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Old 07-16-2008, 01:46 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
on that tangent, it seems as if it's the anti-elitists who seem to have the most problems -- it's in the Red States where citizens are more plagued by multiple marriages, multiple baby-daddys/mommas, smoking, STDs, abortions. and, conversely, it's the educated elitists who much more embody the June Cleaver ethics of the 1950s with lower divorces, children born in wedlock, etc.
You're referring to Springer Nation which would turn Will Rogers into an elitist.

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so, i suppose i'm reacting a bit to the "Obama is an elitist" charge is actually a reflection of anxiety over a huge strata of society that is actually in complete and total crisis right now.
Yeah, and we're bitter and clingy about it too.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:32 AM   #92
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The New Yorker isn't an exclusive magazine. When I was growing up (when there were 2 racks of magazines, instead of 20), The New Yorker was there in the midst of the gun magazines and the men's magazines. My friend and I would look forward to a new issue so we could leaf through it and look at the cartoons. We got them. As I got older, I read the magazine. It was challenging enough, but it wasn't exactly rocket science.

I remember a couple of statements by Meryl Streep when she was in her political activism mode. At first, she thought the world should be ruled (intentional exageration)
by the intellectual/artistic elite. Then when she became a mother, she thought mothers should control. I remember noticing, the ruling category always included herself. And I thought, that is how the game is played.

I think you'd find more people than you know able to move rather seamlessly between the highbrow and the lowbrow. I don't know if there is as much a contempt for intellectualism as you might think, more a contempt for the attitude that often comes with it. A lot of us have read Aristotle and drunk lattes (then read a trash novel while eating fast food) Intellectualism is part of our lives, but not how we define ourselves. I wonder how much of elitism (or anti-elitism for that matter) is jockeying for image position.

I think why you sometimes might see a wariness toward the "elite" is both a lack of respect for the intelligence of those not considered in the elite (some lip service is paid, but it is often patronizing--unspoken but loud enough that it is a less valuable intelligence, almost primitive) and situational nuance. Beautiful nuance in what they know best and a faux nuance in what they do not, riding on their reputation. I think often the contempt fairly drips.

An expertise in one or two things is not an expertise in all things. Even brilliance has its limitations and not all of the elite are brilliant. I think there is a perception that the elite don't know their limitations. I think we have a lot to learn from the genuine elite. They have some to learn from the rest of us.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:46 AM   #93
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You're referring to Springer Nation which would turn Will Rogers into an elitist.
That's pretty harsh--I don't think most teenage mothers, divorcees or smokers belong to those categories because they're notably sleazy or perverted people, assuming that was the implication.

On the other hand, I think to a degree both you and Irvine may be taking what are primarily class-linked trends and trying to spin them as products of regional culture.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:05 AM   #94
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The New Yorker isn't an exclusive magazine. When I was growing up (when there were 2 racks of magazines, instead of 20), The New Yorker was there in the midst of the gun magazines and the men's magazines. My friend and I would look forward to a new issue so we could leaf through it and look at the cartoons. We got them. As I got older, I read the magazine. It was challenging enough, but it wasn't exactly rocket science.

I remember a couple of statements by Meryl Streep when she was in her political activism mode. At first, she thought the world should be ruled (intentional exageration)
by the intellectual/artistic elite. Then when she became a mother, she thought mothers should control. I remember noticing, the ruling category always included herself. And I thought, that is how the game is played.

I think you'd find more people than you know able to move rather seamlessly between the highbrow and the lowbrow. I don't know if there is as much a contempt for intellectualism as you might think, more a contempt for the attitude that often comes with it. A lot of us have read Aristotle and drunk lattes (then read a trash novel while eating fast food) Intellectualism is part of our lives, but not how we define ourselves. I wonder how much of elitism (or anti-elitism for that matter) is jockeying for image position.

I think why you sometimes might see a wariness toward the "elite" is both a lack of respect for the intelligence of those not considered in the elite (some lip service is paid, but it is often patronizing--unspoken but loud enough that it is a less valuable intelligence, almost primitive) and situational nuance. Beautiful nuance in what they know best and a faux nuance in what they do not, riding on their reputation. I think often the contempt fairly drips.

An expertise in one or two things is not an expertise in all things. Even brilliance has its limitations and not all of the elite are brilliant. I think there is a perception that the elite don't know their limitations. I think we have a lot to learn from the genuine elite. They have some to learn from the rest of us.

so help me out now. . .who are these elites again? Rich people? Famous people? Famous intellectuals? People who are just really, really smart? (That would make some apparently "regular" people. . .like say, you, "elite" ).

I have a feeling that maybe the "elites" are actually the pundit class--the columnists and talking heads and radio personalities. . .And they may not necessarily be that rich, famous, or intellectual.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:41 AM   #95
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I think you'd find more people than you know able to move rather seamlessly between the highbrow and the lowbrow. I don't know if there is as much a contempt for intellectualism as you might think, more a contempt for the attitude that often comes with it. A lot of us have read Aristotle and drunk lattes (then read a trash novel while eating fast food) Intellectualism is part of our lives, but not how we define ourselves
Yes

One thing I really can't stand is a snob in any shape or form. I read trashy magazines and I'm not ashamed to admit it-and I enjoy lots of low brow non-intellectual activities. So much alleged "highbrow" stuff is actually quite trashy, just dressed up in better packaging. It doesn't define who I am and I wouldn't really want anything to do with someone who thinks it does. It's quite stereotypical thinking that's not compatible with supposed intelligence, is it?
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:48 AM   #96
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It's only a cartoon! But Obama adds that New Yorker cover insults Muslims

BY MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

Tuesday, July 15th 2008, 9:50 PM
Barack Obama says he’s “seen and heard worse” than The New Yorker cartoon (below) satirizing attacks on him and his wife by the political right. Monsivais/AP

Barack Obama says he’s “seen and heard worse” than The New Yorker cartoon (below) satirizing attacks on him and his wife by the political right.

Barack Obama to the New Yorker: It's your right - but you weren't right.

In his first substantive talk about the magazine's inflammatory cartoon depicting him and his wife as fist-bumping terrorists, Obama told CNN's Larry King the image fueled misconceptions and insulted Muslim Americans.

"I know it was The New Yorker's attempt at satire. I don't think they were entirely successful with it," Obama said. "But you know what? It's a cartoon ... and that's why we've got the First Amendment."

The presumptive Democratic nominee said he wasn't personally stung by the cartoon.

"I've seen and heard worse," Obama said. "[Still], in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead."

"But, you know, that was their editorial judgment," Obama added. "Ultimately, it's a cartoon, it's not where the American people are spending a lot of their time thinking about."

Obama has spent the better part of the past 18 months debunking false Internet rumors that he's Muslim and defending his patriotism. He's Christian, but Obama said he's been derelict in pointing out how hurtful these attacks are to Muslim Americans.

These fallacious e-mails and The New Yorker cartoon are "actually an insult against Muslim Americans," he said. There are "wonderful Muslim Americans" across the country, Obama said, and "for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate."

"It's not what America's all about," he said.

The magazine's editor, David Remnick, said the cartoon is satirizing the lies about the Obamas.

A spokeswoman for the magazine said yesterday she could not provide any data on this week's sales, but anecdotal evidence from magazine retailers suggests the controversy has bumped sales.

"We are selling them like hot cakes," said Laura Samuels, spokeswoman for the Hudson Group, which operates Hudson News newsstands.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:49 AM   #97
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In his first substantive talk about the magazine's inflammatory cartoon depicting him and his wife as fist-bumping terrorists, Obama told CNN's Larry King the image fueled misconceptions and insulted Muslim Americans.

It's only a cartoon! But Obama adds that New Yorker cover insults Muslims
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:59 AM   #98
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Maureen Dowd:
May We Mock, Barack?

It would seem a positive for Barack Obama that he is hard to mock. But is it another sign that he’s trying so hard to be perfect that it’s stultifying?

Obama's campaign slammed the controversial New Yorker cover as "tasteless and offensive."
When I interviewed Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for Rolling Stone a couple years ago, I wondered what Barack Obama would mean for them.

"It seems like a President Obama would be harder to make fun of than these guys," I said.

"Are you kidding me?" Stewart scoffed.

Then he and Colbert both said at the same time: "His dad was a goat-herder!"

When I noted that Obama, in his memoir, had revealed that he had done some pot, booze and "maybe a little blow," the two comedians began riffing about the dapper senator's familiarity with drug slang.

Colbert: Wow, that's a very street way of putting it. 'A little blow.'

Stewart: A little bit of the white rabbit.

Colbert: 'Yeah, I packed a cocktail straw of cocaine and had a prostitute blow it in my ear, but that is all I did. High-fivin.' '

Flash forward to the kerfuffle -- and Obama's icy reaction -- over this week's New Yorker cover parodying fears about the Obamas.

"We've already scratched thrift, candor and brevity off the list of virtues in this presidential cycle, so why not eliminate humor, too?" wrote James Rainey in The Los Angeles Times, suggesting "an irony deficiency" in Obama and his fans.

Many of the late-night comics and their writers -- nearly all white -- now admit to The New York Times's Bill Carter that because of race and because there is nothing "buffoonish" about Obama -- and because many in their audiences are intoxicated by him and resistant to seeing him skewered -- he has not been flayed by the sort of ridicule that diminished Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

"There's a weird reverse racism going on," Jimmy Kimmel said.

Carter also observed that there's no easy comedic "take" on Obama, "like allegations of Bill Clinton's womanizing, or President Bush's goofy bumbling or Al Gore's robotic personality."

At first blush, it would seem to be a positive for Obama that he is hard to mock. But on second thought, is it another sign that he's trying so hard to be perfect that it's stultifying? Or that eight years of W. and Cheney have robbed Democratic voters of their sense of humor?

Certainly, as the potential first black president, and as a contender with tender experience, Obama must feel under strain to be serious.

But he does not want the "take" on him to become that he's so tightly wrapped, overcalculated and circumspect that he can't even allow anyone to make jokes about him, and that his supporters are so evangelical and eager for a champion to rescue America that their response to any razzing is a sanctimonious: Don't mess with our messiah!

If Obama keeps being stingy with his quips and smiles, and if the dominant perception of him is that you can't make jokes about him, it might infect his campaign with an airless quality. His humorlessness could spark humor.

On Tuesday, Andy Borowitz satirized on that subject. He said that Obama, sympathetic to comics' attempts to find jokes to make about him, had put out a list of official ones, including this:

"A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, 'I was expecting the farmer's daughter.' Barack Obama replies, 'She's not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American dream.' "

John McCain's Don Rickles routines -- "Thanks for the question, you little jerk" -- can fall flat. But he seems like a guy who can be teased harmlessly. If Obama offers only eat-your-arugula chiding and chilly earnestness, he becomes an otherworldly type, not the regular guy he needs to be.

He's already in danger of seeming too prissy about food -- a perception heightened when The Wall Street Journal reported that the planners for Obama's convention have hired the first-ever Director of Greening, the environmental activist Andrea Robinson. She in turn hired an Official Carbon Adviser to "measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed."

The "lean 'n' green" catering guidelines, The Journal said, bar fried food and instruct that, "on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include 'at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.' (Garnishes don't count.) At least 70 percent of the ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel during transportation."

Bring it on, Ozone Democrats! Because if Obama gets elected and there is nothing funny about him, it won't be the economy that's depressed. It will be the rest of us.
Maureen Dowd: May We Mock, Barack? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:24 AM   #99
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Barry Blitt : - Thenewyorkerstore.com

Wow they make big bucks off of that stuff

Recession proof?
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #100
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I think you'd find more people than you know able to move rather seamlessly between the highbrow and the lowbrow. I don't know if there is as much a contempt for intellectualism as you might think, more a contempt for the attitude that often comes with it.
I agree with the first one, and it's actually the trademark of very successful people. I remember very well at the end of my undergrad, when the Harry Potter books started coming out, a really distinguished English professor saying that she felt they were not great books or great literature by any means, but she'd really strongly encourage people to read them. When a student asked why, she said, you have to understand that even if you have a PhD in English Literature, there is great social value in being able to transition between that and the latest Danielle Steel. I thought she made an excellent point. I can't tell you how many times in a corporate lunch, the topic of conversation turned from whatever complicated transaction was going on at the moment to the latest episode of The Bachelor or something like that.

But I do think that there is a certain contempt for intellectualism that goes beyond attitude. Just thinking of most of my brothers' friends who came from lower middle class families or lower class families - you might be shocked at how many of their parents told them that going to get a university degree (or worse yet, a graduate degree) was a waste of time, that was for boring academics who weren't capable of actual work. They actually preferred for their sons to go do drywall or other backbreaking work, both because they thought it was a much better way to make money (I don't think they thought long term) and because they were inherently suspicious of any kind of intellectualism. So while at times people could be resentful of the attitude that you mention, a lot of the time, I think that certain people really do hold intellectualism in contempt as Irvine has stated.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:52 AM   #101
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:06 AM   #102
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:09 AM   #103
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You're referring to Springer Nation which would turn Will Rogers into an elitist.

no, no -- Judge Judy.

Springer is a freak show. Judge Judy at least seems like it has real people.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:11 AM   #104
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On the other hand, I think to a degree both you and Irvine may be taking what are primarily class-linked trends and trying to spin them as products of regional culture.


to what extent does regional culture affect class? are there not regional values that actually perpetuate poverty (or near poverty)?
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:18 AM   #105
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Yes

One thing I really can't stand is a snob in any shape or form. I read trashy magazines and I'm not ashamed to admit it-and I enjoy lots of low brow non-intellectual activities. So much alleged "highbrow" stuff is actually quite trashy, just dressed up in better packaging. It doesn't define who I am and I wouldn't really want anything to do with someone who thinks it does. It's quite stereotypical thinking that's not compatible with supposed intelligence, is it?


to make myself more clear -- what i am talking about is the view of some "elitists" is every bit as patronizing as the assumed view that said "elitists" supposedly have about "real Americans."

it cuts both ways. the rural red stater can think that his values and lifestyle are entirely superior to those of the urban blue stater, and he can treat him with every bit as much disdain. i hear this all the time. there are those in the punditocracy -- Mary Matalin, Carly Fiona last sunday -- who keep talking with disdain about "those inside the Beltway" and the "latte liberals" and contrast them with "normal Americans" who don't turn into MTP every sunday morning. what they're doing is creating a narrative of "real" -- i.e., red state, christian, rural-ish, anti-intellectual -- Americans as being authentic.

it's Spiro Agnew and his "effete, intellectual" (i.e, gay, jewish) snob slurs.

i agree that many people do move seamlessly through high and low culture. i think most of us would agree that, if we were to take music, that there's really only two kinds: good music and bad music. i see no reason why a pop opera masterpiece like, say, "Like A Prayer" is any less appreciable and transcendent than any 18th century classical so-called "masterpiece."
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