This is how I feel about the American public, and specifically the American voter. I don't want to see them because doing so will serve no purpose other than to make me nervous. I don't want to see their Confederate flag bumper stickers, Palin 2012 t-shirts, Left Behind books, and Insane Clown Posse tattoos. I don't want to hear them regurgitating Glenn Beck monologues, talking about what Jesus told them the other day, or punctuating their speech with "done gonna" and "nuh-uhh." In short, I do not enjoy seeing the level of ignorance that we all understand is pervasive in our society.Aretae takes him to the woodshed for as satisfying a thrashing as I've seen in a while, but GinAndTacos went and tramped on one of my pet peeves, so I'm fixin' to done gonna reply here.
You see, I used to be an asshat just like GinAndTacos. I was the product of a very intellectual, BoBo upbringing. I knew the right wine to serve, and how to serve it. Watched PBS, and got my thinking points straight from the Washington Post. I knew that I was better than most everybody else, because I was smart. I'd always been told so, and it was true.
In short, I was an idiot, living in a comfortable and well-heeled bubble world, ignorant of everything outside it. Except for Europe and elite opinion from there - well traveled, I put an excess of credence on what they thought of us, on the right side of the Pond. I would have heartily agreed with GinAndTacos:
As much as the good liberal inside all of us wants to sing a Fanfare for the Common Man while lecturing ourselves on the nobility and wisdom of the salt-of-the-earth types who populate this country, seeing them usually just makes me sad. If that means I am a terrible person, I am a terrible person. Toothless hillbillies in pro wrestling t-shirts. A pack of juggalo teenagers. Morbidly obese women in halter tops and jorts. Eighteen year old girls and their three children. Sullen, sunburned yokels slapping their children as other sullen, sunburned yokels look on, understanding the impulse and approving of the act. Baggy-panted black kids getting in fistfights. Twitchy, meth-addled white kids picking at their scabs. Mustachioed policemen harassing the former and ignoring the latter.Forgive me, I was a jerk. I hadn't (yet) realized what Your Volgi teaches:
Plus, the kids who come in are often times high on themselves and their SAT scores and have increasingly not been exposed to alternative moral systems, like traditional religion, in which they'd hear, "Yeah, you're smart, but so what? Are you good?"Then I got a job in Atlanta.
We were living in London (London!!!1!). We knew nothing about Atlanta, or the South, other than what we'd seen on PBS or read in The Post, or overheard at the cocktail party. Oh my God, people said, you're moving where?
Of course, Atlanta is a fine place, and filled with fine people, and Lord willing and the creek don't rise we'll skedaddle back there presently. It is delightfully free from Harvard Men who think that they should be able to run your life, by virtue of birth, or class, or degree. But that's not my point.
Aretae is surprisingly gentile in the ass whooping he unleashes, which strangely makes it even more of a thrashing:
I decided consciously that the connectors between me and people were bigger than the separators. And I started acting it. I've lived in small, rich, liberal towns in California. I've lived in Houston, and Austin and Chicago. I've lived in Moscow, Russia, and in Brussels, Belgium. I've lived in poor suburbs, and poor neighborhoods, and I've lived in rich-ish neighborhoods. And when I was traveling for work, I've lived in 100% black neighborhoods, 90% hispanic neighborhoods, and SWPL neighborhoods. And I've had friendly neighbors everywhere.Amen, brother. And so in the interest of the Fellowship of Humanity, let me extend the hand of friendship to GinAndTaco. It's unlikely that you're as big a jerk as I was. Take a look around, and listen to people who are not like you. It's intellectually stimulating, it puts you out of your comfort zone - which is really the only place that we grow. If you agree that the first principle of a true intellectual is to challenge your own beliefs, this is the fastest way to that growth.
And listen to some Country Music, for crying out loud. There's more to it than you may think, which is just another way of saying the same thing.
Join us, as I propose a toast:
To my youth. God save me from a relapse.You're welcome.