30 June 2008

Urban Prairie Blogopedia Entry #3

Reviving the long dormant Urban Prairie Blogopedia, after a spell!

Today we define DICKHEAD:

A dickhead is a self righteous, smug, self satisfied, self absorbed person who lives a privileged and comfortable lifestyle, usually aged between 25 and 40 and a city dweller, who to the rest of society personifies the epitome of the self indulgent, affluent professional.  A related concept/term is yuppie.  Dickheads comprise the vast majority of the modern professional paper pusher class.  They can be found in the government (mainly at the executive level), but mostly congregate in private industry, especially 'high level' creative class professions such as engineering, architecture, design, law, technology, academia, consultancy, banking and finance, and executive class jobs in many other industries besides these.  One will almost never find these creatures outside an office workplace setting from an employment standpoint.  

They are almost always highly educated from a credential standpoint, with virtually all possessing at least a bachelor's degree (once you get that degree and land that high paying job, you're in the club - but you must follow the former with the latter, or back to the bottom you go) and many holding higher educational status in the form of master's degrees and even doctorates. This, of course, says nothing about their true level of education or intelligence, just that they managed to play the academic system properly and thus obtained the brass ring at the end.  A college degree is essentially the required credential for inclusion into the dickheadery; without it, entry into this class and culture is next to impossible (except in rare circumstances).

The main feature of their lives is that they hold well paying and generally interesting jobs (the types of jobs which popular television programs today often focus on, such as lawyers and doctors) and their lives are often hectic and consumed by work.  This is offset by the dickhead's other identifying feature, the ownership of many fancy and expensive possessions that working folks could only dream of having, such as luxury cars or SUVs, tailored clothes, advanced communication equipment such as Blackberries (a dickhead and his Blackberry are inseparable, and possessing a Blackberry is a good sign that a person is a dickhead), and an expensive apartment, luxury condo, or McMansion far out in the affluent White suburbs (if there is a dickhead family - like everything else, treated as a fashionable accessory to what really counts: Number One).  

Dickheads are generally the children of other dickheads, with few of them having risen from the ranks of the poor or working class, and even fewer coming from racial minority backgrounds. This is more or less inevitable as the entry costs into joining the dickheadery today are high (and kept high more or less deliberately), thus the children of affluent families are the only demographic group largely able to pay it (the desired outcome of these high costs).  Most dickheads, thusly, are White and affluent and have always been this way.  They are thus fairly unacquainted with the lives and trials of the less fortunate, and are thus quite oblivious to the true burdens of living a life Black and/or poor.  This lack of understanding translates into a lack of empathy, and then channels itself into either one of two routes:

  • a sense of arrogant smug superiority (as in "I've got mine cuz I work hard, and you've got nothing cuz you're lazy") - aka a Republican
  • a sense of patronizing social responsibility untempered much by humility (as in "I'm one of the betters, so here my superior self comes to spread the light of elite values to all you poor folk: me White, you Black") - aka a Democrat
Above all the dickheadery lacks a sense of humility or its own real insignificance when it comes to the dramatic warp and loom of human history, which is generally shaped by those who wield the longest and bloodiest spear.  They regard themselves to be far more important and central to the workings of society than they truly are.  They regard themselves as the educated intelligensia, the bourgeois enlightened elite - not realizing that public policy is no longer formulated by such people anymore, but by downright morons guided by their handlers (the holders of real power) who happen to fall into the purple.

A core aspect of the dickheadery is that they all think and act alike, despite their pretensions of, and facial support for, individual uniqueness and "diversity".  To the careful outside observer this mindless conformity, practiced by allegedly intelligent and educated people, is their most disgusting trait.  There is a "conventional wisdom", constantly changing by the requirements of the moment, which is formulated by the power elites to ensure their continued rule and passed on down to the dickheadery as gospel, since above all the dickheadery worships power and the State.  (This is why they are always the first in any society to embrace Fascism.)  This body of wisdom serves as a litmus test for entry into the dickheadery.  Those who accept the wisdom, either willingly or merely as part and parcel of "upward mobility" are admitted; those who reject are consigned to the scraping desperate classes at or near the bottom.  

Usually this test is dispensed at university, where the conventional wisdom is taught by certified dickhead members of the professorate (aka tenured academics).  There is conventional wisdom which is profession specific (engineering is chock full of this, which explains engineers' especial adherence to dickhead ways of thinking) and then there is conventional wisdom which is 'overall' and is a common body of knowledge which all dickheads should firmly believe in and defend to his last breath.

The core tenets of this wisdom are:

  • Support of the existence of the State (this is the fundamental rule)
  • An expansive view of the State's role in society
  • Unqualified support for expansion of State power when the elites demand it
  • A superiority complex toward people not in the dickheadery who are not part of the elite (namely poor folks, the working class, and people of color)
  • An unqualified adherence to suppression of anger and other 'untoward' activity which might disturb the elites (such as mass protests)
  • A belief that increasing material possessions will bring greater happiness and life satisfaction
  • An embrace of style over substance, of physical possessions over real human relationships, of hollow and crass displays of affluence over authenticity
  • Extreme narcissistic focus on self - "pay attention to Number One" (the influence of the Sixties looms large here)
  • Conformity to established mores and conventions (such as the above)
These characteristics are the fundamentals of the dickhead personality.  It is also known as the American Way of life, to which millions around the globe allegedly aspire.

The State protects the dickhead in many ways formal  - complex legal procedures are easily navigated by dickhead lawyers, but an ignorant Black from the projects, thrown into same, doesn't stand a chance - and informal  - "benefit of the doubt" which no poor Black man would ever receive ("oh, he's a good kid, he must be since he attends the lily white prep school") - in order to assure their allegiance (once you have the educated classes in hand, the rest is easy).  State power to a dickhead is especially useful when it serves to protect their privilege, at the expense of less fortunate others with fewer connections to the powerful.  Professional licensing is just the most obvious of these insults to a free society.  Let me know when they decide to abolish the requirement that you must possess a State-issued license to perform any sort of professional task (including driving).  Then maybe I will believe them when they talk of "expanding opportunity" and "increasing the size of the pie."

The dickheadery is the dominant cultural and economic force in the country today, and much of the culture is oriented toward their mores and fashions.  Being the modern bourgeoisie, the upper middle class, this is not unexpected, but the tenets of dickhead culture drive these processes to new heights (or lows, depending on your perspective).  Dickheads drive the twin engines of conspicuous consumption and consumer culture which keeps the modern Amerikan economy from collapsing into a vast abyss, and are thus the primary cause of the sea of consumer debt which threatens any day now to topple the economy into oblivion.  With their inflated salaries and spending power (less a judgment of real economic worth and more the reward/perks for being a dickhead and behaving yourself) they serve to bid up prices for everything, especially basics such as housing and foodstuffs, which explains why so many malnourished folks sleep on sidewalks today.

Politically they have been trained to support/oppose and discuss whatever the elites deem to be acceptable for debate (or "on the table", in the words of our Leader), but nothing more.  This is manifested in support for so called 'intelligent' policies such as the "Fair" Tax (as if taxation of any sort could be fair) which in reality are simplistic and immoral shell games that deign never to tread on the real burning issue of our age: the validity of the existence of the State itself.

The defining personality traits of a dickhead are extreme self absorption, a self serving arrogance which often manifests itself in a Type A personality, shallow and petty interests (brie and cheese, anyone?) and amusement activities, an obsession with sports and alcohol consumption (see the last point), and an obsession for style and facade over authenticity and substance (which explains the continued success of Cosmopolitan magazine and other such tripe).  The facade of wealth and privilege, above all else, must be maintained - once that is wiped away, you are done for socially and economically, and you are then consigned to the socioeconomic waste bin.  You can only cringe as the dickheads clear their throats - "ahem, ahem, must be getting on."  They are positively allergic to anything that smells of what they consider inferiority (by their standards, of course, which means any employment that doesn't require a piece of parchment as a qualifying credential) or failure (perhaps an unwelcome reminder of the stark realities of life from which they have so long been insulated, and would very much prefer to continue to be insulated from?).  

This is why dickheads are positively terrified of the ghetto.  No good can come from places where, heaven forbid, such loathsome trash as secretaries and bus drivers and sewer workers live!

(If you didn't catch the irony in the Honeymooners reference then you truly are a dickhead.)

Moral values are only held by dickheads when it is convenient.  (Witness my recent observation if you don't believe me.)  When all is well it is good and fine to preach family values...but then comes the inevitable midlife crisis and lo and behold, one must look out for number one!  In my personal experience the vast majority of dickhead families are broken products of divorce.  It is astounding how many families nowadays exist in this form.  

In any case, the raison d'etre of dickhead life is "self fulfillment".  Not "putting more into this world than you take out of it" or "do unto others as you would have done to you" or other such old fashioned nonsense - they must practice "self fulfillment" even if it means hurting others, or destroying families and lives.  Sacrifice for a better tomorrow is a foreign concept to a dickhead which has been pampered all his life, has never been told "no", and has never delayed one minute of self indulgence.  After all, that $700 trimonthly Botox injection is just so important to their well being!

Meanwhile, in other news, the march of dropping bodies in the Persian Gulf region continues unabated, and the world economy hurtles into utter collapse -while the Amerikan dickheadery, the only people who, if they cared about all this, would catch the elite's ears, pursue their mindless and crass little lives.