The Insurance Schmuck is attending a wedding doubleheader this weekend. The first wedding took place last night in Gatsbyland, the part of the Guyland that publicly defined the up-and-coming for all Americans, not just for those stuck on a big-ass pile of glacial debris. The second, ’cause it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames, is gonna go down in Wyomissing tonight. As another wiener who went to the Day School, and someone who has even driven around the Inner Circle, I’m sure I have mutual acquaintances with Taylor Swift, but I spend too much time scavenging deposit bottles out of trash cans to really give a shit. Frankly, Steely Dan’s old school sounds a lot less obnoxious than any of mine.
There’s a single mansion on each of the four corners of the Inner Circle, and a mile or two away there’s Reading. You know by now what this means: oh, my goodness, the front nine was great this morning, and by the way, Kwesi Millington for Sheriff. Urban Berks County ain’t integrable, folks. It just isn’t. It’s a two-bit Chicago with a pagoda, a place where, I swear I’m not kidding about this, it would take a generation or two of things that have not been happening in Reading to reintegrate the shanty Irish with the lace curtain Irish. Crackas be fucked. Niggas, too. Of all races.
The Insurance Schmuck flew to Denver a few weeks ago and shacked up in a four-star hotel downtown with a chick from Tucson, whom he had first met earlier that evening. This chick is now on the East Coast, acting as his date at the weddings. Depending on the company you keep, your insurance premiums may or may not have contributed to the funding of these trysts. As Michael O. Church wrote, a huge amount of wealth has congealed at the top of American society. This is kind of like the sticky shit that I often find congealed to the tops of Red Bull cans that I’m about to redeem, but not nearly as easy to wash off. The company provided these two with what the PUA community calls “logistics” at per diems an order of magnitude higher than I allow myself in the interest of not sleeping in my car so often, and this weekend this Hall and Oates rich girl got enough time off from her food service job and airfare money to dick around in the Mid-Atlantic with her new playboy.
Yes, these are unstable socioeconomics. If I don’t resent this arrangement, many other, worse-off Americans very surely will. Here comes that springtime for Robespierre feeling again.
You don’t mess with the man from Tuscon, but you do, I’ve been told, mess around with the girl from Tucson, and the polar bear does mess around with the mother of the man from Tucson. It’s been litigated. It got top billing on Popehat for months. Carreon, now wayward son, there’ll be piss when you are done. Tucson Chica is ethnically Dutch and Indonesian, but supposedly she was surprised when I mentioned in passing that the Netherlands had colonized Indonesia. I heard most of this from the Insurance Schmuck, who often enjoys exaggerating the ignorance of others, so there’s that. On the other hand, Tucson Chica was raised in Arizona, and if assimilating the children of immigrants into American culture means not teaching them anything about other countries, well–honestly, I don’t know how to assess that. We don’t want a nation of nerdy suckups aping Marco Werman all their lives, but at the same time, we screw ourselves over by being ignorant enough to believe anyone who says with a straight face that, say, Myuran Sukumaran is the president of Indonesia. True story: a day or two after the Bali Nine and Friends executions, I met a BPD-ish woman on a train to Portland who said that she was planning to move to Bali. She hadn’t heard a thing about the Bali Nine, or the minus two part. Oops.
About the Dutch-Indonesian connection, which recently included the Indonesian government executing a Dutch national, the Insurance Schmuck told me, “They don’t teach that at the University of Arizona.” But that’s bullshit. They hardly teach history anywhere, except to students who affirmatively sign up for some. I’d forgotten about an international colonial history course I’d taken that had briefly discussed the Dutch colonization of Indonesia, so I erroneously told him that Dickinson doesn’t teach anything about Indonesia, either. Even so, that was just one course, and I’d read enough about Indonesia and the Netherlands in the time since to independently become familiar with the gist of their relationship. It’s kind of like knowing that Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used to be an item, if the US government were regularly giving Bruce Willis foreign military aid.
During my freshman year I was friends with an unfortunate dork of a girl who sometimes seemed to be the only other student on campus who had come for an education. She once complained to me that the orientation materials included nothing about cultural events or local libraries. What I realized at the time, but didn’t even want to consider too deeply myself, was that no one gave a shit about any of that. There was too much drinking and carousing to be done. An interest in the nominal purpose of Dickinson College, learning shit about the world, would have gotten in the way of showboating for long-term socioeconomic advantage. On the other hand, doing assigned reading and writing assignments got in the way of my learning how to write. I don’t know what the fuck the purpose of college is. I failed by graduating as a virgin with a half-assed casual dating history and no romantic prospects anywhere on the horizon. Many of my schoolmates failed by never learning anything about other countries, or about their own. For a liberal arts college, Dickinson has a large and vigorous “What is Aleppo?” constituency. Communications departments at Penn State and (these are separate; don’t ask why) Pennsylvania’s state schools are even worse. But then the graduates of highbrow schools like Dickinson lump all alumni from all nominally inferior schools together with the communications majors, who actually are dumber than dried-out horseshit. The result is structural prejudice and discrimination, but don’t worry, these terms are defined narrowly enough not to break the wrong high-end rice bowls.
Being educated must be less satisfying than bragging about being educated. What’s dismaying about the ignorance of liberal arts graduates from expensive, highly-ranked schools isn’t just that they can be pig-ignorant, but that they don’t know what they don’t know and don’t care. It’s rare to hear the stirrings of a Jojo Johansson-style shit, I can’t put a finger on it, but something about what Coach just said doesn’t sound quite right. And of course they’ve had the humility, if they had any in the first place, drilled out of them. This is how a society ends up with bitter dipshits like Adam Gellin haphazardly carrying the torch of scholarship and Hoyt Thorpe thinking he’s the next Patton for punching out a Manuel Ramos wannabe from the California Highway Patrol in a five-minute street fight. Slaves, priests, warriors: what the fuck else is left?
It’s okay to make fun of the uneducated when they puff themselves up with delusions of education and assertions of good breeding. The guy I worked with at Hersheypark who was pretty sure he’d seen “the mayor of Virginia” didn’t have any pretensions of education. “He’s called the ‘governor.’ Virginia is a state. It has a governor, not a mayor.” “Whatever.” Really, there’s something refreshing about dealing with the honestly uneducated. Some of them even give a shit about learning, but just haven’t done much of it yet. I know people from Dickinson who know less about more subjects than Sam Cooke ever professed not to know. Many of them assume that they’re qualified to rule the world because they went to a good college. A college, even, that is crushing F&M.
As always, go Diplomats!