Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm a judgmental bitch

I met a chick a couple months ago who boasted that she was going to read all the "classics". She felt that she "should" have read them and was going to read three a year. I assume until she dies or until she runs out of classics. I know I'm not supposed to judge, but that's about the most bone-headed idea I've heard since Bush's forest fire management plan to cut down the trees so they won't burn. First, what a way to turn reading into a pleasure-sucking chore. Second, assuming she lives for another 40 years, that's only 120 books. Third, what the hell constitutes a "classic"? If Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are classics, is Uncle Tom's Cabin on her list? If Ulysses is a classic, are The Iliad and The Aeneid included in her 120 books? Is Beowulf? If Oscar Wilde's plays are classics, what about Tom Stoppard or Aeschylus? And those are just choices from the West! What a fuckwit.

As you may be able to tell, my feelings about this run rather high, and completely out of proportion to the actual importance/merit/relevance of this issue. I mean, really, why should I even care what this woman chooses to do with her time? But I do care! I don't just find this project distasteful; I'm actually angry about it. And I can't figure out why. Is it because she has the temerity to think that she alone can decide what book is a "classic" and what's not? Is it because I harbor some secret guilt about not liking dead white male authors? Weird.

Word of the day: Bushenfreude. Okay, it's not particularly new, but what an awesome word. Coined by Daniel Gross for slate.com, it describes the odd situation of people who hate Bush but benefit from his tax cuts. He first noticed this juxtaposition of conspicuous consumerism with conspicious anti-Bush sentiment when he saw a brand spanking new BMW with a bunch of Howard Dean yard signs tossed onto the back seat. Had he taken a picture of this scene, I'm sure it would have fuelled even more red state anger about those rich, hoity-toity liberals (and who says their anger would not have been justified?).

Reading: Finished One Hundred Years of Solitude and feel that I read it too fast. It must have been awesome in the original Spanish.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you saying people can't have money and nice yuppy stuff and actually be liberal? is this some sort of incongruity?

Sure I benefitted from his tax cuts, but that doesn't change the fact that I'd prefer to not have had a tax cut in the first place. I'd prefer to have the national budget ballanced instead of made irretrievably large from spending on a war (that we had no right to wage) with less tax revenue to ballance out the spending increases.

I don't like Bush or his solutions. I never voted for Bush. I hate practically everything he's done and stands for. And, I yearn for the scandalous days of the Clinton administration.

But, I also like my car a lot.

Lien said...

No, being rich and liberal is not an incongruity. I'm saying that I understand how poorer red state people might get angry when told how they should think or feel by rich blue state people. (Why they should listen to rich red state people, of course, is also a good question.)

Actually, this blog was going to be about conspicuous consumption and the mindset that allows for my paying to import cat food yet sneer at people who shop at Wal-Mart and was going to be titled "I'm a yuppie" but then I got too tired to work myself up into the required lather to do it.

Evolvingthinker said...

You are importing cat food? What? Is the Irish cat food not good enough? I understand buying expensive shoes, especially when they are really cool, but cat food? *smile* I know. It's Chloe. She deserves the best.

Anonymous said...

irish kitties eat potatoes.