Posts Tagged ‘Privilege


God Shed His Grace on Thee

I love the way Miss Teen South Carolina cleverly satirizes the dire state of American education by acting like an airhead on TV. She demonstrates her answer to the question in the very way she is answering it. Brilliant.

Please watch:

I saw comments on YouTube that defended her, saying she must be under a lot of pressure, and that it is a contest of beauty and not brains. Sorry, kids, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of brains to answer a simple question in Standard English — unless you are part of the problem the question is referring to. I think she should have stopped at “some people don’t have maps.” At least that made sense and was true.


Your SUV sux.

On principle I hate SUVs.

Every time I see a Hummer in New York, even in Queens, I want to find the owner and hit him or her over the head with an iron skillet. With parking at such a premium, what business does anyone have parking a vehicle the size of a Manhattan apartment on a side street? Parking tickets should go up in value the more space the car takes up.

Today I saw a commercial for a Subaru monstrosity called the Tribeca. Tribeca, as in Lower Manhattan. As in short, tight, narrow streets. I hope I’m not the only one who sees the irony in owning a vehicle named after a neighborhood in Manhattan where you’d scarcely be able to park it!

For $30,000, you get a 256 horsepower, six-cylinder engine, symmetrical all-wheel drive, and 247 pounds per foot of torque at 4,400 RPM. I’m sure all of this comes in really handy when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper city traffic — on totally flat land.

The one in the commercial featured a DVD player, perfect for encouraging your children to shorten their attention spans, keep them from reading books, and help them realize that you’d really not rather talk to them on those tedious drives to school or grandma’s — just keep your eyes on the Disney and leave Mommy alone, kiddies! Media over-stimulation while driving is always a good idea. Be sure you bring your cell phones, too.

If you live in the mountains, get a car for the mountains. If you live in the city, get a car for the city. And if you want to have room for your kids, get a bigger car, of course. But for the love of Mike, don’t put a living room on the road.


Paris Hilton: Not Even Interesting Enough to Make Me Sick

Paris Hilton is sent back to jail screaming, weeping and wailing, and calling for mommy.

I detest her and her ridiculous attitude of special privilege. She’s so boring. Yawn. Seriously. To quote from one of the greats, Cher: “You’re not even interesting enough to make me sick.

The only notable aspect about the media frenzy over this, I think, is that unlike the O.J. case, where there was a real, dramatic murder investigation and trial that turned into a media farce — who can ever forget the aerial shots of that white bronco? or of course the dancing Itos? — this is petty and stupid on its face from the very beginning, and all the coverage is centering on her idiotic and childish behavior. Bravo, I guess. But again: Who cares?

She’s not even acting like a rich, spoiled 26-year-old. She’s acting simply like any tedious 6-year-old. She’s a total psychological retard. If this is what immense wealth and a life lived without consequences brings to you, then I’m glad I’m solidly middle class with little hope of ever raising my tax bracket.


The Power of the Pen?

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Does this mean anything to you?

I volunteered to help at the will call for the 19th Annual Art Show preview gala last night. We get some rich folks who are annoyed by waiting in line, no matter how short, for anything. Spending thousands for a pair of tickets buys you some privileges, no doubt, but it does not raise you above the laws of physics or supply and demand. Happily, most people are willing to understand that quick and simple procedures for ticket pick-up are meant to prevent chaos and that everyone needs a ticket, whether they buy it or it is given to them.

One gentleman last night with two tickets needed a third. He was dressed rather well, and he spoke perfectly good English, but he was hard to understand because his voice was raspy, like a harsh whisper. (I’m guessing he spent many of the last 60 years smoking prodigious amounts of tobacco.) So we were having a hard time understanding what exactly he wanted to do. His last name starts with C, so he went to my line, “A-L,” first. I explained that if he bought two tickets, and if he had both of them in his possession, he would need to buy the third. I directed him to another line where he could do so.

This isn’t what he wanted to hear, but he was disinclined to explain further. He stepped away and came back moments later, this time to another will call agent, saying evidently that a gallery owner had left a ticket for him. She had nothing under his name and directed him to the event organizers, also seated at the will call table, who had a record of every ticket.

Minutes later he was back, complaining to my companion that the organizers had been no help to him. Evidently he had visited the coat check, as well, because he had in his hands a dog-eared letter, which he unfolded and placed on the table in front of us.

“Maybe this will give you some insight into my character,” he said, proudly but not arrogantly.

The letter, printed on White House stationery and comprising two, maybe three very short paragraphs, was nearly falling apart. He had used it before.

“Sir, I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t have any tickets for you.”

“Do you know whose name is on that letter? See?”

“Sir, I—”

“Look: Who signed that letter?”

I sneaked a glance and saw a squiggle that I can see might have signified “George W. Bush.” Mr. C was getting indignant. Whatever anger he could muster came out as a stage whisper. Was he insulted that we weren’t bending to his will?

“Sir, I see that it’s the president,” she calmly explained. “But this has nothing to do with this event. I don’t have any tickets for you.”

“Well, I— What’s your name. I want your name,” he demanded.

“My name is printed on the card pinned to my chest,” she said, unperturbed. Was he going to report her? Have her fired from a volunteer job? You’re not allowed to volunteer here — ever again! Oh the shame of it! Be my guest.

She directed him back to the event organizers, and he angrily shoved off.

Who knows what that letter even said. I didn’t read it. I didn’t care. All it really proves is that he knows who the president of the United States is. I do too. And that’s not going to get you a ticket, no matter how rich you are.

the untallied hours