ToDaZeD Virtue Superiority Signaling Trumpeting

Soppressata aaaiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! *runz*

A Forenote: yes, this is by David awed by ‘perfectly creased pants’ Brooks, so it is a cartoon. Yet, he puts is so well, so clearly, so frankly, that it must be ….noted.

People who are thrilled with their Special Status as Edjikayted Elites™ delight in signaling it to themselves and to their peers. And any random passerby. Incessantly. Like it was their job.

To feel at home in opportunity-rich areas, you’ve got to understand the right barre techniques, sport the right baby carrier, have the right podcast, food truck, tea, wine and Pilates tastes, not to mention possess the right attitudes about David Foster Wallace, child-rearing, gender norms and intersectionality.

I had to gloooooogle a coupla those things…

So, in order to fit in with the Edcated Elites&trade some have worked very hard to fetishize their Special wines, their Special foods, their Special activities and pastimes, and their Special opinions; regardless of their own tastes [if any].

This has happened before. People forming small groups within a larger culture. Having special styles, foods, lingo to discern who is of and not of their group. Coupla times.

Now they’re turning their part-of-the-kit Weaponized Empathy on themselves and their peers. [oh goody -- something new to self-flagellate about!!! Virtue!! Virtue Over Here!!! Virtue!!!]

… It’s the pediacracy, stupid. Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids.

Because Nobody — No. Body. — in History evar put their all into making their children’s lives better than their own…

As life has gotten worse for the rest in the middle class, upper-middle-class parents have become fanatical about making sure their children never sink back to those levels, and of course there’s nothing wrong in devoting yourself to your own progeny.

With a heaping helping of Self Justification Sauce and a sprinkling of slurs.

It’s when we turn to the next task — excluding other people’s children from the same opportunities — that things become morally dicey.

You mean… you’re discriminating??!?!

…and you say that “becoming fanatical about making sure your children never sink back to those levels could *possibly* be an …exclusionary act??? All the while you make sure, of course, that you fight for Income Equality™ [in 140 characters] and Equality of Outcome™ [on F/B]…

hm… I think we may be approaching the crux of your …problem.

…The most important is residential zoning restrictions….
[The] second structural barrier is the college admissions game…

I’ve come to think the structural barriers he emphasizes are less important than the informal social barriers that segregate the lower 80 percent.

I thought it was all about the 1%-ers -vs- the 99%… Now it’s the the lower 80 percent-ers???!

WTH?

Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.

*facepalm*
go fisk yourself…
I just … can’t even
It never occurred to ya that she just doesn’t like weird salami and tomato sammiches? *I* don’t, particularly. No — with “only” a hi-skool education, of course: how could your “friend” have culinary preferences?!?

Status rules are partly about collusion [like... with the Russians??!?], about attracting educated people to your circle, tightening the bonds between you and erecting shields against everybody else. We in the educated class have created barriers to mobility that are more devastating for being invisible. The rest of America can’t name them, can’t understand them. They just know they’re there.

Using their animalistic instincts — because what else have we they got, really? “The rest of America”, “the lower 80 percent”, barely perceive through the gloom of dumb the “barriers to mobility” to their futures contained amongst the capicollo and pomodoro within slices of striata baguette.

And for that, the Edjikayted Elites™ get to indulge in a few delicious, emotionally incontinent moments of decadent Self-Criticism — with proper company — across the Olive Bar at the Whole Foods.

20 Comments!

  1. Thunderbottom
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 2:34 am |

    Reminds me of the Soviet apparatchiks with their special stores, schools and housing (with their vacation dachas along the Black Sea where they could go to escape the brutal winters in St. Petersburg Leningrad and Moscow). All while the workers lived in housing as bad as if not worse than any housing project found in any “progressive” city in the U.S. and had to stand in line to buy food and other necessities.

  2. Nomen Nescio
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:11 am |

    Hey, I’m a good person! I have a friend that only went to high school and we went to lunch once! I’m careful to only take her to low class places so she feels comfortable. I am wise.
    BTW Mr. Brooks, do you think it’s possible she wasn’t intimidated so much by the names of the sandwiches as by the prices? Tip: if somebody takes you to a sandwich shop that sells salami sandwiches for $18.99, if they ask if you’d like to go somewhere else say yes.

  3. Terrapod
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:13 am |

    Dont know squat about David Foster Wallace but do appreciate Foster Brooks, so there!

  4. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:52 am |

    ^^…she wasn’t intimidated so much by the names of the sandwiches as by the prices?
    Tweren’t that. She, being streetwise, figgered she was in a mafia hangout. A genuinely high class place would use French names for their $18.99 hot dogs and mustard; e.g., Chien Chaud au Diable.

    BTW, Claire, I think you got in about 130 cuts/minute with your razor there.
    Right up there with a Phillipino knife fighter.

  5. WeeBrowser
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 8:12 am |

    I’m surprised at the the blatant racism in his article! Instead of eating the upper crust’s love of European food, she opted for (whispers) Mexican! How bourgeois!

  6. DougM (flawed chap)
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 9:08 am |

    He’s the first person I’ve ever heard call it a high school “degree” rather than a “diploma.” They’re not the same things.

    This is telling re: character. “I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named ‘Padrino’ and ‘Pomodoro’ and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else.” Orrr he could’a mansplained* what those things were and/or made a recommendation. Even those with “only a high school degree” are capable of learning new words, you know, as he did once upon a time, oh so many Pomodoros ago.
    Besides, a truly cultured gentleman would’ve asked the lady what or where she’d like to eat. (Makin’ an assumption, here, that he didn’t.)
    (What? Yeah, I wonder if he knew what all the Mexican words meant.)

    [insert list of similar cheap shots at a guy who can't defend himself, here]

    However, he’s overlooked the most likely “barrier” here to being his peer.
    That is, he’s an arrogant jerk, and his circle is probably populated with similar a-holes that the 80% want nothing to do with. Upward-mobility depends on your definition of “upward.” There are more millionaires, college grads, and well-read people in regular America than in the hellified Edens he mentioned. They don’t give a flying fig for his measures of sophistication; and they don’t want anything to do with shallow, CloudMinder-wannabee jackasses.
    _________
    * If you’re truly versed and practiced in a cultural or gastronomic topic, it’s nice to pass some of that along to one of the great unwashed, as friends or equals, as you would gossip or a comment on a blog post:
    “I love a nice Chianti with my pasta, not with fish like Capt Nash in From Russia With Love.
    (Also, just before one of the greatest fight scenes in the movies cinema, “You may know the right wines, but you’re the one on your knees.”)

  7. Buzz
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 10:34 am |

    I have an aeronautical engineering degree and have enjoyed cuisine of all kinds around this big world.
    I prefer my food without the side order of arrogance, drizzled in pretense, f_ck you very much.

  8. DougM (flawed chap)
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm |

    Padrino, Pomodoro, soppressata, capicollo and striata sound like the menu at a Starbucks.

  9. Steve
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm |

    I et at one of them francy sammij places oncet.

    It gev me gas fer dayz!!!

  10. Dave
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm |

    I know there is a joke about a shit sandwich and not eating bread in here somewhere.

  11. Posted July 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm |

    A friend of mine got serious food poisoning from a food truck. I felt bad for him. Now, if he was an elitist, I might not have felt so bad. Personally, I say let the elites have the food trucks.

  12. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 6:37 pm |

    ^bo1921 – Change the names to French, charge ten times the price, make sure it’s a Mercedes van and the elites will flock to a food truck just for the snob appeal.

    How about Roach Coach with free heartburn?

    Entraîneur du Gardon
    ………..avec…………..
    brûlures d’estomac gratuit – $189 prix fixe

    I can see the elites ponying up now.

  13. DougM (flawed chap)
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 7:23 pm |

    Let them eat focaccia!

  14. accipiterNW
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 11:44 pm |

    I have ciabattaed before….and I WILL ciabatta again!

  15. Nomen Nescio
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 3:49 am |

    Damn the soppressata, full speed ahead.

  16. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 7:19 am |

    Dick@4 — wow, thanks. that makes this post the most athletic thing I’ve done in …evar!

    ; >

  17. Icemaned13 Deplorabus Unim
    Posted July 14, 2017 at 9:24 am |

    If Mr. Douche-Brooks were a real man and a more importantly a GENTLEMAN he would have: asked her “where would SHE like to go have lunch” and picked up the tab at the end.

    If Mr. Douche-Brooks were a worldly GENTLEMAN like he claims to be and a more importantly a real writer, he wouldn’t have written this article.

  18. Fat Baxter
    Posted July 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm |

    I think up-scaling the sandwich makings nomenclature (and a lot of other things, like Starbucks’ coffees) is a sop to the millennials. They have little or no chance of upward mobility, due to their douchebag degrees and crappy economy, so they compensate* by putting fancy labels on plain things. Makes them think they’re at higher station in life. It’s all about the feelzzz!

    * In olden times, this was called “putting on airs”

  19. Peggy U
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 9:34 am |

    Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids.

    It’s the natural result of having fewer kids, Poindexter. See China.

  20. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 9:48 pm |

    under Better Late Than Nevar: just perusing a new-to-the-area eatery — from the streets of Boston — that serves an Italian sub – “just like on the streets of Boston” – featuring these oddly-named meats.

    So actually, not to be culturally appropriational, these meats are strictly Boston Eye-talian and should not be appropriated by the Hipsterdoosh culture at $18 a pop…