Friday links! Ethic of the ruling class edition

Sarah Palin is going home with one of you but has not yet decided whom.

Sarah Palin is going home with one of you, but she hasn’t decided which yet.

It makes sense that Sarah Palin would leap to stand with the guy from Duck Dynasty, since they’re both in the business of selling country people a certain noise. Country people, as you know, are locked in an Inherit the Wind-style war with city people for the future of this nation. Just like in 1925, rural communities are recoiling from the snobbery and moral degeneration of city life, defining themselves by the opposite values: authenticity, tradition, and self-reliance. Like the populists of the Dust Bowl, the country people of the 21st century are rising up, this time to throw their support behind the party of big business and old money. Today is Friday, and the ruling class has upped its game. Won’t you survey the quality with me?

The difference between country folk and city people is that country folk work harder. Case in point: urban homosexual Dan Savage barely got through the introduction of Sarah Palin’s Christmas book, even though he was supposed to read the whole thing. He gets to the part about her nice rack, but then he quits and runs a review anyway. Like a lot of urban homosexuals, Savage wants something for nothing. Country people want to work. That’s why the governor likes them.

Like country people, the rich and educated enjoy a tradition of success. Most of them start succeeding at a young age, in high school, so they can go on to succeed at such selective universities as Harvard. The most frequently given grade at Harvard is an A. Here’s what spokesman Jeff Neal says about it:

In recent years, the [Faculty of Arts and Sciences] . . . have reemphasized and elevated the importance of teaching and learning in our mission to the benefit of the undergraduates at Harvard College.

They all get A’s because Harvard teaches them so good, is basically what Neal is saying. His masterpiece of bureaucratic audacity would be the best quote in the article, were in not for 19 year-old economics major Dhruv Goyal:

If you talk about the grades at Harvard, the first thing that comes to mind is its implications on mental health. Harvard students come in as overachievers in high school and want to replicate that success.

When Dhruv Goyal thinks about grades at Harvard, he worries that he will go crazy. But clearly that freshman expository writing course has worked on him.

He should just copy his work from someone else, like Shia LaBeouf did. Props to Ben “The Angel” Gabriel for the link. The fun part of this story is not when LaBeouf makes Daniel Clowes’s comic Justin M. Damiano into a short film without crediting the source material at all. It’s when he apologizes using text that appears to have been copied from a Yahoo! Answers post. It’s possible that Shia LaBeuouf is not as smart as he appears on film, you guys. It’s possible he is being hired for his looks.

When all other instances of human writing are plagiarized from the internet, we will still produce new album reviews. They will all rail against popular music, even though that term has utterly ceased to hold meaning. Don’t read this Vice list of the worst 50 albums of 2013. Do read this introduction, wherein the author stumbles upon a truthful insight at the end of the second paragraph and, 50 words to go, gets the hell out of there. With no centralized popular music, there is no particular thing to reject in order to be cool. It therefore follows that rejecting everything is cool.  Give us hell, Vice!

I’ll tell you what’s cool: 1930s populist values filtered through the middle class to become the iconography of 1980s hardcore. For example:


Iron Reagan released that album in 2013. Everything old is rad again.

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