Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Disneyland and the Death of the American Dream

One of the advantages of spending Christmas in bed, apart from not having to cook a turkey, was being able to have the time to think about the implications of what Frank Rich is saying about the death of the American dream.

How many middle-class Americans now believe that the sky is the limit if they work hard enough? How many trust capitalism to give them a fair shake? Middle-class income started to flatten in the 1970s and has stagnated ever since. While 3M has continued to prosper, many other companies that actually make things (and at times innovative things) have been devalued, looted or destroyed by a financial industry whose biggest innovation in 20 years... has been the cash machine.

And being able to watch the home made movie of the Barstow family's trip to Disneyland, after winning a contest, to get a better idea of what that dream might have looked like.

In a very different America...

You can watch the whole movie by following the link in the Rich article. Or watch it in installments:

But I thought it was the most amazing journey through that lost America I have ever seen...

When I finished watching the video I finally understood at least two things:

What my dad was doing running around in my family's home movies, wearing a Davy Crockett hat...in Scotland.

And of course, why so many Americans are so angry...

The Barstows of 1956 could not have fathomed the outrageous gap between this country’s upper class and the rest of us. America can’t move forward until we once again believe, as they did, that everyone can enter Frontierland if they try hard enough, and that no one will be denied a dream because a private party has rented out Tomorrowland.

Right now those angry teabaggers are lashing out blindly, and blaming the left rather than the right.

But sooner or later they will understand who REALLY stole that dream. Who exported their jobs, like so many in Canada.

And the American revolution will begin all over again...

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