Let me get this out in open, I’m an elitist. But, not because I want to be mind you! But, because many things I like have been given some silly stigma as “snooty” or “pretentious” and so I’m slurred into this title. Odd to be slurred into the elite isn’t it? However, I’d like to argue for this view; I think everyone should like these things and all would be better off if they did.
Let me list some of them them: Literature, philosophy, ethics, classical music, theater, culinary arts, opera, ballet, science (all of it), history (everyones), etc. There are even a few things I think most people would appreciate even though I don’t think everyone would benefit from. Say, pipe smoking. Or scotch, wine, and beer (no, not bud light). Perhaps poker? Or more traditionally then; chess.
All the things listed above are, if not in and of themselves regarded as snooty and pretentious, then a higher knowledge and care of them are regarded as such. Why? I believe a great deal is due to cultural influences. A “man” cannot be someone who knows how to implement a full guard choke hold (a choke-out every woman should know, along with some full mount reversals) and at the same time know why Hamlet breaking Iambic Pentameter is an indication to his mental well being. Why must these be in different categories?
More importantly, why must the ideal of manliness be first considered with knowing the particular oil filter for a chevy and not be primarily concerned with … well, shit, anything else that might concern humans! Social interaction, emotional recognition and empathy, grammar, spelling, wit, (for fuck sake. WIT!) eloquence, kindness, compromise… I could go on forever. Suffice to say none of these are highlighted as traits of the “common man”, shown in commercials world wide, and accepted as the typical stereotype of what most American men (if not all men) are.
Well, allow me to add to the chorus of men over the ages to say: Fuck that. There are more important things than being stubborn, good with cars, and good at fighting.
We spend 3 parts of our day, however short, eating. Why do we not focus on culinary arts (and wine and beer) ((or tea and coffee!))? We spend so much of our time sleeping, why do we never invest in a better bed? We spend our lives battling the major questions of existence, why do we not engage philosophy? So much of our life is spent interacting with other humans, odd we spend so little time on psychology. We communicate through speech, yet we don’t care for grammar, we write our ideas and yet care not for spelling. We’d relate our lives to the world if we could, yet none care for literature or theater. Every question leveled at us in life is amenable to reason, why do we care so little for logic and critical thinking?
My fellow humans, where are your priorities? What is essential to your living the good life is being taken from you and ridiculed as snobbish (of all things!), and you’re giving it up without a fight.
To assign, or as I’d say relinquish, such great pursuits to the powerful or “elite” is to give away your avenue to the best that mankind has to offer. Do not reduce yourselves to the level of a serf simply because your culture has lifted such ideals up. Remember, we need not in this day and age be stunted by class. Nor did we ever, in order to live the good life.
Does this sound pretentious? Well, then 3 cheers for it.