The Dying American Dream and Irrational Joylessness

Mike Cassidy of the Merc wrote a nice essay on the casualties of the dot-com bubble selling out and leaving Silicon Valley. Not all of the people who worked hard here cashed out or got rich — actually, only a few did really well, although most everyone here likes to pretend they did better than everyone else. It’s a peculiar SV conceit.

I’m fourth generation Californian, born in Fremont and went to Berkeley. I’ve always lived in the Bay Area. I remember the orchards, now long gone, and how I used to ride my bike through them coming home from Parkmont Elementary school.

But I don’t resent other folks who came here trying for a bit of the gold. After all, that’s part of the American Dream. Does anyone remember the American Dream anymore?

So it makes me sad that young people have to sell everything and leave, just because so many businesses have gone on a bender about outsourcing. It is “irrational joylessness”, an almost armageddon wish-fulfillment. It is a maxim that a man who thinks he will die tomorrow will somehow make it so.

And all Craig Barrett can say is “life is tough”, as John Paczkowski noted a few days back in his column. What a wonderful guy.

Mike also spoke of experiencing a lack of enthusiasm about google, as John’s column quoted. Sounds like a few people will make out like bandits and it will assuredly be successful given it’s backers, but it won’t save that young couple Mike wrote about yesterday, nor a lot of others who have contributed to the success of the Valley.

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