The American Dream Quotes

Quotes tagged as "the-american-dream" (showing 1-12 of 12)
David Simon
“That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound.

It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us.

Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith.

Why? The truth is plain:

We were not born to be niggers.”
David Simon, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood

Jay-Z
“I'm here to tell niggas it ain't all swell.
There's Heaven then there's Hell niggas
One day your cruisin' in your seven,
Next day your sweatin', forgettin' your lies,
Alibis ain't matchin' up, bullshit catchin' up
Hit with the RICO, they repoed your vehicle
Everything was all good just a week ago
'Bout to start bitchin' ain't you?
Ready to start snitchin' ain't you?
I forgive you. Weak ass, hustlin' just ain't you
Aside from the fast cars
Honeys that shake they ass in bars
You know you wouldn't be involved
With the Underworld dealers, carriers of mac-millers
East coast bodiers, West coast cap-peelers
Little monkey niggas turned gorillas.”
Jay-Z, Decoded

Zbigniew Brzeziński
“The world became more aware that America-despite being the hope of many who have the personal drive and ambition to become part of the "American dream"-is beset by serious operational challenges: a massive and growing national debt, widening social inequality, a cornucopian culture that worships materialism, a financial system given to greedy speculation, and a polarized political system”
Zbigniew Brzeziński, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power

Hunter S. Thompson
“Las Vegas is the savage heart of the American Dream.”
Hunter S. Thompson

James  Jones
“I like it too," Angelo said. "I love this country. Much you and anybody, and you know it."

"I know it," Prew said.

"But I still hate this country. You love the Army. But I dont love the Army. This country's Army is why I hate this country. What did this country ever do for me? Gimme a right to vote for men I cant elect? You can have it. Gimme a right to work at a job I hate? You can have that too. Then tell I'm a Citizen of the greatest richest country on earth, if I dont believe it look at Park Avenue. Carnival prizes. All carnival prizes. [..] They shouldnt teach their immigrants' kids all about democracy unless they mean to let them have a little bit of it, it ony makes for trouble. Me and the United States is dissociating our alliance as of right now, until the United States can find time to read its own textbooks a little."

Prew thought, a little sickly, of the little book, The Man Without A Country that his mother used to read to him so often, and how the stern patriotic judge condemned the man to live on a warship where no one could ever mention home to him the rest of his whole life, and how he had always felt that pinpoint of pleased righteous anger at seeing the traitor get what he deserved.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

Pew Research Center
“America isn't breaking apart at the seams. The American dream isn't dying. Our new racial and ethnic complexion hasn't triggered massive outbreaks of intolerance. Our generations aren't at each other's throats. They're living more interdependently than at any time in recent memory, because that turns out to be a good coping strategy in hard times. Our nation faces huge challenges, no doubt. So do the rest of the world's aging economic powers. If you had to pick a nation with the right stuff to ride out the coming demographic storm, you'd be crazy not to choose America, warts and all.”
Pew Research Center, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

Arlie Russell Hochschild
“The workplace would allow parents to work part time, to share jobs, to take personal leaves to give birth, tend to a sick child, or care for a well one. As Delores Hayden has envisioned in Redesigning the American Dream, it would include affordable housing closer to places of work and perhaps community-based meal and laundry services.”
Arlie Russell Hochschild, The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home

Hunter S. Thompson
“I think this was a nice idea we had in this country and a nice landscape to experiment with. But I think there comes a time in almost any experimentation or idea, where you have to evaluate it, maybe our time has come. In the context of the real world, not just the American world but all around, we haven't done too well. We are not a very good advertisement for the idea we represented. If you lose one wheel of the car, you might be able to get to the side of the road, and some freaks can make it on two, but if you lose three, man, you're in serious trouble. I think we've lost three.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson

Neil LaBute
“I'm saying the American way is to overcome, to conquer, to come out on top. And we do it by spending and eating and screwing our women harder than anyone else. That's all I'm saying.”
Neil LaBute, The Mercy Seat

“Prosperity killed the American Dream.”
Marty Rubin

Michelle Alexander
“What is key to America's understanding of class is the persistent belief - despite all evidence to the contrary - that anyone, with the proper discipline and drive, can move from a lower class to a higher class. We recognize the mobility may be difficult, but the key to our collective self-image is the assumption that mobility is always possible, so failure to move up reflects on one's character.”
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

“The streets of America may not have been paved with gold, but they were cobbled in middle-class dreams.”
Regina Lee Blaszczyk, American Consumer Society, 1865-2005: From Hearth to HDTV (The American History) (American History Series)