In My View: Elite elitists and their elitism

I’m afraid I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with Owen.

(I know, big shocker. Maybe next time, I’ll tell you that the sky is blue and that fish swim in the ocean.)

But that said, I really can’t wrap my head around the idea that elitist might actually become a “good” word. And no amount of semantic reconstruction is going to change the fact that the root for elitist is not elite but elitism. Which has a slightly different definition than Owen proposed. From dictionary.com:

  1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

2 a. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.

b. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

Simply put, elitism is snobbery. Not just snobbery in some sort of passive “I don’t watch that kind of show sense” but snobbery in its most vile form. In the form that says, “I’m better than you and it does matter.” It’s the fundamental belief that somehow the pedestal that you’re on is well deserved and frankly been touched by the hand of God almighty.

Yeah, I get kind of angry about it.

But that’s because I’m a bit of an elitist myself. I mean I certainly think my viewpoint is important enough that I should write blog posts about it. And I even think I have some good points that I’d like to voice to the vast chasm that is the Internet. In fact, I’d say that every blogger has a little elitism to think that.

That doesn’t make them elitists though. It’s funny because TheBigN’s post about elitism reminded me of my own experiences with role playing. And when I say role playing, I mean table top gaming. The type with all of the strange dice. And why do I have to explain that? Because there are people out there who get dressed up in funny costumes go to hang out in nightclubs and pretend to be vampires. They give me the heebie jeebies partly because I don’t like crossing that line between fantasy and reality.

And because frankly, I worry that they’re going to give role playing a bad name. (I mean a worse name than it already has.)

Even that though, doesn’t really qualify me for elitism.

It’s that next step. The one where I say, “What’s wrong with those people? Don’t they understand that what they’re doing is stupid? Shit, I wish Gary Gygax was still alive to kick them in the ass. They should just act normal.”

You see, true elitism isn’t a preference (even a loud or particular preference). I’m sure a lot of people prefer quality or a particular genre or age of show. In fact, it isn’t even just saying that my anime is better than yours. True elitism is taking the next logical step and saying not only is my anime better than your anime, but it’s adding on, “So you should sit down and shut the fuck up because you’re not worthy of having this argument with me.”

This ironically is why I think most bloggers aren’t actually truly elitists. Sure we’ve got opinions. Sure we think we’re right. And occasionally we might yell or rant or rave at each other. Even Owen, who might occasionally be a little low in the tact department (or high in the brutal honesty department, take your pick), generally respects other people’s opinions or at least their right to have them.

But in the back of our heads, we know that it isn’t that important that we’re right. I mean it’s not like we’re professionals.

Unlike some people.

———

This was mostly inspired by reading Martin’s interesting post on elitism, whose title really says everything I just said.

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6 Comments

  1. We simply have our opinions and preferences. In matters of taste, there is no debate. 🙂

  2. I dunno…

    Being forever shafted by Owen (while he rides that elevator) has made me seen him in a completely different light.

    I think he’ s no better than a troll. What he calls brutal honesty is really just verbose trolling.

    I gots no respect for a guy who does nothing but troll and makes himself feel proud for it.

  3. I used to go to this live action Vampire group, but they held their thing at a gentleman’s club, which was my reason for going plus my friends were into the game (I’m more of a table-top rpg guy). The serious vampires wanted nothing to do with a guy named Bloody Chicklets, which was fine — my main concern was losing money.

    As far as the whole elitist thing goes in anime blogging, some people make it part of their brand and that’s fine. Also, it’s not like anime is important enough to actually care beyond entertainment value whether a blogger thinks Najica Blitz tactics makes better use of panties as a metaphor for self-determination than Agent Aika did. For elitism to become ‘real’ there’s got to be a good deal of distance between knowing and not knowing. Anime is pretty easy. There’s not much distance at all between a Narutard and someone who pretends they enjoyed Ergo Proxy.

  4. @drmchsr0 – I don’t really have any opinion on Owen for the most part. Granted, I’m still fairly new around these circles, so…

    @super rats- Damn I think Bloody Chicklets would be a great name for a Vampire character.

    As always you do make a good point. Although what happens if you actually liked Ergo Proxy. Granted, I still haven’t watched the last two disks yet.

  5. Then you’re weird. Just kidding, to each their own.

    I found the characters as flat mouthpieces and whatever there was of a story boring. I hate shows where characters exist to wait around for our crew to show up and almost every character in EP exists to wait around for the crew to stop by. I could elaborate further on how awful a show I found EP, but I slept through many of the episodes. The “smartness” just couldn’t stimulate me enough to care about what was happening on-screen. I’ve fallen asleep through more episodes than I can count. Best episode is when Iggy goes off, because I agree a trillion percent with what he said.

  6. I think I commented on concretebadger about this, but Martin didn’t get it… I said something along the lines of “if an elitist is so awesome, and my choices suck, then I shouldn’t be alive, because they can live my life for me, thus denying individuality”.

    It’s logical that we are individuals, but I think it is more than a matter of disrespect when it comes to elitism; sheer dictation? Anyway, I agree with you. ^^


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