The days of cheerful, unsoliticed blowjobs from the national media might be drawing to an end. Sandra Tsing Loh, a woman whose writing makes me want to have a child just so I can move to LA and enroll it in the public school system (that is a compliment), gets a little grumpy with us in the new Atlantic, in an article about the class system:
It’s not just that Romantic Selfhood—Walter Pater’s notion of burning with a “hard, gemlike flame,” which is the true emotional underpinning of bohemia—has become commodified. Fairly harmless is the $4 venti soy latte purchased amid Starbucks’s track lighting, Nina Simone crooning, and a story about Costa Rican beans that have sailed around the world just to see YOU! It’s that Selfhood has its own berth now in the psychiatrist Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs,” a generational shift presaged by American sociologists who, as early as the 1970s, posited that, while hungry people are concerned about survival, those who grow up in abundance will hunger for self-expression. In the relatively affluent post—Cold War era, the search for self-expression has evolved into a desire to not have that self-expression challenged, which in turn necessitates living among people who think and feel just as you do. It’s why so many bohemians flee gritty Los Angeles for verdant Portland, where left-leaning citizens pride themselves on their uniform, monotonously progressive culture—the Zipcars, the organic gardens, the funky graphic-novel stores, and the thriving alternative-music scene. (In the meantime, I’ve also noticed that Portland is much whiter than Los Angeles, disconcertingly white.)
Monotonously progressive! Well I never... She also shouts out Pimps Up, Hos Down, digresses at some length about a prized Ramones T-shirt, and blames the creative class (read: us again!) for the collapse of capitalism. It kind of sounds like she's having a very articulate nervous breakdown. Read it, it's fun.
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