Quite an evocative photograph in the Daily Telegraph this weekend. I love pictures like this, which flip the perspective from the usual view; there was one of Ryan White, the grade-school AIDS patient, back when he won the right to go to school — this skinny little boy facing a wall of photographers and reporters. How do you feel, Ryan? Great, thanks. I’ve never been 100 percent proud of my business. That was one of the bad days.
The news peg is, what? The president is seen interacting with an iPad, I guess. But the story is in those faces, especially of the two young women. I don’t know about you, but it would freak my cheese to see that sort of thing on a regular basis, which I imagine he does. That’s when you need a good consigliere, or a good wife, or someone who knows you as you and can tell you who you really are. Which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not still going to start believing what you see. No wonder Bill Clinton stumbled.
So. I’m starting to wonder about the Washington Post op-ed operation. I’m wondering about all of them, actually, but this Charles Murray troll bait over the weekend got on my nerves. I guess it was supposed to be funny (although there’s not a wink or smidge of self-awareness anywhere in it), or maybe publishing it was just supposed to be buzzy — there are close to 800 comments on the thing, so hey, mission accomplished.
Toward the end of the piece, Murray lays out the failings of the fancypantsers in a series of paragraphs which I won’t make you read; fortunately Gawker has boiled it down to a list. A few key questions:
Do you have any idea who replaced Bob Barker on The Price Is Right?
Have you ever watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?
Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel? Or a Harlequin romance?
Would you be caught dead in an RV or cruise ship?
Have you ever heard of Branson, Missouri?
Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club?
My answers: No, no, hell no, sure why not, of course and yes. I once opened a Left Behind book in the library, to see what the fuss was about. I couldn’t get 12 pages into it, although I skimmed some of the rest, just to make sure it sucked all the way through. It did. So here’s a message from an elitist aimed at all you proles: Your taste in literature sucks. If you’re spending time in Branson when you could be in Vegas, you’re a fool. I have a secret wish to take a cruise vacation — at least if I could locate my deck chair far from the proletariat — but I could never persuade my husband to accompany me. (He’s an elitist with claustrophobia.)
Here’s Murray’s concluding paragraph. You tell me if he’s trying to be funny:
The bubble that encases the New Elite crosses ideological lines and includes far too many of the people who have influence, great or small, on the course of the nation. They are not defective in their patriotism or lacking a generous spirit toward their fellow citizens. They are merely isolated and ignorant. The members of the New Elite may love America, but, increasingly, they are not of it.
The isolated pot calls the ignorant kettle black? That’s rich, pals.
How was your weekend? Mine felt…productive, I guess. Got my exercise, restocked the pantry, did the laundry, neatened this and tidied that. Watched some catchup on “Boardwalk Empire,” which I am loving. A few weeks back, on one of the elitist NPR shows I love to listen to, “Sound Opinions” I b’lieve, the show’s music director was a guest. He talked about finding songs of the period (1920s) and re-recording them with contemporary artists. Last week’s episode closed with Loudon Wainwright III singing “Carrickfergus,” the old Irish ballad which is probably not of the 1920s, but dovetailed perfectly with the episode’s subject matter — the first St. Patrick’s Day in Atlantic City post-Volstead Act. It was so sad and beautiful I’ve been humming it ever since, because if there’s anything an elitist like me enjoys, it’s having a song in my head that’s not by Toby Keith.
OK, I’ll stop now.
BLoggage? Oh, surely you’ve seen Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things by now, but just in case you haven’t… Very funny.
And that’s it. Must commence Monday madness. I hope your own is tolerable.