5 Pathetic Attempts At Rebellion By Middle-Class White People
The white middle class occupies a unique position in this country.
Just The Facts
- They are not poor enough to be pissed at the system for screwing them over.
- They are not rich enough to just not give a shit about anything and hold orgies on their space yacht (oh, is that not a rich people stereotype? Because it needs to be).
- Therefore, financially stable whiteys need to find other ways to act out, to assert their individuality and authenticity, and to resist disagreeable political forces, all, of course, in the least harmful way possible.
#5. Yelling at people out of their cars
Walk around any white bread college town on a Saturday night and within five minutes you will have been slandered or barked at by a speeding car filled with fist-pumping business school students. Thanks to medieval dueling and professional wrestling, white folk have learned that the safest time to taunt someone is when there is absolutely no chance of being confronted.
There is some innate instinct in a middle class white person which tells them that anyone who is not in their car is probably a "mondo-fag," "silly bitch," or is "going to die alone because your sideburns are patchy!" Before helpless pedestrians can even process the verbal skull fucking they just endured, these gas guzzling mutineers are already two blocks ahead, proving to the world that "yes, shouting generic insults at random passersby is pretty much the most badass thing we can do without breaking even the most innocuous of laws."
But if your car has flames and/or lightning bolts on it, then you've already won.
This brand of suburban cowardice is almost as contemptible as waiting until you get the invincibility star in Super Smash Bros. to finally join the fray, or hocking a loogie off a hotel balcony while your parents watch Judge Mathis and douse each other with sunscreen. Did Inigo Montoya drop cinema's greatest provocation, "You killed my father, prepare to die," while perched safely on Andre the Giant's shoulders as he bounded through Count Rugen's backyard? No, he faced his enemy like a champion and stabbed him through the fucking heart, Cajun style.
#4. Boycotting things
There is nothing wrong with refusing to shop at Target because they contribute to anti-gay organizations, or swearing off Mel Gibson movies because he is a bad director ... oh, and that other thing. But don't act like you're saving the goddamn world. This is an easy way to perform dissidence, and it isn't really as effective as you think it is. Every conscious decision you make to not purchase something from one company is a decision to purchase something from another company, and guess what? Most companies are assholes.
Gucci handbags use sweatshops so you decided to buy Fendis instead, except it turns out Fendi tests on animals. BP is environmentally irresponsible so you switch to Exxon Mobile, which happens to discriminate against gay people. Walmart fucks over its employers, Nestle uses child labor, and Coca-Cola was sued for paying African-American workers less money. You can't escape it. Even your local co-op probably does some shady shit (I'm guessing tax fraud or playing an endless loop of Siouxsie and the Banshees).
Should have boycotted Cyberdyne Systems though.
Want to really hurt these companies? Do this: . Actually, that probably didn't accomplish much, but it was a lot more ballsy then simply buying your jeans at Old Navy instead of Kohls
#3. Threatening to move to another country
Renowned thespian and ivory inspiration Alec Baldwin exemplifies this half-hearted attempt at rebellion. In 2000, he vowed to move to France if George W. Bush was elected president, and although his bank account could have handled the move better than most, he backpedaled. Similarly, it has become prevalent for the Caucasian bourgeoisie to adopt this affectation, swearing to move to Canada if Sarah Palin is elected President, or immigrate to Scotland if Community gets cancelled.
Yeah, these tragedies would make us wonder if someone went back in time and accidentally stepped on a mosquito, but stop pretending you're leaving the country. You won't. If Alec Baldwin doesn't possess the liberal guilt to "Kill the bear!" and traipse off to Versailles, you don't either.
Here are some real reasons why people leave their home country: famine, genocide, oppressive governments, persecution, natural disasters. While eliminating collective bargaining rights for Unions is a dick move, is moving to Australia really going to be any better? You just traded union rights for spiders the size of Andre the Giant's left hand (two Andre the Giant references in one article? You're welcome). Plus you're not going to even do it anyway.
"We didn't die of dysentery so you could bitch about being disillusioned with your country!"
#2. Bumper Stickers
There is no better way to inform the world of what a renegade you are then by plastering mass-produced nuggets of wisdom on the back of your Jeep Cherokee. "Life is short, break some rules" means a lot less when the car it's decorating is patiently waiting to turn into a Boston Market parking lot. Driving a SUV while boasting a "Save the planet" sticker might make us laugh, but inside everyone is praying you're not that stupid.
"Hey everyone, this guy has political views, and he isn't afraid to impersonally convey them!"
Let's just acknowledge that for uninteresting white people, bumper stickers are the makeup that conceals your lack of identity. Your "Caution! I Brake for Hookers" decal says to me, "Hey guy, let me prove to you how awesome I am by associating myself with this desperately edgy signifier I found at Urban Outfitters." Bumper stickers might be good at distinguishing between democrats and republicans, Evangelicals and atheists, and honor students vs. stoner students, but they are not a substitute for a personality, and they certainly won't distract anyone from noticing how pathetically boring you really are.
#1. Pretending To Be Homeless
There is nothing more expected than a white middle-class college graduate going existential on everyone's ass and deciding to hitchike across the country, hike the Appalachian Trail, or backpack through Europe. This is done wth the hope of gaining more persepctive, or to escape a looming sedentary lifestyle. But more often than not it's to meet some beautiful, free spirited female who, while swept up in the spontaneity of your socially irregular circumstances, falls madly in love with you (or just gves you a hand job behind a Denny's).
"Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? It's like, our lives man."
Rebelling against societal expectations by refusing to get a job during a time when you probably wouldn't have one anyway, and then couch surfing to San Francisco before flying back home on your parent's dime, is sort of a cop out, don't you think? Not that it can't yield some pretty fantastic experiences, but really it is just avoiding the inevitable.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
5 Pathetic Attempts At Rebellion By Middle-Class White People