Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stupid Bitter People

Dennis Perrin:
With all the pious noise over Obama's "elitist" disdain for the unwashed and bitter, it's necessary to emphasize what polite society plays down: there really are violent, bitter, stupid white working (and non-working) people who are not only alienated from the political process, but hold delusional ideas about what's actually going on.
Read the rest. I've got my own experiences - too manifold to list. My family moved back to the States from Asia when I was in high school (from Bangkok, where my father worked for UNDP, to small-town Texas, the biggest culture shock of my life). Not long after arriving, a "kicker" picked a fight with me at school for no other reason than that I was new. I'd never experienced that. Years later, this same guy killed a man in an enraged stabbing attack for sitting on the hood of his car. The rage wasn't unusual at all. I encountered it over and over. It was militaristic, machoistic, homophobic, sexist, racist, xenophobic, and constructed around the few material belongings that constituted one's otherwise broken identity.

That's one little story. There are plenty of others in this one elitist blogger who happens to teach ethics and policy for a living.

4 comments:

es said...

a related piece:

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/2845/

MT said...

Another related piece might be A Clockwork Orange. But I guess hooliganism is just a U.K. thing. In the U.S. we have guns.

helmut said...

ES,
The problem with Solnit's article - like many others she's written - is that she lectures us on something she's apparently recently discovered but many of the rest of us already know. Pretty obviously, racism exists all over the place. Pretty obviously, white well-to-do liberals are some of the worst of the lot. Pretty obviously, American music has always hybridized across boundaries the rest of the society may view as set in stone. I end up wondering who Solnit is lecturing to here - other well-to-do liberals like herself?

When I say I'm "elitist," I mostly say that tongue-in-cheek. It's a dumb charge to be tossing around in the political world. Yet another distraction. And largely by white well-to-do folks.

CKR said...

Isn't it an insult to call us elitist?

Shouldn't we be demanding equal time for chablis in the debates?