Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Can we talk about stereotypes?
Last weekend Snobville had a big craft fair. They have it every year. I never go, but I had to walk past it to get to the post office. And on the corner some mom-and-pop outfit was selling old fashioned soda in "souvenir mugs."
The mugs featured a bearded, bellied guy in ragged clothes, carrying a gun in one hand and a moonshine jug in the other. Nearby sat a busty blonde, scantily clad in ragged clothes, pouting sexily at the viewer. Behind all this was an outhouse and a moonshine still. And mountains, of course.
Oh, go ahead. Lob disdain at Appalachians. We are bloody used to it.
But why don't we spread the stereotyping around a little bit?
There's one group that rarely gets socked with the stereotype. Friends, let's look for a minute at people who read The New Yorker.
Have you ever met a New Yorker subscriber who didn't think he (or she) could crap on the sidewalk, and no one would smell it?
These are people who keep up not with regular books, but with Lit-tra-cha. Don't think there's a difference? Try reading a New Yorker short story. ????????? becomes ZZZZZZZZZZZ pretty fast.
These are people who want to look smart even if they're not, who want to look rich even though they aren't. They want to be seen as hip, chic, on the cutting edge of everything intellectual and cultural and political.
Please allow me to take a heaping helping of stereotype, roll it into a ball, and lob it at people who read The New Yorker.
You're snobs. You look down your nose at the rest of us as if we can't spell "Rimbaud," much less pronounce it. You grimace over your rimless glasses when someone tries to pass you in the narrow aisles of The Strand Bookstore, because you're too busy pretending to read John Barth to actually step aside.
So when a piece of virulent crap like this week's Barack Obama cover appears on the front of the New Yorker, of course it isn't the chic, over-educated city slicker snobs who get bashed. They're smart. They can understand a joke. It's the rest of us who are too stupid to get the satire. Because what are we? We're the unwashed masses who don't read The New Yorker! Poor us. We're so clueless and stupid. Why, we don't even recognize the names of the poets who publish their work in the New Yorker, while making a pittance as assistant professors in Midwestern colleges! No hope for us.
Intellectual snobs, stand up and be stereotyped!
Here's my New Yorker stereotype "souvenir mug":
The guy is a sloppy-dressed, bespectacled skinny nerd with unpublished poems hanging out of his pockets. The girl has her nose in the air as she walks her toy poodle -- both girl and poodle in matching Givenchy attire and flawless accessories. We'll set them in front of New York University, which both of them wanted to attend, but neither got admitted. In the background, the posh New York City skyline which, trust me, looks better in postcards than in person.
How's it feel, intellectual snob, to see yourself portrayed en masse as something less than ideal? You've had it coming. Go cry into your Argentinian merlot.
Assuming that the word "moron" has multiple meanings, I shall tag this one...