Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's Do Some Stereotyping!

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...


Anonymous said...

I listened to the editor of the _New Yorker_ defend the cover on NPR; his protest was that the cover is a *spoof*, a joke, intentionally ironic, and ::oh, the woe:: that he had to go on the radio and *explain* the joke.

I think we're all well-aquainted with satire. The "joke" was neither funny nor appropriate. Perhaps he will interpret the backlash as the clue to just how badly he failed.

yellowdog granny said...

today when i complained about it my boss said 'you dont have a sense of humor'...after i bitch slapped him he said..'see'...

BBC said...

I took Helen to the eye guy this morning for an eye check after her operations and then for some reason decided to cruse through the marina.

There was one of those 154 foot pecker extension boats that they make here.

Never mind, don't get me started.

BBC said...

Um, that Tastykake site has a number of products. What is best?

BBC said...

Never mind, I just looked at some of the prices and will pass. I make some good snacks and desserts a lot cheaper than that.

THE Michael said...

Honey, I know what you are saying about stereotypes, because my job discription would normally dictate that I cannot understand the meaning of the word "dictate", however, I must also share observations concerning stereotypes and reality. I don't know if you know of the supermarket chains PUBLIX and WINN DIXIE, but allow me to venture that PUBLIX is considered upscale while WINN DIXIE is believed to be the bastion of the less-than-illuminated-amongst-us. I live in a part of town considered to be the redneck rivieara of these parts, and we have one of each of these establishments here. You walk into the PUBLIX, and you experience perhaps what television would portray as your "average blue collar, albeit educated American with asperations". You walk into the WINN DIXIE, and you will, I promise you, unless you are so all inclusive that you would consider Jefferson Davis to be a real American hero, think that you were on another planet, wondering where the slaves went to, perhaps dodging a fight out in the open between to fine examples of white trash sharing differing opions on who gets to shoplift that fine looking hamhoke. I'm sorry, but some stereotypes are well earned, but I will venture that our neck of the woods has long arisen out of that swamp of judgement and just needs some slick liberal hollywood type PR firm to spread the news to the suburbs so that we can finally rid ourselves of a truth long past and a new reality that needs celebrating.

But I ain't EVER going back to that damn WINN DIXIE.

Anne Johnson said...

As I shall never return to the Strand Bookstore.

Anonymous said...

Lest we not forget the "Piggly Wiggly" and "Bells." In some towns one is the upscale, in others the reverse...I'll just hep on over to the "red dot" and get a quart of something to make me not mind so much...


Anne Johnson said...

I was in a Piggly Wiggly once. Best lookin' tripe I ever saw.

Sravana said...

Ummm, I'm sorry that you feel the need to poodle bash. FWIW, these days it's the ubiquitous, ugly PUG dog that the literati carry around, unless it's a damned noisy long-haired chihuahua in their bag.


Well-bred Poodles are fabulous dogs, and even the ill-bred ones have more personality than most.

Sravana, also known as womanwithpoodle, for good reason!

Anne Johnson said...

Oh, my bad. Just picked toy poodle out of the hat because I couldn't spell that Llhaso Hapso or whatever the f******. But actually I am completely prejudiced against all pedigreed dogs. Mutts, only mutts for me. I have seen some cute poodle mixes, including one called Ralph who was adorable.