Quote: “I’m living the American dream!” Taylor Hicks, the new American Idol.
Figure of Speech: commonplace, the boiled-down public belief.
Who says Americans don’t vote? The “American Idol” finale tallied 63.4 million votes — more, bragged host Ryan Seacrest, “than any president in the history of our country has ever received.” Sigh.
The winner expressed his joy with a commonplace, an expression that encapsulates an audience’s beliefs. If it’s vapid and overused, it can cross the line into cliche. But Aristotle himself made the commonplace the centerpiece of his enthymeme.
And for good reason. The “American Dream” boils down the Horatio Alger myth: through pluck and God-given luck, a person can rise from poverty and obscurity to become rich and famous. It’s actually been getting more difficult to cross social classes in America. Which makes the American Dream — and “American Idol” — more compelling than ever.
Snappy Answer: “I’m living the pop culture nightmare!”