The shocking thing about those incidents where some disaffected kid tries to blow up his high school isn’t the fact that such things can happen in these United States of America: it’s that it happens so rarely. When I think about how our our educational system has damaged our culture, I feel rather like gathering up some dynamite myself. Fortunately (for any Feds or other concerned people who might come across this website) I am a law-abiding citizen, and moreover, my own stint in Warehouse High wasn’t all that onerous. (After one more year of enduring stupid PE, I was able to mostly choose my own classes — which I stacked with useless foreign language and college-level English courses, which means I can watch a subtitled German movie about Goethe without too much eyestrain — and was able to shut out anything I didn’t care about by burying my face in science fiction paperbacks.)
Everywhere you go, everything you encounter, every attitude and platitude and political position, has its roots in the jocks-vs.-nerds, popular-vs.-unwanted, James-Spader-Molly-Ringwald-couples-don’t-exist-in-real-life dichotomy the nation’s citizenry experienced in high school. We are currently experiencing a revenge-of-the-nerds administration — with the sting in the tail being that Obama really isn’t a nerd, he’s just one of those people who would have been a jock but for having no athletic ability. There’s nothing worse than someone who can’t be what he is. We must all pay for his personality dysfunctions.
But enough of him. Let’s talk about Sarah Palin! Okay — I’ll just wait until some of you calm down and stop flapping about your cages like that. My my, look at all those loose feathers… Anyway, Sarah Palin is, obviously, a jock, and so all of us who fancy ourselves intellectuals whether artistic or scientific or both must be up in arms against her commonplace, shallow, brawn-not-brain, “get your nose out of that book and clean up your room!”, boys-who-won’t-play-football-are-fags, scratchy “nice” dress for church no you can’t sleep late, God wants you to stay a virgin! self. Or… do we?
It’s disappointing to see people fall into the “ew she’s icky because ordinary people like her they must be stoopid it can’t be because they are thinking for themselves” tarpit. Or as I put it in the comments here:
According to Answers.com, “populism” is:
A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite.
Can someone tell me what exactly is wrong with this political philosophy, so much so that labeling Sarah Palin and her admirers with it is supposed to be an insult? Then again, if you’re one of the crowd who likes being led around by the nose by a slick, smooth-talking con-man and his crowd of grifters, because his skin color is “in” this year, and because he’s gone to all the “right” schools and knows all the cool people, then I can see why the idea of ordinary people trying to buck the trendy and powerful distresses you so. Or is it just that she doesn’t seem to have had a problem with pregnancy weight gain?
I admit I like Sarah Palin. She’s not at all like me. I’m bookish and introverted and in general the sort of person you’d expect to find in a coffee shop huddled in a corner with an extra large mocha latte reading her email on her iMac. But I have never been able to afford Apple’s products, and I am glad to say the process of removing my high-school prejudices against the “mundanes” was successful many years ago. I laughed in glee at the consternation Palin causes among the crowd of my once-fellow trendars. I don’t care if she ever runs for office: seeing the roaches scurry frantically across the floor whenever her light shines on them is good enough.
I forgot to add, it’s the faux definition of populism that Daphne uses that got Obama elected. George Bush, an authentic jock, was hated by the intellectuals, who voted in the shiny Official Black Man™ who made them feel speshul. When you asked any white person* why they were voting for Obama you got “we need a Change,” and when you asked them what the hell they meant by that, more often than not you got a long, rambling, anti-Bush rant that only tangentially had anything to do with the question. (If you based your vote on “he’s not Bush,” you’re even stupider, because Bush wasn’t running, and couldn’t run due to the fact he’d had his two terms.) As a matter of fact, Obama is an unabashed elitist and that fact turns on a lot of his fans, but he ran on a populist “me against the Big Bad Bush regime” ticket, and that was enough for our kneejerk grown-up high school student voters, who have never gotten over being stuffed into their lockers by the football team.
*Black people are much more honest about why they voted for Obama. It’s because he’s black, duh.