The American Dream started as something that seemed almost utopian for human beings and became almost dystopic in recent years. Although this is a concept that invited people and families from Europe to the American land in the country’s earlier years, it later became very controversial, making everyone question the reality of The American Dream.
But what is The American Dream? On paper, it’s a status gained by people who work hard, stay determined, and build something of their own with equal opportunity. However, in the current day, this idealized ‘dream’ is very controversial because it simply isn’t realistic. In modern-day America, citizens might be determined and might be working hard but are not given equal opportunities to gain status. The cause of this is mainly the capitalist system surrounding not just America but the entire world.
Soundgarden’s iconic vocalist Chris Cornell talked about this theme a while back and discussed what he thinks it is about. For him, building fame, fortune, and prosperity in the public eye seems to be artificial. The culture is based on making a name for yourself, and it’s unrealistic because not every individual can gain fame and fortune or have the means to try. He also mentioned John Lennon, the Beatles icon, and said that he had the opportunity to make a name for himself and he took the chance.
“This is a culture that thrives on making a name for yourself, a face for yourself. We are goal-oriented, we’re achievement-oriented even if that achievement is just to become famous for no reason. Maybe fight with your dad a lot, and it’s funny, and that’s it at-da. So we’re growing up in this culture feeling like we have to do something that distinguishes ourselves in a country full of 350 million people where it’s impossible for every single one to distinguish themselves somehow. What happened to John Lennon was that. This kid wanted to make a name for himself and figured out a quick way to do it, and he wasn’t wrong.”
This interview is old, but the video was published on Cornell’s Instagram account very recently. The singer is known to touch upon deep and philosophical subjects in his interviews, and this was one of them. Chris Cornell’s vocals are impeccable and undeniably strong. Yet, even though he is very well known in the rock world, he is not appreciated as much as he should be in the general music scene. This only proves his point, that one has to try hard to make a name for themselves instead of working on their creative side.