Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Death of the Rich, Old, White Guys

I can't help but get a sense that change is more than a campaign slogan this year. With Barack Obama's landslide victory, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end for the rich, old, white guy (ROWG). For at least the next four years, there won't be any ROWG's occupying the oval office. Could this be the climax of their reign over our financial and political institutions, not to mention households, rock bands, and football fields?

I am not naive about the ROWG's perpetually disproportionate representation in our political and economic sectors, but it does feel as though there is a shift. For one, they're all dying off of heart disease and old age. Also, their numerical disadvantage is growing with the browning of America as minority groups grow in size and strength year after year.
John McCain has embodied the rich, old, white guy. He's cranky. Throughout the election, McCain looked pissy and sounded whiny as he lamented that this young whippersnapper pulling his presidency out from under him. His seven (or is it twelve?) houses demonstrate his ridiculous wealth. And you don't get much whiter than John McCain. That's for sure.

McCain's grasp on Washington slipped over the past eight years. During this campaign he has seemed out of touch with even his own ethics a
nd standards. He never really put together a cohesive message. McCain even chose a running mate who was unaware that Africa is a continent simply for political gain. The man very desperately lost hold of his standing in the political arena.

Sure, ROWG's are still in charge for the most part, but their grasp is slipping. Greed is clouding their vision as they ruin our financial and political institutions. These old men have us fighting wars we cannot win. They have collapsed our markets in recent months and it doesn't look to get any better.

There are even ROWG's in rock 'n roll. Look at the Rolling Stone
s. You can't get much richer, older, or whiter than Mick Jagger. All they have done by continuing to tour and release albums is ruin their legacy. They are now a silly joke. Their concerts are a $200 afterthought.
Take Stephen Malkmus. Sure he's just an indie rock dude who is by no means all that rich, but he does OK, I'm sure. Anyway, a very drunk SM complained that the number of attractive young women attending his shows has gone down significantly since turning 35. It was entertaining for the most part, but kind of sad as well. (For a way better recap, check the bathysphere.)

ROWG's are losing their grip and the rest of the world is celebrating. Hipsters are celebrating. People celebrated in Kenya. People from all over the Earth partied. It sort of looked like this (stolen from
WILTOMWTWT who stole it from some movie)...

I realize that I too am a white guy who will undoubtedly grow old. It's doubtful I will ever be super-rich, but I do live a much more comfortable and privileged life than many people around the world. I'm OK with a more pluralistic society. It's actually better for my daughter that ROWG's lose a little power.

I don't think we will see a major change in the ROWG's political and financial power or influence, but Obama's victory gives me hope for the possibility of something different. So, here's to hoping for a subversion of the dominant paradigm: the death of the rich, old, white guy.

Update: Apparently, folks in Harlem were also happy.


douglas said...

sounds like malky gave a good one. would've loved to seen it. beer is good for you.

GE said...

this clip from NYC is pretty great too:

jenny said...

"and counted the number of "foxy ladies" in the audience before lamenting the sudden lack of attractive women at his shows once he turned thirty-four."

Douche bag.

comoprozac said...

Yes. SM did put on a good show.

The exuberance all over is promising, hopeful even.

I think he was going for "ironic douche bag" but close enough.

jenny said...

Usually, "ironic douche bag" = double douche bag.