Four Films that Challenge the American Dream

What does it mean to ‘make it’ in America? Americans value progress, prosperity, and upward mobility. We are taught that, with hard work and a positive attitude, all of us can potentially achieve our dreams and perhaps even become important people.

The following films expose some of the unfortunate byproducts of the American ethos, which include an obsession with status and a lack of connection with other human beings / the world around us. Perfect movies for a quiet Saturday night!  🙂




The Key to Happiness: Lower your Expectations

Courtney Gibbons Cartoon

This month the Pasadena City College (PCC) mailed me a brochure of its Spring 2014 Extension classes. I always love reading class catalogs like this because I can pretend for a few minutes that I will actually take a beginning tennis class or attend a Saturday morning lecture on retirement planning (and subsequently open up the IRA that has been on my to-do list for five years).

Although PCC’s volume is slim and includes “3D Bunny Shaped Cake” and “Introduction to Pocket Billiards” classes, it still reminds me of my serious college days, when it was so exciting to receive the course offerings for the semester and to fantasize about all the different teachers and classes and books and potential schedules. Those days are over, of course, but it’s fun to dream. Which is why I read this PCC brochure so eagerly. I even read it while drinking tea and eating some chocolate squares.

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