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THE PRIVILEGE OF INK

Not “Inklings,” but ink. Privileges of ink are such that, to write (to use “ink” like people used to, up until digital communications premiered for single use purposes), to write is to assume privilege.

Can’t be a “common man” when your name’s attached to a column of ink/type on paper, and/or symbols on a monitor generated by an energy source. No, to display a name is to assign a privilege, to denote an achievement: someone wrote that.

But, what I’m wondering about this morning is, who is, in fact, a “common man.” Ever met one? Know one? Are there any among your friends/coworkers/relatives that you consider to be “common?” Seems rather denigrating, actually, to regard anyone as being “common” but when you use (because, I don’t) the grander expression, “common man,” it takes on a “The Lone Ranger lives in The Little House on the Prairie” appeal. Wait, isn’t that what some people call “trailer trash?”

To be clear, I don’t. I grew up on both a ranch and a near-farm, in agricultural small town and ranching land America surroundings, know wilderness, woods and Black Angus Herefords well enough to be more comfortable in a barn with the herd on a cold night than in any tavern or Starbucks, city or otherwise, anywhere. So, no, I don’t use words like “common man,” “trailer trash,” or any of that range of generalizations about human beings, but, I AM curious why I am reading, and reading more and more often lately, about the “common man” appeal or message versus the, well, UN”common man” appeal. As in, there’s the “common man” and then there’s everyone else.

From what I’ve read about the Michael Moore “appeal” factor, let’s see, someone named “Sarah M. Seltzer,” who applies her name not once but twice to her article in “The Crimson,” — OMgosh, it’s from Harvard University! — shares that what she found to be uncomfortable at the New York viewing of the “F:9/11″ film she attended was:

(1.) a well-spoken poor person asking for money; and, (2.) two blonde men in pastel polos who weren’t Moore fans (–>>”…the well-spoken beggar who dispassionately argued his case to theater patrons [‘My, you look nice tonight. I don?t drink or do drugs, but I do need some money’]; and lastly two blonde men in pastel polo walking by. With a sneer, one said to the other, ‘You don?t believe Michael Moore?s version of America, do you?’…”<<--). And, then there's Paul Krugman at the -- yikes! — New York Times who writes in that publication o’ the peoples:

–>>”…Last Saturday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his Nascar crew to see it. The film’s appeal to working-class Americans, who are the true victims of George Bush’s policies, should give pause to its critics, especially the nervous liberals rushing to disassociate themselves from Michael Moore.”<<-- Krugman continues on in his inked concerns about the "common man," opining that Moore's performed a "public service" for America by exposing that, OMGosh, people of lower economic classes actually get to go to college by serving in U.S. military branches, while, OMGosh, the UN-"common man" gets to avoid service altogether and Moore's apparently performed a heroic event by putting this on a screen for other peoples to think over and, well -- what? Not like it's a bad thing that people gain an education, and, when your family can't pay for it, it's nice to have a scholarship. Or, at least, help with the tuition from any willing and reliably decent source. What really concerns me about this "revelation" by Moore onscreen and by Krugman in ink, is that they apparently think that the peoples o' America need to KNOW that the "common man" is receiving helps with their educational costs. Or, do I miss their points? It does seem that both Moore and Krugman and their various audiences find it something akin to a discussion about their favorite, darling Chiapet to discuss the "common man." I was wondering what buttons, exactly, that blonde people or even, OMGosh, blonde people wearing pastels, or, worse, NASCAR enthusiasts and well-spoken beggars, what buttons that it is that these variations of the “common man” theme push for these privileged users of ink, these two columnists and those like them, and why they push buttons, since these are recurring themes in our society as to examples of social offense. It’s popular and frequent that blondes are reviled and ridiculed — the cause of unspecified social offense — not to mention pastels, beggars and NASCAR enthusiasts.

But, they’re offensive to the same people who like Michael Moore’s film: not the “common man.” Apply enough ink to it, you get privilege.

No, the folks who are apparently, as per Ms. Seltzer and Mr. Krugman, allegedly being talked to by Michael Moore, don’t speak Michael Moore’s language and aren’t real eager to learn it. So, there ya’ go: blonde, wearing pastels, begging to be left alone.

However, I do thank you for reading this. And, I do bet that Ms. Seltzer and Mr. Krugman, not to mention Mr. Moore, have never spent a cold evening in a barn with a herd of Black Angus Herefords. Or been to a NASCAR race. Much less a little house on the prairie.

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