A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 07, 2013
“It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”

The “American Dream” is when people work hard and can afford to buy a house and raise a family in the United States; a respectable standard of living is assumed. Comedian George Carlin (1937-2008) urged people to wake up—most people are wage slaves for the powerful interests who control the money and politics of the country. “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it,” Carlin wrote in his book, Brain Droppings (1997).

Carlin expanded the thought in a filmed live appearance, Life Is Worth Losing (2005):

“It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. ...The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. ...And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream, ‘cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”


Wikiquote: George Carlin
George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was a Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor and author, noted especially for his irreverent attitude and his observations on politics, language, psychology and religion as well as some taboo subjects.
(...)
Life Is Worth Losing (2005)
They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin’ retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later ‘cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. ...The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. ...And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream, ‘cause you have to be asleep to believe it.

Google Books
Brain Droppings
By George Carlin
New York, NY: Hyperion
1997
Pg. 83:
The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.

25 July 1997, Buffalo (NY) News, “Noteworthyy”:
George Carlin is a rare comic: at once a formulaic gag writer and a merciless social critic in the tradition of Lenny Bruce. His one-liners can be cute ("If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten") but they can also be caustic ("The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it").

Google Books
The Stone Kingdom
By Paul Bailey
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.
2001
Pg. 25:
America has become the land of fantasy, the land where the imagination of man rules, a land where the American dream is taught and believed. But Americans have forgotten that to dream the American dream, one must be asleep and no longer aware of reality.

YouTube
George Carlin ~ The American Dream
wutdaflek
Uploaded on Apr 26, 2009
“You have to be asleep to believe it.”
A short excerpt from the video “Life Is Worth Losing” (2005).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, July 07, 2013 • Permalink