1. More on elitism.
Among the aspects of "traditional" elitism that baffle (and often irritate) outsiders is the impenetrable elite, also known as the clique. You cannot gain entry to a clique by attaining some standard or expressing some commonly held sentiment; it admits no additional members according to so impersonal a criterion. If it does deign to accept a new member, it will be for reasons that aren't just non-objective; they're also inexpressible, whether by virtue of irrationality or taboo. High school girls intuitively understand cliques; they form a significant element of adolescent society.
Adults also form cliques. If you've ever heard someone speak of "the right sort of people," it's possible that he was concerned with prohibiting entry to his clique by the wrong sort of people. Ask him to define either "sort," and he'll award you a dismissive sneer, no more. After all, to ask such a question automatically tars you as someone who'd never understand the answer -- and therefore, one of the wrong sort!
Cliques might be unfortunate, but they also appear to be inevitable.
2. Tribalism in politics.
The Democrats are becoming ever more concerned about their prospects in November. Barack Hussein Obama, though notoriously averse to anything resembling actual work, has nevertheless extended himself sufficiently to attend a record number of fundraisers. What's notable about those fundraisers is the open tribalism of their attendances -- and the open pandering they receive from The Won.
Hm. I seem to recall that Obama once billed himself as a "uniter, not a divider." Well, politicians do gab rather freely during campaigns. All the same, the extent to which the 44th president has pursued a politics of division -- of inter-racial, inter-ethnic, inter-gender, and inter-economic strife -- can no longer be hidden. Obama is clearly attempting to harness tribal resentments and competitiveness over "the place at the trough."
Is it working? Of course, we won't actually know until November. But Obama's effort is itself significant. No politician since the days of Southern segregation has worked as hard to elicit fear, inter-tribal distrust, and rapacity for power over "the other" as an avenue toward personal prosperity and security. Apropos of which, do please remember that the Southern segregationists were Democrats.
In a speech of exceptional eloquence, Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) gives this tactic its starkest coloration. Senator Rubio, one of the leading lights among young Republican officeholders, plainly has a national future: if not in 2012, then in years to come.
3. Head of State.
Some media gaffes are simultaneously horrifying and hilarious:
HBO couldn’t save George W. Bush’s head, but it is working hard to save its own.
The cable network and the creators of fantasy series “Game of Thrones” issued apologies for using Bush’s face on a decapitated head during an episode.
“We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste,” HBO said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.”
So far, so routine, eh? I mean, we all know that a mass media outlet would never deliberately insult a former president by using his severed head as a screen prop, right? After all, we've never seen John F. Kennedy's or Bill Clinton's severed heads, or any other identifiable body parts (never mind exactly who might be able to identify them, or how), in a TV production. But wait: there's more!
The appearance of Bush’s head on set was first disclosed in the DVD commentary for the episode. The series’ creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, said Bush’s likeness was used out of necessity rather than to make a political statement.... [Emphasis added]
“We can’t afford to have these [props] all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk,” the creators said in a statement.
If you believe that self-exculpation, by the makers of a screen extravaganza budgeted for several years and many millions of dollars, I have a wonderful investment opportunity for you. No checks, please. Cash only. Small-denomination bills.
(Would someone on the Right please make a severed head of Barack Hussein Obama and send it to the producers of A Game of Thrones? They're so obviously hurting for cash, surely they'll appreciate the contribution. Yes, you can wait until after the election.)