October 29th, 2009 / 4:26 pm
Mean

Elitism: An Encomium

creamIf you are the among the best at something, who can blame you for wanting to associate with other people who are among the best at things, too? Like, if you’ve got the best tits, why shouldn’t you want to date whoever has the best hoodies, or become best friends with whoever’s got the best pepperoni? Why, at HTMLGiant, is elitism such a dirty word–and not the good kind that gets you cred in the comments section?

“Elite” means the choice part. The cream. The fruit. It seems as if among certain cohorts of writers and thinking people, this one included, some kind of stigma is attached to being, doing, or having the best, even if that superiority is hard-won and merit-based. And it’s even worse to demonstrate an affinity for others who you deem to be the best. Editors are called elitist if they publish the same writers over and over again or send form rejections. But an editor by definition must be selective, and choosy. Maybe we would choose differently than they would, but that’s why we all must figure out which publications we trust.

When someone cries elitist, to me it just sounds like envy at not feeling like a part of the elite. The envy is understandable! It’s nice here in the creamy, fruity elite. Wish I could extend an invitation.

127 Comments

  1. Lincoln

      Yes, “elitism” used to mean like the rule of society by people born into the elites by birth. That shit was bunk. But suddenly “elitism” means like, having any kind of standards at all. “Oh, you think Juno was a shitty movie? What are you, some kind of elitist? Lots of people loved that movie!”

      There is nothing wrong with favoring quality over lack of quality or in having a higher status due to merit.

  2. Lincoln

      Yes, “elitism” used to mean like the rule of society by people born into the elites by birth. That shit was bunk. But suddenly “elitism” means like, having any kind of standards at all. “Oh, you think Juno was a shitty movie? What are you, some kind of elitist? Lots of people loved that movie!”

      There is nothing wrong with favoring quality over lack of quality or in having a higher status due to merit.

  3. damon

      intensify elitism.

  4. damon

      intensify elitism.

  5. Sean

      I had a big reply to this and deleted it all. I’m going to think a while. I kept thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with a writer thinking they are elite. Also, the breasts analogy lost me. I’m going to think more and post later, maybe. At first, I thought this post sucked, was so full of holes, but now I am thinking on it, so maybe it’s OK?

      Are elite poets the ones who bob and weave and enunciate while reading, because this shit is POETRY and it is SERIOUS.

      I need to think….

  6. Sean

      Quality is abstract, L, and that is where elitism starts to get dangerous (and I mean historically dangerous).

  7. Sean

      I had a big reply to this and deleted it all. I’m going to think a while. I kept thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with a writer thinking they are elite. Also, the breasts analogy lost me. I’m going to think more and post later, maybe. At first, I thought this post sucked, was so full of holes, but now I am thinking on it, so maybe it’s OK?

      Are elite poets the ones who bob and weave and enunciate while reading, because this shit is POETRY and it is SERIOUS.

      I need to think….

  8. Sean

      Quality is abstract, L, and that is where elitism starts to get dangerous (and I mean historically dangerous).

  9. Blake Butler

      quality is not abstract

  10. Blake Butler

      quality is not abstract

  11. Sean

      Wow. That’s called goading. That’s not even worth a reply (but I just did! You scoundrel!)

  12. Sean

      Wow. That’s called goading. That’s not even worth a reply (but I just did! You scoundrel!)

  13. Lincoln

      I mean yes and no. We are talking about literature here, so that’s a fuzzier territory, but I feel like the same attitude exists for fairly quantifiable things in non-artistic sectors.

  14. Lincoln

      I mean yes and no. We are talking about literature here, so that’s a fuzzier territory, but I feel like the same attitude exists for fairly quantifiable things in non-artistic sectors.

  15. damon

      here are my initial thoughts after reading this post:

      1. elitism is the product of some kind of evaluation. evaluations are constructed socially. there is no pair of objectively “best” tits.

      2. even if constructed socially, the evaluation still stands within that community. to say otherwise is to be a hater.

      3. what happened to noah cicero? I miss that guy.

      4. I wish the bathroom at the library didn’t have such crunchy toilet paper.

  16. damon

      here are my initial thoughts after reading this post:

      1. elitism is the product of some kind of evaluation. evaluations are constructed socially. there is no pair of objectively “best” tits.

      2. even if constructed socially, the evaluation still stands within that community. to say otherwise is to be a hater.

      3. what happened to noah cicero? I miss that guy.

      4. I wish the bathroom at the library didn’t have such crunchy toilet paper.

  17. Sean

      thank you, damon. Well said. Elitism leads to thinking quality is not subjective leads to badness.

      You use toilet paper? Weird.

  18. Sean

      thank you, damon. Well said. Elitism leads to thinking quality is not subjective leads to badness.

      You use toilet paper? Weird.

  19. alec niedenthal

      leads to the holocaust

  20. alec niedenthal

      leads to the holocaust

  21. rachel

      “Wish I could extend an invitation.”

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

  22. rachel

      “Wish I could extend an invitation.”

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

  23. alec niedenthal

      leads to the holocaust

      i think someone is deleting my comments or they are not posting

  24. alec niedenthal

      leads to the holocaust

      i think someone is deleting my comments or they are not posting

  25. alec niedenthal

      can anybody see my comment that said “leads to the holocaust”?

  26. alec niedenthal

      can anybody see my comment that said “leads to the holocaust”?

  27. rachel

      Elitism: the phenomenon by which the members of one tribe are ritually beheaded by the members of another tribe, who are themselves beheaded by the next tribe, ad infinitum.

  28. rachel

      Elitism: the phenomenon by which the members of one tribe are ritually beheaded by the members of another tribe, who are themselves beheaded by the next tribe, ad infinitum.

  29. Amy McDaniel

      Elitism is identical with the belief that quality IS subjective. Elitism means choosing. If quality was objective, we wouldn’t need to choose–everything would be chosen for us. Some people never get chosen, so they criticize choosing altogether.

  30. Amy McDaniel

      Elitism is identical with the belief that quality IS subjective. Elitism means choosing. If quality was objective, we wouldn’t need to choose–everything would be chosen for us. Some people never get chosen, so they criticize choosing altogether.

  31. alec niedenthal

      you know who “chose”?

      the nazi party. they chose.

  32. alec niedenthal

      you know who “chose”?

      the nazi party. they chose.

  33. rachel

      “[Religion] is identical with the belief that [the nature of God] IS subjective. [Religion] means choosing. If [God’s nature] was objective, we wouldn’t need to choose–everything would be chosen for us. Some people never get chosen, so they criticize [Jews] altogether.”

  34. rachel

      “[Religion] is identical with the belief that [the nature of God] IS subjective. [Religion] means choosing. If [God’s nature] was objective, we wouldn’t need to choose–everything would be chosen for us. Some people never get chosen, so they criticize [Jews] altogether.”

  35. Amy McDaniel

      heheh, nice. am i the jew in this or are you the jew? are we both?

  36. Amy McDaniel

      or is Sean the Jew?

  37. Amy McDaniel

      heheh, nice. am i the jew in this or are you the jew? are we both?

  38. Amy McDaniel

      or is Sean the Jew?

  39. Sean

      I think Mean Week has lost all its energy. I am going to finish this run on my treadmill and then read a little and drink a little and go write (a little).

      Been a good run, though.

      Weird week. I feel a residue, a taint, because I HATE MEAN PEOPLE!

      But I tried…

  40. Sean

      I think Mean Week has lost all its energy. I am going to finish this run on my treadmill and then read a little and drink a little and go write (a little).

      Been a good run, though.

      Weird week. I feel a residue, a taint, because I HATE MEAN PEOPLE!

      But I tried…

  41. Amy McDaniel

      that’s the meanest thing anyone’s said to me all week.

  42. rachel

      i suspect that the Jew is tao lin

  43. Amy McDaniel

      that’s the meanest thing anyone’s said to me all week.

  44. rachel

      i suspect that the Jew is tao lin

  45. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      taint

  46. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      taint

  47. james yeh

      this is a tough call. i feel like deciding what you like and what you value and being selective of what you champion and who you associate with is all absolutely necessary and essential. you can’t just like everything and everyone or your opinions will be meaningless, because, sadly, everything and everyone is *not* worth liking. here’s a general rule: most people are full of shit. elitism recognizes this, and works with this as a fundamental tenet. “most stuff sucks, is bullshit.”

      the thing is, there’s something about elitism that’s also sucky and bullshit. because the sense of assurance that you’re absolute and right is what leads to myopia, close-mindedness, inflexibility and obtuseness. or, more generally, “badness.”

      but without thinking about what you value, and then acting on that value, which is to say selecting, you are only contributing to the blank. that’s the paradox.

  48. james yeh

      this is a tough call. i feel like deciding what you like and what you value and being selective of what you champion and who you associate with is all absolutely necessary and essential. you can’t just like everything and everyone or your opinions will be meaningless, because, sadly, everything and everyone is *not* worth liking. here’s a general rule: most people are full of shit. elitism recognizes this, and works with this as a fundamental tenet. “most stuff sucks, is bullshit.”

      the thing is, there’s something about elitism that’s also sucky and bullshit. because the sense of assurance that you’re absolute and right is what leads to myopia, close-mindedness, inflexibility and obtuseness. or, more generally, “badness.”

      but without thinking about what you value, and then acting on that value, which is to say selecting, you are only contributing to the blank. that’s the paradox.

  49. Sid

      Are you doing an impersonation of Joseph Goebbels, Amy? Because that’s what it sounds like. To even contemplate something as inane as this susses you out not as an elitist, but as a drone. So drone on.

  50. CATHARTICA

      Speaking of elitism, I once saw a a scary fucking movie called “The Elitist” that starred Linda Blair as this teenage girl who became possessed by a demon. It was wild. Her head would spin on her shoulders and she projectile vomited into Jason Priestley’s face. Even though I was young when I saw it I still understood that the entire film was a metaphor for how I felt about my uncle who loved with reckless abandon.

  51. Sid

      Are you doing an impersonation of Joseph Goebbels, Amy? Because that’s what it sounds like. To even contemplate something as inane as this susses you out not as an elitist, but as a drone. So drone on.

  52. CATHARTICA

      Speaking of elitism, I once saw a a scary fucking movie called “The Elitist” that starred Linda Blair as this teenage girl who became possessed by a demon. It was wild. Her head would spin on her shoulders and she projectile vomited into Jason Priestley’s face. Even though I was young when I saw it I still understood that the entire film was a metaphor for how I felt about my uncle who loved with reckless abandon.

  53. Sid

      Hey, didn’t I just enact some kind of internet rule? Where the first person to mention Nazi’s automatically gets, like, disqualified or something? What the fuck is that called? One of you smarties must know.

  54. Sid

      No apostrophe in Nazis. Yeah.

  55. Sid

      Hey, didn’t I just enact some kind of internet rule? Where the first person to mention Nazi’s automatically gets, like, disqualified or something? What the fuck is that called? One of you smarties must know.

  56. Sid

      No apostrophe in Nazis. Yeah.

  57. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      what I am wondering reading all this–

      Is it necessary to publicize or in some way publicly articulate what one values (and also whatever is one devalues)? Or rather, what is the value of doing so? Versus keeping it to oneself and quietly pursuing it and be generally cordial and complementary publicly to whatever extent isn’t a total lie? If folks form communities around what they value, how rigidly should those communities’ boundaries be enforced, ie if folks’ tastes are not approved by the community, should they be told to fuck off and thus made to especially aware that in this instance they are not “elite”? Why (or why not)?

  58. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      what I am wondering reading all this–

      Is it necessary to publicize or in some way publicly articulate what one values (and also whatever is one devalues)? Or rather, what is the value of doing so? Versus keeping it to oneself and quietly pursuing it and be generally cordial and complementary publicly to whatever extent isn’t a total lie? If folks form communities around what they value, how rigidly should those communities’ boundaries be enforced, ie if folks’ tastes are not approved by the community, should they be told to fuck off and thus made to especially aware that in this instance they are not “elite”? Why (or why not)?

  59. Garett Strickland

      Meh. I’m of the opinion that people should at least *attempt* to be all-inclusive, or at very least judge things based on individual merit.

      For example: Pineapple Express is a great stoner comedy. Compared to the director’s others films though, no so good. But you can’t judge Pineapple Express as an art-film.

      I also think that everyone here should force themselves to attend a local open-mic & sincerely attempt appreciative thought for its entire duration, if only as an exercise.

      Elitism seems kind of lazy.

      Our prejudices and tastes begin to cluster, and then we become assholes. And people who think there’s nothing wrong with that are just plain fucked.

  60. Garett Strickland

      Meh. I’m of the opinion that people should at least *attempt* to be all-inclusive, or at very least judge things based on individual merit.

      For example: Pineapple Express is a great stoner comedy. Compared to the director’s others films though, no so good. But you can’t judge Pineapple Express as an art-film.

      I also think that everyone here should force themselves to attend a local open-mic & sincerely attempt appreciative thought for its entire duration, if only as an exercise.

      Elitism seems kind of lazy.

      Our prejudices and tastes begin to cluster, and then we become assholes. And people who think there’s nothing wrong with that are just plain fucked.

  61. Daniel Nester

      Isn’t an encomium that spot between the thing and other thing….oh, never mind.

  62. Daniel Nester

      Isn’t an encomium that spot between the thing and other thing….oh, never mind.

  63. Amy McDaniel

      I think quietly pursuing it is definitely the way to go. I think that’s what people accused of being elitist are often doing. Nobody should be in the business of publicly demarcating boundaries or approving or disapproving other people’s tastes, but I also think it’s okay to have taste, and values.

  64. Amy McDaniel

      I think quietly pursuing it is definitely the way to go. I think that’s what people accused of being elitist are often doing. Nobody should be in the business of publicly demarcating boundaries or approving or disapproving other people’s tastes, but I also think it’s okay to have taste, and values.

  65. Matt K

      I can appreciate enthusiasm (thinking about open mics) – might not be my thing, but if the people there are getting something out of it, who am I to judge?

  66. Matt K

      I can appreciate enthusiasm (thinking about open mics) – might not be my thing, but if the people there are getting something out of it, who am I to judge?

  67. damon

      hell yeah

  68. damon

      hell yeah

  69. rachel

      Some people publicize their values. This serves a function.

      Some people quietly pursue their values. This serves a function.

      Some people have unapproved tastes. This serves a function.

      Some people tell other people to fuck off because of their tastes. This serves a function.

      Choose a function and serve it. That’s all.

  70. rachel

      Some people publicize their values. This serves a function.

      Some people quietly pursue their values. This serves a function.

      Some people have unapproved tastes. This serves a function.

      Some people tell other people to fuck off because of their tastes. This serves a function.

      Choose a function and serve it. That’s all.

  71. Amy McDaniel

      the idea of watching an open mic purely as an exercise to me sounds incredibly pompous. but otherwise–of course. everything should be judged on its individual merit, and we should all beware of the moment when our tastes become prejudices.

  72. damon
  73. Amy McDaniel

      the idea of watching an open mic purely as an exercise to me sounds incredibly pompous. but otherwise–of course. everything should be judged on its individual merit, and we should all beware of the moment when our tastes become prejudices.

  74. damon
  75. Amy McDaniel

      can rachel ghostwrite my posts from now on? wait don’t answer that.

  76. Amy McDaniel

      can rachel ghostwrite my posts from now on? wait don’t answer that.

  77. Amy McDaniel

      that’s a good story. it isn’t about elitism though, it’s about a pompous prick. elitism is making choices. how can that be lazy on its own? it’s only lazy if pomposity and prejudice are attached to it.

  78. Garett Strickland

      You’re right, it does sound incredibly pompous. And if I weren’t addressing this board specifically, I’d not have bothered to qualify my assertion.

      (mean week)

  79. Amy McDaniel

      that’s a good story. it isn’t about elitism though, it’s about a pompous prick. elitism is making choices. how can that be lazy on its own? it’s only lazy if pomposity and prejudice are attached to it.

  80. Garett Strickland

      You’re right, it does sound incredibly pompous. And if I weren’t addressing this board specifically, I’d not have bothered to qualify my assertion.

      (mean week)

  81. Garett Strickland

      Elitism is making choices that are *exclusionary*, yes? Couldn’t you say that, in and of itself, is pompous and prejudice?

  82. Garett Strickland

      Elitism is making choices that are *exclusionary*, yes? Couldn’t you say that, in and of itself, is pompous and prejudice?

  83. David

      the idea that there is a stigma around ‘being the best’ is such a myth. who doesn’t ‘strive’ to do their best? who isn’t constantly shamed about failure because of the way best exists in the world? and i really laugh at how absurd the implications of the theory of the hated best are: the best is fragile, the best needs to be protected from all those horrible resentful proles out there who just loath it ‘cos they aren’t the best, and who are too stupid, apparently, to have any motive more unsophisticated than envy; the best needs to stop hating itself and start living loud and proud because the best is better when it boasts. and, of course, the ressentiment of the rich: i worked hard to be the best so go away, ugly world, and let me enjoy this best thing i have worked hard to become and am now entitled to be forever and ever, amen. is it really the case that the best, especially tit-best, hoodie-best, is in such peril today? when does one become ‘the best’ and is it like a stamp you get that allows re-entry to the party at any point? does HTMLGIANT – a web journal dedicated to provocative cultural arbitration about what it deems the best – really consider ‘the best’ a dirty word, even if it shies away from elitism? why do we assume the best (in strictly objective terms) has to be an elite, the top of a pyramid? why does ‘best’ plume itself like that? and what about when it’s generally agreed you’re ‘the best’, say, like thomas pynchon, but someone smart and like, not in any competition with you, say, like justin taylor, *still* quite reasonably thinks you don’t deserve that title at all. still envy? quality is a material thing but i disagree with blake in saying it isn’t abstract because material is itself abstract. a thing in the world has to be treated in ways in the world. a diamond finds its value as a diamond in a system of exchange and wouldn’t help a subsistence farmer eat if not for that system of exchange. farmers dont get diamonds, generally, though, because that’s also how our system of exchange operates. which is sort of my point. but one could say, even if the farmer had the diamond in a world where it wouldn’t make him rich, it would still make for a pretty ring, though, prettier than coal. sure, but the superior aesthetic pleasure of a diamond ring over a coal ring isn’t a matter of the best, it’s a matter of objectively better. the fact we can tell differences in actual value doesn’t mean we can innately tell the absolute top-end of value; it still involves the abstract practice of deciding when the scale terminates. this is what an elite does. converts its higher capital into the plateau of capital. the ‘best’ is against betterment.

  84. David

      the idea that there is a stigma around ‘being the best’ is such a myth. who doesn’t ‘strive’ to do their best? who isn’t constantly shamed about failure because of the way best exists in the world? and i really laugh at how absurd the implications of the theory of the hated best are: the best is fragile, the best needs to be protected from all those horrible resentful proles out there who just loath it ‘cos they aren’t the best, and who are too stupid, apparently, to have any motive more unsophisticated than envy; the best needs to stop hating itself and start living loud and proud because the best is better when it boasts. and, of course, the ressentiment of the rich: i worked hard to be the best so go away, ugly world, and let me enjoy this best thing i have worked hard to become and am now entitled to be forever and ever, amen. is it really the case that the best, especially tit-best, hoodie-best, is in such peril today? when does one become ‘the best’ and is it like a stamp you get that allows re-entry to the party at any point? does HTMLGIANT – a web journal dedicated to provocative cultural arbitration about what it deems the best – really consider ‘the best’ a dirty word, even if it shies away from elitism? why do we assume the best (in strictly objective terms) has to be an elite, the top of a pyramid? why does ‘best’ plume itself like that? and what about when it’s generally agreed you’re ‘the best’, say, like thomas pynchon, but someone smart and like, not in any competition with you, say, like justin taylor, *still* quite reasonably thinks you don’t deserve that title at all. still envy? quality is a material thing but i disagree with blake in saying it isn’t abstract because material is itself abstract. a thing in the world has to be treated in ways in the world. a diamond finds its value as a diamond in a system of exchange and wouldn’t help a subsistence farmer eat if not for that system of exchange. farmers dont get diamonds, generally, though, because that’s also how our system of exchange operates. which is sort of my point. but one could say, even if the farmer had the diamond in a world where it wouldn’t make him rich, it would still make for a pretty ring, though, prettier than coal. sure, but the superior aesthetic pleasure of a diamond ring over a coal ring isn’t a matter of the best, it’s a matter of objectively better. the fact we can tell differences in actual value doesn’t mean we can innately tell the absolute top-end of value; it still involves the abstract practice of deciding when the scale terminates. this is what an elite does. converts its higher capital into the plateau of capital. the ‘best’ is against betterment.

  85. Amy McDaniel

      No! “Exclusionary” is another doublespeak word that sounds bad but actually describes something necessary. We all have to make choices. We can’t read everything. We can’t befriend everyone. It sounds mean to exclude something, but we all necessarily exclude much more than we could possibly include. Pompous means that you think what you choose is the best. Prejudice means you choose, or exclude, before giving something a fair appraisal. Those things are bad.

  86. Amy McDaniel

      No! “Exclusionary” is another doublespeak word that sounds bad but actually describes something necessary. We all have to make choices. We can’t read everything. We can’t befriend everyone. It sounds mean to exclude something, but we all necessarily exclude much more than we could possibly include. Pompous means that you think what you choose is the best. Prejudice means you choose, or exclude, before giving something a fair appraisal. Those things are bad.

  87. damon

      holy shit. i think my brain/heart just came a little.

  88. damon

      holy shit. i think my brain/heart just came a little.

  89. damon

      one more thing. I just read this by chance and thought it pertained to this post:

      “I am supposing that in every society the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organized and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is to avert its powers and its dangers, to cope with chance events, to evade its ponderous, awesome materiality.” – the discourse on language

  90. damon

      one more thing. I just read this by chance and thought it pertained to this post:

      “I am supposing that in every society the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organized and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is to avert its powers and its dangers, to cope with chance events, to evade its ponderous, awesome materiality.” – the discourse on language

  91. rachel

      hahaha

      was that an invitation

  92. rachel

      hahaha

      was that an invitation

  93. Michael James

      i dig David’s comment. But why does ‘cos have an apostrophe? Do you spell because becos?

  94. Michael James

      i dig David’s comment. But why does ‘cos have an apostrophe? Do you spell because becos?

  95. Lincoln

      As Amy says, prejudice absolutely does not mean having any kind of opinion. If you “exclude” a piece of fiction from your journal, you aren’t automatically prejudiced

      –noun
      1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
      2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
      3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

  96. Lincoln

      As Amy says, prejudice absolutely does not mean having any kind of opinion. If you “exclude” a piece of fiction from your journal, you aren’t automatically prejudiced

      –noun
      1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
      2. any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
      3. unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

  97. David

      lol

      elitist

  98. David

      lol

      elitist

  99. Charles Dodd White

      quality (i.e. aesthetics) are remarkably subjective, however. Also agree with Sean’s note of historical hazard when qualifying elitism. Power dialogics and whatnot.

      But then again, if you were on a high enough plane to understand me, then you’d get it.

  100. Charles Dodd White

      quality (i.e. aesthetics) are remarkably subjective, however. Also agree with Sean’s note of historical hazard when qualifying elitism. Power dialogics and whatnot.

      But then again, if you were on a high enough plane to understand me, then you’d get it.

  101. Amy McDaniel

      David–
      This is the nicest thing anyone has said to me all week.

  102. Amy McDaniel

      David–
      This is the nicest thing anyone has said to me all week.

  103. rachel

      What’s important about prejudice is that it’s the incorrect attribution of a causal relationship between elements. Like the ideas that blackness causes violence, or a vagina causes folded laundry.

      If you say you dislike X because it contains Y, you are ONLY prejudiced against subjects containing Y if there is the possibility that you might experience and enjoy Z containing Y.

      If there is no such possibility, you are not prejudiced against things-with-Y, you just don’t like them.

  104. rachel

      What’s important about prejudice is that it’s the incorrect attribution of a causal relationship between elements. Like the ideas that blackness causes violence, or a vagina causes folded laundry.

      If you say you dislike X because it contains Y, you are ONLY prejudiced against subjects containing Y if there is the possibility that you might experience and enjoy Z containing Y.

      If there is no such possibility, you are not prejudiced against things-with-Y, you just don’t like them.

  105. David

      lol, well, considering this is mean week, i guess i’m disqualified. sorry if i came across as heated, amy, i just get exclamatory sometimes or something.

  106. David

      lol, well, considering this is mean week, i guess i’m disqualified. sorry if i came across as heated, amy, i just get exclamatory sometimes or something.

  107. Blake Butler

      i really like the idea that the best hoodie matches up with the best tits

  108. Blake Butler

      i really like the idea that the best hoodie matches up with the best tits

  109. David

      blake, your tits are the best of the best

  110. David

      blake, your tits are the best of the best

  111. joe

      wow. i agree. that story isnt about elitism. it’s about a pompous prick: mather schneider

  112. joe

      wow. i agree. that story isnt about elitism. it’s about a pompous prick: mather schneider

  113. Garett Strickland

      Without making this exclusively an issue of semantics, I’ll happily point out that those who would identify themselves as being ‘elite’ are just as likely to define things in the negative. Mostly with “Well, that’s no good, this sucks, that sucks, this person sucks” etc. and then justifying their position afterward.

      Unless I’m just wrong. It’s been known to happen. As I see it, the alternative to the above is a kind of cultural high-breeding that results in producing one haughty cunt after another.

      So maybe what I’ve posited thus far has less to do with the idea of elitism as such (since I myself am probably a pretentious art-fag), but rather that I think general negativity and/or any self-aggrandizement is cancerous bullshit.

  114. Garett Strickland

      Without making this exclusively an issue of semantics, I’ll happily point out that those who would identify themselves as being ‘elite’ are just as likely to define things in the negative. Mostly with “Well, that’s no good, this sucks, that sucks, this person sucks” etc. and then justifying their position afterward.

      Unless I’m just wrong. It’s been known to happen. As I see it, the alternative to the above is a kind of cultural high-breeding that results in producing one haughty cunt after another.

      So maybe what I’ve posited thus far has less to do with the idea of elitism as such (since I myself am probably a pretentious art-fag), but rather that I think general negativity and/or any self-aggrandizement is cancerous bullshit.

  115. alan

      How odd
      of God
      to choose
      the Jews.

  116. alan

      How odd
      of God
      to choose
      the Jews.

  117. Almanacco del Giorno – 29 Oct. 2009 « Almanacco Americano

      […] HTML Giant – Elitism, an encomium […]

  118. CATHARTICA

      David, this response is entirely–wait–I mean, this reply, no wait, I mean this comment–is entirely too long winded and wordy. It’s just not appropriate. It’s boring and overly pedantic. It’s like if I were to start telling you about the reasons why, even though, I’m broke, I managed to cobble together a great meal tonight involving pasta, alfredo sauce, sliced mushrooms and chicken. I ground a little pepper into it and added some minced garlic. Would have been nice to have a little white wine along with it but I’m broke and even if I could afford a bottle of…say….Chardonnay or Riesling, I would probably by a nice red wine instead. Simply because I prefer red wine over white. And no, that’s not a racist remark.

  119. CATHARTICA

      David, this response is entirely–wait–I mean, this reply, no wait, I mean this comment–is entirely too long winded and wordy. It’s just not appropriate. It’s boring and overly pedantic. It’s like if I were to start telling you about the reasons why, even though, I’m broke, I managed to cobble together a great meal tonight involving pasta, alfredo sauce, sliced mushrooms and chicken. I ground a little pepper into it and added some minced garlic. Would have been nice to have a little white wine along with it but I’m broke and even if I could afford a bottle of…say….Chardonnay or Riesling, I would probably by a nice red wine instead. Simply because I prefer red wine over white. And no, that’s not a racist remark.

  120. David

      invite me over for dinner one night and we can discuss it

  121. David

      invite me over for dinner one night and we can discuss it

  122. damon

      David’s reply was quite a bit different than you posting a play-by-play of your meal preparations in that David’s post was a “thinking through” of a fairly complex idea that arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. I mean as a sort of rhetorical flourish it was just spot on.

  123. damon

      David’s reply was quite a bit different than you posting a play-by-play of your meal preparations in that David’s post was a “thinking through” of a fairly complex idea that arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. I mean as a sort of rhetorical flourish it was just spot on.

  124. Charles Dodd White

      Elitism is incest. Sticky and intense. That may or may not be a good thing.

  125. Charles Dodd White

      Elitism is incest. Sticky and intense. That may or may not be a good thing.

  126. Amy McDaniel

      David–don’t worry about it; i’m glad i incited such exclamation. i think you mistook me a little bit here. i’m not saying that it’s envy to say that something isn’t the best that thinks it is. what i’m saying is that it’s okay to follow one’s own tastes, and also to be proud of being rewarded by others for good work. of course this is a kind of silly thing to defend, but there’s not much i find to be truly mean about, so the extremes of my argument here are totally disingenuous, you know? like, i don’t really think i’m in some kind of absolute elite. i don’t think there is one elite. i’m not saying anything is in peril. i’m just saying that USUALLY, when i hear someone call someone else an elitist, it seems to either come out of envy, or resentment, or something else that kind of misses the mark. but what it comes down to is that i was trying to find a seemingly indefensible thing to defend

  127. Amy McDaniel

      David–don’t worry about it; i’m glad i incited such exclamation. i think you mistook me a little bit here. i’m not saying that it’s envy to say that something isn’t the best that thinks it is. what i’m saying is that it’s okay to follow one’s own tastes, and also to be proud of being rewarded by others for good work. of course this is a kind of silly thing to defend, but there’s not much i find to be truly mean about, so the extremes of my argument here are totally disingenuous, you know? like, i don’t really think i’m in some kind of absolute elite. i don’t think there is one elite. i’m not saying anything is in peril. i’m just saying that USUALLY, when i hear someone call someone else an elitist, it seems to either come out of envy, or resentment, or something else that kind of misses the mark. but what it comes down to is that i was trying to find a seemingly indefensible thing to defend