Monday, February 23, 2004

The Sweet Smell of Mediocrity 

If there is a better example of Grade Inflation run rampant than the NYU Student (any of 'em -- pick one at random. Sure, even me), I haven't seen it. If you ever want to know what it's like to have a conversation with someone with a 3.5 GPA who went to the school of his choice because he was rich enough to choose it and has never happened to read a book, I suggest you walk around the Tisch Film School with a "Hello, My Name Is __" sticker and shake a few hands.

This review helps explain things. The disappearance of a "comfortable middle" class combined with the invasion of Celebrity Culture into every other aspect of society, and the astoundingly aggravating feeling of entitlement felt by the filthy rich kids from the coasts -- they all combine to create some sort of socioeconomic explanation for why my peers annoy me so goddam much.

This entitlement isn't a hereditary trait common to rich people, of course. It's instilled in the little pricks by indulgent parents who've heard sung the benefits of self-esteem. So, because of some unhappy childhood/liberal guilt thing, a generation of self-obsessed and insufferable boomers has begotten an even more self-obsessed and much less sufferable brood of egomaniac young adults who are convinced that they are serious filmmakers because they have a couple of inherited opinions and have heard of Bergman, or who go to business school and become Libertarians because they truly believe in things like "the ends justify the means" or that, because they never saw any poor people, the problem can't possibly be as bad as all that. Besides, Adam Smith's invisible hand will throw them a quarter for a cup of coffee as it passes on its way to Punk Rock Karaoke in LES, which is completely over now that the New York Times ruined it for everyone.

These are the people who become Young Republicans and think that's oh so rebellious. Or declare themselves hipper than politics and embrace reactionary views, while hiding it behind the catch-all criticism shield of "irony." You know, like espousing Lester Maddox-style racialist beliefs while acting as the creative force behind the hippest magazine of the dumbest (and richest) subculture in New York history. And aping the working class because, as rich upper-middle class white boys, their standard of living doesn't allow for the right sort of romantic decadence.

Oh, that's enough. I don't think I made a single coherent point about anything.


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