Thursday, January 10, 2013
Victor Davis Hanson on hipsters.
On the hipness of academia:Hipness is a tool designed to justify enjoying the riches and leisure produced by the American brand of Western market capitalism by poking fun at it, teasing it some, dressing it up a bit to suggest ambivalence over its benefits without ever seriously either understanding their source or, much less, losing them. We feel hip at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but not so much in the organic section of Safeway.
On corporate hipsters:A Martian would see the modern university as an elitist enclave, where life-long tenured professors make lots of money overseen by hordes of even better-paid administrators, that together cause tuition for cash-strapped and indebted students to rise faster than the rate of inflation without any promises that their eventual certifications will result in commensurate good jobs. A non-Martian would instead appreciate the hip nexus of diversity, eco-caring, and gender-neutral inclusivity. ... Hip decries school choice and vouchers, but means Sidwell Friends is under armed guards for your own progenies.
Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc., or if its founders had grown up together as good ol’ boys in Mobile, Alabama, who still had a nagging propensity for putting patriotic slogans under the Google logo when the browser pops up each morning? Imagine waking and hitting the American Internet, Inc. logo — and then reading “Live free or die” before your search. (How odd that liberals — e.g., “the medium is the message” — always lectured us about advertising-driven false demand, and then became past masters of deceptive branding.)...If the executives of Solyndra had been coal-company CEOs, they would now be in deep trouble for squandering public funds obtained through rank cronyism.
So: hip is often as easy as changing one’s name. Had Mitt Romney only reminded us of his family’s Mexican ancestry and ran as Zarpa Romneo, and against Barry Dunham.
Read the whole thing.Barack Obama baffles his detractors. How can one who golfs so frequently, or who vacations in only the most tony resorts, keep haranguing the nation about the transgressions of the one percent? When he sees them stroll by on Martha’s Vineyard, does he jump up and shout out at their mansions: “You didn’t build that!”?How did corpse-man not win the NPR vitriol that nu-cu-lar had in the past?How could Obama in 2006 vote against raising the debt ceiling, in 2008 call Bush unpatriotic for deficit spending, upon entering office promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term, and then oversee some $5 trillion in new borrowing? Hip: borrowing became “stimulus”; entitlements, “investments”; and paying it all back became “paying your fair share.” In Obama’s case, he is not just black, but black with an exotic name and a liberal ideology, unlike a Clarence Thomas, who is most unhip — being right-wing, not of mixed race, with an ordinary American name (Clarence?), veteran of the prejudices of the pre-Civil Rights south. Could not Thomas shorten his name to just the single Tomré? Or perhaps go the Van Jones made-up route — Van Thomas?