Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Post vacation semi-shorters, part 2

let's get right to it.

Poor little rich girls and boys: M. already covered this one in part, but there's more that I have to chime in about. A lot more.

I went to school with a fair sample of the most obnoxiously rich people in the country. I don't remember anyone saying to their parents, "No, I don't want Emily at my birthday party--her father's bonus dropped 90% this year." I have also lived my life under the impression that friends are the people who know when you're in trouble. In fact, I've always thought that that was one of the main joys of having friends. It's not as if anyone's unaware that there's a quasi-recession going on.
This is complete and utter bullshit. Megan does not believe this, she is merely attempting a feeble defense of her class. Also, her family wasn't rich enough to be in the game, in the first place. Mine wasn't either, and I suppose she deserves a measure of credit for not being bitter about it, some of the worst rich folk in the world are the children of "working class rich" who really want to make up for all the free upgrades to first class they only got half the time as kids. I might not be making a lot of sense, but neither does being resentful for not being privileged enough. But I digress.
Getting back to Megan, here comes a... canonical moment.
This is when I start flirting with the Megan Tax, which is a special tax for people who have too much money. "Too much" does not refer to any particular sum, but rather to the effect on the possessor: Larry Ellison clearly has too much money, just as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs clearly do not. Mostly it comes down to how much of your income you spend in order to show people how much money you can spend. I sometimes therefore toy with the idea that the purchase of certain objects, like $20,000 Hermes handbags, should trigger the Megan Tax, where the government takes half your money because you plainly have too much. The purpose is not retribution, nor redistribution. It is entirely paternalistic.
To thine own libertarian roots be true, even in jest.

"The Megan Tax".

There is no lack of self awareness whatsoever to be found in defining unnecessary expense as something purchased by someone above her income level. Megan has no luxury items of ridiculous expense, particularly not in her kitchen, which cost more individually than most of the world makes in a year. (Yes, I do too, but I'm not proposing a brad tax.) You don't get to be both a hyper-rich enabling yuppie by career and mock their choices in consumption. They have to spend all that money you think they deserve by dint of birth somehow, Megan, and if they spend it all on cocaine they'll just od.
Rich people who try to feel humble by mocking the spending patterns of richer people tend not to be good at fooling people.

Conservation=conservative country?:
In an interesting way, I wonder if environmentalism and liberalism aren't politically at war with each other. I don't mean that they are philosophically incompatible; they aren't, and in fact they tend to come as a package deal. But if we actually cut back on people's standards of living in order to conserve energy, their willingness to support other parts of the liberal platform, such as broader safety nets, will probably drop.
I don't know where or how to begin to mock the stupid present in this quote, I just wanted to make others suffer as I did in reading it.

Telephonemania, Day 3:
People are worrying about what to name the next generation iPhone. I think I'll call mine "Aloysius".
To quote myself, "Rich people who try to feel humble by mocking the spending patterns of richer people tend not to be good at fooling people." (Note to Megan: see how I didn't use a blockquote there?)

EXCLUSIVE TO THE ATLANTIC: Preview of Hillary Clinton's AIPAC speech: It's a youtube of the fucking dead parrot sketch. Jesus titlicking Christ. John McCain is funnier than you, Megan.

Happy, happy, joy, joy:
At long last, I can start covering policy again. There was no point in covering candidate policy while the main race was between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; other than foreign policy, there's really very little daylight between them. Stand by as I joyfully stop watching vacuous cable news coverage on the primaries, and instead dig into campaign platforms.
*Insert your own joke here*

Technicolor: I'm so proud of myself for supporting a black man.

End transmission.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it not that long ago that we mocked people here who quote Monty Python and think they're being funny? It almost becomes ironic when she gives it the title "EXCLUSIVE!" and then posts a sketch that's approaching forty years old. Gee, really funny and original, McArdle.

spencer said...

I used to love that dead parrot sketch.

When I was eleven. Which was . . . a decent number of years ago, and let's leave it at that.

Someone should point out to Megan that the last forty years have featured some pretty funny bits of comedy here and there - and some of it wasn't even on The Simpsons.

brad said...

I like to think of the dead parrot sketch as a piece of meta commentary at this point. Not as something especially funny in and of itself, but as a statement about the sense of humor of the person referencing it.
N spencer, it'd be worse if she knew other stuff. Megan quoting Ronnie Dobbs would inspire homicidal rage in me.