American Dreams Revisited: 2017

American Dreams Revisited: 2017

Somewhere a clock counts down to doomsday but before its final tick, someone has to win the Hyperbole, they just have to! Which of course means someone has to lose. Even if no one really understands what the game is all about. It’s hard to understand games without rules, but the playing sure gets hot. Yahoooooooo!

From sea to shining sea, mirrors are draped in black, not in mourning, as they should be, but so that their owners need not gaze on who or what they’ve become, looking instead at paintings of happier, successful, snarling faces painted in bright iridescent colors on cheap black velvet set in gilded frames.

Golden waves of wheat lie fallow, vineyards dry, as hypocrites vie with bigots for the privilege of being deployed by deftly hidden hands in a game of chance both seem doomed to lose, or at least that’s how each side perceives the awful others while the game’s pleased promoters grin knowing they’ll win.

Shouts of “With me or against me” fill the sky. Confused and frightened, those unwilling to play keep shrinking, bandwagons rolling fully packed with recent converts, faster and faster, louder and louder, wheels screaming; free hotdogs and beer. All aboard the train to Kingdom Come. Wooowoooo!!!

On the sidelines children watch and learn to hate and deprecate and lie and cheat, fissures growing deeper, media and Hollywood stars egging them on with artfully scripted pieces massaged by lawyers so that nothing real is really said, and the shouting on all sides grows loud and furious and exquisite.

Across different seas others watch, some frightened, some relieved, some gloating, many strangely comforted albeit in an unhealthy fashion, as when an abused younger son sees his abusive father pass out drunk after beating an older brother, too tired to complete the now traditional cycle. Perhaps he’s died.

Somewhere a clock counts down to doomsday. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick ….

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved

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