October 27, 2010

dear clusterflock

How elite are you?

In the Washington Post, Charles Murray suggests that answering these questions might help determine if you’re a member of the “New Elite.” How do we do?

1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?”

2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”

3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”

4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?

5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?

6. How about pilates?

7. How about skiing?

8. Mountain biking?

9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?

10. Does the acronym MMA mean nothing to you?

11. Can you talk about books endlessly?

12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?

13. How about a Harlequin romance?

14. Do you take interesting vacations?

15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?

16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?

17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?

18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?

19. Have you ever heard of of Branson, Mo?

20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?

21. How about the Rotary Club?

22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?

23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of y0ur neighbors did not have college degrees?

24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?

25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?

26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?

27. Have you worked on one?

via

comments

  1. Michael Smith on October 27th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?”
    Yes.

    2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”
    Only the first 3 seasons.
    3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”
    No.
    4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?
    Probably.
    5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?
    No.
    6. How about pilates?
    No.
    7. How about skiing?
    No.
    8. Mountain biking?
    Does Gary Fisher design bikes?
    9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?
    No.
    10. Does the acronym MMA mean nothing to you?
    Had to google the acronym, but watched the UFC regularly when Royce Gracie was undefeated.
    11. Can you talk about books endlessly?
    Yes.
    12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?
    No.
    13. How about a Harlequin romance?
    No.
    14. Do you take interesting vacations?
    Yes.
    15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?
    Yes.
    16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?
    Boothbay? No.
    17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?
    I’ve been in one.
    18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?
    Not anymore.
    19. Have you ever heard of of Branson, Mo?
    Yes.
    20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?
    No.
    21. How about the Rotary Club?
    No.
    22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?
    No.
    23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of y0ur neighbors did not have college degrees?
    No.
    24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?
    No.
    25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?
    Yes.
    26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?
    Yes.
    27. Have you worked on one?
    No.

  2. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Oh, this should be good. My answers will just conflibberate the entire proceeding.

    I gotta do some dang work now (translate: call a guy about some potential work), but I’m gonna answer this later.

  3. Deron Bauman on October 27th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Is he a post structuralist?

  4. Joel Bernstein on October 27th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Skinny Drew Carey kind of creeps me out.

    And I did read a Twilight book once.

  5. Joel Bernstein on October 27th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Pilates is the guy who killed Jesus, right?

  6. Michael Smith on October 27th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Joel, did you just compare Twilight to the Left Behind series?

  7. Aaron Winslow on October 27th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Does scratching my tummy at the urinal at a Golden Corral count as an ‘interesting vacation’?

  8. Michael Smith on October 27th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    And yoga.

  9. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    1. I can fake talking about “Mad Men.”

    2. I can fake talking about “The Sopranos.”

    3. No, but I remember “The Price Is Right.”

    4. I have not watched an Oprah show from beginning to end. But I remember feeling jealous in 1984 as I was walking to the El and she was sashaying down the street and two men hollered out, “Oprah Winfrey, I love you!” Also, I could give tourists visiting Chicago directions to Harpo Studios, and I did.

    5. I can hold forth about yoga, but not with animation. I get a little more animated talking about tai chi and qi gong.

    6. I don’t do Pilates, though I know my core hates me for it.

    7. Cross-country is cool.

    8. I flew off a mountain bike out in the desert on my way back from the Old Lon Chaney Ranch, and I conked my head and got a concussion.

    9. Uh, is Jimmie Johnson related to Junior Johnson?

    10. The acronym MMDA means something to me.

    11. I can talk about books, but I get tired.

    12. I know about “Left Behind” novels, but I never read one. I read boy books full of stabbing and killing when I am not reading Literature.

    13. I am thinking I might like to read a Harlequin romance.

    14. I used to take take interesting vacations back when I worked enough to earn vacations.

    15. I do not know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada, but I know a shitload in the Anza-Borrego area of California.

    16. I got thrown out of a boutique hotel in Malibu once.

    17. I would rather be found alive than caught dead in an RV.

    18. I would like to time-travel to a 1933 cruise ship.

    19. Hell, yeah, I’ve heard of of Branson, MO. I wish I could remember the funny thing my friend Karen said about it.

    20. I have never attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club.

    21. I was the guest of honor at a Rotary Club meeting this February when I was trying to sell my mother’s house.

    22. I have lived more than a year way outside a small town. I have lived in the back of beyond.

    23. I imagine many of my urban neighbors had college degrees, but I’ve lived in a load of urban neighborhoods and I really don’t know.

    24. I have lived many years with a household income less than twice the poverty line.

    25. I have close friends who are Christians, but I’m not close to any evangelical Christians.

    26. I’ve visited factory floors, my father’s among them.

    27. I’ve never worked on a factory floor. I’ve worked a call center, though.

  10. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Aaron. Golden Corral. “All You Dare to Eat.” Now that’s interesting.

  11. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Close, Joel. Pilates was the OCD dude who was always warshing his hands.

  12. Amanda Mae Meyncke on October 27th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?”
    In depth.

    2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”
    Only the essentials.

    3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”
    Duh.

    4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?
    Yes.

    5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?
    Not only yoga, but all types of yoga. Ashtanga? Hatha? Vinyasa flow? BIKRAM? Iyengar? you name it, baby I’m there.

    6. How about pilates?
    Yep. Free form as well as the kind with a machine.

    7. How about skiing?
    Nope.

    8. Mountain biking?
    Not really.

    9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?
    No.

    10. Does the acronym MMA mean nothing to you?
    I know someone who does MMA. He’s not good or famous.

    11. Can you talk about books endlessly?
    Yes. Literally.

    12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?
    I’ve read several!

    13. How about a Harlequin romance?
    I’ve read about a hundred of the brand Harlequin, from the 70s.

    14. Do you take interesting vacations?
    Always.

    15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?
    Objectively yes.

    16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?
    No.

    17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?
    I’ve been in several. Hate them though.

    18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?
    Not after the last time I cruised.

    19. Have you ever heard of of Branson, Mo?
    Yes.

    20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?
    No.

    21. How about the Rotary Club?
    No.

    22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?
    Haha, yes.

    23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of y0ur neighbors did not have college degrees?
    I am doing that right now!

    24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?
    Yes. Also, that is my life.

    25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?
    Most of my friends are.

    26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?
    Yes. Miller brewing company!

    27. Have you worked on one?
    No. Not so much.

  13. bobfromthesunset on October 27th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    and there’ve been a few takedowns of this list already – it’s really an out of touch elitist’s view of what folks in the heartland are all about used to try to make other people feel out of touch.

    For instance, Rotarians and the Kiwanis are not where you’ll find po folks – they’re where you’ll find small town dentists and insurance agents, i.e., the local elite.

    Harlequin romances are read by very small percentage of the population and believe it or not, most people haven’t seen an entire Oprah show.

    And so on …

  14. Amanda Mae Meyncke on October 27th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I wrote about ten pages of an endless paper about how romance novels reflect and influence women’s expectations of men and sexuality during different decades, as you can see shifts towards and away empowerment at different times.

    So I guess I had a MEGA elite reason for reading them.

  15. Cindy Scroggins on October 27th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I know the fuck out of who Jimmie Johnson is.

  16. Brian Beatty on October 27th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?”

    No, but I’ve worked in advertising.

    2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”

    I know that a guy from Springsteen’s band was on it.

    3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”

    Yep.

    4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?

    Nope.

    5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?

    Girls in tight clothes? Yes. Yoga? No.

    6. How about pilates?

    With eye patches and peg legs?

    7. How about skiing?

    Nope.

    8. Mountain biking?

    A little. I own an old Fisher I’ve not taken out in years.

    9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?

    No, but I know Robert Johnson isn’t the end all, be all of the blues.

    10. Does the acronym MMA mean nothing to you?

    Huh?

    11. Can you talk about books endlessly?

    Yep.

    12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?

    Nope.

    13. How about a Harlequin romance?

    Nope.

    14. Do you take interesting vacations?

    I just had trouble getting back into the U.S.

    15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?

    I could find one in an hour.

    16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?

    B&B stands for blah-de-blah, right?

    17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?

    No.

    18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?

    No.

    19. Have you ever heard of of Branson, Mo?

    Been there.

    20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?

    Actually, I have. For work.

    21. How about the Rotary Club?

    See above.

    22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?

    20-some just up the road from John Cougar Mellencamp.

    23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of y0ur neighbors did not have college degrees?

    Chicago’s Rogers Park.

    24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?

    As a kid, yes.

    25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?

    She’s a Facebook friend, but not close.

    26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?

    Many. For work, mostly.

    27. Have you worked on one?

    One. When I was younger.

  17. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Brian. Oh. Oh, my aching sachroiliac.

  18. Cindy Scroggins on October 27th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Oh, wait. That would be Jimmy Johnson. I might be elite after all.

  19. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Who are you people who can talk endlessly about books? I’ve read a shitload of books, but I can’t talk about them. How is it you fucks are so much smarter and so much more articulate and so much, well, more forthcoming than me?

    Y’all almost annoy me.

  20. Joel Bernstein on October 27th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I wouldn’t classify anyone talking about a Left Behind book as “smart” or “articulate”.

    “Forthcoming”, sure.

  21. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Not any of y’all, y’all.

  22. Sheila Ryan on October 27th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Aw, naw, Joel. I meant people talking about books.

    And I’m really not being disingenuous. I am being straight-up serious.

  23. wellcraftedtoo on October 29th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Oh boy, my first online quiz (that I can remember doing)…!

    1. Can you talk about “Mad Men”?

    No, but I can, if pressed, discuss Bewiched, the original Mad Men.

    2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”

    Nope, have zero interest in mobsters, but did defend, in an underling way, one or two Chicago mobsters back quite a few years.

    3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”

    Bob is gone?

    4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?

    Oddly enough, I don’t think I have; I get bored.

    5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?

    I can!

    6. How about pilates?

    No.

    7. How about skiing?

    Cross-country!

    8. Mountain biking?

    Nope.

    9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?

    Uh, no, and Google just gave me 1.8 millions responses to ‘Jimmy Johnson’–Should I know someone by that name?

    10. Does the acronym MMA mean nothing to you?

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Or, is that MMOA?)

    11. Can you talk about books endlessly?

    I can talk a lot about books, and I write them (well, I write short fiction), but not endlessly (neither talk about nor write).

    12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?

    Nope.

    Don’t read many novels, although I read just about everything else (short story, poetry, essay, plays, and nonfiction). Latest novel I’ve been reading is Henry Roth’s posthumously published, An American Type. Roth is amazing.

    13. How about a Harlequin romance?

    How about it? Are you offering some?! (Hee hee.) The answer is no, but I could use some Harlequinesque romancing!

    14. Do you take interesting vacations?

    You bet.

    15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?

    Uh, Yosemite, natch.

    16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?

    The only exquisite B & B I’ve ever been to was in Spoleto, Umbria. If you want directions, let me know–great hosts, gorgeous views, friendly town, food to die for, and rather cheap!

    17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?

    Sure, I have fantasies of selling it all, and cruising the Americas in one!

    18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?

    No, don’t like the idea of them.

    19. Have you ever heard of of Branson, Mo?

    Of course…you can take a gal (and her pap) out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of a gal!

    20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?

    Surely, you jest.

    21. How about the Rotary Club?

    No, but two close associates are gung-ho Rotarians. What DO they do at all those meetings??

    22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?

    Depends on what you mean by small, but the answer in any case is probably no.

    23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of y0ur neighbors did not have college degrees?

    Yes, and what a year it was!!

    24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?

    Gotta think on that. That would be my own family, but we were young and students and on the cheap. Life was rich! But does it count if we were less than a ‘family of four’??

    25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?

    No, but I have one or two relatives who are (scary) and on my husband’s side, one or two relatives who are orthodox Jews (equally scary).

    26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?

    Yes, one owned for a short time by my father.

    27. Have you worked on one?

    Very, very briefly.

    So, now what? What does any of this mean??

  24. Sheila Ryan on October 29th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Indeed, Pamela. Indeed. But I liked reading your answers.

  25. Dave Vogt on October 29th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    1. Nope
    2. No
    3. Yep
    4. Probably at some point?
    5. No
    6. No
    7. No
    8. Not really
    9. No
    10. I know what it means. This question is awkwardly worded
    11. No
    12. No
    13. Nope. My aunt calls them “loins novels”
    14. No
    15. No
    16. No
    17. I sure would.
    18. What’s with all the death? I’ve got nothing against them
    19. It seems familiar.
    20. No
    21. no
    22. Grew up in one
    23. No
    24. Most of my life
    25. Have had.
    26. No
    27. No

    Man, I got like the shittiest score ever.