Thursday, March 08, 2007
You ask any kid what he or she wants to do when they grow up and you get a range of answers. Fireman. Ballerina. Fireman/Ballerina. Responses vary depending on exactly how much a kid likes to get his ass kicked.
What the answers generally show is a reflection of several factors including media lionization of certain professions (entertainment, politics, whatever it is Paris Hilton does) as metabolized by a child's intellect, socio-economic factors (poor kids want to be wealthy, middle class kids want professional lives of meaning, rich kids want a reliable coke dealer and a maid with a decent rack, etc.) and sublimated psychological desires children are not yet emotionally or intellectually equipped to express (i.e. firemen are big, strong men who answer when called and lug around giant hoses, ballerinas are the epitome of grace and fluid dignity and are always eating-disorder thin).
Mostly what the responses show is that kids are stupid.
Little Billy says "fireman" because Little Johnny next to him said "policeman" and, well, it was his turn to mix it up. The next kid will pick either one of the two and so on down the line, occasionally dropping in a professional athlete. One in about every ten wants to be an interior decorator (or some other form of deviant swatch-handler), but that's about the whole scope of it. Kids say what they are expected to say because really, what ten year old boy has really got any clue what it takes to be a fireman? Or a doctor? These are undereducated, entitlement-bloated American children who cannot fathom the possibility that they are our future Mall Security or Home Depot Parking Lot Day Laborers.
As a product of American public education, I too was undereducated and entitlement-bloated. And after the high-fat meals they served me for school lunch, I was actually on my way to be actual bloated. I never really learned how to find the circumference of a circle or what the capital of South Dakota was, but it's not like I came out of my educational experience empty-handed. I proudly finished 12th grade with a diploma and Type 2 diabetes. I'm still proud, but I miss my toes.
Unlike the other kids, though, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and it wasn't any kind of goddamn service-sector helper of people. Noble dreams, but small ones.
I only ever wanted to be a hereditary member of the British House of Lords.
God, think of it. A job you hold by the nature of the blood that is in your veins, a right of superior birth and just the right amount of strategic inbreeding. A job you don't have to apply for and can never, ever lose, right?
Sure, it's possible that my desire to wear coronets and an ermine cape had something to do with the appeal, but still... apart from the hemophilia, it sounded like a pretty sweet gig to me.
And also unlike the other kids, I knew how to get it. I knew the Born To It option was off the table as I was a filthy, unclean, common American. But all I had to do was wheedle my way into one of those families somehow, either by marrying one of them or by offering myself up for the perverse ritual sexual abuse a thousand years of privilege can think up and develop in exchange for the dim hope of ending up in the old guy's will. "Entry level" indeed. But it's that or a mail-room somewhere for $7 an hour.
But now, as of today, even that dream is dead to me. Closed off by "forward thinking" kleptocrats and jumped-up slappers in the House of (aptly named) Commons. Whether or not a 700-year-old institution is a paragon of legitimizing, self-justifying tradition or a moribund house of dusty obsolescence all comes down to whom you can either pay off or blackmail. Apparently either sheep buggery has gone totally out of fashion among the Commons backbenchers or the Lords have completely abdicated their responsibility to film said acts and then wield said film like the Mace of State that God had rightfully conferred upon them.
Probably the latter.
All I can say is that after the announced withdrawal from Iraq, yet another way the UK has shown me that they truly are the filthy foreigners I always suspected them to be. Monty Python clips and the funny way you drop your Rs will only get you so far.
A whole country, dead to me.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.975
Labels: John C. McGinley