Gather Round, Ye Elitist Bastards

(Postdated so everybody gets to play.)

Right, my darlings. We’re overwhelmingly for a Carnival of the Elitist Bastards, which must mean we’re all elitist bastards. ¡Viva los bastardos del elitista!

For those of you just joining us, or who haven’t yet decided to make your opinions known, there’s still time. Go here and weigh in. There’s room for more than one Carnival on this site.

And I do not want to hear, “But Dana, I’m not good enough to write for a carnival!”

Of course you are. We’ll have no more of this crazy talk.

I might hear, “But Dana, what is a Carnival of the Elitist Bastards?”

That’s what we’re here to discuss.

First, for those of you who already plumped for being elitist bastards, I’d like you to stop reading. Yes, right this instant. Go write down what you thought such a carnival would be, and then come back for the rest. Don’t let my opinions sully your original ideas.

Got it down? Good. I’ll just continue, then, shall I?

It’s always helpful in these cases to start with a definition. Being elitist bastards, we are likely elite, are we not? Here’s what the Free Online Dictionary has to say about that:

e·lite or é·lite
n. pl. elite or e·lites
a. A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status: “In addition to notions of social equality there was much emphasis on the role of elites and of heroes within them” Times Literary Supplement.

b. The best or most skilled members of a group: the football team’s elite.

2. A size of type on a typewriter, equal to 12 characters per linear inch.

Somehow, I don’t think #2 works for us, but if one of you clever buggers just felt an idea go “ding,” run with it.

An “elitist” is defined as “someone who believes in rule by an elite group.” Seeing as how we expect our fearless leaders to have two brain cells to rub together, I believe that puts us firmly in the elitist camp.

But what kind of elitists are we? Thankfully, they have a quiz for that.

I happen to be a Book and Language Snob.

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to impress at a party.

What people love: You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves.

What people hate: You constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.

Yes, that’s me. Hi, me. And what sort of elitist are you?

And what’s so wrong with being an elitist, anyway? The Washington Post, never known for its brain power these days, likes to think it has our answer:

Other than being called a criminal, a philanderer or a terrorist sympathizer, is there an accusation in American politics worse than being branded an “elitist”?

The word supposes something fundamentally effete and out of touch, a whiff of brie and latte. There’s something about it that grates against our Jacksonian, egalitarian self-image.


Admittedly, it’s a fine line. It’s okay to be perceived as smart (Bill Clinton) but it’s not okay to be perceived as bookish and intellectual (Adlai Stevenson). And it’s okay to be elite. Olympic athletes are elite, as are Marines and Navy SEALs. But it’s not okay to be insufferably proud of your elite skills, which is just obnoxious.

Could we expect any better of a newspaper owned by Reverend Moon? Probably not. And that was a terribly elitist thing of me to say, wasn’t it? (Update: I just realized it’s the Washington Times that’s owned by Rev. Moon, not the Post. How silly of me. I wonder what in this article could possibly have led me to confuse the two? Apologies to the Post – you’ve actually displayed a little less fuck-wittedness than the average mainstream newspaper lately.)

Here’s how I see things: I think it’s time to plant a boot firmly in the arse of the anti-elitist bastards. I think it’s time to show the world that there’s nothing wrong with being “bookish and intellectual.” That, in fact, the world needs to celebrate more thinkers and fewer meatheads. Meatheads got us into this sorry state. Thinkers can think a way out.

It’s time we took the word “elite” back. Time we turned the tables on the “populists” and made their “anti-elitist” and “anti-intellectual” poses the obnoxious ones. What they’re basically saying is, people are stupid and enjoy mucking about with stupid people because they’re too stupid to appreciate intelligence.

I say bunk.

I call bullshit.

I think there’s all kinds of elites, and they’re just too damned afraid of being branded elitists to say so.

Is there anything wrong with preferring wine over beer? No.

Is there anything wrong with loving a complex, elegantly worded novel more than mass-produced, simplistic trash? No.

Is there really anything wrong with being so smart you need a bigger skull for your brain? No.

And what the fuck could possibly be wrong with being an expert in a field and knowing more than a layman? Absolutely nothing.

People like to spout off about the “wisdom of the masses,” but when the masses intentionally lower themselves to the mental level of their most intellectually deficient member, then the masses just ain’t that wise. I think it’s time for the masses to aspire to some of that vaunted wisdom rather than trying to flatten the bell curve with a sledgehammer.

I think it’s time we stop letting our culture celebrate willful ignorance and start promoting genius instead.

So that’s my view of this Carnival of the Elitist Bastards: we celebrate our cerebrums, jerk the sledgehammer out of the hands wielding it against us, and kick anti-elitists to the curb. We’ll delve into the delightful varieties of elitist and elite pleasures. We’ll wax philosophical and hold up the elite of our societies for praise.

I don’t think we’ll have any shortage of material.

But that may not be what first came to your mind when you decided that a Carnival of the Elitist Bastards would suit you right down to the ground.

So it’s your turn: what do you think this Carnival of the Elitist Bastards should be?

The floor is open.

Update: for more Carnival of the Elitist Bastards information, including contact info for yours truly, see this post.

Gather Round, Ye Elitist Bastards

Badges! We Have Badges!

Paul at Cafe Philos has been working overtime to ensure we have Elitist Bastard Art appropriate to our enterprise:

He’s also got a damned good post on what the whole thing means, so if you haven’t already, go have a gander and snag a badge. Muchos gracias, Paulito!

George at Decrepit Old Fool will be working on incorporating the array into a banner for those of us who want an army of Elitist Bastards prominently displayed.

Matt over at Where Is My Mind? has instructions for the non-internet savvy among us on how to use the things, and a damned good question: for those who haven’t yet chosen their Icon of Elitism, who you gonna pick?

The time’s a-comin’ where we’re all gonna have to decide… we’re looking at a launch in early June at latest. Getchyor submissions in! Eggheads – Unite!

Badges! We Have Badges!

My Darlings, We've Been PWND

So I pull up Sitemeter tonight to see what my blog’s been getting up to while I’m otherwise occupied, and I come across a referral from a site I’ve never heard of before:

The hell….? Of course, I click the link. And get bludgeoned with this:

Elitists feel no guilt when they attack the fragile self-regard of the masses by using words of more than two syllables. They feel no shame when they display knowledge which has no other use than making the
average person feel inferior. They are a danger to the nation and shouldn’t be allowed to express their perverse thoughts in public. Indeed, they can’t even be considered citizens and shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

But they recognize no limits on their arrogance and insist that they have the right to speak up, just like normal people. One example of such brazen swaggering pomposity is the upcoming Carnival of the Elitist Bastards, which will be hosted at En Tequila Es Verdad.



And then she calls for a boycott?

I call on you to boycott this so-called Carnival of the Elitist Bastards. Ignore the elitists and let them fade away in ignominy. Show them the superiority of the average American; show them what self-esteem is really all about.

The sarcasm. Sublime. The snark. Exquisite.

My darlings, I think Connie M. (Catana)’s paid us quite a compliment. Add to that John Pieret’s beautiful, rousing write-up, and, well, wow.

We haven’t even got a submission date or a button and we’re already making an impression!

My Darlings, We've Been PWND

Carnival Business

The first ever Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is starting to take shape. We’ve got a group of excellent bloggers rarin’ to go. It’s exciting times! Now we just need to figure out how we’re going to get on with this show.

I hereby nominate any of you who are interested in getting involved to the Elitist Bastard Carnival Committee.

We have several items on the agenda:

1. Firstly, we need to define what this Carnival of the Elitist Bastards is all about. Let’s have some ideas. If you were going to advertise this thing, how would you pitch it? Any themes for the first edition come to mind? That sort o’ thing.

2. Speaking of advertising, George at Decrepit Old Fool is way ahead of the game. If you don’t mind making room on your blog, get the word out: Elitist Bastards needed! The more people who participate, the more successful this thing is going to be.

3. We need a logo. One of you clever Elitist Bastards has got to know enough HTML coding to create us something nice and sharp we can embed. Matt had some good ideas on that front. Any and all of you can whip something together, and we’ll work with the results until we’ve settled on just the thing.

4. Whosoever wants to be a part of shaping this thing can contact me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com. We can also use this comment thread as a committee meeting place.

5. We need more Elitist Bastards, so if you know of any bloggers or should-be bloggers who might be persuaded to contribute, apply persuasion, gentle or otherwise.

6. For those like myself who haven’t the slightest idea what they’re doing, there’s a beaut of a tutorial at 10,000 Birds. I’m also considering using Blog Carnival to make this easier on us all. It provides an easy way to host, submit, and so forth. I’m so open to opinions on this you could call me the Grand Canyon, so if you get a chance to meander by there and have a gander, let me know what you think.

We’re at the start of something amazing here, a Carnival the likes of which the blogging world has never seen. It’s going to need all of us – hosts, founders and committee members, and contributors – to make it happen.

We’re Elitist Bastards. We can do this thing.

Carnival Business

Your Opinion Please: Should We Have a Carnival?

Update: Postdated to stay up here a spell.

PZ just threw out a call for volunteers to host the Tangled Bank. Got me to thinking: along with that, why not throw a carnival of our very own?

I’ve a few ideas:

Carnival of the Media Clowns – wherein we bash the wretched state of the modern American media.

Carnival of the Elitist Bastards – wherein we enjoy the novel fact that we use our brains for thinking and we know stuff.

Political Sideshows – wherein we unleash our rapier wit and scathing satire upon those politicians who have proven themselves no better than circus freaks.

I know a majority of you are excellent writers – I read your blogs, and you blow me away. I know a good number of you enjoy bashing politicians – otherwise, you wouldn’t be dropping by for Happy Hour Discurso. I know you’re smarter’n all get out, because your comments here are always insightful. And being that all of the above are true, I know you’re probably frustrated to death with the overwhelming stupidity of our nation’s mainstream media.

So what say you? Up for the challenge? Ready to create our own three-ring circus? Any of the ideas above catch your fancy? If so, let me know, and we’ll put together the greatest show on earth.

Or at least one that’ll pass for it given enough alcohol. The Cantina is open!

Your Opinion Please: Should We Have a Carnival?