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the American Dream

we’ve been doing pretty well over the years
and I’ve seen you strutting around
showing off all your peacock feathers
feeling like you’re the big man on campus

and you know, it had to feel pretty good
I know what it was like, I’d hold parties
& I’d change from one fancy dress to another
& I’d be the center of attention

I remember my novel release party, my
sister came, and I know she likes Red Rose
wine, and I was standing in the kitchen
chatting it up when I saw her approaching

so I turned to the fridge to get the wine
and as soon as she got to me I tilted the bottle
toward her glass and just started pouring
& she said, hey, I was coming to get some

wine & I said I know, and I just kept grinning
& talking to others & having a splendid time

yeah, I know the feeling, like you own
the world, you’d be dressed up wearing a
red robe & a hat & it looked like you should
be saying “where are all of my bitches?”

or when you’d take your black convertible
out, top down, as you’d be dressed in your
fancy suit, ready to hold open your
car door, just like you’d hope the man

who owns the world would. You’d show up
to parties in the tuxedo you own, you’d
give flowers to a girl you were smitten with
just after you’ve met her to woo her

you’d go jet-setting throughout Europe, visiting
China — you’re the one on top, aren’t you?

well, you always have been, you’re the man
with the plan, you’re the one who lives life
to the fullest, you show the world how
arrogant you are with your past successes

but Houston, there’s a problem, you
might not want to believe it, but since
we’ve been resting on your laurels all this
time, since our fat uncles have been

sitting on the couch, burping with their
cans of beer, watching the football games
while someone else has been doing all the
cooking and cleaning for them, well,

while we’ve all been feeling cocky,
thinking about how great we are,
other countries have been training their
students in our schools, and because

we’ve been busy basking in our glory
we’ve outsourced all the work we’re too
lazy to do & we’ve trained everyone else
to beat us at our own game

(oh, I forgot to mention, we were so busy
celebrating our military and business
accomplishments that we gave up
on training ourselves to stay ahead)

well, while we’ve gotten lazy and taken a
break for a while, everyone else has started
excelling past us, so we buy our Japanese
technology and drive our German cars,

drink our French water when we’re not
drinking our French wine, and we get
as far away from the United States as we
possibly can when we want to take a


well, I’m waiting for someone to realize it,
maybe having the economy fall out from
underneath our overzealous desire to
get rich quick didn’t allow us to see

but we’ve always been the giant, we were
first to fly an airplane, the first to land
on the moon, we’re in front in the world
with medicines and health care

hmmm, speaking of healthcare, most people
can’t afford it now, because we’ve researched
the Hell out of the diseases we choose
to kill ourselves with, I mean, stats say

us North Americans have the highest rates
of cancer verses the world, our kids are
fat, we work so many more hours but still
can’t keep ahead, and at this point we

can’t afford the fruits of our labor any longer

do we bring it upon ourselves when we
want to get rich quick by suing doctors,
forcing them to charge higher prices,
driving up the cost for everyone?

we complain that people who are on welfare
still on average own two television sets
and every teen in America now seems to
expect their own free cell phone

is it that our standard of living has risen
so dramatically that everyone now expects
everything handed to them on a silver
platter? do we ask for more without

working for more?

teens complain about not getting a job out
of school, while their guidance counselors
tell them they might have a chance if
they get rid of the excessive body piercings

or not wear a mohawk or color their hair
pink or stain their skin with tattoos
& that’s when the teens complain that
they don’t want to work for a place

that can’t accept them for who they are

our President wants to protect our borders
from terrorists, but he wants to give
temporary work visas to illegal Mexican
immigrants, so that other nations can do

our work for us

and we wonder why we’re unemployed

we get rid of excess building & manufacturing
metals, which we think would cost
too much to melt down to reuse, & our excesses
go to China, where they build high rises

from our scraps

yeah, we can talk about how we were the
high school quarterback, & how we
scored so many touchdowns & everyone
loved us back then

while we credit card ourselves into debt
because we deserve the good things in life,
as we train other people to help us
lose more in the world economy

pretty soon prices will keep going up
& we won’t be able to afford that convertible,
or the nice clothes, or for that matter,
any of the niceties anymore

& we’ll become a people who have the
basics, but not much else, & we’ll wonder
how we’ve become a third world country
& never saw it coming

because we’re on a mountainside, slipping
into the canyon holebut instead
of enjoying the roller-coaster ride before
we crash & burn, can we stop it?

can we stop asking our government to tie
our shoelaces for us, because you know,
man didn’t land on the moon because we didn’t
work for it, so can we start to live off of

what we can afford, so we can look ahead
to what we can accomplish?

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the book the Entropy Project the CD set Live at the Cafe (3 CD set)