Well, those were the claims at least, and I quickly learned they stemmed from what the elitists had determined, for themselves and everyone else, to be appropriate.
So I started paying attention, and quickly discovered that more people make up the groups deemed disgusting than the actual dictators, though that is how it often seems to work in history.
I deduced that, in general, the groups did indeed swear often, did not wear chinos and button-ups and comfortably expressed their emotions, loudly at times, and in theatrical ways. I didn’t see anything wrong with wearing dress pants adhering to the social norms the elitists had chosen as appropriate, but I wondered why they projected them on everyone else and judged harshly when their rules were broken.
It seemed as though, upon close examination, that those judgments stemmed from inferiority complexes, delusions of grandeur and intense insecurities, but I quickly reminded myself I was supposed to be studying the poor, rednecks and white trash. It didn’t matter that the elitists seemed in dire need of loosening up and did not in fact have a monopoly on social norms, but who was I to judge?
Still, as I overheard swearing among the marginalized and so-called inappropriate discussions, I couldn’t help but wonder who decided the “F” word should be frowned upon.
And in terms of inappropriate discussions, I was at a local gathering of business professionals, during which one individual complained that providing employees with a livable wage and adequate health care would cut into the three expensive vacations he took every year. Another bragged about backing politicians who support legislation that oppress the marginalized. Perhaps they should be recognized for avoiding cuss words and speaking “appropriately,” but their discussions sure seemed offensive to me.
Clothing norms consistently confuse me. Years ago I covered an event on casual Friday in a T-shirt and jeans and was chastised by organizers and other attendees. They would not respect me nor take me seriously because of my “offensive” outfit. I countered I should be judged by my work and was told to grow up.
Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at email@example.com.