Charles Murray, best known for spewing racist pseudoscience to the top of the best-seller list a while back, recently wrote an imbecilic, ill-informed Washington Post op-ed (but I repeat myself) arguing that there's a "New Elite" in America, and it's not based on wealth or actual power, most of which is in the hands of sociopathic paleoconservatives...no, it's based on what TV shows you watch and how snobby you are about them. It's been taken apart here and there, but of course the mark of true elite status (like Murray's) is that you don't have to give a fuck what people say about your little vomit-burps, you just issue them (in national newspapers) and move on while bloggers pound their heads on their desks.
The one moderately entertaining result of this foofaraw has been a quiz entitled "How Elite Are You?" Here are the questions, with my answers:
1. Can you talk about "Mad Men?"
I can and I do.
2. Can you talk about the "The Sopranos?"
Sure, I guess, but I've only seen maybe a half dozen episodes from beginning to end. Ask me about The Shield instead.
3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right?"
4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?
No, but I catch a few minutes here and there.
5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?
Animatedly? No. Have I tried yoga? Yes.
6. How about pilates?
See above answer, minus the trying-it part.
7. How about skiing?
I went skiing once in high school and didn't like it.
8. Mountain biking?
Had a mountain bike in high school; wouldn't call it a subject worthy of "animated" discussion.
9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?
10. Does the acronym MMA mean anything to you?
Yes. (Here's where I recommend my friend Eugene's book.)
11. Can you talk about books endlessly?
12. Have you ever read a "Left Behind" novel?
No, but I know the basics.
13. How about a Harlequin romance?
14. Do you take interesting vacations?
I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with this word "vacation." Put me down for a "no."
15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?
16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?
No idea where that is.
17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?
I think I've been inside an RV a time or two.
18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?
No interest in contracting oceangoing dysentery, thanks.
19. Have you ever heard of Branson, Mo?
20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?
21. How about the Rotary Club?
22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?
Grew up in one.
23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of your neighbors did not have college degrees?
I've never asked any of them, but I'd bet a sizable number of my neighbors are surviving without the benefits of higher education. As am I.
24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?
Dude, I'm a writer. What do you think?
25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?
I don't know 'cause I don't ask. Maybe.
26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?
27. Have you worked on one?
No. I have worked in warehouses, though.