Can I help it if there is much about being an American in America that I love? Can I help it if I would prefer Budweiser half the time instead of a microbrew IPA? Sure, I love to try new beer, and most American mass-marketed beer is not very good, but I have no problem drinking a Budweiser at a Chili’s or Buffalo Wild Wings and eating a hamburger or wings. Sometimes I do like football. If I want to be entertained by a movie, I generally prefer mass-marketed sci-fi or action/thriller movies over some historical film that wins a lot of Academy nominations. On the other hand, I prefer to listen to Classical or Jazz over Hip Hop, Country or Rock. I would rather go to an art museum in a big city than go shopping or go to a sporting event. I prefer to read poetry instead of read detective novels off the airport bestseller rack. My manner of appreciation of the hoity-toity things seems to me to sometimes more like how NASCAR and American beer are consumed by others. I approach these things with a gusto and want to nosh them down indiscriminately without trying to become overly cultured in the way I consume them. In short, I consume high art and fine culture like an American mutt.
Where was I going with this? It seems like lately it’s become almost a sin to be too much like your typical American slob kid from the 80s who loved Spielberg and Lucas films and liked to eat baloney sandwiches. Since coming to school I’ve learned about this term intersectionality, along with safe spaces, triggers, microaggressions, being woke, etc. As a middle-aged white man, I almost feel as if I am expected to not have any sort of understanding of social issues. A lot of these kids here seem to think they’ve invented the idea of having a social conscience and consciousness. They seem to think they have all the answers and we older folks do not. I hear these terms bandied about in the same way so much sales and marketing jargon was thrown about by people in my old profession when they wanted to sound like they were tapped into the latest and greatest in best practices after having heard jargon the month before at a conference.
There is something inherently misguided about this kind of elitist attitude concerning who is the most virtuous socially, and I see it come out in weird places like a woman at a pride rally being kicked out because she has a Star of David on her flag and the promoters of the rally are worried about someone’s triggers. It’s almost like people who are either consummately liberal or conservative want to have a checklist of what they should be for and against so they can shut their minds off and not be concerned about having to form their own opinions about things which may run contra to their herd.