In Defense of the Elitist “X” Aimed at the Anti-Intellectuals: “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch”

“I know this site favors smart, funny and sexy (and not even rock ‘n’ roll – a lot), but man, the feeling in my sizeable gut knows what it knows. If you don’t get it, I feel sorry for you.”-Steve Moyer

“They probably have about as much chance as Trump of getting elected.” (re: Bad Brains getting into the R&R HOF)-Steve Moyer

I think nothing better exemplifies the “battle” of the populists against the media and “educated” class as do these comments from my mate Steve, in defense of the Bad Brains, but at the same time decrying the likes of The Clash, The Ramones, and X, suggesting:

“…Clash, Ramones and X are minor leagues compared to the best the Bad Brains have to offer. Smart? Funny? Sexy? Who gives a shit when there’s a wasp in your drawers?”

Well, really. In politics, I find it interesting that the right–primarily those affiliated with the TEA Party, Sara Palin, and now Trump–decry the supposed left-wing media as elitists and snobs.

Well, like it or not, the bulk of members of the news industry are indeed college educated, and that means some years of classes with professors invoking things like library research and application of critical thinking. Depending upon, such a degree also often involves some kind of exposure to the humanities and arts, thus giving a college graduate a pretty good cross-referenced education that opens the assessment of new and potentially challenging situations.

In essence, this is considered job training, for college should train to complete assignments (projects), on-time, answering a specific question or questions, and coming to a reasoned and reference supported conclusion.

That means sentences like “Who gives a shit when there’s a wasp in your drawers?” become a sort of false equivalency. That is because, for one, I would never solicit any creature armed with a stinger inside my briefs in the first place, and believe me, I did not need to go to college to figure that out.

But, the sort of judgmental reaction to X, or the Ramones, as not Rock’n’Roll is as specious as Donald Trump saying he knows more about ISOL than do our Generals.

Surely music, and art, and apparently politics, are subjective, but, I do need to remind that out of gut reactions come the denial of Climate Change, the certainty that trying to control assault weapons means eliminating the Second Amendment, and that somehow simply killing all the terrorists will solve the issue (I actually heard this from a couple of conservatives just prior to the Iraq invasion).

Certainly, logic is both relative and subjective, but, virtually no one who is educated and understands research ascribes meaning to any such statements, meaning apparently going to college is important, but to a certain portion of the population, those exact motions and processes that helped us learn and make intelligent choices are actually crap.

Well, ok, then why even bother to learn? Or better, to all of you who decry us as elitists, if you are so much wiser, why go to a Doctor or Lawyer or educated professional if you really are so much smarter when push comes to shove?

My partner, Diane, has a friend Jean who is several hundred pounds overweight. Jean is a sort of prototypical Trump girl, thinking Donald just saying “I will make better deals” is all that is necessary to “fix” what is perceived as America’s terrible state of affairs when the reality is, things are actually pretty good.

Not that our country could not improve, or money and justice better meted out, but all-in-all our recovery from years worth of Bush has been pretty good. Not perfect, but not just on a solid path. However had McCain or Romney won the election we would never hear the end of what a great job they did rebuilding the stock market and reducing unemployment and at least pushing our GDP. (Gas prices are down too which is not even a presidential issue, but when prices went up in 2008, John McCain said in an ad, “Who can you thank for rising gas prices? Obama”).

But Jean suffers from Type-B diabetes, along with the requisite maladies that come with overeating and not exercising that fell people who suddenly find themselves in their 40’s, obese, with a failing body. Jean does go to the Doctor, and the Docs always say the first thing she needs to do is change her eating habits, lose some weight, and start, slowly, an exercise program.

Jean has seen at least four Doctors for the over the ten years I have known Diane, and every time Jean responds after seeing the physician, saying, “what does he know, I am older than he is?”

Well, this is like saying the media has a liberal bias (it isn’t, it is a researched and educated one) or that the Clash or Ramones are not rockers.

Or, more important, that smart and funny and sexy have no business in a form of art (hmm, but KISS can dress up in ridiculous costumes, because ideally their music is another hornet in our skivvies).

I can understand loving music, or even art because it is visceral. I mean, that is part of what makes Mapplethorpe, for example powerful because often his outrageous images haunt and that is what pushes our thoughts into “what is the meaning of things?” and that, at least to me, pushes towards understanding being part of a bigger universe that binds us.

But, really, how narrow-minded are our accusers? Or, how ironic is it that while knowledge is to be revered, just as readily it is to be dismissed when a certain portion of the population doesn’t buy in? Mind you, this is not new shit. Ask Copernicus about almost being burned at the stake for suggesting the earth rotates around the sun (did you know that Donald?). Ask Pasteur, who was vilified for suggesting disease was carried my micoro-organisms.

Just for fun, I am finishing with a fantastic cut from X’s brilliant-and-a-half Wild Gift, an album that made my essentials list. It is funny. It has teen angst. And well, if you don’t think it rocks, well then I guess you think the Chinese really did “invent” Climate Change.

Better, however, a bee in the bonnet than a wasp in your drawers.

3 thoughts on “In Defense of the Elitist “X” Aimed at the Anti-Intellectuals: “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch”

  1. Good song but that’s what I call going through the motions.

    As usual, I quite agree with about 20% of what Lawr says.

    Going to college is not education, it’s propaganda and maybe a little training. You can easily graduate from college and know almost nothing and I got the polls to prove it.

    You should also understand that now coming up is a large group of students who are well-educated before they ever get to college, far better than our generation and anything since. They are home-schooled and/or charter schooled and they run rings around their college professors and there are a lot of them and more every day. They are not lefties, and unlike lefties they reproduce. The Left grip on education is doomed.

    I know many people who are smarter than you (and me) who are voting for Trump. That should tell you how pissed off they are. They have no illusions about the man and still they are voting for him. And, they add, you’re telling me that Donald Trump is more corrupt than Hilary Fucking Clinton? I bet Hilary has more money. Anyway it’s close. All on her government salary, wise investments, and a few staunch supporters.

    And you lefties are going to be just as pissed in a few years. Then what?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlE0V85716c

  2. Holy shit.

    1) Good bit of misunderstanding of what I wrote in what Lawr writes. It’ll probably take me an entire article to respond, if I get around to it.

    2) I’m not big into politics, but I’m definitely lefty. I read Robert Reich (freakin’ genius) for my Cliff Notes politics and think he should be president. I do whatever he says and he says vote for Hillary. That’s all I need.

    3) Was gonna put the wasp in the drawers song here, but I think I’ll save that for the separate article. By the way, Peter, why does it seem to me that, within the comments anymore, youtubes don’t flesh out – they just stay links, i.e. Gene’s above? Didn’t used to be that way. Is that the site or something we’re doing wrong?

  3. First, I had no clue what side of the fence any of us is on, though I have a clue about Peter, and and inkling on Gene.

    It is just the thought process employed in the Bad Brains piece sounded so much like Trump “logic.”
    So, I responded accordingly.

    But, I do have a response for Gene, that starts with two more quotes.

    “I am voting for Obama because I like the playlist on his shuffle”-Peter Michaels

    “I am voting for Bush because I think Barbara is a nice grandmother”-Delores Walsh

    The top quote is my brother’s, the lower Diane’s mom, but, what they prove is how stupid and superficial the decisions we make about who we are going to vote for are blind to party affiliation.

    Furthermore, Gene is right: A college education does not necessary modify intelligence, any more than does the lack thereof.

    But, I am unsure why Gene thinks a college degree is “propaganda.” From whom? Why? I spent six years at a State University including Grad School, and I learned to read, analyze, and write critically (sigh, it didn’t help my spelling) about literature. I learned about the Bowens Reaction Series of rocks in Geology, about points of articulation in Phonetics, and about the three forms of movements that impact earth (rotation, revolution, and precession) in Astronomy.

    But, never did I, or anyone I know ever encounter an agenda other than “learn this, there will be a test on it”

    I also learned how to use research to formulate an argument, and present to my teacher which does analogize nicely to having a job and a boss who passes out assignments.

    And, Gene, yes, people are pissed. But at what? Stalled Congress? If so, it has been the mission of the Senate and Congressional Republicans to make the Obama administration unsuccessful They are on paper and voice declaring this, and truth is, they have been successful at said practice. That is Hillary’s fault?

    In fact, Demos have been in charge 16 of the past 28 years. Bush 1 started a war in the Middle East and left with our economy struggling, and Clinton took over, and handed over a budget surplus to Bush II Who squandered it, started another war, and essentially put us in the worst hole in 50 years, which, Obama, despite the opposition has at least sort of turned around.

    But, Trump, pushing back to Bush’s terrible record of cutting taxes (trickle down, he has no plan to offset the revenues lost by reducing said taxes) and easing regulations that were disastrous just does not seem prudent.

    Add in one of his primary goals is to rebuild the military, and really Gene, that is what you want?

    But, back to Donald, you really trust our country to a guy who:

    -Has the self-control of a rejected 17-year old, tweeting and bad mouthing a Miss Universe from 20 years before at 3 am?

    -Resorts to name calling (remember, he is 71) in trying to neutralize his fellow politicians.

    -Would attack Iranians who flipped off an American boat in the gulf.

    -Thinks Putin is a strong leader (btw, Donald doesn’t understand that Putin’s use of the word “brilliant” in referring to Trump was not a compliment: his use of that word likened Donald to the brilliance of a Cirque de Soleil clown, not a world leader).

    -Went bankrupt no fewer than four times.

    -Will not release either his tax returns or Trump Foundation docs, but rails on Hillary’s finances when she released both?

    I could go on, and this is hardly meant to be a defense of Hillary, but she is not nearly the gargoyle made out to be.

    Yeah, she has done well since Bill left the White House, but Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, neither of whom was rich when they became president, became millionaires after they left office. That is just a perk, and truthfully, nothing Hillary has done to earn money is shadier than Trump University.

    I am mostly done, but Donald also said “I know more about ISIS than any of the generals” and “i know more about taxes than anyone” among his bombastic statements.

    If I said to you I know more about music and baseball (and i would bet I know more about either than Donald knows about ISIS or taxes) you would dismiss me as a stupid blowhard.

    So, maybe change is appropriate, but in this case, you have a chance to build a baseball team from scratch and your first pick is Milton Bradley, or a chance to build a band and your first choice is Sid Vicious. (BTW, Neil Schoen would be my equivalent Hillary pick, and well, you know he is not close to my favorite player. But, he gets the job done without incident.)

    I think the right can do better? As for lefties being outraged, we have in general a different nature: just watch talk shows and see who interrupts whom on a more regular basis. Think back to the debates and Donald was always interrupting. The right is the side with the emotional/anger issues.

    As for intelligence, give me what the late Nobel Prize winning Mathematician Bertrand Russell said: “The problem with smart people is they fear they are dumb; the problem with dumb people is they know they are smart.”

    I remain a happy idiot.

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