Rejecting the Values of the “Elite”

Just recently, ‘Bookworm’ at Bookworm Roomwrote a very interesting piece about elite mindset, which can be found here: Hillary’s Sheeple Revel in Their Mindless Ignorance. It is a really well written piece, which also got me to thinking, and the following is a take-off from her points.

Many years ago, I remember sitting at a very nice cafe in Berlin after attending an opera with my political science instructor and other students on the study-abroad program I was on. After awhile, a couple of the lead performers in the opera came to sit at the table next to us. Our program wasn’t based in Berlin, but this instructor had accompanied us there, and at this cafe she was meeting with a friend. She and the friend were definitely people who “belonged” in this type of setting.

I, on the other hand, had a very hard time even comprehending how I came to be in this place at all. After all, here I was, an American, and a midwesterner to boot, child of a broken home who had lived in places known primarily for drugs, gangs, and violence. Even more shocking, though, was a comment by the instructor to her friend when she came to introducing me, noting that I was a very ‘cultured’ person.

For me, this was mindblowing, as I had never thought of myself in that way, nor would I ever had said that about myself in a million years. I struggled to understand why she would say this at all, and eventually came to realize a few things. First of all, I have a curious mind, and as a child read voraciously. Secondly, I had grown up in a large city, where ‘exposure’ to different peoples and cultures is just normal. Between the two, I knew a lot of things and was familiar with a lot of things that I’d guess that a lot of other students on the trip had no idea about. Besides this, for many of the students on the trip, a study-abroad program was regarded as party time, with minimal attention paid to studies. I, on the other hand, had paid dearly to go on this trip, and I was determined to make the most of it. Furthermore, although I had never leared the manners and mannerisms of the upper classes, I certainly tried to be polite wherever I happened to be. And so maybe, just maybe, I was pulling off a little bit of the act of being ‘cultured’.

However, short of becoming rich and famous, I knew I would never inhabit the circles of the elite. Although with my background, it would have been difficult in the first place, not having connections to the ‘right people’ or having gone to the ‘right schools’, with my knowledge and skills, I don’t think it would have been impossible to do some breaking into the more elite classes.

The problem is, I never thought that time and energy was worth it. I have travelled extensively. I have lived abroad (and am even decent at foreign languages). I continue to be interested in all kinds of things. However, at this point in my life, I am a wife and homeschooling mom, involved in church, the epitome of the kind of person that so many of the elite rail against for not being progressive enough in my thoughts and actions.

My attitude has changed, too, from seeing elite status as something that I was just unlucky enough not to be born into, to being something that I actively reject. On one hand, my rejection may seem like it’s meaningless, being as elite status was nothing offered me, but consider it like the pretty girl that absolutely needs everyone to like her, regardless of whether the boys had any chance for a relationship with her at not. Although she wouldn’t have considered the ‘yokel’ for anything except derision, it drives her crazy that he doesn’t want her in the first place, and so she has to keep working at trying to get his attention. He, on the other hand, just wants her to leave him alone.

I believe the vast majority of the American people have rejected the elite. Whether that is an out-and-out rejection based on religious or philosophical reasons or the idea that we just want to be left in peace, it drives the elite classes crazy. And so, they cannot help but try to inject their values into places that one could reasonably assume would be ideologically neutral. Hence, politics in football or in shopping. This year alone, we see the effects of this rejection in the falling ratings of the NFL and in the fortunes of Target. It baffles and angers the elite, but they do not understand that for the majority of us, our lives are full, happy, and vibrant without them. Of course, even though these are the people who chide others to ‘coexist’, shunning the self-importance of the elites and their values absolutely cannot be tolerated, resulting in the constant pushes toward silencing those differing opinions, by whatever means necessary.

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Insincerity as an art form

One of the reasons that I stopped watching Saturday Night Live many years ago is that the tone of the acting seemed to change. Actors, as a matter of course, deal with the unreal, and throw themselves into roles to make themselves believable as the characters that they portray.

This is also true for a show like Saturday Night Live, regardless of the fact that a lot of these characters are portrayals of real people, and done with large helpings of satire and sarcasm. However, it seems like there came a point, probably in the early 2000s or so, when there seemed to be a change from actors doing humor and satire and really getting into the roles and, by and large, enjoying them to where it seemed like every skit was done with an edge of insincerity, as though basically they are trying to convince the audience that they’ve discovered the false world the stage is, and every performance is going to demonstrate that it’s all a lie. Call it “creepy clown complex” or some such.

There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about these observations, I suppose, but one of the things that stuck out to me during the first Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was Clinton’s affect – it seemed as though it came from the modern Saturday Night Live. There was absolutely nothing that convinced me that anything that came from her mouth had any connection to what she was thinking or feeling; that the words she said were like a Saturday Night Live script, overperformed with that air of insincerity that has taken over a lot of sketch comedy these days. Trump may not have had a stellar performance, but if anything, it seemed like there’s a real person behind the mask, which is why, despite Clinton’s much more ‘polished’ performance, it didn’t seem to make people feel like she won.

I have no idea whether Saturday Night Live is in a new season, or if there’ll be a new episode on this Saturday night. However, if there is, I do have to wonder how they would handle this comedically, being as Clinton seems to have already mastered insincerity as an art form.

Freedom and license

Man is free, to be sure, but without the true God he is defenceless against the principle of evil. He is a like rudderless ship, at the mercy of the storm, an infant without his mother, a cloud dissolving into thin air. – Hans Scholl/Alexander Schmorell, Leaflet 4 of the White Rose

One of the popular definitions of “freedom” is the ability for one to do whatever one would like, whenever they would like. In the current culture, the idea of following “rules”, such as those set forth in the Bible, seems antithetical to the entire concept of freedom.

However, I believe this interpretation to be somewhat faulty. All actions have consequences. When one looks at the Bible, for instance, many of the “rules” laid out are not so much restrictions to hinder a person’s “fun”, but to allow a person, no matter what the circumstances, to live a life of greater freedom.

For example, our current culture these days seems to want to “celebrate” every type of sexual deviancy, under the pretense that by doing so enhances a person’s “freedom”. However, this is nothing but license, not freedom. The consequences of a radicalization of sexual “norms” obviously leads to a number of consequences not just for the person who has conducted such behavior, but also for society at large. However, in order to compensate for this, those who promote this license also demand that the collective society “level the playing field” by forcing all members to pay for the consequences for this license.

I came across this site, Freedom in the 50 States a little while ago, and find the research to be quite fascinating. My quibble with it, however, is that besides comparing fiscal and regulatory freedoms, they also compare personal freedoms. While this may not seem like a bad thing, if one looks at the subcategories for this, among the positives in this category are states that have “freedoms” for marijuana use, etc., that serve no one in a positive way (this is not including legitimate medical use, which is another topic). Therefore, I’m not surprised that the site was put together by well known Libertarians, and, to their credit, they have set up the map so that any one playing with it can customize it to issues that they think ought to be included.