The American Dream Revisited

Sitting at a stop light in Los Angeles, I was taken by this juxtaposition of site elements that reminded me of the broken American Dream–a breathing entity of the collective consciousness, archetypically connected to the aging starlet,  that needs to be revisited, revised, and restored in a proper and more age appropriate setting. It’s getting old: the fading idea of the nuclear family whose car and home is equally wrapped up in the unit’s identity, a unit primed for consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses, a unit that represents a golden nugget of fruition. It may be available but it’s an antiquated tough sell just like the image of the nostalgic, neon dinette sign, hearkening back to a time of apple pie wonder, naive materialistic motivation wrapped in the sexiness of a post-war math and science boom. The soft rosy sunlight of Southern California beach sundowns falling across the no parking sign and the image painted by a forgotten, perfect pitched realist in the colors of the mellow 1970s. It’s time to reconnect with our internal and personal sources of manifest destiny to find definitions for ourselves. There are no more icons to emulate, no commercial advertisements that actually tantalize, no general lifestyles to sell, no mass feel good moment in which to participate. It’s time for the individual to create the portrait of their own dream, to disconnect from the illusive bubble of a collective country whose identity is too tarnished to resurrect the glorified images of its past.


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