Apr. 14th, 2008

phamos: (bamababy)
It's very hard for me to comment on the Obama "bitter" flap, because I consider myself to be something of an elitist, or at least to exist in an elite situation. I went to a private high school; I have degrees from two of the finest universities in the country, as does my husband (and mine are almost vanity degrees -- seriously, a Human Rights degree isn't actually necessary for a productive career); I live in a lovely apartment (that we can barely afford, but still); I have a gazillion shiny consumer devices; I am able to spend a ludicrous amount of time running my mouth on the internet; I am at this very moment drinking overpriced locally-produced cruelty-free organic milk; I am personally acquainted with famous people; I can't bowl for shit. Sure, economically we're nowhere near the elitist-of-the-elite, and it's not like I have dinner with Bono all the time -- but culturally, we fit the stereotype just as well as Obama does. Well, Obama pre-book deal; we're not gonna be bringing in a million dollars anytime soon. I don't drive a Volvo, and I don't drink lattes, but pretty much everything else, yeah, I'll fess up. So it probably does more harm than good for me to say that I get exactly what Obama was trying to say, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I'm just another elitist, right?

What burns me up is this ridiculous attempt by Clinton and McCain to position themselves as anything but elite. YOU ARE UNITED STATES SENATORS. YOU ARE MULTI-MILLIONAIRES. YOU ATTENDED TOP-TIER ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. (Sure, McCain graduated at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy -- but it's still on his resume.) Hillary, your daughter went to Stanford and Oxford and works at a hedge fund. John, your daughter went to Columbia and wears designer jeans and posts Muse songs on her personal blog. (Actually, I think I'd probably like Meghan McCain in real life. Probably more than Chelsea.) You've written best-selling autobiographies. You live in mansions and drive fancy cars and I'm guessing have had a Starbucks or two in your lives. So SHUT UP. You are the very DEFINITION of the political, cultural, and economic elite in this country, and it's absolutely disgusting to pretend to be anything but. Hillary the lifelong hunter? McCain the populist? Give me a goddamn break.

But, once again, the real issue at play is the media, and the fact that every tiny misstep in this campaign is just fodder for more roundtable pundit idiocy to sell ads. That Obama has once again not backed down in the face of this silliness (seriously, the fact that he wanted ORANGE JUICE makes him an ELITIST? WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING, FOX AND FRIENDS??) and let his campaign be shrunken into yet another soundbyte-friendly homogenous politics-as-usual vomitfest is just one more point for him in my internal tally. Again, you can disagree all you want with me about how sincere he is about his desire to do things differently, or how effective he'll be. (Or, you know, [livejournal.com profile] rationalpassion, about whether or not he will cripple this fine nation with his Marxist welfare statist Obama Youth personality cult and we'll all be speaking Farsi by 2012.) It's not like he's politics-free -- he's pandered to a certain extent on free-trade, on Israel, and with the bowling. (Personally, though, if I were stuck in rural Pennsylvania for a month and a half and someone suggested bowling might be a good photo op, I'd totally do it -- at least it was a fun way to spend an afternoon, even if he sucked. Hell, bowling's more fun when you suck! And there's rented shoes!) I just love that he won't play by the media's rules, and it is making their brains run out of their ears, and proving to the American public at large, more so every day, that our media isn't conservative or liberal, it is idiotic and lowest-common-denominator and entirely built around profit rather than any sort of journalistic responsibility to the citizenry. So that, at least, is helpful, if absolutely miserable to sit through.

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