Is there anything more sickening than seeing people in positions of power who have never spared a moment's thought for the hoi polloi suddenly discover that why, yes, the masses really are human? And who then go on to declare their sympathy, empathy, and compassion for such benighted folk?
The first example of this came from Cal Thomas, a loathsome right-wing columnist whose writings can be found not only in newspapers but as part of the collection of loonies at Townhall.com (no, I'm not going to link to it). To witness him blather on about the "inner beauty" of the "frumpy" when he has promoted sexism and misogyny is enought to make one upchuck:
The music begins and not 12 bars elapse before a stunned audience erupts in applause. All those hypocrites who thought nothing good could come from this dowdy woman because our narcissistic culture has taught us that the only thing that matters is beauty, not depth of character, suddenly want to embrace what seconds ago they had instinctively rejected.
It's not the sentiment he's expressing, it's the fact that he is the one expressing it. On the one hand, he is simply voicing the right-wing wail against our Hollywood-corrupted culture. But he's part of a political group that has worked hard to confine women to certain stereotypical roles and to block policies that would assist poor and middle-class people. Pardon me for not buying his sudden respect for the people he's spent his professional life helping to oppress.
Then there's this from Sally Quinn, who has led a life of privilege and on whose consciousness ordinary people don't usually even register. Let me quote, just so you can absorb the cloying nature of her "revelation":
When she began to sing I not only heard but saw the divine, the sacred, the holy. There it was in the most unlikely figure, radiating out of her as if she were being transported to another realm. As a former atheist and someone who has never been particularly religious I was amazed at my own reaction to what I was seeing and hearing. It made me realize that we are all born with that same quality of the divine whether we are beautiful, ugly, brilliant, learning disabled, outgoing, introverted, talented or just average. It is there and we have an obligation to look for it in ourselves and most importantly look for it in others.
Oh good grief. But let No More Mister Nice Blog speak for me:
What rankles me about this is that it clearly never occurred to Quinn that the non-fabulous and non-sleek had any value until a non-fabulous, non-sleek person succeeded at her game, which is grabbing TV ratings and online page views and print column inches. The Susan Boyles of the world who lack the capacity to compete for eyeballs have, until now, been essentially invisible to Quinn, by her own admission -- she's never seen "the divine, the sacred, the holy" in them. I'm certain they still are.
That's Sally Quinn's God -- the God of Media Fabulousness. That's the God who speaks to Quinn in Susan Boyle's voice.
No doubt there are many others examples out there, but I really don't think I can stomach them. You'll have to excuse me for just not buying this sudden, newfound respect for the little people on the part of media types who have helped to rigidify caste, class, and the very stereotypes and superficial judgments they now pretend to reject.