You know what your problem is? I’ll tell you.
You’re against the psychopaths at the top, their ostentatious topiary and landing-strip-long yachts and silly cotillions and Royal Ascot hats… but you’d rather have a finger broken than attend a WWE, or NASCAR, or Blake Shelton event. Bon Jovi’s greatest hits aren’t even a guilty pleasure for you, they are Kryptonite, they are anathema, and so are Taylor Swift, Kanye, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, anything to do with the Kardashians, TMZ, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, the pledge of allegiance, Fifty Shades of Grey, Baptist Mega Churches, et al: ugh.
The blatant but far-from-often-enough-remarked-upon joke of Life is that the awful, kitschy, idiotic and literal-minded tastes of the Ruling Classes (“Put more gold on it! Make it bigger!”) are a mirror image of the tastes of the so-called Under Class (“Make it bigger! Put more gold on it!”)… so where do you fit in?
On your fine and tiny island of the Nuanced Aesthetic, having the occasional peep, through disgusted binoculars, at the stridently vulgar Mainland, with its seasonally bombastic, flag-waving extravaganzas and daily, bear-baitingly cathartic Reality Shows: what’s it like? How isolated do you feel? You’re a Mutant Serf: a middle, or working, or under class Culture Snob. Your values are not materialist; Power and Money are not only not your gods but merely artifacts of pre-sapient primitivism, in your opinion, regrettably enshrined by an atavistic media culture that quite often, even as you sneer at it, scares the piss out of you.
The term “rock star,” used as an adjective, probably sets your teeth on edge. As do “cray-cray” and “homeland” .
You probably read something like the following, expressed on the Facebook page of an old acquaintance, and the awesomely moronic, anti-historical naivety of it all probably made you want to vomit:
It’s Veteran’s Day. There really are Super Heroes in this world! I have always held a great respect for our military, and I am forever grateful for the sacrifice so many of them have made and continue to make selflessly over the years for all of us.
So what the Hell are you?
A walking contradiction with her/his head held high and a certain ingratiating nervousness when out and among the Bon Jovi, or Snoop Dogg*, devotees in the city or neighborhood you’ll never have the money to move out of. And, yeah, you also display a certain condescending wariness (or even Species Antipathy) toward the humorlessly Rich bastards you’re forced to interact with on the job or at (say) the Art Gallery or Museum. Yes, many of The Rich have been groomed and coddled at exclusive institutions, tutored in the superficial graces, to inherit temporal power (or to operate Art Galleries), but no depth of a trainspotter’s crammed “knowledge” of Art History justifies the crime against reason, taste, beauty and Humanity that is a two hundred twenty thousand dollar watch (“free shipping”), or five hundred dollar gourmet jelly beans or fifteen million dollar Debbie Wingham heels**. Genghis Khan would blush.
The Rich and Poor understand each other all too well (ironic envy and grudging admiration and genocidal urges, expressed toward the Other, on both sides) because, face it, The Poor, given enough money, would easily become The Rich and The Rich, deprived of money, would effortlessly become The Poor. Money or no money, you, on the other hand, are a Culture Snob, with your shrinking canons of exquisite books/ paintings/ film/ music/ architecture.
The Queen of England is the global flagship celebrity of the landed gentry and The Queen likes to watch horse races wearing pimp hats. The Queen is a grinning Philistine with an IQ of 99 and you, with so little wealth or influence, look down on her. You’d run rings around her in a debate, any debate, pick the topic, name the word-game: she’d be huffing and red-faced in ten minutes. Your granny could’ve wiped the floor with The Queen on University Challenge and you could have wiped the floor with your granny but you and your granny combined are worth less than The Queen’s least-favorite Corgi’s oldest unburied sun-dried shits in the eyes of The Rich and The Poor alike. The Rich hunt pheasants and foxes and The Poor hunt deer and squirrel whereas you loathe guns. You feel twinges of guilt eating a free-range hamburger. You are poor or even catastrophically poor (give or take a medical emergency or two) but not of The Poor. Certainly not of The Rich.
You never did the Macarena or touched a Fidget Spinner.
Where did you come from? How were you made?
You’re like an Oxpecker bird who knows what an Oxpecker bird is. A shabby-genteel Oxpecker on the Culture-Hippo’s back. Very picky about your ticks.
Did you cry when Lady Di died or smile about The Royal Wedding or break the Internet clamoring for a glimpse of Kim Kardashian’s ass? Do you have heated arguments with family or co-workers about People Magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive list? Do you clear your schedule for the day of the State of the Union address or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar TV special or The Oscars, The Grammies, The Emmies or Wrestlemania?
Would you pay half a year’s salary to lunch in a room with Warren Buffet?
Perhaps you fantasize about deposing the top of hegemony’s brutal pyramid and installing some cool, clean, egalitarian Council of Elders, or something Sci Fi like that… but The Poor frankly want to replace The Rich with themselves. The Lottery is the Poor man’s ticket to Revolution: do you or do you not know this? The Poor want nothing to do with your fucking Council of Elders (aka Communist) scheme, which is why The Rich now actually use The Poor as a mile-thick, continent-long, kilometer-high firewall against the distant threat of your feeble (noble) intellectual incursions.
You’d think it would be in The Poor’s own best interests to abolish private property: ha. You’d think The Poor would, by now, have figured out that Poverty doesn’t have to entail Ignorance, self-destructive Violence or self-abnegating fealty to the tacky notion of conspicuously consumptively Mind Boggling Wealth: ha. That’s how touchingly out of touch you are.
Yes, there will be a Revolution but come that Revolution, you, not The Rich, will be consigned to the dustbin of History.
* these are outdated references, I know, but would you get more current ones?