Snarky Behavior

Late Night Potshots

July 14, 2007 · 1 Comment


Look at me! I’m blogging from a coffee shop! Wheeeeeeeeee!

With 32 oz. of caffeine surging through my arteries (I’ll be free-basing espresso by September), I am currently one of those annoying scumbags who takes up entirely too much space at a cafe to plug in their desktop-replacement laptop. Pretty proud of myself about that.

Why am I here? Ostensibly, to fulfill a remedial distance learning requirement for math/econ. But there are entirely too many distractions — the most dangerous of which are summer sun-dresses, my absolute downfall– to relearn integration at a coffee shop.

And I would just do it from my apartment but a.) I need the coffee b.) I’d fall asleep at home c.) I’d rather sit in a freely-provided air -conditioned environment and d.) social norms limit me from surfing inappropriate or embarrassing websites while in public, which keeps me on task.

Clearly, I’ve found other ways to goof off. Including reading The Washington City Paper , a coffee-house staple. This month’s front page article is a half-hearted exposee into the young Washingtonian social-club, Late Night Shots. LNS is an oft-derided target of Wonkette for its ironically ostentatious exclusivity.

Though the writer attended a social event and took seemingly diligent notes, the article itself is severely slanted. She comes across as a loyal soldier lobbying grenades at the army of WASPS, under direct orders from her editor-general. (Nothing like a good class-based prejudicial argument to get tempers heated and people talking.)

Now don’t get me wrong… LNS by all accounts, is a cluster-fuck of douchebaggery. Its members are the vapid, status consumed young Republicans that severely chap my ass every time I’m in Georgetown (formerly recognizable for their popped-collars, they’ve since adapted –”they say no one pops their collars these days.”) This is a social class of future Roves and Cheneys that deserves to be exposed for its hypocritical value systems and latent underlying elitism and social prejudice.

Well, attacking the establishment, or the young spawn of the establishment, is never a difficult task. The article is fast and loose, interviewing members of the group who purportedly “hate what it stands for,” but never explaining why, or what they think the group actually does stand for. Anonymous or pseud0nonomous internet rants are included to demonstrate the groups’ apparently amoral world-views or supposedly ironic brand of humor. But this is done without exploring the pernicious relationships between exclusivity, in-groups, ironic humor, prejudice, racism, insecurity, politics and the rest.

All of which makes the in-group (rightly) suspect that such an article, lacking genuine criticism, is merely sour-grapes… a targeted attack by indie liberal hipsters that resent them for their wealth and influence.

It all reminds me of the Duke lacrosse players. When their rape charges were dismissed, I remember watching them indignantly condemn the media for presuming their guilt, and exploiting the racial and class dynamics of the case.

This pissed me off.

Look, assholes… maybe you didn’t rape a prostitute. Congratulations. But you still wrote an e-mail joking about “killing her as soon as she walked in the door.” And you still embody the old-boy entitlement that is pervasive in our country’s elite institutions.

America needs a legitimate conversation on the degradation of moral values, not on the left, where the “morals” front is always entrenched, but on the RIGHT. The City Paper’s superficial treatment is a missed opportunity to explore the systemic problems of conservative values.

Somewhere between Tom Wolfe’s literary hand jobs and Wonkette’s snarky pot-shots there needs to be critical analysis of the value-system of the ruling class. The City Paper swung and missed.

UPDATE
Two things to add to this:
1.) I called this article “fast and loose.” I meant: It all seems very presumptuous. You would never see an exposee into a gang (another young social group) without extensive research into the backstories of the individual members… some attempt to explain why they choose to behave the way the do.

2.) During a visit at Harvard (which is, fairly or unfairly, the consummate conversation piece , when it comes to issues in higher-education), I remember incredulously listening to a sociology major defend his senior thesis — arguing that social elite are just as constrained (in terms of limitations of opportunities) by their formative environment as are young black youth in America’s urban ghettos. I couldn’t believe it. This gross misconception, I believe, is the pervasive attitude we need to be challenging.

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1 response so far ↓

  • Ross // July 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm | Reply

    I would like to suggest that perhaps you tag, at the very least, the Lou Dobbs article with the “douche bags” label as well… just a thought

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