This morning, while staggering around trying to wake up, I managed to absorb a bit of NPR commentary: despite both having more or less the same platform, and despite Hillary having been steadily losing, she is still being favored by the majority of uneducated, working-class, white americans.

This doesn't surprise me as cultural heroes for the last several decades have not been people who overcame difficulties to do well, but rather people who were born into it, got lucky, then had adversity pasted into the back-story for aesthetic purposes. (Princess Di comes to mind as a classic example) Hillary really fits this mold, being independently wealthy and a member of elite political class well before she became a senator.

Barack Obama, however, is brilliant, articulate, and clearly of the people (single mom, deadbeat dad, etc.). There is no obvious superpower or leg-up to explain why he is a success while millions of middle american white-folk couldn't find it in themselves to go further than high-school. I think that, by way of his having done incredibly well despite a difficult background, he reads as a personal indictment to many of Clinton's supporters.

As someone who clearly is not career focused, and is somewhat bitter about the effort I put into failing to get a degree (really, college was not the right path for me), I am familiar with internalizing "not a success".* But still, it is deeply depressing that in so many americans, this seems to manifest itself in idolizing trash ($pop-star now in rehab), endorsing dynastic nepotism (Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes), and writing off anyone who takes pride in a by-thier-bootstraps achievements as "uppity" or "elitist".

It deeply sucks and I am not sure there is anything that can be done to address it.

*no, I am not saying I am representative of middle americana. Though I am a slouch academically and career-wise, I am totally a geek and delight in thinking and being challenged.
This morning, while staggering around trying to wake up, I managed to absorb a bit of NPR commentary: despite both having more or less the same platform, and despite Hillary having been steadily losing, she is still being favored by the majority of uneducated, working-class, white americans.

This doesn't surprise me as cultural heroes for the last several decades have not been people who overcame difficulties to do well, but rather people who were born into it, got lucky, then had adversity pasted into the back-story for aesthetic purposes. (Princess Di comes to mind as a classic example) Hillary really fits this mold, being independently wealthy and a member of elite political class well before she became a senator.

Barack Obama, however, is brilliant, articulate, and clearly of the people (single mom, deadbeat dad, etc.). There is no obvious superpower or leg-up to explain why he is a success while millions of middle american white-folk couldn't find it in themselves to go further than high-school. I think that, by way of his having done incredibly well despite a difficult background, he reads as a personal indictment to many of Clinton's supporters.

As someone who clearly is not career focused, and is somewhat bitter about the effort I put into failing to get a degree (really, college was not the right path for me), I am familiar with internalizing "not a success".* But still, it is deeply depressing that in so many americans, this seems to manifest itself in idolizing trash ($pop-star now in rehab), endorsing dynastic nepotism (Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes), and writing off anyone who takes pride in a by-thier-bootstraps achievements as "uppity" or "elitist".

It deeply sucks and I am not sure there is anything that can be done to address it.

*no, I am not saying I am representative of middle americana. Though I am a slouch academically and career-wise, I am totally a geek and delight in thinking and being challenged.
A question for my oft-hit on friends:

What percentage of your would-be suitors start off asking about your heredity?
(Ie, an opening salvo of "Are you German?")

I don't get hit on/flirted with all that often but of those that do, at least a third of them want to know what country I am from (yes, the blonde thing probably aggravates it, but this occasionally happened even when I had jet black hair). Is this normal? And, if so, am I the only one who finds it just plain odd as a come-on?
A question for my oft-hit on friends:

What percentage of your would-be suitors start off asking about your heredity?
(Ie, an opening salvo of "Are you German?")

I don't get hit on/flirted with all that often but of those that do, at least a third of them want to know what country I am from (yes, the blonde thing probably aggravates it, but this occasionally happened even when I had jet black hair). Is this normal? And, if so, am I the only one who finds it just plain odd as a come-on?
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