Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Elitism

Elitism seems to be a buzzword that's thrown around alot lately. When Bush invaded Iraq, it seemed like everyone's Word of the Day calendar told them it was time to say "Quagmire". Apart from being a sex offender on Family Guy, most people uttering this word had no idea of the meaning. They just knew it had something to do with Vietnam. In the same way, we have millionaire politicians pointing at their opponents and calling them Elitist. This is pretty much the equivalent of Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan calling each other racist.

Elitism is defined as "the belief that society should be governed by a select group of gifted and highly educated individuals". That, in itself, is not such a bad thing. You don't want an untalented shlub to be carrying around a suitcase that can bring about Armageddon. In practice, though, it is the new discrimination. In our modern society, it's a terrible thing to be racist or sexist. Everybody knows that. However, it's human nature to consider yourself better than somebody. It doesn't matter who that somebody is, as long as there's a type of person that you can look down on.

Hear me out on this. On the basis of religion, we do not live in a country of tolerance. Atheists look at Christians and think they're ignorant of the facts. Christians look at atheists and think they're ignorant of the facts. On the basis of nationality, we have a stranger animosity. Conservatives look at illegal immigrants and see them as freeloaders and parasites, while liberals see them as the tired and hungry masses, looking for a prosperous life. Neither group sees them with the dignity that is reserved for people. They both see an entire nation of people as something less than human. "We have to stop them because they're not good enough to help themselves!" cries one side. "We have to help them because they're not good enough to help themselves!" cries the other. Stuck in the middle are an entire mass of people, as diverse as any group of Americans. Here, we have an eager pilgrim looking for freedom. There, we have a drug dealer. Here, we have a father who's looking for work to keep his family fed. There, we have a mother who refuses to work and suck at the golden teat of welfare.

I tried to find a picture of a golden teat,
but they were all NSFW.
So here's a kittie screaming for bacon. Source

My point is, everybody discriminates in some fashion or another. It's only human nature. Living in the Age of Information, we have to sort and compartmentalize facts. There's simply too much to soak in at once. The details of a single individual takes that person an entire lifetime to understand...and we want their life story in two words or less? Everyone does it, but that doesn't make it right. Wow, got off topic. Where was I?

Elitism, right. In a society that is driven by, and starving for, money, it only seems logical for politicians to pander to the one's with the most. If the corporations go under, they'll take the American Machine down with them. We won't have the money to fund a military that protects us from the other side of the world. Sure, they may have no means of getting to us now, but what about the future? That's how defense works, right? My point is, even the most altruistic politician can sit Hugh Grant (not the actor who stutters too much) and try to tell him to stop helping support cancer research (by giving everyone the cancer to begin with) and he'll whip out a tax form. On paper, Monsanto does more to keep this country running than the entirety of Idaho. Does that mean they can get away with whatever they want? In theory, no, thanks to civil rights. In practice, cancer treatment makes alot of people rich.

People have asked me why I make such a big deal about what corporate America is up to. I'll go ahead and tell you. Over the summer, I called out one of my coworkers at a grocery store I worked at. It wasn't even a major one, like Wal Mart, but it was a prevalent enough name that anyone in the southern United States would know the name. This coworker, a dude, repeatedly asked about me being naked. In front of customers, he asked if I sleep naked. I'm no stranger to being hit on by gay guys, but this case was different. The guy was a schizophrenic who believed that he was a Martian vampire who had escaped persecution by hiding out in ancient Egypt.

Looked up retarded Egyptian alien vampire
on Google, this is what I get...pretty close. Source

Needless to say, I was a little upset. I reported him and after much deliberation, they politely told me that I was immature for calling sexual harassment on a coworker and told me it was my fault for dressing so damn sexy. Apparently, stopping by in the morning for my paycheck still wearing pajamas is their cup of tea. So here's where things go from stupid to retarded. I go to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to tell them what happened. They tell me the law gives them 90 days to look into the matter, at the end of which they'll call me. Five months go by and I presume they forgot about me...wasn't that far from the truth, actually. After 150 days, I get a letter with the company's testimony.

I'm not going to quote the whole thing for you, but I'll give you the highlights. They said I was a bad worker and that's why they turned down my request to transfer, they denied my allegation that the manager moved my workstation to the back of the store, that managers are supposed to work at the station closest to the front desk, yet I continued to work at the first station in the store...Wow. It was almost like they fed the word "discrimination" into a computer from 1989 and read off what it printed off. None of it had anything to do with anything, but the EEOC told me I had one week to get in touch with them for a rebuttal or my charges would be dismissed. For a week straight, I called them three times a day, leaving one voicemail a day. They never answered, but they did accidentally call me back at one point, say "Oops!" and hang up.

My evasive case worker. Source

So needless to say, they dropped the case. I understand that it wasn't that big of a deal, that I wasn't hurt and it was just a small business. But this is apparently becoming the norm. In a strange way, elitism is becoming the new racism/sexism. When "poor people" complain about something as small as civil rights violations and not being treated like human beings, the State and businessmen exchange a knowing shrug, say "Hush now, the wealthy are talking" and shut the door. In the past, these men did the same thing to other races and genders, but to do so now isn't tolerated.

Day by day, we're creeping towards a nation that consists of an Us and Them mentality. By pandering to the wealthy, Democrats and Republicans alike are widening the gulf between the working class and themselves. Nobody seems to understand that the Producers get their power from the Consumer. They see us as parasites, trying to gobble up what they have and always screaming for more. We see them as parasites, trying to take all that we have and screaming for more.

Is this a Consumer or a Producer? Source

The question: What if both parties are on to something? The answer: you're a dumbass if you think otherwise. The problem is that two organisms that need each other to survive aren't parasites, they're symbiotes. If they could stop seeing the common man as just a machine in a money factory, they'll see that we're human beings. If we could stop seeing them as faceless corporate overlords, we'd see that they're nothing more than we are. Stripped down of all titles and self-proclaimed adulation, people are the same. Your wealth doesn't make you better than anybody any more than your race or gender. The modern world will collapse the day that people look around them and see nothing but people.

This has just been some random thoughts by a casual observer. If you agree or disagree, that's your prerogative. These observations are casual and so I wouldn't be surprised to find them inaccurate and in the end, grossly off-topic. But they're my thoughts and it's boring to keep them to myself.

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