The Way We Live Now: giving up on dreams. They're complicated, they're expensive, and you never get your investment back. Why bother with dreams when you can find nearly as much satisfaction from tax rebates, gambling, and condos? Settle, settle.

Out in California, the land of dreams, where movie magic brings our wildest flights of imagination to life, the visual effects industry is now crumbling into dust. Foreign competition, not enough revenue, etc., etc. The point is that America is no longer manufacturing dreams. We've ceded the dreams-come-true business to the BRIC nations.

But we have our ways of doing things. Oh yes, we do. We're sly. Not dreamy, but crafty. Whole damn dank dark nation blanketed by snow? We'll sell you god damn hot chocolate and plow your driveway until we can buy a stealth bomber. Whole damn nation blanketed by a real estate bubble? Don't worry, we'll bring back those god damn stalled Williamsburg condos by hook or by crook. Whole damn city of Las Vegas blanketed by plummeting gambling revenues and hopelessness? Hell, gambling revenue in Macau is off the charts these days. Somebody's winning something somewhere. And that's the important thing.

Look here: thanks to onerous taxes, our nation's states are "on the comeback trail." Soon we'll be right back where we started. And we'll make the same mistakes, and suffer the same consequences. The only difference: we'll do it without dreams.

They were weighing us down, anyhow.

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