No, Really, you’re not THAT Awesome…

Posted: May 3, 2011 in "Those People", Assholes, Rants, The Hardline According to Ren

So, here is one of those promised posts, and it seems fitting to be the one that follows the Meat Eater Post…but yeah, here we go:  Those People Who are Just So Sure they are Better and Superior to all….

And I am sure you know the type.  Fact is, the inspiration for this one came from blogs I read occasionally, that while in some cases I find them to be funny or speaking about interesting stuff, the fact that the authors come off as so snot-assed, smarter than thou, looking down their noses at everyone who is not like them or licking their boots freakin’ arrogant it is a serious, serious, turn off…and not in the dating sense, but in the sense that while these bloggers might be good writers and have interesting or important things to say- they are just such imperious fucking asshat snob douchebags who are so utterly convinced of their own awesomeness it makes me want to puke and actually OVERRIDES anything of worth they might have to say.  Shit, so often they are so busy picking on people they find to be pathetic or backwards or losers or whatever else it actually overwhelms anything of interest or import they might have to say. 

And I have seen a lot of it in blog land, lemmie tell ya…from folk who are just so hip they feel they can rag on women in Playboy to folk who are just so convinced they are that dang smart and savvy and sure of themself that they figure it is okay to rag on, well, everyone, from “guidos” to “rednecks” to “rockabilly” to people who shop at Wal Mart, eat fast food, go to cheesy vacation places, to…Rob Zombie, Trent Reznor, and anyone and everyone who is a fan of theirs.  Pretty much anyone and everyone who does not live up to these people’s creds, who dresses different, or speaks different, or likes different entertainment (*if they are so low brow to even be into such things that is) or lacks the education or pedigree or hip cool big city snot attitude they flaunt….well, its open season on those people.  I have noted in my years on this planet this sorta attitude is very prevalent from some folk who hail from places like NYC, Boston, Philly, Miami, Dallas, LOS ANGELES!!!, San Fran….I mean, there is some “WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM levels of arrogance out of those folk, people who, oh, would still consider “towns” like Atlanta & Phoenix “the sticks”  (jesus, have they LOOKED at Phoenix lately?  It’s HUGE)….but hey, on the net, its even more prevalent…

And since I am one of “Those People” so many of these folks would look down upon, what, being a meat-eating, non PhD having, sports watching, gun-loving, gearhead, flag waving “Fuck you too!” prick, I sort of wonder….what exactly causes these folks to figure they are so much better than me, or anyone else out there who does not live up to their precious standards?  And you know what?  I’ve never, ever, ever heard a real answer to that.  I mean, for all the shit that I have been called out there in net land…stupid is not a word often used- at least not where it can be seen by me and disproven- and often times some of these folk who are so quick to tell EVERYONE just how smart they are?  Well, it doesn’t really show, and I have always sorta thought that anyone who has to tell you how smart they are over and over again and always assumes their intelligence outranks that of others?  Well I suspect they are actually compensating for something…usually their own insecurities about how that claim might just not be so true….

I also have a theory.  A lot of these folk?  Obviously, they were forever and always picked last for gym class.  And that has marked them for life with a hatred of so many things that will forever remind them of being picked last for gym class:  sports, exercise, pursuits that are physical, athletes, people who enjoy watching sports, and anything and everything that can be associated with such Cro-magnon silliness.  It has left them believing they are just smarter and now so much cooler and more hip than those stupid Other Kids back in school.  Hahah, THEY get to do the picking-on now!  Woohoo!

I have another theory too, and  that is that these folk are also classist as shit, and view anyone, from the tattooed weird-hair having Rob Zombie fan to the Trucker Cap Wearing auto mechanic as, well, beneath them and worthy of ridicule because, well, those folk are just…not evolved and trashy, there for, less human, there for, okay to pick on, stereotype and make countless assumptions about.  These are folk who will judge with ease and glee a person by the number of university earned letters by their name, an accent, a zip code, a manner of speaking, a mode of dress, a choice in recreational activities or forms of entertainment or attention to concerns-without ever bothering to even see them as humans with all that human stuff going on.  They are different and lesser than, so who gives a fuck what anyone says about them, right?  It’s not like they actually have feelings…

Hell, just this week a friend of mine was telling me that he was speaking to a person he knew about my back situation, and the person said my doctor probably assumed since I well, look like me, what with the ink and all, that I actually had nothing wrong with me and just wanted drugs.  Nevermind that I turned DOWN drugs after my neck surgery and have MRI’s that prove something is afoot….I look like a junkie-thusly, book, cover, judged!  (Thank god my Doc is NOT one of those people, and has been seeing me for about 15 years, and damn well knows better!) But yeah, that attiude, its real, and one I have personally dealt with a shit ton over the years….and as anyone who like me has dealt with it?  I can tell you it sucks.

And if you’d not guessed by now, this shit pisses me off (hell, see the “those people” tag), and seriously, I would put the brains and compassion and a shit ton of other things of those who these people deem as lesser-than up against the deemers any day of the week, even Christmas!  And I’d also like to remind them that judging other folk breeds not only alienation and discontent…but judgement coming right back at ’em….like I am providing an exhibit A for right here.

But yes, really, I would one day like to sit down with so many of these people and give them that grim smile of mine and a long stare over the rim of my Coors Light can and tell them flat-out and straight up No, really, you’re Not That Awesome…

 Its funny, I saw on TV today someone famous saying how the last bastion of accepted hate was hatred of fat people.  I’d disagree.  Sure enough, there is a whole lotta fat hate out there….but it seems there is a lot of acceptable hate thrown at a whole lotta other folk too, and if it is thrown at certain acceptable targets, not only is it okay…its funny, witty, clever, and encouraged…

But that’s okay, Intellectual Bitches, We  Still Got Guns!

  1. Hell yes.

    As a resident of the trendy inner-city, and a resident of Twitter, (the trendy inner-city of the Internet), I see this kind of snobbery a LOT.

    Yes, it’s classist as shit, which is ironic when it comes from those with reliably progressive opinions on “cultural” issues.

    • Ren says:

      I had no idea that y’all had the same sorta shit going in down under, but it surprises me not…silly of me to think it would be a USA only thing, and I know the UK has similar shit too (Chavs, I think they call them there, if I am wrong and UK reader wants to correct me they can). So see, I learn something every day…

      But what you said about “Bogan’s”, well, sounds a lot like the stereotypes people here have of rednecks; esp. the racism part…which to me is kinda funny, as the origin of the term has to do with peoples necks being sunburned from being out doing, oh, labor…and really, who is gonna mix with more races and creeds- a person doing outside blue collar labor or some university asshat? Hummmm…. This is not to say that there are NOT racist rednecks, but there are racists everywhere…and here anyone who happens to be a redneck (or hick, or hillbilly, or from/in the South) gets accussed of it first and whatnot simply because well, they are a redneck, hick, hillbilly or from/in the South.

      ANd I find it laughable that people assume folk who live in outer suburbian and like cars are racist or overly violent. Hell, I guess if I lived there I would be a bogan….i live in outter suburbia and I LOVE cars!

  2. Rootietoot says:

    I avoid it. Like the plague and the clinique counter. the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met shop at Walmart and come home from work covered in grease. I grew up in academia, with professor parents and all, and even at 10 years old realized those people wrap themselves in their tattered academic rags because they know that the real world would eat them alive and spit out their bones, so they hide behind $4 words and comfort themselves with meals from Whole Foods and coolie slippers. ok…let’s just say I share your disdain.

    • Ren says:

      “those people wrap themselves in their tattered academic rags because they know that the real world would eat them alive and spit out their bones, so they hide behind $4 words and comfort themselves with meals from Whole Foods and coolie slippers.”

      that is pure poetry.

  3. Roy Kay says:

    One of the amusing things I discovered in reading Durant’s redaction of Plato was that the future “Philosopher Kings”, rather than having their way smoothed to dominance. were to be cast out in the world of commerce to fend – prosper or fail – for themselves before being eligible. It seems that many wish to skip that step as being too tawdry for the truly sensitive and caring soul.

    The more I see of politics, the more it seems a matter of self-validation, rather than a real conscious care. Too many are simply steamrolled on the way to the new improved state. And, the best way to steamroll people is to make them unworthy of care and respect. Listening and deferring to free people, of whatever background and means, is simply too inconvenient.

    The pinnacle of this in blogland is the “delete/denounce/recast” tactic of eliminating someone words and creating a different statement to denounce. People are and ought be free to do so on their blog, but they should never be taken seriously again by outsiders. On thing I liked about your “old Place” was the record of this libel, as people there reposted their true words.

    • Ren says:

      I’m all about Philosopher Kings and Warrior Poets…hell yeah.

      • Roy Kay says:

        …and perhaps Warrior Artists

        “It is beautiful to see footgear ranged in a row according to its kind; beautiful to see garments sorted according to their use; beautiful to see glass vases and tableware so sorted; and beautiful, too, despite the jeers of the witless and flippant, to see cooking-pots arranged with sense and symmetry. …” – Xenophon, Strategos of the “Retreat of the Ten Thousand”.

    • Xena says:

      Plato gave me a headache. All that stuff about the unseen godly world being more important than the stuff we can touch and measure. BAH! Every time I think of Plato, I think of the story about the dude who was so busy thinking about thinking he fell down a well and drowned.

      I like the way Will Smith told off the cute, but obnoxiously naive doctor in I Robot. “You’re the dumbest smart person I’ve ever met.” A lot of them here in Blogland have that problem. They’re young and bookish, but don’t have much in the way of social skills, or they’d be out living their lives instead of fishing for ways to try to tell other people (people they’re never even going to meet) that they suck.

      Yeah. Dumbest Smart People I’ll never meet.

      • Roy Kay says:

        More of an empiricist than an idealist, myself. But I was surprised to see some practicality to his “Republic”. Also impressed by his relative non-sexism. Another problem is that Plato tended to be lensed through Plotinus and Augustine for a long time.

        • Xena says:

          No, I have to disagree with the non-sexism. Monastic/scholastic thinkers did take it to gut wrenching extremes (at least Metaphysics&Epistemology of Witchcraft wrenched MY guts). but Plato was as sexist as any Old Dead White Guy I’ve studied.

          My first love was anthro, so I only have half a dozen philosophy courses to my credit. The 2 fields are bassackwards to each other in the way their respective experts approach information. I’ve had conversations with upper year philosophy students who say the same thing about anthro that I say about philosophy. They had a really hard time flipping their analytic processes around long enough to grasp the information. I audited most of those 6 phil courses, and lost nearly all of the jargon. That’s how I trained myself to strain similar but complex concepts through interdisciplinary boundaries, where the names for certain ideas are almoist guaranteed to be different. Even induction and deduction, Week One, Philosophy 101, are words that mean something entirely different to social scientists.

          I’m only vaguely familiar with Plotinus. The Republic was over my head and under my feet without help from a professional english-to-english translator. All I got out of the work was that the guy was a far cry from Rawls and Kymlika. I guess Political Philosophers had to start somewhere, right? 🙂 But I will concede to your second point. For its time, Plato’s vision of the Ideal Society was more practical than I would have expected.

          Btw, my editing difficulties just got really weird. I seem to have lost a full cm of my editing window. I’ll check to see if the problem is on my end after I post this.

          • Roy Kay says:

            You’ve had way more formal Philosophy than me. I majored in Math, partly because there was so little writing required. The Philosophy class I took was Symbolic Logic (also to avoid a lot of writing). The rest I picked up between ’75 and the present by informal reading, mainly Homer Smith’s “Man and His Gods” and Durant’s “Story of Civilization” series and “Story of Philosophy”. The latter’s main limitation is that it is Western Philosophy only.

            Hee! On reflection is seems like a lot of the Left draws inspiration from Qin and Chinese Legalism. Now if they could only build a Great Wall to seal off Flyover Land and pack off dissenters to build it …

  4. Erik Schwarz says:

    I spend little time in blogland – in fact this is the only blog I read regularly – but shall concede the premise that it is crowded with conceited and annoying personae. But is the source of the trouble really class and education, or is it something else? The presiding genius of this blog may wear ballcaps and have a thing for Sawzalls; however, she also did rather well at university, by her own admission, and she writes sharp social and cultural criticism across a range of topics. Ren chooses to identify as a NASCAR fan (so does a highly renowned religion scholar I know) but she also bears some resemblance to the great Jewish salonnieres from Dorothea Mendelssohn to Salka Viertel. And as for her readers and respondents: in this thread alone we find the child of an academic family and a proper use of the term “redaction” – with reference to Plato no less. All this is carried out without much puffery or condescension, so I submit that the trouble elsewhere in blogland may have less to do with class and education than with… generational issues. I may be wrong, but I surmise that most at this site are in their 40’s-60’s while many of the offending personae elsewhere are 20’s-30’s. I work with lots of 20-and-30-somethings, and I think they are a fine generation – in many ways more admirable and less self-indulgent than my own – but perhaps their blogging style just rubs us the wrong way. So perhaps rather than “Eat the Rich!” we should “Eat the Young!” They are likely to be more tender and tasty anyway.

    • Ren says:

      well, I myself am 39, and I think actually the age range of readers here is mid 20’s to 50’s, actually….I mean I am guessing Xena and Aspasia are on the lower end of the age spectrum, but heck, we got all kinds around here….

      And really, a lot of the blogs I am talking about are written by folk who are absolutely 30 somethings, not kids, and have an age range of commentors similar to my own.

      And sure enough, I went to college, but I worked really hard in a whole ton of ways to get there and get through it. Hell, in High School I had to take basic algebra three times! THREE TIMES! If I’d actually BEEN smart I woulda thrown in the towel and just DONE the trade programs, hell, then I might actually HAVE a job! I did really well in some subjects (History, English, Poli-Sci, Law…things like that) and horrible in others (math, and any science with a lot of math in it), but for me getting to and through college was a huge deal because I was the first person in my family (and I dont mean immediate family, I mean FAMILY) to go and get out alive. But yeah, nothing was handed to me- I had to work for grades, I had to work while IN school, and summer vacations? Hell, I did not have those, I worked like a dog durring summer so I could go back to school the following fall and I am STILL paying off loans. Would I like a Masters Degree in History? Heck yeah, I LOOOVE history…and maybe, one day, I can get it….but yeah, people who DID get stuff handed to them and HAVE PhD’s that mom and dad paid for and then lord over other folk like they are soooo much better? Chaps my ass big time, and there are PLENTY of folk my age or older who are just as smarmy about it as any 20 soemthing blog person…

      And I am more of a Hot Rod fan than NASCAR 🙂 My main sports for watching are NFL, UFC, NHL, Drag Racing, and well, I am TOTALLY in love with the History Channel Show “Top Shot”, which is a crazy shooting competition.

      • Erik Schwarz says:

        I am also 39, though my driver’s license, passport and birth certificate have all conspired to assert falsely that I am 53. This age stuff is tricky, and perhaps I was unwise to broach it. As for education, I gather that you actually worked for and got it, as opposed to swanned through, inhaled a bit of trendy theory and picked up a sense of entitlement/victimization. You were my favorite kind of student when I was doing college teaching – the kind who bring passion and perspective to the classroom rather than just putting in time until that night’s parties and next month’s allowance check (though I never gave up on reaching those students either). None of us, by the way, are aces in all subjects: I had to work extra hard at math and science too. And I guess I had better start working extra hard at motor-sports typologies. I imagine my confusing NASCAR with NHRA is a dreadful faux pas – akin to mistaking the Broadway theater for grand opera. If it redeems me at all, I can attest to being a lifelong fan of “Big Daddy” Roth and the ratfink school of Kustom Kulture.

      • Erik Schwarz says:

        Not really convinced by the theory that difficulty with sports in school = snobbery and pretension later in life. I suspect you will find athletes and non-athletes distributed evenly across the snob graph. By way of disclosure, I am hardly a natural athlete – neither big nor swift – and had to work hard at sports. Managed to make my college lacrosse team, though it was Division 3 and I spent a lot of time on the bench. I currently struggle with fitness and sometimes wonder whether exercise is just a shortcut to the grave.

        • Ren says:

          heh, I am a sports nut…but at 5’2″ and lean, not so much with the big size advantage in sports, but ended up on my college rugby team nevertheless 🙂

          I think its cause I got to hit people 🙂

        • Xena says:

          You sound like the kind of prof I always liked working with, Erik.

          I wasn’t really athletic, either. I do what I can to fight that post 35 spread, but most of my workouts are non-competetive. LARP, walking, or if I’m in a chubby phase (like I am now–I’m up to a size 12 at 5’6″) I’ll lock myself up somewhere quiet like Sarah Connor in T2 and use walls, floors and furniture for resistance until I reach the size and shape that looks good on me.

          I’m a bit of a loose cannon. I got into a lot of fights in elementary school. I don’t fight anymore, unless my ass is covered legally by somebody else taking the first punch. But I do still say some vicious things to people who annoy me. Competetive sports and public fitness centres are exactly the kind of places where I’m most likely to lose it on somebody. So I find other ways to move my body.

          Hitting people with sticks…Hockey’s a beautiful sport. But I was never coordinated enough. I love to watch it, tho. Hockey players are hot.

      • Xena says:

        Really? I’ll take that as a compliment. I try to keep my netspeak from sounding dated and stuffy. But I try not to waste too much time on trendy words either. I’m hoping that approach to using language will work well with the SF writing I’m still only daydreaming about 🙂

        I’m only 8 months younger than you are, Ren. I thought I mentioned on this blog that my daughter just got her first job a few months back? Maybe I said that on a different blog.

        I know exactly what you mean about the tradespeople getting work before the Arties and the Social Science people. Most of my teachers made Academe sound ‘better’ than blue collar, or where I grew up, pink collar work. I still cringe a little when I think about the thought of accepting shit pay for feeding or cleaning up after anything that shits, bleeds, pukes or whines constantly. Call me a snob if you want, but every time I heard certain job titles associated with my name and the word “should”, they always came from some smarmy old white guy with perfectly manicured callus-free hands. Even at 12 and 14 years old, I was able to ask just the right questions to expose the dudes’ ideas about ‘women’s work’. Some people want nothing more out of life than to go into teaching, social work, nursing or pet/vet care. Good for them. Somebody has to do that kind of work. But I can’t deal with it. I’m not above factory or clerical work, tho.

        • Xena says:

          Thinking about the thought of my crappy editing job… In the dictionary under redundant it says “see redundant”. Pardon me. I’m in a place where they ration our time on the internet. I’m actually sneaking around to chat with you guys. Is that funny or what? 🙂

        • Ren says:

          all those tests back in school and all those carrier advisors told me I shoulda gone in to the Army…they were probably right.

          Number 2 & 3 after Army were : Mechanic, Refinery Operations.

  5. Aspasia says:

    Well, I turned 30 on January 5th, but after all the drama I’ve been through this past decade, I easily feel 50.

    from “guidos” to “rednecks” to “rockabilly”

    I call the first two “cousins” and the third, well, I don’t know too many but I’m not annoyed by them. The only people who annoy the hell out of me are hipsters, mainly because of the attitude so many of them have that you’re talking about here. I’m an intellectual through and through, but I try not to be a snob about it, basically because I know I don’t know everything. That’s the whole point of learning, whether in a classroom or outside of one. But hipsters act like they know everything (especially if it’s about a non-white group… to show how much they’re “down” with “teh peeps”) and in the end they know nothing except how to bluster and bullshit their way through an argument. Ugh. That said, I do know non-annoying hipsters, so I can’t even totally dislike that group.

    I mean, there is some “WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM levels of arrogance out of those folk, people who, oh, would still consider “towns” like Atlanta & Phoenix ”the sticks” (jesus, have they LOOKED at Phoenix lately? It’s HUGE)

    The fact that they refer to most of the non-coastal US as “flyover states” sums it all up.

    Rob Zombie, Trent Reznor

    LOVE Rob Zombie and I’m still trying to get over the fact that Reznor is now Academy Award winner, Trent Reznor.

    But yes, really, I would one day like to sit down with so many of these people and give them that grim smile of mine and a long stare over the rim of my Coors Light can and tell them flat-out and straight up No, really, you’re Not That Awesome…

    I’d love to join you on this.

    • Ren says:

      lol oh hell yeah…you and I with beers and snobs at the table? WATCH OUT!

      and see, thats the thing, there are AWESOME intellectuals out there, in fact, often the REAL DEAL are cool people, its the I Know Everything assholes that annoy me.

  6. rootietoot says:

    oh, and I’m 27…i know this because my oldest is 23 and I was 5 when I had him…

  7. Xena says:

    Isn’t calling somebody a “Guido” an ethnic slur, like calling a German a “squarehead”? Or are these groups high enough in the global pecking order that a ‘less privileged’ person can justify it by hollering “you oppressed me first”? 😉

    I love Rob Zombie too, Aspasia.

  8. Xena says:

    So anyway, now that my individual responses to individual comments are a badly edited mess of blog soup, I’ll back what you said about gym class, Ren. I think that overcompensation goes way back past gym class. Imho, Substance/Mind Dualism is the root of everything that’s wrong with every Pecking Order that shaped the way we’ve done everything, throughout the entire course of western civilization. Women and gays burned for it. Warmongerers who hide their greed behind gods and morality are destroying the planet over it. The rich whine about their taxes while they spend more money on plastic surgery FOR THEIR DOGS than a family of 4 needs to eat for a year. All because of the belief that people who are closer to their bodies are more prone to possession by incubi. Of course, they scream about drug addictions nowadays, but it’s the same load of superstitious hooey that keeps the naive and brainwashed subservient to the skinny rich dudes who would get eaten alive, were it not for their money and their spin. “‘Those people’ and their jungle noise/bleeding twats/missing limbs/smellyarmpits/funnyhats/bumfuck buddies/weird religion are going to rape our women and eat our babies if we don’t [insert method of torture here]…” And the skinny rich white scaremongerers piece off their brainwashees with a modest sum for doing their dirtywork. Same old same old.

  9. Yeah, I’ve had it.

    Not to bring politics into it, she warned… but you know, this is why the Tea Party (I live in Jim Demint’s old congressional district, Tea Party Central) is on the ascent. They take the time to explain issues, not act like you should know it already. The Left is made up of snobs, the right (rank and file, not people like the Koch Bros who are Running Everything) is made up of Walmart shoppers. To a diehard leftist like me, its like, wait. Isn’t that reversed?

    But the snobbery is a big reason why the Tea Party has succeeded, so I have a very good POLITICAL reason to hate the lefty snobs too.

    I mean, I feel that way, you feel that way, people here seem to agree… the Tea Party also feels that way… why isn’t the left getting it? (sigh) It’s really bothering me, and I wrote about it back in October: (Title: How did the American Left lose the working classes?)

    • Ren says:

      Daisy, I would agree with you there- it is beciming that the right is the party of the “working man” because the left has become so…snotty

    • Lex says:

      The thing is, all that populism talk is for Fox News. The actual demographics of the Tea Party skew towards whiteness, middle-class, more education than average, more wealth, more likely to be male. The Tea Party is a bastion of bitter, thwarted privilege, in my view.

      It’s certainly true, though, that they’ve tried to court us poor whites, but I’ve yet to see any evidence that it’s working. In fact, my theory is that the TP’s populism is largely a red-herring to keep people from thinking seriously about who these people really are and who is actually funding them. Also, co-opting the working class image is rhetorically useful to them when they go toe-to-toe with unions.

      • Lex, ALL of the Ron Paul supporters I met at the debate demo (see May 5 entry on my blog) were working class people, shoe store employees, fast food, etc. Now, juxtapose that with the photos I took of the rich people:!/media/set/?set=a.2002184779827.123220.1399823366

        And the Tea Party NOW might be mostly white, but they are rapidly closing in… Herman Cain (black) was the projected Fox News poll winner of the debate. A nonwhite, female Tea Partier is now the governor of my state, as well as the *youngest* governor in the USA.

        As goes SC, so goes the country. You’ll see.

        • May 6 entry, sorry. The demo was on May 5th! (duh)

          • On a side note, how do I look? (40 lbs thinner, you girls!) If I write about that on my blog, I am lambasted for “fat shaming” so I haven’t… because I don’t want the aggravation.

            Speaking of which, eating each other alive over bullshit like how much you weigh, has ALSO helped to destroy feminism and the left…

            • Ren says:

              As a card (and gun) carrying libertarian, I approve…

              as for the weight thing..I hear yah…I have the opposite problem. Since this back thing, and post burns, I dropped weight like crazy, I mean, in about a months worth of time post initial burn, I dropped to about 87 pounds, which one was scary, and two, not healthy….did I write about it? Hell no…god forbid someone talk about weight in ways people approve of.

            • Aspasia says:

              Congrats, Daisy! I’ve been working out myself and I’ve dropped about 15 lbs. I understand why you wouldn’t want to write about it though since you do seem to attract people who have nothing else to do but criticize.

              How’d you do it? The weight loss, I mean.

              Oh, and continuing what Lex said, I’m not sure where he is in the country but I’ve had the same overall experience with Tea Partiers here in Chicago. Also, most of the Ron Paul supporters I’ve encountered are white males, upper-middle class, 20-30 year old, future CEOs with MBAs and a ridiculous amount of entitlement. I know that’s not all Paul supporters but, I think depending on the region supporters tend to conform to a type.

              *shrugs* I think I’m just about ready for a cabin in the woods with the bare necessities and just wait out the end of the world.

              • Aspasia, I lost weight the boring old-fashioned way, counting calories, eliminating sugar (esp high fructrose corn syrup and processed foods), exercise, blah blah, but it’s been over a period of about 14 months, so very slow. **S l o w l y** seems to be the secret! It’s like you trick your body and it doesn’t “notice”–your appetite is not triggered as it often is by sudden weight loss.

                Also, another secret: you know those cravings you get in the moon hut of the she wolf sister? (Ren’s phrase!) Well, I stopped going into the hut some time ago, and therefore… zip. GONE. I refer to those killer cravings when the estrogen spikes; I just don’t have them now. Just… gone. Very dramatic in my case… even though I kept hearing weight loss was impossible after menopause, for me it has been far, far easier than it EVER was before.

                Honey, inside that hut, I would be chomping nonstop on caramels! 😀 (Hey, anybody got any cheetohs in this hut?)

                • rootietoot says:

                  mmmm cheetoes. They’re my menstrual bailiwick.

                  • Xena says:

                    I know what you mean. Give me chocolate, a hot water bottle and a place where I can touch my nose with my knees all day, or give me a sacrificial victim.

                    Cool that that agony might stop for me in about 10-15 years. I was all worried about growing a beard (my hair is about the same texture as Chakira’s naturally–and that’s just my leg hair 🙂 don’t even get me started on my epic shaves) Growing a beard someday might actually be worth the trade-off.

                • Aspasia says:

                  While in The Hut, I had a dinner of steak, chocolate bars, and a burrito and didn’t feel one bit of guilt about it! But yeah, I can see how menopause would be a positive in that respect.

                  • rootietoot says:

                    I had my first hot flash about 3 months ago, and was very excited about it…of course, it was February…but still. Any sort of dietary restraint I may have gets shelved for 2 or 3 days a month, without remorse.

                  • Ren says:

                    lol you mean to say while in the hut you do NOT feed on the flesh of the living and human souls? WHATS WRONG WIH YOU?!?!

                  • Xena, well, yes, the beard IS an issue. Luckily, mine is blonde, but those hairs can get LONG in record time, unlike before menopause.

                    If I don’t pluck regularly, in danger of looking like one of the guys in ZZ Top.

                  • Aspasia says:

                    Ren: Oh, no, I didn’t mean that! I eat MORE red meat in The Hut than outside of it. Specifically more expensive cuts of steak that I usually can’t afford, I decide to make exceptions. I totally phrased that wrong. But on a similar note, I am trying to come up with a good way to combine chocolate and steak and I’m thinking mole sauce will come into play…

  10. Erik Schwarz says:

    Very perceptive, Daisy. As is your October 2010 post to which you provide a link. I would like to point to an apposite historical moment: the rise of the New Left in the 1960’s. As you are no doubt aware but others may not be (I just spent the morning facilitating a meeting with, among others, some young State Department officers for whom the history of the world began c. 1980) the New Left was university-based and generationally specific. It exuded contempt for the Old Left, which was class-and-workplace based. The Old Left had been losing traction since the 1940’s, but it still represented working Americans to some extent and connected in very real ways with their concerns. The New Left, by contrast, alienated ordinary Americans by, among other things, heaping contempt and worse on war veterans. Richard Nixon and his counselors (including Len Garment, who was something of an Old Lefty or at least an old Bohemian) opportunistically nailed together the “blue-collar strategy” that continues to shape electoral politics to this day. The New Left is no more, but its inheritors, the Progressives and Greens, continue its tone-deafness re. class. Their characteristic activity, so it seems to many Americans, is flying around in private jets and telling the rest of us that our old Chevys are ruining the world.

  11. Good point, and don’t forget Kevin Phillips’ role in all of that, w/his famous “southern strategy” … and then Newt picked up where Kevin left off.

    It’s funny, because seen in that light, the Yippies were the scruffy anarchist left and it was well-known that the “serious” SDS types didn’t like us. I now see this as a class division as well. The split of SDS into PLP and Weatherman factions, was a recognition that they had fucked it up, and an effort (however deeply flawed) by the too-serious ones to get back to the working class identification of the 40s you describe. I recall Maoists with Ph.Ds going to work in factories and stuff, it was especially extreme in some of these factions. But as extreme as that was, the Katrina Vanden Heuvals (probably spelled wrong) and such, were the ones who retained all of their class privileges and therefore succeeded in defining the era.

    Just saw Katrina on TV, so she just popped into my head. Notice you don’t see the lefties who went to work in the factories on TV.

    • Erik Schwarz says:

      Katrina Vanden Heuvel…precisely! An emblematic figure. So long as she and her ilk represent the left, the power elite has nothing to fear from that quarter. Recently she wrote a column whinging about the Bush-era tax cuts (hey, I do not like the tax code either but am not so naive or disingenuous as to claim that rolling back those cuts will be more than cosmetic) and some smart cookie sent a response asking why Vanden Heuvel never talks about going after the assets of the wealthy. The real issue is not so much disparate incomes as it is unequal distribution of wealth. Reliable statistics are hard to find, but studies by the Federal Reserve (not exactly an anarcho-syndicalist institution) show the top 1% of American families controlling about 1/3 of our nation’s assets, and the top 10% controlling close to 3/4. The Vanden Heuvels do not report big incomes, and they know how to cache big assets in trusts, foundations, tax-free financial instruments and various other shelters. By the way, I am in many ways politically conservative, but I am willing to have an honest conversation about wealth and class in America. Vanden Heuvel and her ilk are not.

  12. Xena says:

    What y’all need is a smart leftist protest party, like our NDP. (They lean left of our Liberals, who are close to your Democrats.)The mistake your far- lefties make is calling themselves socialists,Trotskyists, etc. That’s a bad move in a country where 47% of the population is so religious that they believe evolution is an untested hypothesis. (They say “just a ‘theory'” without knowing the difference between a theory and a hypothesis.)

    The working class people who want something better run from their miscoceptions of left-leaning agendas because they believe that tweaking wealth distribution in America will include totalitarian measures, and forceful removal of their right to worship, as it did in various Soviet, Maoist, VC and other regimes. Sad, sad misconception, imo. Thank the FoxNews propagandists for that. *biting back my Godwin urge*

    Teacup Socialists don’t help matters much, either.

    • Erik Schwarz says:

      A smart leftist party would be great, and so would a smart party of the right. We have neither. Instead we have two centrist parties that serve overlapping sets of vested interests at home and commit to an unsustainable forward posture abroad. (Rep: “let’s go bomb ’em and to hell with the rest!” Dem: “that’s unconscionable – let’s go bomb ’em using NATO and the UN as a fig leaf!”) Both parties are plenty smart about tactical politics, and they converge nicely to lock potential 3rd and 4th parties out of the process, but that is not the kind of smartness and bipartisanship that helps the general public. Socialism is, as you say, a non-starter. Not only because of the history but also because its gestalt does not really fit our culture. Anarchism probably is the historic leftist movement most compatible with the American character, but there are serious internal problematics – like organization and governance!

  13. Lex says:

    Long time lurker here, back from the days of the sacked empire even. I just wanted to say thanks for this post. As a working class guy about to get PhD’d, there are times I can barely keep a straight face around some of my so-called colleagues. The degree to which people can be clueless about class politics in academe, even actively hostile to any analysis that questions the middle class lifestyle, has long since made me stop trying with a lot of these people.

    Anyway, thanks again. I’ve always really appreciated your work.

    • Ren says:


    • lisakansas says:

      I usually just let my colleagues mistake me for a white princess of privilege. 😀 it’s easier…though it does periodically make them pass out when they ask me some random personal history question and (because from the same source of laziness that causes me to let ’em ride along on their LisaIsAWhitePrincess misapprehension, I can’t be bothered to actually lie about my background, either) it comes out that I was in the Army at age 18 in a combat MOS, or my mom kicked me out onto the street when I was 16 and I lived on my own for a year subsequently, etc. etc. 😀

  14. I do consider myself an intellectual, but I think I know the type you’re talking about–the thing that irritates me the most about them is that they are so incredibly disdainful of emotion, of feelings, of being something other than totally cool and above all human-ness.

    The ones I know don’t all come from upper-class backgrounds–but they’re very judgmental of other working-class people who haven’t managed to shed all trappings of their upbringing. If you like country music or dress in a certain way, you’re out. Don’t want to call your parents jackasses? Out.

    They’re also often the types who are very fickle friends–you can be their favorite person one week and their least favorite the next, with no explanation.

    • Also, there’s certain slurs which they will not tolerate–the usual racist or homophobic ones–but woe unto you if you call them out on a slur they’ve never thought of. They do not like it if you tell them that words like “lame” are offensive, nosireebob. (Or that “hillbilly” does not equal “bad.)

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