We have begun our annual musical production that my daughter participates in every year. It is a five-month ordeal and requires many volunteers putting in numerous hours. This year I have a more important position (a.k.a. V.I.P, [lol] than last). I am now cc’d all the top echelon memos and such and have been seeing stuff that I wish I haven’t. For example, one woman’s daughter has just completed her second PhD. I have now heard for the fifth time how wonderful this woman is because she has completed her second PhD. Naturally, my first thought goes to a student’s paper I read while working in the writing center when I was an undergraduate. She made a very convincing argument how Billy Budd of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd is held up as a good person worth defending simply because he is handsome. Combing through the text, there is not one tangible example of anything he has done for anyone that makes him worthy of this noble perception. He is simply perceived and promoted as good because he is handsome. In the military one who is quiet and takes shit jobs and endless red tape without complaint is usually considered a “good guy.” Honestly.
After about the fifth time I was told how wonderful so and so’s daughter is for getting her second PhD, I asked, point blank, “Do you know her personally?….If not….What makes a well-fed person who successfully eats a bigger piece of pie than most everyone else, more worthy of my admiration than the scores of hungry and starving people who never even get to see the pie?” Of course, I am met with a dazed and confused look, followed by a moment of silence and then the chance of actually getting an answer sealed shut by a physically turned body and changed of subject.
I can tell you for a fact; it is socially acceptable to have disdain for the poor and less fortunate but it is forbidden to have disdain for the privileged. Safeguards have been put in place to silence any disdain for the over privileged, —-from shaming, to accusations of bitterness, resentment, and jealousy, to the defacto default, accusation of laziness.