September 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Four
Joel Evard
The American Mantra

Ok fine
I'll admit it
I'm a little disillusioned by life right now
Just at that age right
25 yrs old all drive and no ambition
Or was it all ambition and no drive
I forget sometimes
Memories are hard to keep
When you're trying to ride that fine line between
The American dream and the real world
And you step back to look at it all and realize that the two just don't jive
Like the American dream was always just that
A dream
And everybody just woke up the next day and went back to work
"Cause they shouldn't remember what the dream was about
Children are raised up and weaned off of pride and self worth onto
instant buy-now-pay-later-cash-back-mail-in-rebate-insert-card-here-gratification
You can see the latest model of a new happier life
On display in a macys store window
"On sale now..all major credit cards now pay later"
And if you're lucky...if you're really lucky
You'll never realise it is the same shit you always had
Just wrapped up in a brand new bow
And the american mantra has become "Buy now pay later"
But that doesn't matter
'Cause even the people who make this shit cant actually afford to buy it
They're just average shmucks just like you and me
Kept going by memories of the good old days that weren't that great
Raised in a small town where there was nothing to do but
Throw footballs
Throw parties
And throw up
And I don't even believe in the rich upper class any more
I think it's just a myth
A fairy tale
Something to tell the kids
So they'll want to grow up and be better than we are
And we never figured out that we were as good as it got
The whole thing reeks of conspiracy if ya ask me
Maybe it's "the man" keeping us down right
I hear people say that
But I wonder if they ever stop to think about the fact that if "the man" was real
Why would he dirty his hands by reaching down into gutters
Just to keep us from crawling out of them
We don't even hold the hand that holds us down anymore
We have become the hand that holds us down
Every single day we offer up our arms
Hoping someone will hit the right vein
Mainlining on an economic prosperity that doesn't even exist any more
And now the thumb that pushes the plunger at the end of the needle
Is the one that rules the world
But that's ok
'Cause Visa, Mastercard, American Express
The holy fucking trinity hallelujah
Will come down and save us all one payment at a time
Buy now
Pay later