Yet Another Theory of Trump

 

Here’s another theory of Trump. Well, it’s not really a theory, more just a set of disparate observations. I’ve broken it into chunks so you can tell me which parts you agree with, don’t agree with, and why:

  1. Trump means ratings. Trump means pageviews. Trump means advertiser sponsorship. The media (very much including Ricochet) deserves a large share of the blame for the Rise of Trump, in so far as it’s driven by relentless competition for profit. The media gave Trump a massive amount of free publicity, not realizing — because the media is part of a clueless elite — that Trump was not just an entertaining bonanza for ratings and a guaranteed-clickbait diversion, but a serious political candidate who spoke to and for a very significant number of their fellow Americans.
  2. The opening of the ownership of broadcast channels, cable, and satellite to private investors has changed our civic culture, and not for the better. It did not result in a competition to provide informative news coverage to a civic-minded public. It resulted in just what you’d expect: competition, period — and thus a race to the bottom for ratings. The result was the creation of a mass culture of empty commercialism and short attention spans unconnected to deeper spiritual, moral, or civic values. Shopping channels, infomercials, product placement, and reality TV gave rise to a population fascinated, even obsessed, with consumer brands, products, celebrities, and super-celebrities. The Rise of Trump or someone like Trump was, in this culture, inevitable.
  3. The Internet, likewise, failed to meet its potential as an instrument for communicating conservative political ideas, traditional and religious values, and democratic civic mores. Only media outlets with well-established brand names and an already-large audience, or huge financial resources, have been able to enter the Internet media market and draw the attention of the public in significant numbers. The profit model of major media and their portals (Facebook, Google) is based on selling goods. The audience is no longer captive — as it was in the time of newspapers and the broadcast cartel — and thus there’s ferocious competition to amuse it and keep it from switching to another channel or clicking on another site. The media has severely cut back on news reporting and analysis; what little reporting they do is often based on press releases from corporations and lobby groups, foreign and domestic. (The number of people who work in PR now vastly exceeds the number who work in investigative journalism.) There’s a massive focus on providing shows and websites that are immediately attractive to audiences and advertisers: sex, sports, violence, and comedy, rather than detailed and informative reports about complex trade negotiations, the budget, tax reform, or health care.
  4. Advertisers don’t, generally, like programs and websites with complexity and disturbing reporting that interferes with the “buying mood.” They seek programs, themes, and stories that lightly entertain and fit in with the spirit of the primary purpose of program: selling their products. (Thus people are far more likely to read about restaurants and vacation destinations abroad than elections or deeper geopolitical trends.)
  5. Western elites, political and economic, understood the fall of the Berlin Wall as a vindication of free-market capitalism. The victory was so complete and so overwhelming that regardless of evidence, this elite has blindly assumed free trade to be always and everywhere benevolent and even democratic (although exceptions are allowed when private firms need subsidies and bailouts). The mainstream media, which is part of this elite, internalized this ideology.
  6. The steady encroachment of marketing and advertising into every aspect of our lives displaced both religion and the political public sphere, replacing it with a shallow consumer culture unsuited to thoughtful, democratic participation. Increasingly, we live in a world of virtual communities built by advertisers and based on consumer demographics.
  7. Whereas once we lived in a world of physical communities, sharing a social life and common concerns with our fellow citizens — of all classes — increasingly we live in virtual communities that may superficially be political, but whose chief purpose is to buy and sell goods, not to create or service the public political sphere and a healthful democracy.
  8. This social sorting has been accompanied by geographic sorting: Increasingly, we literally have no idea how the other half lives. They don’t live in our neighborhood; they don’t watch the same television, and we don’t even talk to them on the Internet. In fact, we deliberately “unfriend” people who don’t share our view of the world. (This helps to account, for example, for the massive disjunct between the Ricochet primary and the real primary.)
  9. Non-stop entertainment (including sports) doesn’t just help to sell goods. It is, even if inadvertently, a vehicle for the transmission of the elite class’s political ideology, as well as the contemporary equivalent Roman circuses. It diverts the public from politics, reinforces the beliefs of the elite class, and creates political apathy — until the dam breaks.
  10. The public has nonetheless been aware that it has been working harder with stagnant or declining incomes; it has inadequate medical care at high cost, and education is the pathway to the elite class — but education is increasingly unaffordable, and the culture of our educational institutions increasingly bizarre. It knows that things are done in their name all over the world, often involving their sacrifice or that of their families, but not, seemingly, to their benefit. Few understand our foreign policy or its history, because the media provides almost no substantive information that would help them place any of it in context. Neither does our educational system. The media does not see providing this information as its key responsibility. Its key responsibility is to shareholders and advertisers.
  11. Case in point: NAFTA. Substantial American majorities opposed NAFTA. Only the elite favored it. But media editorials, news coverage, and “experts” overwhelmingly reflected elite preference. The “experts” repeatedly intoned that the benefits of NAFTA were obvious and understood by all qualified authorities, and that only demagogues and “special interests” were opposed to it. (The “special interests” who were the losers included lower middle-class white males.) The media dealt with the awkward fact that polls showed steady majority opposition to the agreement mainly by ignoring it or occasionally suggesting the public was uninformed and didn’t recognize its own interests.
  12. The lower-middle class, white men in particular, has been under siege in the United States for the past several decades, adversely affected by the deflationary policies of the 1980s, corporate downsizing, globalization, and the government’s support of, or indifference to, the damage being done to them. While this class experienced significantly diminished wages and benefits, more onerous working conditions, and greater insecurity, a “protected” elite in government, finance, tech, tenured academia, and the media failed even to notice this, no less consider its long-term political implications.
  13. Since the 1970s, the income of the top 1 percent of households has grown by 85 percent and the top 10 percent by 45 percent, but the bottom 60 percent lost ground. The income of the lowest 20 percent fell by 12.5 percent. Real hourly earnings among the working class fell 5 percent. This, along with the adverse trend of social indicators (morbidity and mortality, drug addiction, suicide) suggests that the welfare of the majority of the country declined in the age of globalization — a point that was unnoticed because of the abovementioned points: The elite class became ideologically ossified after the failure of the USSR, which they took as dispositive proof of the benevolence of free markets and their ability to lift all boats in their rising tides; moreover, the elite class mentally and geographically separated itself from the rest of the country, and thus literally did not see what was happening to it. The mainstream media, drawn from this class, barely noticed that only a minority had been the beneficiaries of global trade. It briefly noticed this issue during Pat Buchanan’s 1996 campaign, then forgot it again entirely.
  14. The media and professional politicians — the elite whom Peggy Noonan calls “protected” — thus failed to notice the discontent of the public. The elite domination of the media occurs so naturally that media news people, even when operating with complete integrity and goodwill, are able to convince themselves that they choose and interpret the news “objectively” and on the basis of professional news values. These constraints are so powerful, and built into the system in such a fundamental way, that they don’t see that they’re operating within them. Thus the media confused a public that had been lulled into apathy by cheap imported goods and cheap non-stop entertainment for a public that was, in the main, satisfied with politics as usual.
  15. As a result, the media both failed properly to report the sentiments of this public to policy makers and failed properly to report to this public with information it could use to guide its political decision-making. This public is now in full-scale revolt.

Do you agree with some, all, or none of the above? If so, why?

Published in Culture, Education, Entertainment, General, Politics
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 154 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    EJHill:

    Government may steal and control wealth and use it to create beautiful things for kings and monarchs but that does not make them “superior.”

    Or posterity – and regardless of what you believe about the morality of taxation, an artistically superior product is artistically superior.  There are two issues here, which are not necessarily consistent.

    • #61
  2. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Fifteen observations on the tumult convulsing America and not a single mention of the word “race.” “White males” are mentioned twice, but merely as modifiers of an economic class.

    And this despite the prevalence of the charge of racism against all who dissent from the accepted views.

    Typical “conservatism,” where the elite-trained commentariet stays strictly within the bounds patrolled by the enforcers of the Left.

    Thoughtful observers of the current scene will quickly agree that the Left has absolutely no problem bringing up race – bringing it right to your “white-privileged” face.

    Not here, though. Heaven forbid!

    • #62
  3. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Yep. My grandmother would bring mangoes from Florida. Otherwise, I’d never have seen one growing up. Fresh orange juice? Forget it, that came from concentrate in a can. Yoplait was the first expensive yuppie yogurt on the market, and we didn’t buy it — too expensive. We bought margarine, not butter: Not only was it less expensive, it was widely believed to be more healthful.

    Yep.  We used orange juice from concentrate, but now I buy it fresh.  Our yogurt was almost always Dannon’s Fruit-on-the-bottom (which I still like).  Occasionally we’d splurge on Yoplait, but it was rare enough that I actually remember when we’d do it.  These days, it bugs me that I can hardly find plain ol’ Dannon, because every single yogurt cup is “Greek,” and I hate that stuff.

    Ditto on the margarine.  We never bought butter, and I grew up convinced that margarine was much healthier.

    James Lileks has talked many times in his Bleats about how our food choices have expanded in range and vastly improved in quality over the past fifty years.  And although I’m still grumbling about the price of ground beef, milk, and eggs, I think our food expenses have shrunk as a fraction of household income over that time period.

    P.S:  I still think eggs should be 89¢/doz. (which they were, like eight years ago), rather than $2.49/doz. (seriously?!)

    • #63
  4. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Are you arguing that the working man can afford (somewhat) more today, but that this pales beside the much-more that the upper classes can afford? Or that the working man is actually doing worse, on average, than he was before?

    He can afford much more (with the exception of certain goods and services which have far outpaced inflation, like health care and education).

    It’s that the top quarter can afford a higher quality of everything that the rest can afford, and then uses the acquisition of that higher quality as an indicator as to whether you are in or out.  And the upper-tier can afford everything at that level, whereas the lower tier may have one or two items.  It creates separation that did not previously exist and generates resentment at an intense level.

    • #64
  5. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:As certain products and services become available, the wealthy shift the goal post.

    Got salmon now? Great. But is yours wild caught at $35 a pound? Does it have orange dye in it? Is it organic? Is it farmed?

    This smacks of class envy, and sometimes the best thing to do with spoiled, wealthy brats is to lift your tasty microbrew, grill your Wal-mart steak (which tastes pretty good, even if it isn’t wagyu) and enjoy life rather than worrying about what’s going on over the fence and why Mrs. Sanderson can afford to get a mani/pedi at the day spa each week.

    I’m just not sure what you’re complaining about.  The rich live separately?  I think you are under some delusions then about what constituted “rich” even in the old days.  There are a lot more striations of wealth now because there is a lot more wealth to be had.

    Wealthy people are showy, and like to live separately?  This is no new phenomenon.  Have you ever heard of a place called “The Breakers“?  It was Cornelius Vanderbilt’s summer house.

    That was wealth and living separately.  Not “shopping at Whole Paycheck.”

    • #65
  6. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Titus Techera:

    This is the difference between aristocrats & democrats. Democrats cannot seem to do anything grand. Comparing ‘the state’ when it comes to the petty mindlessness of the BBC to ‘the state’ that was paying for the painters, sculptors, & architects, historical anachronism aside, is vulgar.

    Oh Sir, you cut me to the quick!

    How about the State that pays for IM Pei’s glass pyramid in the Louvre?  Or the Sydney Opera House?

    (Other than that – yes, Democrats tend to not be grand – but nonetheless, some products are excellent, if ephemeral – even the BBC’s.)

    • #66
  7. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Yep. My grandmother would bring mangoes from Florida. Otherwise, I’d never have seen one growing up. Fresh orange juice? Forget it, that came from concentrate in a can. Yoplait was the first expensive yuppie yogurt on the market, and we didn’t buy it — too expensive. We bought margarine, not butter: Not only was it less expensive, it was widely believed to be more healthful.

    We behaved exactly the same way despite our family wealth.  If you forgot to take a frozen OJ out of the freezer, no OJ for the family that day.

    My favorite was my dad who insisted on cutting my hair (and my brothers’) by himself through high school.  My god he was awful at it.

    • #67
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Majestyk:Look, as beautiful as the Vatican, St. Peter’s and the other edifices are, I don’t think we can compare them to what we’ve done in the modern era through private action. All of these things represented a massive drain upon the resources of entire societies and probably retarded economic growth everywhere but where they were being built for the centuries that it took to construct them.

    Lily Bart:

    Versailles is very beautiful, but it very nearly bankrupted France. And, as a reminder, it was built for the ‘elite’ of France, not for everyone.

    I don’t disagree with your points – and that’s why democracies tend not to build so grandly or [relatedly] to such ends – but is the world’s heritage richer for Versailles and the Taj Mahal and St Pauls or not?

    • #68
  9. St. Salieri Member
    St. Salieri
    @

    Well Claire, I like your list a lot.  It says much but still is missing a few points.

    Race

    Educational failures

    Drugs

    Multiculturalism

    Feminism

    Quality Control

    and

    Civic Pride

    • #69
  10. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: He’s not quite saying that — he’s saying that displaying wealth is now passé. That Trump is old-style nouveau riche; the new style is philanthropic. (That Trump is leading the GOP polls suggests he may be incorrect.)

    He is saying that displaying wealth was passe for WASPs too.  That’s the genesis of the argument, and was entirely true.  They are the new WASPs.

    Trump displays wealth exactly like you would expect would happen if a blue collar guy won the lottery today.  Gold-plated bathroom, heck yes.  It’s also exactly like a blue collar guy would display wealth if he won the lottery 40 years ago.

    • #70
  11. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Majestyk:Wealthy people are showy, and like to live separately? This is no new phenomenon. Have you ever heard of a place called “The Breakers“? It was Cornelius Vanderbilt’s summer house.

    That was wealth and living separately. Not “shopping at Whole Paycheck.”

    They are one of the wealthiest families the world has ever produced.  What I am talking about is the 25% of the population below them.  They used to mix, now they don’t.

    • #71
  12. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Tim H.: We never bought butter, and I grew up convinced that margarine was much healthier.

    How did people get this idea? I feel like such a fossil admitting to the young’uns that yes, we really believed this. Earnestly. We ate sticks full of trans-fatty margarine because it was better for our hearts. Within living memory.

    • #72
  13. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Zafar:

    Majestyk:Look, as beautiful as the Vatican, St. Peter’s and the other edifices are, I don’t think we can compare them to what we’ve done in the modern era through private action. All of these things represented a massive drain upon the resources of entire societies and probably retarded economic growth everywhere but where they were being built for the centuries that it took to construct them.

    Lily Bart:

    Versailles is very beautiful, but it very nearly bankrupted France. And, as a reminder, it was built for the ‘elite’ of France, not for everyone.

    I don’t disagree with your points – and that’s why democracies tend not to build so grandly or [relatedly] to such ends – but is the world’s heritage richer for Versailles and the Taj Mahal and St Pauls or not?

    We don’t live in the alternate reality where the command-economy that created these things didn’t commandeer those resources.

    The dog that doesn’t bark in this case is the poverty, desperation and deprivation that building those things necessarily caused.  The blood and hunger of those who toiled and died as a result can no longer be seen and their plaintive cries no longer heard.

    Are they beautiful?  Certainly.  Are they more beautiful than, say, Manhattan?  I’m not sure.  I know for certain that Manhattan has done more for human flourishing than the construction of the Vatican or Versailles ever did.

    • #73
  14. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:

    Majestyk:Wealthy people are showy, and like to live separately? This is no new phenomenon. Have you ever heard of a place called “The Breakers“? It was Cornelius Vanderbilt’s summer house.

    That was wealth and living separately. Not “shopping at Whole Paycheck.”

    They are one of the wealthiest families the world has ever produced. What I am talking about is the 25% of the population below them. They used to mix, now they don’t.

    I guess I don’t think they ever did and that’s no new phenomenon.  I certainly didn’t grow up among wealthy people.

    Now – I will say that I personally know a billionaire.  He’s the owner of the largest mozzarella producing company in the world.  We didn’t exactly hob-nob with him or the other officers of the company.  My father works there and has for 30 years, earning a pretty nice salary.  But I don’t consider our family rich.  Maybe I’m wrong.

    We would vacation in northern Idaho or Wisconsin.  We shop at Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart is Zachary, LA.

    Maybe I just don’t see this phenomenon, and even if I did I just guess I couldn’t be made to care.  Why do you want to hang out with these spoiled brats and their stupid status symbols?  Why does getting their acceptance matter to you?

    • #74
  15. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Tim H.: We never bought butter, and I grew up convinced that margarine was much healthier.

    How did people get this idea? I feel like such a fossil admitting to the young’uns that yes, we really believed this. Earnestly. We ate sticks full of trans-fatty margarine because it was better for our hearts. Within living memory.

    The same way global warming became “settled science.” A few charismatic individuals became personally invested in the idea that saturated fat causes heart disease. They sold the idea to “the right people” in scientific journals and the media and became celebrities, with their pictures on the cover of Time, etc. It didn’t matter that the data was weak; all that mattered was the narrative. Those who objected were denied funding and publishing and otherwise encouraged to focus their studies elsewhere. If you’re at all interested, I suspect you’d enjoy The Big Fat Surprise.

    • #75
  16. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Tim H.: We never bought butter, and I grew up convinced that margarine was much healthier.

    How did people get this idea? I feel like such a fossil admitting to the young’uns that yes, we really believed this. Earnestly. We ate sticks full of trans-fatty margarine because it was better for our hearts. Within living memory.

    I’d bet it was a government study – they tell us all sorts of ridiculous things about butter, eggs, salt, red wine, fats, caffeine, etc.

    My family used margarine because by brother had a severe dairy allergy. When he moved out we all switched (gratefully) back to butter and keep margarine in stock for the holidays.

    • #76
  17. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Majestyk:

    Breaking news: Man lives by bread alone!

    • #77
  18. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Austin Murrey:My family used margarine because by brother had a severe dairy allergy. When he moved out we all switched (gratefully) back to butter and keep margarine in stock for the holidays.

    Margarine makes better pies.  French Silk doesn’t turn out right without the proper quantity of trans-fats. ;)

    • #78
  19. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Breaking news: Man lives by bread alone!

    I don’t get it.  Help, please?

    • #79
  20. Red Fish, Blue Fish Inactive
    Red Fish, Blue Fish
    @RedFishBlueFish

    Here is another example.  Nature’s Own is the #1 loaf bread brand in the U.S.  2015 sales of $1.1B.  Total bread sales in the U.S. in 2015 were approximately $25B.  Considering the relatively lower price of processed bread to in store baked bread, and considering there are a lot of additional processed brands (e.g. Wonderbread), that means that processed bread makes up a substantial (and perhaps a majority) of bread sales by volume in the U.S.

    I have not bought a loaf of processed bread in a decade.  I suspect there are not a lot of families in the top quarter who buy processed bread at all.  It’s sold at my grocery store, but I always buy from the bakery that’s co-located instead.

    That additional cost is a luxury that the bottom class still does not indulge in.  As a result, you create separation between classes on everyday choices.  Just like we all had canned OJ growing up, we all (mostly) ate processed bread regardless of where we sat on the spectrum 30 years ago.

    That’s not true anymore.  Now, apply that across the board to all sorts of commodities and you get two separated cultures.

    • #80
  21. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Red Fish, Blue Fish: Trump displays wealth exactly like you would expect would happen if a blue collar guy won the lottery today.

    Interesting observation, and very true. He doesn’t display wealth like a real wealthy person, you’re right. He displays it like prole fantasy of a wealthy person. That’s probably — almost certainly — why he immediately rubs anyone who’s had any real contact with the elite as a total fraud and a con artist. Real rich people don’t have solid-gold escalators and they’re not married to Melania. They repair to tasteful and iconic Jacobsen Series 7 swivel chairs illuminated by Bestlite table lamps in their Gustavian-period Estonia-inspired lofts decorated in earthy, muted tones, honest materials, and minimal ornamentation, save for the Marimekko textiles; and sure, they may have a mistress who looks like Melania, but they’re still married to their first wives, and those wives look like this.

    • #81
  22. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Majestyk:

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Breaking news: Man lives by bread alone!

    I don’t get it. Help, please?

    Christian joke. I guess it should have an asterisk or footnote, but the Ricochet platform does not help with that…

    • #82
  23. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Took the missus to O’charley’s for their nashville hot chicken sandwich on sunday.  My wife had not mixed with other classes in a long time and was shocked, and felt uncomfortable in the establishment.

    I spoil her so.

    We both remember when The Olive Garden was a fancy night out though.  Which still has a wait on date nights.

    Class separation is totally a thing.

    • #83
  24. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Red Fish, Blue Fish: Trump displays wealth exactly like you would expect would happen if a blue collar guy won the lottery today.

    Interesting observation, and very true. He doesn’t display wealth like a real wealthy person, you’re right. He displays it like prole fantasy of a wealthy person. That’s probably — almost certainly — why he immediately rubs anyone who’s had any real contact with the elite as a total fraud and a con artist. Real rich people don’t have solid-gold escalators and they’re not married to Melania. They repair to tasteful and iconic Jacobsen Series 7 swivel chairs illuminated by Bestlite table lamps in their Gustavian-period Estonia-inspired lofts decorated in earthy, muted tones, honest materials, and minimal ornamentation, save for the Marimekko textiles; and sure, they may have a mistress who looks like Melania, but they’re still married to their first wives, and those wives look like this.

    http://www.gunlocke.com/public_html/products/executive/washington.html

    This is how the Guru sits.  The factory is back in the place I grew up and I feel morally obligated to send my dollars back home to keep some of the poverty and meth at bay.  Also Hickey Freeman suits are still tailored in Rochester, NY.  My dad’s neighbor was a seamstress at Hickey Freeman growing up.  She would spend all night threading needles for the next days work.

    • #84
  25. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Red Fish, Blue Fish:Here is another example. Nature’s Own is the #1 loaf bread brand in the U.S. 2015 sales of $1.1B. Total bread sales in the U.S. in 2015 were approximately $25B. Considering the relatively lower price of processed bread to in store baked bread, and considering there are a lot of additional processed brands (e.g. Wonderbread), that means that processed bread makes up a substantial (and perhaps a majority) of bread sales by volume in the U.S.

    I have not bought a loaf of processed bread in a decade. I suspect there are not a lot of families in the top quarter who buy processed bread at all. It’s sold at my grocery store, but I always buy from the bakery that’s co-located instead.

    That additional cost is a luxury that the bottom class still does not indulge in. As a result, you create separation between classes on everyday choices. Just like we all had canned OJ growing up, we all (mostly) ate processed bread regardless of where we sat on the spectrum 30 years ago.

    That’s not true anymore. Now, apply that across the board to all sorts of commodities and you get two separated cultures.

    Also, different classes–different beers!

    • #85
  26. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Breaking news: Man lives by bread alone!

    I don’t get it. Help, please?

    Christian joke. I guess it should have an asterisk or footnote, but the Ricochet platform does not help with that…

    I understand the reference, but I was hoping for something more.

    I guess I hope to live for more than just a bread joke.

    • #86
  27. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    My dad was a school teacher and speaks movingly about always guying a chevy, because the people who worked at the Delco plant paid the taxes which paid his salary.  He thought and still thinks it was his civic obligation to do so.

    He would chastise the other teachers who always bought imports, when they complained that their kid couldn’t get a job at the Delco plant (because racism ‘natch).

    • #87
  28. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: We ate sticks full of trans-fatty margarine because it was better for our hearts. Within living memory.

    At least you didn’t have to mix it up. Margarine was so feared by the dairy industry that it wasn’t allowed to be sold if it looked like butter. So, when you bought a container of very white margarine you used to get a tube of yellow food coloring to go with it.

    The last state to repeal such laws? Wisconsin (natch) in 1967.

    • #88
  29. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Majestyk:

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Titus Techera:

    Majestyk:

    Breaking news: Man lives by bread alone!

    I don’t get it. Help, please?

    Christian joke. I guess it should have an asterisk or footnote, but the Ricochet platform does not help with that…

    I understand the reference, but I was hoping for something more.

    I guess I hope to live for more than just a bread joke.

    I took it to mean that if you make a lot of dough you become part of the upper crust… or something.

    • #89
  30. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    This article stuck with me.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/308343/

    • #90
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.