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9 October, 2008

The following is my second draft essay for Eng. 101.  Hopefully this will be the last time you hear me rant about being an elitist again. 

Notes on a Liberal Elitist 

From birth I have been an Elitist, indoctrinated by the harsh rules of a “true” religion.  An elitist of religion can only trace these roots back to God, whom, quite obviously, is the original elitist.  He is the absolute “own all, know all, all powerful, I’m right and you’re wrong” Elitist.  As God has his enemy in a devil, so too I have an opposing devil to my angel.  So does Zachery Wahstead of the novel Inside Out.  Indeed, we both deal with a version of schizophrenia. As he hates his condition, I hate that I love being an Elitist. 

      The actual definition of an elitist is far too fascist and quite antique.  I would refer to myself as a more modern and liberal elitist.  True elitists are rare to come by anymore.  The most common are as I am; the “bourgeois” of the pack.  In fact, it is in this middle class where the most humane of us reside.  We are modest about our ways.  We know each other when we meet in passing or even make eye to eye contact while fumbling over certified organic fruit in the supermarket.  We would be considered as intellectuals, people of good taste, people who take interest in politics as a lighter hobby, people that understand other people by stereotypes that we ourselves have created.  We listen to NPR, we drive Volkswagens and Subarus by preference and only own another car by circumstance or a move into the green age that we’re responsible for creating.  We listen to jazz and Debussy but not under compulsion.  We have the whole earth in mind, but only our mind of the Whole Earth. 
      I find myself with disdain for society’s mainstream tastes and views.  A liberal elitist will see themselves as one of the minority with a fine tuned preference in all fields from art and architecture to food to frivolities, while those others cannot hope to achieve our standard of taste.  A non-elitist has no original worthwhile ideas.  They are slaves to media.  They are narrow minded – that is, they lack a broad knowledge of varying subjects and conditions. If one does not share my views about a topic, such as music or politics, I feel that they are hollow and unnecessary in regards to that subject.  Most likely, their opinions will be worth very little to an elitist beyond their first misstep in taste.  Even an elitist though can realize that this way of looking at others in a condemning and closed manner is not the right way of viewing the world.  

      Much like Zack’s schizophrenic state, I am of two minds: I recognize that that I am an elitist and know that I should strive to accept alternate viewpoints, even embrace those who do not fit into the elitist mold.  However, I find myself with no desire to change myself and only have scorn for those who do not share my worldview.  I have two voices battling in my mind as I’m torn between what I believe is right and what I know is right.  Like an anvil falling on my head, it pains me deeply to know that I should tolerate, even accept, the likes and dislikes of those around me. 

      It reaches the very fibers of my bones, and I ache to know that you really will not understand this.  And if you do, secretly you agree with me.  You know that you’re the actual definition of the word “elite”. … which is naturally what you’d say anyway, and that no one can tell you otherwise.                   
      That’s why you have liberty of your mind and nature.  That’s why you are the most knowledgeable about the things that matter.  You likely also feel that the café of your mind is being held up by two contrasting ideals, neither of which you want anything to do with, and the only thing that you, I, we can think of is the maple bar of truth.  That “I’m right and you’re wrong”, repectfully.  Our ideals are highly accepted by other elite members of society, and yours are accepted by other people that think like you.  And though that’s not all that matters, that is all that matters.  As God said of Jesus, his best handiwork (and I could be paraphrasing), “He is the way and the truth and the light that’s not quite as bright as me, but I sort of love him anyway.  … Well, I need him at least.”  In conclusion, I, like Zach, hear two voices.  The angel and the devil are on my shoulders, and I’m simply too good for either of them.

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