Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Elites, Elitism, and Non-Elites

I didn’t know the bogey man of the “Elites” was a thing until I moved to Oklahoma in 2008. Since then, it appears the creature has grown larger with each year and presidential election. It’s one of the hated groups of people to which I belong (it’s a red flag that I managed to not end that sentence clause with a preposition, I admit.). 

Other hated groups which claim me: women, white people, upper middle class, lawyers, blondes, meat-eaters, fur-wearers, city-folk, civil right supporter, nerds.

Before living in Oklahoma, I thought elite people were those who live on the silver serving tray in the sky, and were dicks about displaying that fact. It’s a two part test – 1) be rich, and 2) be a dick. Here’s a Venn Diagram:
 
This assumption held true through my 4 years living and working in West Virginia -- home of the happy coal miners and Senator Byrd, number 1 longest serving Senator and most beloved pork-barreller in US history.  

When I moved to Oklahoma however, I learned that there is a different form of Elite Person. This Elite Person has to be neither rich nor an asshole. Instead, there’s a balancing test to apply against people which must include the factor of “educated” and may include any of the following (not an exhaustive list: being from the East Coast, being from the West Coast, being from New York, not being athletic, being outwardly ambitious, liking vegetables, liking cats, liking dogs smaller than a Labrador, having allergies, not being afraid of doctors, not being afraid of dentists, admitting to having bad eye sight, understanding what taxes are (clarify: this is not being in favor of socialist government programs, but admitting that roads, dams, militaries, and schools are good things for which society to pay), having the wrong religion, having no religion etc.

Each of these factors warrants its own explication, but their true riddle is being able to hold all of them in your head at once. The root, and there’s gotta be a root, is something I cannot comprehend. Truly, of all the symptoms I can list, I’m never going to understand why I’m so perceived as a deplorable person out to ruin the lives of others. So far, my life has been almost exclusively dedicated to bettering the lives of those around me, and I would be able to produce dozens of witnesses and references to this fact.

Perhaps the root is that inability to comprehend why I’m hated. If I don’t get it, I’m not in the clique. Elite Haters are not even in a club – they don’t publicly designate themselves with unifying hoods, jackets, magic underwear, jerseys, hats or any single physical badge of honor proving your non-elitism. There’s a clique here that you can only be a part of if you’re already somehow a part of it.
Everyday I continue to work for the federal government and sacrifice my time to study law, I am further buried in this class of hated people.


I don’t mean to align myself with vulnerable classes of people, like racial minorities or the mentally and physically handicapped. I worry that society just wants to hate things. No conclusion, just a wonder at why, and want to be able to defend myself. I’m not very big. I’m an exactly average height and weight woman. My options for defense against the rest of the world are extreme: 1) advanced weaponry, 2) hire body guards, 3) learn to be Bugs Bunny and talk my way out of everything. I can’t afford the first two, so I work damn hard at the third. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adulting

Kiddo is adulting. This is a funny term I first heard my friend Melissa use at her bachelorette party. It sounds like something Miley Cyrus would sing/rant about.

It's that stage where we've been physically mature adults for over 10 years, but haven't yet done any of the things "adults" do. We have jobs, but they're random and often waged not salaried. We love them, but Bar Tender and Movie Usher just aren't going to get us a 401K -- right? We have lived with ppl romantically, but aint no ring on our fingers. In fact, the Bachelorette Party is a perfect microcosm of the whole stage -- Good dirty fun with the intent of getting to the real (and very legal) deal in just a sec.

Miley Cyrus is still in that 10 year period, convalescing in all her cake having/eating glory. Beyonce is a real adult. She has Adulted.

I have taken a giant step towards being Beyonce: I got married this summer.

It was a whole grand affair with tent and loads of beloveds. I'm slowly working through all the thank you cards now (each will come with some printed photos!). After all this buzz of Wedding, died down, however, I learned the most crucial part: that I am no different than I was this time last year. I'm with the man I love and want to spend my life with.

Weirdly, though, other ppl have started treating me differently. Relations don't act like I'm a hot potato or unstable isotope -- to be warily handled. I always thought of that attitude be directed toward me because I'm super fun, and a bit of a zaney little wild card in comparison to their suburban choices. Now I'm realizing it's because I'm somehow a part of their club.

This disturbs me, and I can't phrase why, but it feels like there is way more cultural miasma wending around here than I'd thought. In this way, adulting is very off-putting. I have figurative vertigo (I have literal vertigo too, but that's for different reasons), and it's marriage's fault.

Next summer will be another Adulting step: sitting for the bar exam. Hopefully that'll bring back some of the wariness since I'll be an all-powerful attorney! ;)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Further...

South Park, bless their satyric hearts, gave us a cutting and spot on, if not quite accurate, episode about the dangers of not reading legal agreements you electronically sign for things like Gmail, or in this case -- iTunes.

In the episode our plucky heroes all want to download the latest update of iTunes. And why not, the design is sleeker, somehow. Possibly there are more options of how to configure your hard purchased songs and whatnot. I know I like to update iTunes.*

When we update, we click the "agree" box and I am yet to find one nerd who has read all they agree to. South Park posits that everyone does, and your a total dummy for not doing so -- which is just to point out how dumb we all are, because we all just click Agree, and all just assume that others have read it and no harm has come to them...

Then harm comes to one of our heroes.

I won't go into details, but rest assured, it's horrible.

The point here is not about South Park, nor iTunes, but rather the sleeping giant.

Google.

For long ages past, a small altar has been erected in the heart of Kiddo, in honor of the geeks who run Google. They are geeks and they rule the world by giving people exactly what they want exactly when they demand it. The only thing they enforce through law, is their little Agree button which decrees:

     When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. 

The favorite part is their conversational tone which speaks to our fairly-well-educated generation without any condescension or cluttering legalese.

The worst part is how they claim everything you squirrel away digitally -- and not just for their use but also for "those we work with".

Why is this so frightening? Because Kiddo says many things she considers original, witty, intelligent -- marketable -- on this here blogspot. And, since they great loss of digital files 2012, has started putting all the little acorns of poetry, screenplays, essays, diary entries, and collected quotes into the digital knot-hole of gmail.

How they exercise this policy of ownership I must find out. Is it simply for serachability issues? Is it for a hostile takeover of the universe? Have there been lawsuits yet? Where is cyber law defining what belongs to you and what belongs to the creator? Who owns what? Even white collar jail does not work well with Kiddo's pixie dreamgirl status.

No conclusion today. No learning moment. Just fear.



*Version 10.0, however, fell from the tree Jobs had spent his life nurturing, just like everything else that's bloomed since his death. All the tool bars can dissapear now, so you're left with just the pretty pretty album covers, but those album covers are stuck in whatever size the window configures, and the background is stuck in a glaring white.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Carrie vs. Hippy

If we learn anything about Carrie in Sex and the City, it's that she is special and she has special taste in clothes.

Today I was affronted in the office in the breakroom at the empty air pot of coffee that was not going to make itself by two women who care far more about clothes than I do.

"Kiddo," one started, "I love that you are just so you. You can take so many patterns and colors and just make them work for you!"

"Yea, you're so hippy," the other piped up.

It should be know that I am not a hippy. I am fiscally conservative to the point of being misconstrued as a Depression Baby with dollars sewn into my mattress. If I had a worthwhile mattress I planned on keeping around, and worth more than $50, I totally would sewn bills into it. I can't keep plants alive, crave violence, and prefer contraception to no contraception.

Dear Reader, you should also know that in this instance -- lacking coffee and dignity -- I was wearing no fewer than two types of plaid. One in grey tones, one in blue, orange and brown tones. Also a popped collar polo, black leather choker, a pink embroidered A-Line skirt, and river rafter shoes with reflective strips. My hair has not been brushed in 5 days owing to having lost my brush. Instead it is wet, in a knot and a pink polka-dot scarf ties it down.

So, maybe somethings, but gracious. 
I do not look anything like a hippy. I do not present myself anything like a hippy.

But, so much for self-perception.

Lastly, it just irked me that "hippy" is now an adjective. Really?

"No, hip," said the first woman, apparently taking in my expression of incredulous rage, "do you mean hip? You're totally hip, Kiddo."

"No, hippy. You  know, you like flowers and stuff."

Now, I clearly just didn't know what she was talking about. Now I'm a hippy and I'm stupidly unaware of what a hippy is.

"I can't keep flowers alive--" I turn to look for the coffee. It's not made. I came here for coffee, these people were standing right next to it, and not turning on the damned machine.

"Oh, I can do that."

Can you? Cus if so, why is it not done?

A stupid hippy with no coffee.

Or, if you're being kind, I am a more corporate Carrie. Carrie if she were in DC instead of Manhattan.
On a good day. With shoes donated by co-workers. Thanks!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Zinch

This website is a perfect website at first exploration. It's scope is succinct enough they complete exactly what they wanna do with a minimum of page usage. The visual presentation reflects the scope. blah blah blah...

But the most amazing thing is their weekly scholarship competition. Every week (Monday - Monday) Zinch.com gives away $1K for a 280 character essay. They provide prompt. You provide three sentences. Boom.

Here is my entry for today:


If you were to create a time capsule to be opened in the year 2099, what three items would you include to represent contemporary culture? Explain your selections.

Self-respecting time capsules are compact and cover the full scope of culture:  A can of Coca-Cola (food, chemicals, advertising and the #1 understood word in the world). iPhone – still in the box with its accoutrements. Obama bumper sticker: politics, self-expression, transportation & the year in one tiny package!

I worry I'm not hitting total culture here, but these three things are pervasive enough in every country that no matter what yurt you live in, you're going to encounter at least one of them. 

You'll now be viewing my hyper-speed thoughts every week, and when I finally win one of these things, we shall rejoice. 

I'm reading the terms and conditions now so I can see if they count spaces as characters. Also, it appears you have to already be enrolled to get the dough. So, I'll limber up with the blogging and hit hard core in a couple months. 


My Last Meal: Ikea

I'm more glad that you can know that this photo exists. 

Over the years, you've heard me love on Ikea. Ikea is so great I'll have my wedding (should such a crazy thing happen) will take place there. Then I can get sponsorship to pay for it. And it will be beautiful. And everyone will be comfy. And catering will be ideal and tasty. 

Those days are gone. 

And Hunter may call me an Absolutist from time to time, and perhaps he is right, but some things are just inherently great. Ikea was. 

My last trip there, however, was less than. 

As I have told Awesome Boss Who's Awesome (ABWA), there are few things in life I have faith in. Here is the list: 

1. ABWA
2. IKEA
3. Disney Corp.

These three things have always had the potential to let me down, to give up their integrity, to stop what makes them unique in a world of mediocrity. But they don't. Every time I feel the little Kiddo phloem break down, and the photosynthesis not quite keep up with where my leaves have reached, I shelter under the greenhouse of these three wonder-full entities. 

Well, that's all folks. 

Ikea 

a. no longer offers children sized meals to whomever
b. no longer adheres to their own aisle/bin organization

Though these may seem slight offences, they are only so because you, dear reader, live in a world used to such mediocrity. Such corner cutting in process and integrity is the reason we lay lack lustre in our stinkbug-filled homes. 

So we have to wander a bit more, gather a bit more, ask a bit more. It's only an hour or two on any weekend of our whole stinkbug-filled lives. Well, dear reader, the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots, and I will no longer be shopping at Ikea. I now have faith in only two things in this greater world. Maybe whiskey will fill that gap. 

But the dispute of such a precedent is for another rant on another day. 

All my Friends are Waiters

This was a title for a blog I dreamed in July last year. My oldest friends were stale and gone, and my current friends were so vital and wholly unaware of the world they exuded with every frustrated breath it hurt my little ribs to look at them, they were agitating in their neighborhoods amongst each other and throwing punches when one tottered too close to another.

Now even those friends are gone, and their agitations no longer worry me. The ripples they cause are spaced. The chop isn't all around. Life is their ocean, and never their oyster, small and never up to even under-statured expectations.

I love them, and you can too: http://travelwhateveretc.blogspot.com/2013/04/41013-erikas-apartment-447-am.html#comment-form