Hollywood adaptations of great novels tend to unnerve devoted readers. The effort seems hubristic and slightly profane, akin to painting a second Sistine Chapel or adding a chorus to King Lear. Perfection, by definition, can't be improved upon, and it seems suspect even to try.
Too few Americans have profited too much, at the expense of too many in the last 60 years. Tax policy has permitted "American" corporations to virtually pay no taxes while exporting jobs to low-paying countries around the world.
Somehow, after 236 years under spacious skies, we've reached a place where having it all only accents what we lack. The shortfalls of our lives glint in the corner of our eyes and rather than look away, we sit and discount our blessings.
Elections are over, politicians continue to bicker, and Greece insists on furthering their already impressive implosion. Thanksgiving may help if it can bring to mind those seminal American values that are the foundation and bedrock of our country.
I'd like us to ask ourselves if our quality of life and our level of fulfillment are as good as we had hoped it would be, or if instead we are letting ourselves be ruled by greed vs. goodness and compassion toward others.
It took me getting invited to Chicago and imagining my grandfather coming there to reexamine the concept of the American dream. These tough economic times have driven many people to forget or even to mock it.
Today, April 4th, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. It's a good time to reflect on the state of not only Dr. King's dream, but the American dream at large.
Growing up in a generation where having 600 Facebook "friends" didn't mean you got a phone call on a Friday night, I originally felt that Facebook was not the best networking option for me, particularly concerning my job search.
What a bummer to discover that this great national mythology that's sustained us for so many generations may no longer be true. A spate of recent studies suggests that Americans are no longer upwardly mobile.
The promise of America has long been based upon high hopes for a future that will surpass the present and redeem the past, as well. Yet, recent polls indicate the mood of the country is growing ever darker, both less hopeful and more cynical.
With a record 47 million Americans living below the poverty line -- and unemployment standing at nine percent -- should billions in tax breaks go to some of the most profitable companies in the world? Of course not.
Powerful narratives based upon fiction -- not fact -- shape our perceptions. As such, myths are powerful political tools that the powers-that-be have long used in their attempt to control social behavior.