“Simply Elite”

Kids should be critics.

All the people on staff at every newspaper from restaurants to movie reviews should be immediately fired or worse, demoted to writing verbatim, in true secretary-style, what the new critics’ critiques are each week. (This may be helpful as I feel that the best critics will be children that can’t write or type yet.)

This will be the first step to saving journalism (from what I’m not sure) or at the very least, or skewed sense of what is intrinsically either “good” or “cool.” Children are honest, and they have no sense of what is “supposed” to be good or cool, they just speak their mind whenever they have something to say.

This type of honesty, which is actually just the definition of honesty, would be like a breath of fresh air, as most of the time, when someone is being honest, they are usually lying slightly.

Whenever someone gets out of college or just simply stops going to classes, and they begin their job search in the “real world”, there is always some parent, or uncle, or a friend’s uncle or parent that says a phrase in order to make you feel a little better for being rejected by the last twelve contacts on careerbuilder.com. That phrase is this: Don’t worry kiddo, it’s not so much WHAT you know it’s WHO you know.

(Author’s note: this cliché is skewed grammatically, as it should be “whom you know.”

So, for all the people that have nothing better to do than scan the papers and point out grammatical indiscretions, the cliché is wrong, not me.)

A recent trend in today’s society has kind of divided up the class system even more so than gated communities from normal peasants who live without the luxury of cage-like gates around their sodded yards.

The trend is kind of a take on the advice you got (without ever asking for) concerning finding employment, and it’s more a take on how your personal taste indirectly defines how cool you are or how classy you are perceived to be.

It’s not what you like, it’s whom you like. (Please note grammatical correction for my cliché.)

There is no real sense of universal taste. It’s regional at best, as people that live in certain areas of the country are generally into the same things. This is a hometown sense of taste. It’s like rooting for the team that you supported while you were a kid, even though the players, coaches, front office, and more than likely the stadium have all changed.

You are basically rooting for a team whose only similarity is they play in the same zip code and the uniforms are the same (which in many instances, is not always the case either.) Your taste is formed out of habit or out of tradition. You’ve always done it that way, so that’s the way it should be, making it good and/or cool to do.

So, your idea of the perfect way to undress a soft crab, where the best Maryland Crab soup is sold, the best place to fish from, and other random things like that are from routine and/or passed down generational secrets.

Sometimes, religious and political beliefs are passed down like this too. You’ve grew up Methodist, so you are a Methodist, and not so much that you whole heartedly are hip to all things Methodist, it’s just that you’ve always done it that way, so that’s the way you do it on Sundays.

There are some that vote a certain way because their parents did, and not so much for what they personally believe in. Yet, the question that should be posed is that kind of traditional voting more or less informed that the fence sitters that say things like “I’m economically Republican, but I’m a moral Democrat.” You would think that though the “hometown sense of taste” people may know about fewer things, they know about those things from back to front.

I don’t like NASCAR, and I’ve even worked at a racetrack when I was young. I can’t understand why thousands of people would sit in the hot sun and watch cars veer to the left for six hours. Yet, I know that somewhere in North Carolina there is a man who knows as much about NASCAR as I do about music or hockey statistics that feels the same way about Jeff Gordon as I do about Tom Waits or the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins (and that is that they generally reek of awesomeness).

I would be an elitist jerk off if I just simply thought that I was better or smarter than said North Carolina NASCAR fan.

Which brings me to those folks that establish what is good or cool based on brand names or mainstream obscurity.

Foodies, Winos, and name-droppers are generally posers.

It’s not that they like good food, or the fact they can afford it. Rather, it’s the way they view what they like when comparing it to everything else. It’s an elitist mentality by people that don’t necessarily have any reason to be elitists.

We’ve all eaten at McDonalds and more than likely all purchased something from Walmart. We all can remember a time when we had no money and lived like some punk rocker (booze, cigarettes, and cold pizza), and were pretty darn happy. I would never admit that when I have a few too many drinks that I sing along to “Brown Eyed Girl” because I’m a recovering music snob that wants you to think that I’m clever because “Astral Weeks” is my favorite Van Morrison record.

It’s cool to have something that you like, but stop trying to make everyone else think that what you like is the coolest too.

Some people want the world to be a classier place where everyone drinks Red Zin while snacking on Lamb Shanks, and others want Scrapple and grits with a cold beer while they watch the game. Perhaps in your region, it will be that way, but never will it be like that universally.

It’s all pretty maddening how much we (as adults) still want people to think that we are cool.

If kids were critics, they’d be ripping us apart in tomorrow’s paper, while they snack on their chicken fingers and watch their cartoons.

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