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Old 07-22-2003, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
H12
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The American Dream...Is...?

Okay, so all my life I've heard people use the phrase "the American Dream", and I've never really known what it meant, exactly. I've always assumed that it was just a saying that people used, like "Ole' Junior, he's just living the American Dream". I've heard it be used for rich people and poor, black people and white, successful and failing, hard-working and lazy...about every genre of person I can think of, I've heard that phrase be used, and that's what makes it so hard to tell exactly what it means.

I've also heard many answers on its meaning...everything from becoming famous to looking good naked. So what's YOUR opinion of the American Dream?
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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to be content with one's self. well, i'd just say thats the common goal of everyone, vastly different per person in how it is achieved.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To start with nothing and rise up out of the muck and mire and become successful.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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my opinion? well my opinion of the American Dream is that its a point that is unattainable for any person. the American Dream in my mind is the perfection and happiness that everyone strives to achieve, but because the human mind works, no one is ever satisfied. :-D In the end, losing sight of that dream... Juss like James Gatz
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Two chicks at once.

Actually, I think the term refers to the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy here. As a 3rd generation immigrant family kiddo, I doubt most people really know what it means, but I'm sure there's plenty of people living in some piece of shit foriegn country wishing to come to our country for a job and a sense of stability.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Phaenx
Two chicks at once.

damn, beat me to it.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by grayman
To start with nothing and rise up out of the muck and mire and become successful.
that's the definition that I am familiar with as well, but it seems that people's view of the "American Dream" have been broadened a bit
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the general consensus......The American Dream to me is to have the opportunity to make whatever you want to of yourself, with only yourself being held accountable.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why stop at two chicks? If we're having a 'dream' why not an entire room?
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Buk
Why stop at two chicks? If we're having a 'dream' why not an entire room?
because any more than two and i'd probably have a heart attack!
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by darkshade
that's the definition that I am familiar with as well, but it seems that people's view of the "American Dream" have been broadened a bit
Yes that's true. Some men prefer 2 dudes at once nowadays.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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2 dudes at once? Um...one dude alone would be my Personal Nightmare...yikes.

(not meant to offend anyone)
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It's a personal thing. Everyone has their own dream of what they want out of life. Whether you attain it is mostly dependent on how high you set the goal and how hard you work for it.

You are guaranteed nothing but the right to the pursuit.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Post WW-II, the American Dream was explicitly defined as a house in the burbs, two cars, kids, a good job, and a stay-at-home wife. Oh yeah, and although you were a factory worker, your kids could go to college.

Sounds pretty mundane, but remember that a lot of folks back then had been raised in urban areas in the Depression, and the suburban lifestyle seemed like an incredible advancement to them. Cheap loans, cheap land, the development of the freeway system, and strong unionism meant that the average factory worker could move out of the city to afford a much bigger and better house than he could ever afford in the city center), would have the means to pay for it, and -- with freeways -- could still have his old job and get there easily. In most areas, freeway systems didn't really begin to clog up until the late '60s to the mid-70s.

Of course now the wheel has turned again, and the American Dream is now unattainable for many, or very distorted (like, you can afford your house but only if you commute 70 miles to work through hideous traffic).
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Okay, I had to research it. Term was coined by a guy named James Truslow Adams in 1931 in a book called "The Epic of America." If you really want to know what he meant....

http://courses.lib.odu.edu/engl/jhrichar/as300.html
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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i have always thought of it as being able to own your own stuff...from homeownership/land to cars...

i'm a 1st generation born here from the family...
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think it's constantly changing.

These days, becoming famous and looking good naked probably fit's the American Dream to a "t."
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Winning 300 million powerball
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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.. driving the biggest SUV possible.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
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"Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids, 1/2 a dog, 1.5 cars and a house."

...but i think im gonna agree with Troublebot: "These days, becoming famous and looking good naked probably fit's the American Dream to a 't.'"
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:26 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The American Dream, as spoken of quite often, is to be rich while never having to lift a finger to make it.

Forget dreams of Freedom. You'll all just kidding yourselves.

Free money. That is the american dream.
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My take on the american dream is to have a job you like, a loving family and a comfortable home. People from other less fortunate countries come here wanting to achieve those things.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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naw.. alot of it has been said.. but .. for me it is not having to depend on anyone for your freedoms.. your domicile.. your food.. not fearing for your family from some dictator.. etc. and of course .. being able to work hard .. and attain those freedoms for your efforts.
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I always took it to mean successfully living out your own dreams and goals. So that the American dream is really our collective dreams.
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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and Country Joe McDonald


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Old 01-10-2006, 03:31 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
Okay, I had to research it. Term was coined by a guy named James Truslow Adams in 1931 in a book called "The Epic of America." If you really want to know what he meant....

http://courses.lib.odu.edu/engl/jhrichar/as300.html
thanks! I didn't read this before and it's quite interesting to read.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The American dream is to get fucked over by policiticans and send your sons to die in war.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I believe America was founded will this dream in mind for its people. (or at least that is what the US constitution says)

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Has it been achieved?
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:54 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The American Dream...Is...Dying a slow death for the entire middle class, it is already out of the reach of the poverty stricken.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:55 PM   #30 (permalink)
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American Dream, eh? I would say being able to TRY to obtain one's goal. In our country we have the freedom to do pretty mcuh everything short of killing people or raping animals, etc. If we want to run for president, we can. If we want to study a certain topic, we can. The ability to do this is the American Dream, despite the fact that we are becoming less and less of a democratic nation.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:35 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachion
snip...Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...snip
That's what I would have said. The 'American Dream' changes with the times and desires of the generations. I think my (I'm 31) generation is much more driven to aquire stuff, especially electronic stuff. This results in so many being in debt over their heads and using credit cards so much. Our parents generation were driven by success - ex. the influx of women into the general workforce. The generation before them (my grandparents, who are nearing 90) wanted stability and financial security. We respond to our parents outlook and the way we are brought up to determine what our picture of 'American Dream' is made of. But in the end it's all about living, being free to live how you want to, and being able to pursue Happiness. I think it's important to note that it's not BEING happy that is the American Dream but the pursuit thereof.

I am personally working on being, not pursuing. It's harder than one might think.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:26 AM   #32 (permalink)
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The American dream is to move to Canada...yup that's it.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:15 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I had a professor who put it well.... The New American Dream is to win the Lottery or the Powerball. Instant money, instant freedom, instant comfort/laziness.
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:35 PM   #34 (permalink)
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The American Dream is repealing all the new laws that have been put into effect -with the help of this administration- that affect our personal liberties. Let's actually go back to utilizing the bill of rights. When you can go to jail for up to 2 years for annoying someone on the internet we no longer have freedom of speech.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:34 AM   #35 (permalink)
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The love of my life, no kids, and whatever comes my way- rich, "getting by", whatever.

As a famous guy once said,

"All you need is love."

...a saying that I firmly believe in (despite an otherwise total lack of interest in that band) and in which I have, at least once, felt embraced.
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Old 01-13-2006, 04:05 AM   #36 (permalink)
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American dream is to own your own home. I being a realtor am proud of that official line. Same thing as diamonds are forever is an awesome phrase for the Jeweler.
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Old 01-13-2006, 07:43 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
Okay, I had to research it. Term was coined by a guy named James Truslow Adams in 1931 in a book called "The Epic of America." If you really want to know what he meant....

http://courses.lib.odu.edu/engl/jhrichar/as300.html
I'm not American but this is an excerpt from the link above which I would say sums it up:

"the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. . . . It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."
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Old 01-13-2006, 08:00 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splck
The American dream is to move to Canada...yup that's it.
Wrong direction. Texas is where it's at.

As stated many times, I've always imagined the American dream to be the ability to create yourself from poverty and achieve greatness despite race, color, or creed.
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