When I wrote about the business of journalism was back when, I got my education on how the power brokers lived. They weren’t nothing like the simple script-following Zero-Risk yokels in the Middle Class. They were far more like the poor: both had more of survival instinct and could read people far better than the braindead Middle Class who have some bizarre obsession with trying to make each other jealous and pretend they have money.
I likened it to the layers of a Dobos torte: a hard layer followed by a soft layer. The middle class were the soft layer who were sandwiched in-between two hard layers. The poor and the rich are too much alike, and it is the reason they despise each other, but even their differences stem from a slight alteration in their filter.
I remember one episode of Law and Order where a psychologist says the difference was that the poor still think money will make them happy, and the rich have been disabused of the delusion, but there is far more to it than just that.
The poor have but a single obstacle: their own thinking. Here is a group of people who really have nothing to lose, and when push comes to shove, you never get in a fight with someone who has nothing to lose.
The wealthy have everything to lose, but no one actually challenges them. Why? Because the middle class serve as static, and are an effective barrier. In the back of their minds, the poor can hope to reach that level — or their children. Middle class people donate to charity and volunteer at soup kitchens.
And that will keep the status quo going — so long as there is a soft layer in there.
But sometimes, the middle class, thanks to their own ignorance and arrogance, get too greedy or confident of their sparse knowledge, and then end up poor. They are in too much debt or overpaid for a house. They bought stocks and the company went belly up. Factories close and then everything else comes crashing down.
When that barrier is gone, the poorest of the poor aren’t given false hope anymore, and then they strike at a target they actually understand.
As above, so below.
They are the feral wild animals who seize power and form coups. That’s when we have revolutions, and not a moment before.
When I used to cover the superfabulously powerful media barons, I was privy to all sorts of gossip and insider dirt. I had an eidetic memory for names and would draw maps of power structures that went well beyond communications.
People always whined how bad business was. You’d think dynasties were on the edge of collapse. Business was always bad. Movie studios had creative accounting and they were always operating at a big loss.
No one was bragging, actually. Quite the opposite. Old money was always grim about their finances, and I quickly learned to spot the difference between real economic woes, and the standard poverty lamentation so they could someone not pay taxes. People kept their cards close to their chests at all times. I learned to find out things in other ways: namely, speaking to the maids, seamstresses, or nannies who had to survive on their meagre salaries, and their bosses assumed they weren’t smart enough to pick up on the signs.
They could pick it up and know what it meant.
So did I. I became like Archie Comics’ Cricket O’Dell, the girl who could smell money.
I could tell within seconds. People with money and connections had a different way about them than did Middle Class people, who are sheltered and always try to guess how rich people behave and always overplay their gambits. You hear well-heeled brats pretend they had no family connections, were dirt poor, and had to struggle to make it — never mind that mommy and daddy bribed a company to get their snot-nosed brat a plush job.
Old Money play different than New Money, but New Money often don’t last long because they brag and boast and don’t know the Shibboleths or comprehend the nuances of power. The teachable ones who see the precariousness of it all, read the memo and change their ways. The arrogant ones who think they are now permanently superior to the little people crash and burn at the first economic downturn.
The middle class have no clue about any of it. Too busy bragging how their brat won Miss Small Potatoes at the county fair. They look for scripts to crib to make it seem as if they know. They talk over people who know because they are jealous that someone has access to people who may be famous.
When I worked at Mohawk College at the same time I was a Canadian correspondent for Presstime, my boss had the nerve to say to me out loud, “So you won’t ever be famous writing for them, right?”
No, asshole: I write for people who decide who gets to be famous. That was my job, and one I create all by myself.
There is a jealousy problem with the peasantry, and it got out of control thanks to the Internet: people thought if they only had a platform, everyone would be razzle-dazzled by their innate greatness just like in the movies, and they would all be rich and famous.
When it didn’t happen, now the peasantry wants to tear down the rich because the deep layers realize the wealthy outclass them in more ways than one.
And their panic and ignorance of the ways of the rich blares.
The New York Times is exploiting the middle class ignorance of the wealthy by disclosing that Trump “operated” at big losses.
Big deal. That’s a confirmation bias. Wealthy people know how to work the system. You never reveal your cards one way or another. Income taxes are for middle class people to dutifully fill out. You can’t screw around with that — unless you have big money.
But if you point this out to the middle class, they will either ignore you, or insult you with some snippy, arrogant put-down as if they were experts, not clueless people who have no exposure to that other sphere.
Why? No script and too much risk to ponder that what is seen as a static and permanent state of affairs is fleeting and can implode at any second.
I dare the New York Times to expose every single billionaire’s tax returns. Both on the left and the right. We have sheltered the middle class long enough — a little bit of perspective of reality would be a nice wake-up call to that soft layer that seems to have an opinion for everything, even if they know nothing about it.
Once upon a time, selective disclosure would rile up the little people on cue. These days, we have people who correct the confirmation bias, but we mostly get sulky and pouty people babble about “whataboutism” instead of look at the facts and question who are they cheering and booing and why — what exactly do you know about this person and why are you cheering or booing them — was it that they did something personally to you — or you just read online the script that told you to do it.
People think we should go after the rich, but I disagree: go after the middle class first — there are more of them and they are responsible for more of the rot in society than any other group. They get all the perks of being protected from both the top and bottom layer, and if we take away the scripts, we can begin to make those long overdue changes so that we don’t have the extremes of the other two in the first place…