The wrapping comes off with ease. It is a cocoon that releases the smell of contained chemical reactions that our brain tells us one thing, this must be new. The joys released in our mind as the new care smell dances through and jogs memories of elation. It is Christmas morning all over again, and in that we find a brief feeling of joy. It is not lasting happiness, and this is why we move onto the next bauble or gadget waiting to join the piles of things that permeate our houses. How did we get this way, and who the hell are these Jones assholes we are trying to keep up with. Why do they have so much, and always so much more than we do?
The American dream has evolved into a house with a white picket fence, a two car garage, two point five children, a big screen TV, three thousand channels of nothing but commercial bombardment to add the next feature to the list of commercial influence. We look to our caveman instincts and are assaulted further with what defines us as people. Are we that sofa? Are we the set of kitchen knifes laid neatly on the clever wall mounted magnet? Do we look at the labels and get the free range chemical free items from the grocery shelf because it what we desire, or what we desire to become? What is the next great commercial trend that will infect our hearts and minds?
How the hell did this happen? What steps of evolution took us to the cash register? To what to we attribute our fascination with more being better? We have been conditioned like leather, and it goes on and on through out our existence, and not one of us is immune. Even the none conformist want to just be different like everyone else. Specialty stores sell the baubles they need to express their individuality. Goth stores give way to places you can buy skinny jeans and little buttons and scarfs that tell the world how emo you are. How did this corruption happen?
The American dream used to be about possibilities, not about entitlement. I truly believe our founding fathers had no idea what we would become as our capitalist beliefs took hold and grew. If you read the papers they put out, starting of course with the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, you will see a clear message. It was not about giving people all these wonderful things, but rather not inhibiting their path to them. Yet we scream for more, and look for happiness in all the things the world has to offer. We look for it in weights and measures by what looks to make others happy.
We paint our faces and dance the little dance and wonder if those around us are really happy, or they are content for us to think that they are happy? In doing so we emulate what makes them happy, and buy the things that made them happy. We demand the things that they have, in hopes that they too will make us happy. Commercials sell us on these concepts and we all buy into them. Of course rich people have to be happy with their skewed sense of self importance and their fancy cars lined up. Who would not be happy in a house so large that you never visit all the rooms in the entire time you own it? Hell it is so much more comforting to shit in a gold plated toilet, much more so than the porcelain mass produced models off the shelf at some discount warehouse store.
When did we let others define what makes us happy? Well we did it when we accepted the machine that is consumerism. We did it when we bought the lie of succession. We did it when we told ourselves, or sold ourselves on the concept of external happiness. I can tell you this for sure, happiness does not have a receipt. The real American dream is alive and well, and you will not find it at Neiman Marcus. You might find a brief moment of happiness in the bottom of a good bottle of rum, or in between someones thighs, but real lasting happiness can only happen if you let it. It can only happen if you do not get wrapped up in all the bullshit. It can only happen if you really understand what happiness is.
You have years of conditioning to overcome though. Years of Saturday morning cartoons riddled with commercials. Stacks of articles telling you about the latest treads. All of these things buried in the notion that our society will not thrive if you do not keep consuming those disposable cars, or clothes. Sure you can still do those things and be happy, you just have to accept that they in themselves are not going to make you happy. Only you can make that choice. Being in the cattle corral does not make you happy, until your inner truth is moo.