Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Same planet, different worlds

Seems like Obama let the mask slip yet again. This time, it's not bitter rural folks clinging to their guns, it's embarrassment that y'all don't speak french.

I mean, how are you going to drop le mot juste if you can't do it with la clarité francaise? Shucks, everyone at the faculty lounge will laugh at you.

The Red State/Blue State divide has been hashed to death, but what is interesting is that each side considers the other to be so, well, stupid.

The Blue State view is easiest, and is dismembered in a flash. Red Staters are ignorant, red necky, knuckle dragging imbeciles who would all vote for the Commie-of-the-Month club if they'd just stop watching NASCAR and going to church all the damn time. The typical Blue Stater is completely sealed in his own sense of intellectual superiority, as Eric Raymond so mercilessly describes. Europeans get honorable mention as super-Blue Staters, the only outstanding question is are they clueless or calculating? Hey, go for both, guys!

Red Staters attitudes are more subtle, and therefore more interesting. My experience (living in both the north and the south) is that Red Staters are more willing to recognize the fancy book learning that Blue Staters are so proud of. Behind this, there is this under current of "How can someone so smart be so dumb?" It seems to Red Staters that sometimes Blue Staters will believe the most astonishing nonsense. Eric Raymond wrote seriously about this, as did Steven den Beste. James Lileks just mocked it.

What's striking is that the more you look at the Blue Stater's view - really seriously analyze things - you see it falls apart. The world is much more complex than they give it credit for. However, the more you analyze the Red Stater's view, the more it gets validated. Intellectually, I mean. You know, like more than just stereotypes.

I know, because I used to be one of those ignorant Blue State intellectual imbeciles. I got better. This just about completely sums them up - too smart for their own good, and not knowing it.

John Kerry was a living, breathing example of this; Barack Obama looks like he's another.

These folks have been told for so long that they're the brightest kids in the class, that they think they don't actually have to act like the smartest kids in the class. And the mask slips. Just for a second, and covered up by the media (who are paid up, lifetime members of Blue State America), but you can see it if you bother to look.

They don't realize that some of us have been there, done that, got the pix, and thanks, but I'm done with it. So Senator Obama, if you're embarrassed at us knuckle draggin', redneckin', cousin marryin', tobbacco chewin', NASCAR watchin' red necks, let me offer the mot juste:

Besse moi.

And for all you Blue Staters who think that the euros will kick intellectual sand in your faces the next time you're around Avignon way, here's a handy 12-step recovery program.

Dang. I think my passport expired.

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