Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Plague for 'A' Students Who Missed the 'C' Corporate Boat

The Mayflower was full of C students. Their idea was that, given freedom, responsibility, rule of law and some elbow room, the average, the middling, and the mediocre could create the richest, most powerful country ever.”
-P.J. O'Rourke

This post is addressed to my friend Rob who left a very insightful comment on my post The Politics of Ocean Trash and Educated Middle Class Trash.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the P.J. O'Rourke article entitled A Plague of 'A' Students Why it’s so irksome being governed by the Obami. Even if he isn't suggesting that ALL 'A' students are a bunch of anal retentive rote learners and arrogant assholes (like the "Obami" people) while ALL 'C' students (like the Tea Party people) are somehow more agile and virtuous, he sure knows how to assign and define the overrated 'A' in arrogant and asshole here:

The U.S. tax code was written by A students. Every April 15 we have to pay somebody who got an A in accounting to keep ourselves from being sent to jail.
Now there’s health care reform—just the kind of thing that would earn an A on a term paper from that twerp of a grad student who teaches Econ 101.
Why are A students so hateful? I’m sure up at Harvard, over at the New York Times, and inside the White House they think we just envy their smarts. Maybe we are resentful clods gawking with bitter incomprehension at the intellectual magnificence of our betters. If so, why are our betters spending so much time nervously insisting that they’re smarter than Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement? They are. You can look it up (if you have a fancy education the way our betters do and know what the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary is).”

If, say 'A' stands for Asshole, then 'C' stands for Corporate Asshole? Faux dichotomy? Why do I find my literary hero's (yes, I'd have SEVERAL beers with P.J.) descent into the polarizing fray of One Big Money Party left/right politics so off-putting? Perhaps I can explain.

I was an avid, major fan of P.J. O'Rourke's writing back in his lefty-leaning National Lampoon days (he was never a Democrat) well before his much deserved success allowed him to crash the gates of “God's heavenly country club” (reference to Parliament of Whores). When I was a college freshman, he and Doug Kenney (one helluva funny writer, too, R.I.P.) gave a speech (hilarious, capital “H”) ) at a Midwestern college campus that challenged us to *think* about how horribly stupid it was for us to give power to politicians who hadn't our best interests at heart by, for example, making outrageously stupid laws against smoking dope (while they lit up a doobie on stage). Always the libertarian, that P.J., to whit, my favorite P.J.ism's:

"Giving money and power to the government is like giving car keys and whisky to teenage boys."
"When politics are used to allocate resources, the resources all end up being allocated to politics."
"Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit.  A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty -- their power and privilege -- to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever.  This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by ... politicians."
"God has no role to play in politics except to make sure politicians go where they belong.  To hell."

The above sentiment is perfectly fine for those who, like P.J. have already “arrived” and can afford all the necessary socioeconomic survival entrapments such as luxury gated-community homes, beefy Pinkerton protectors, a couple of Teslas and maybe a Fisker in the multiple car garage, great private schools for the kids, all the non-GMO food you can eat, access to the best doctors and finest whiskey, hookers, etc. But for the everyday plebes who are NOT privy to insider stock tips, timely stock option payouts, never-ending book deal royalties, Caymen accounts, dividends and trust fund dipping, not so much.

Contrary to O'Rourke, I would argue that resources end up being “allocated to politics” because they are inevitable for civil societies to function, as is the case for a few necessities like well-funded public schools, a single payer health care system, food and consumer safety commissions, sturdy roads and bridges...all the stuff that makes for good civic and social community infrastructures. But P.J.'s peeps are already set, and can afford the luxury of walling off themselves with moats and private security detail from the public at large. To them, there is no community other than one INSIDE the country club gates. I'd really like to see O'Rourke apply his masterful writing chops instead to the socioeconomic ills of outsourcing/insourcing and the perps who profit from it. But he's a Cato Man, now, and that wouldn't pay for Swiss Alps ski trips and Bora Bora winter swim junkets, now would it?

This is where your Sarah Palin comment comes in and ties neatly with your P.J. article link.

Palin, like O'Rourke, has also found her place at the table of the One Big Money Party movers and shakers inside the gate. Unlike P.J., who IS very, very smart – Palin, IMO, is more like one of those “C” students who sailed over on the Mayflower as described in the above quote. Personally, I admire and typically prefer associating with smart people, as long as they REALLY ARE smart and not faking it and are not insufferable, arrogant, and full of themselves – like so many blowhardy poseurs we see on the left. BTW, I don't hate Sarah Palin or for her not being 'A' class material; I just can't stand the fact that there are millions of very smart and not-so smart women and men in this country who have watched their jobs, health care access and homes pulled away from them by a bipartisan One Party of Money club that pay her to divert attention away from the looting culprits who are redistributing the wealth up and away from the educated middle class. In fact, Palin has an almost charming carelessness about the fact that she isn't ivy 'A' student class material. This is the point O'Rourke drives home in his article. He rightly points out that the ivies are churning out a bunch of arrogant 'A' rote holes incapable of critical thinking. This point is valid. But what he handily OMITS and didn't say is that our corporations are the ones responsible for hiring these creeps in the first place, for to do so would be to violate the Cash Cow of Indian outsourcing and every other cheap labor lobby allegiance that sustains his country club set. Palin and Obama both support offshore drilling. (Whatever your position on offshore drilling, so much for P.J.'s 'A' vs. 'C' student faux dichotomy.) They all dine at the same trough.

Like O'Rourke, Palin is a media/celebrity tool of the One Big Money Party who also never calls out the biggest threat to our local communities which is the neo-frat boy corporate state's (conservative and lefty) agenda or “blueprint” to divide local communities against themselves in their race to the bottom while they destroy our educated middle class by literally giving our jobs to third world imports. (I know you know this.) They too, both know this is where the cash cow lies to keep them and their precious cargo forever in Gucci loafers and handbags until Kingdom Come.

I appreciate and understand your comment about Sarah Palin, but I can't help but view her as anything but the “average” American female just trying to make it in the fu#ked up kleptocracy that this country has become. To the contrary, she is privileged. Maybe she wasn't always, and I certainly do not begrudge her for hitting the high life. That's what America is supposed to be all about. But until she starts calling out the corporations for anti-American worker legalized slavery ala H-1B, rampant age discrimination loopholes that favor corporations and labor arbitrage, she is nothing but another dangerous high profile champion of the have and have not caste system that she will prevail upon. She is a neo-frat boy corporate tool. For example, when was the last time you heard her (or P.J.) say it's time for corporate America to stop outsourcing/insourcing our jobs? When was the last time you heard her advocate a program that would put all displaced, older professionals back to work who had their jobs given away to H-1Bs so that they can afford to pay for the cost-prohibitive, confiscatory mandated health insurance mafia protection money? Nary a peep.  I can not defend her, nor any  politician or media royal who guard that gate.

Palin, like O'Rourke, has a huge media megaphone to get the word out but all they are doing for the most part with it is advancing the agenda of the neo-frat boy corporate state. And it's getting so boring that even the Obami left's Jon Stewart and Colbert are down with the program. For all the “good” they do, put them all on a big, One Big Money Party bipartisan boat down the River Styxx.

Speaking of boats...

About O'Rourke's 'C' student Mayflower pilgrims? Let's get The Straight Dope. Those Mayflower 'C' students were beer drinking jocks and cheerleaders who planned to dock down off the warm coast of Florida but instead landed on the icy shores of Plymouth Rock because they were too shitfaced to navigate the boat. And when it comes to mapping and high seas navigation skills, I want an expert steering my boat. (Nothing against beer, but I never especially liked most jocks and cheerleaders, either, for what it's worth.)

No anal retentive, “brisk apple-polishing” pilgrims and 'A' students on-board that Pilgrim Rock boat, you betcha.



BuelahMan said...

Even heroes need to be taken down a notch or two if they do stupid shit, or hang with the people that do stupid shit and don't say anything about it.

The other thing that Palin won't mention is stopping the War Machine, but that is altogether a different subject.

2Truthy said...

P.J. should have stayed in Hollywood.

And Palin? As a cheerleader for corporate welfare America, she should push for The War Machine to SELF FUND their lethal global resources plundering adventures. You know, rally that good ol' "pull yourselves up by your OWN corporate bootstraps, dammit" ethic that makes the GOP so great...the same pioneering spirit that brought our Mayflower beer swilling blue bloods to "create the richest, most powerful country ever."