied liberally to incite emotional response, fascist tendencies are as seemingly innocuous as the consolidation of power between Government and Corporations. The result of that consolidation is evident by economic development initiated without the consent of the governed, but funded by them; appearing subtle, with something more beneath the surface, including long-term consequences not acknowledged or even known until well after the fact.  So much for the American Dream.

Hunter_S_Thompson_caricaturaHunter S. Thompson penned a poignant sentiment about the American Dream in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” when he wrote that his search led him to the inevitable conclusion that he was actually chasing the Death of the American Dream. Thinking about it literally, maybe the American Dream never actually existed, considering that a dream is an idea or vision created in the imagination, as per Merriam Webster’s second definition of the word.

Some would even call it “programming.”

The concept that heavy industry is equivalent to a violent action against an existing environment, which in this case includes frogs, people and all other manner of life, is not so far-fetched when closely observing the results, and ultimately, someone, somewhere, is responsible.  A mere century and a half prior, things might have been settled by a duel at the Helis well-pad at high noon.  This is, admittedly, a grim prospect, but certainly a more decisive and efficient one, in a fascist kind of way.

Gopher frog (Lithobates (Rana) capito) at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. (Image ID: ANI071-00308)
Gopher frog (Lithobates (Rana) capito) at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. (Image ID: ANI071-00308)

* not to be construed as an endorsement of secular humanism

“By the sword you did your work, and by the sword you die.”

            – Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, circa 458 BCE