Archive - Mar 2012

March 30th

Non-Cognitive Elites

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Today's SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY is a celebration. A celebration of a phrase. One of the single greatest phrases ever to grace these halls. You will not be able to believe that this phrase was used without irony or self-awareness, but it was. Oh, how it was. This phrase will enter the YAD lexicon from this point forward. So it's time to have a tripartite conversation about non-cognitive elites.

You see, this week, a glorious thing happened. Secret memos detailing the National Organization for Marriage's master plan to keep gay people from marrying each other were leaked. And much was made of the racial overtones of the strategy - NOM's attempt to separate gay marriage from other civil rights struggles so that blacks and Latinos would be more comfortable being bigots. But I don't care about that strategy. I care about this one. ACTUAL STRATEGY TIME!

"Here’s the bottom line: Hollywood with its cultural biases is far bigger than we can hope to be. We recognize this. But we also recognize the opportunity—the disproportionate potential impact of proactively seeking to gather and connect a community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous non-cognitive elites across national boundaries. (This is applying the Witherspoon and IAV model to non-intellectual elites.) When people are isolated they are silent and ineffectual; in community they gather courage and also give courage (by being visible to others). Precisely because Hollywood is currently so massively biased, there is an opportunity for a small countercultural community to have a disproportionate cultural impact."

I love this paragraph so much I'd be willing to justify NOM's slippery slope argument and try to win the legal right to marry it. NOM appears to be calling for guerrilla warfare in Hollywood between a small, elite, international cadre of morons against the overwhelmingly superior force of intellectuals. It's like a Michael Bay movie, only with some smart people in it. Also, is it wrong of me to hope beyond hope that the "Witherspoon model" actually refers to Reese Witherspoon? And, of course, "IAV model" sounds like a way to deliver gay porn to hotel rooms, so it just gets better and better.

And even if you actually put yourselves in these people's heads just long enough to try to figure out what they're saying, but not so long your brain starts being deprived of oxygen and you feel like you need to shower afterwards... let's assume they mean elites in non-intellectual pursuits. That certainly applies to athletes, with all their Tebowing, and beauty queens, with all their pretending to know about The Iraq. But how are artists and writers "non-intellectual elites"? I mean, sure, Stephanie Meyer, but a quick Google search shows she's already as openly on your side as she's gonna get, which amounts to "not saying anything either way -cough- Mormon -cough-".

But mostly I just love the sheer inanity of it. Four years of Sarah Palin Republicanism have demonized intelligence so much that the gay marriage opponents have no problem admitting in private is that the only way they can win is to recruit more stupid people to openly support their cause. What's their new slogan going to be? "Gay Marriage: It's Wrong As Long As You Don't Think About It"?

And speaking of non-intellectual elites, thanks, Spike Lee.

I know we're all cranky about the Trayvon Martin thing. I get it. But first of all, you don't fucking go on Twitter and post the fucking address of George Zimmerman. You know who also posts the addresses of people they don'g like, people they think murder innocent people and get away with it? Radical pro-lifers. And why do they do it? In the hopes that those people's lives will become an extralegal living hell. It's fucking tacky.

And if you're gonna go on Twitter, and you're gonna post George Zimmerman's home address, could you at least make sure it's George Zimmerman's home address, and not an unverified, unchecked re-tweet of an address that happens to be the residence of an elderly couple? I know, what were the odds that a random house in Florida would be owned by an elderly couple, but extreme coincidence aside, if you're gonna do the thing you totally fucking shouldn't do, do it correctly.

Which brings me to my third point. If you're gonna fuck up, I'd appreciate it if you didn't fuck up in such a way that (a) makes a bunch of Big Hollywood articles technically accurate, if repetitive, gloaty, and representative of their usual expired equine-crushing school of faux-journalism, and second, could you go back in time and rename "Do The Right Thing" so that I don't have to spend this entire fucking piece not writing "Do The Wrong Thing" in any way, shape or form?

Much obliged.