"There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong." (G.K. Chesterton)
Take all the disparate elements of American identity, put them in a blender and among the pulp and pith, you might end up with something reminiscent of the latest offerings from Sardine & Tobleroni. Full of the inherent contradictions of American society and values, these new works take pot shots at notions of freedom and paranoia in this great country, of great extremes.
The American Dream is a vague yet extremely evocative phrase that describes the USA's self image as a land of opportunity and freedom for all. The idea that America uniquely embodies these qualities has often invited ridicule, yet this ideology has a power that seems to resonate and transcend such criticism. America is a nation that pursues a moral and elevated path, a country that places emphasis on the virtues of assimilation, tolerance and consensus, yet despite this, manages to be as prohibitive as it is permissive.
Their right-wing politics could be viewed as outright fascist – does the rest of the world really need the self-appointed 'World Police' to guide us into virtuousness? Many loathe and despise all that the stars and stripes stand for and take every opportunity to destroy it in whatever form possible, yet globally we seem ever eager to assimilate and embrace all that is American within our own cultures, as if we might get a piece of the pie by proxy. Targeting Hollywood glamour, gangsters, pop culture, icons, outsiders, easy riders, commie paranoia, patriotism, the war on terror, globalisation and consumer capitalism, Sardine and Tobleroni take us on a bumpy road trip through a Yankee wonderland. America invites extreme reactions, but love it or hate it, the dream still beckons.
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