Class War: Pt. 1 and 2

Class War: Part 1

One of our senior executives was complaining that they didn’t serve single malt premium scotch in business class on his flight back from LA. Just Dewar’s. How do you get to be so successful and so powerful and still be such a big baby?

—OR—

Is it legitimate for him to expect better after the exorbitant cost of the seat, long hours spent away from his family and crushing pressure that’s inherent in his position? I have my judgment. How do you rule?

Class War: Part 2

Young, hot, fake blonde ESPN reporter Britt McHenry was picking her car up from an impound lot and got caught on a security camera berating a towing company employee. She was mad that her car had been towed and decided to take it out on the woman behind the counter.

“[You have] no education and no skill set. Just wanted to clarify that.”

“Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing? Why, because I have a brain and you don’t?”

“I’m on television and you’re in a fucking trailer, honey.”

etc.

I watched the tape over and over and was driven into a mad, blind fury. The depth of my rage was disproportionate to the offense committed. This cut me to the bone. Classism is my Achilles heel. The fact that I never went to college is a 50-pound stone that’s been strapped to my back my whole life. I’ve done the best I could with the hand I was dealt but the world is full of Britt McHenrys and senior asset management executives to remind me of my place.

In her tweeted apology, she said it was “…an intense and stressful moment…” Can you imagine your life being so breezy and care-free that retrieving your car from the impound lot qualifies as intense and stressful? I’ve got very un-Christian like feelings for Ms. McHenry coursing through my veins. I fear I’ll enjoy anything bad that happens to her. I don’t want to be that guy. Consumed with schadenfreude. Hoping to see the worst happen to someone. That would make me no better than her. But it’s hard to take the high road.


There’s a smart installation at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery on 21st Street in Chelsea. Artist Tomás Saraceno’s Hybrid Solitary… Semi-Social Quintet… On Cosmic Webs… is on view through May 2nd. His medium is…spider webs.

web8

Each piece in the exhibit was created by spiders spinning webs.

web1

Cubes are constructed from carbon fiber sticks. A spider is introduced into the cube and she begins to spin a web.

web3

During their creation, the cubes are turned onto their various sides so that gravity becomes an element in the construction. Saraceno likens this to an hourglass being flipped. The title of each piece describes its creators and time of construction. This is:

Hybrid solitary social semi-social musical instrument Apus:
built by one Nephila clavipes-six days-
a small commuity of Stegudyphus duffori-four months-
and six cyrtophora citricola sipiderlings-two weeks

web10

The spiders are nurtured and fed. A jar of fruit flies is dumped into the web. Since there’s a food source, the spiders don’t stray.

web9

The pieces range in size and web complexity.

web2

Once Saraceno feels the piece is complete, the spiders are liberated, the webs are treated for preservation and the cubes are sealed off with panes of glass.

web11

web6

You enter the darkened gallery by parting thick, black curtains. It’s startling to walk in from the midday sun. You’re temporarily disoriented.

web7

web12

115 thoughts on “Class War: Pt. 1 and 2

  1. Cruelty to flies!!!! You’re fly-ist… how come the spider outranks the fly????!!!
    Anyhow, I like the artwork. Perhaps Britt McHenry could be thrown into a web?
    Sx

  2. I’m with you on the class-ism. Like you, I too, don’t have a college degree. And I work in a world of PhDs. They aren’t necessarily smarter than I am, but they DO get paid more — by a long shot. And frankly, these days, I do all the work while someone else gets the credit. Oh well.

    As for the two class-ism questions, hmmmm. Classism I — I’m on both sides, but mostly I think he is a big baby. Get over it, mister! On the other hand, airlines are charging all of us — even those in coach — exorbitant prices and giving us less and less. So my advice to your senior exec — get a plane of your own, bucko! (Which is probably his real gripe — all the other senior execs I went to B-School with have one … whine, whine, whine).

    Classism II — Everybody when faced with the shit in life loses their cool from time to time. But when we do, we have to remember that it is not necessarily the fault of the person at hand. If you park illegally, well, shut up and pay up. But to ridicule someone for where they fall in the professionalism spectrum is totally unacceptable. Especially from someone from Faux News — the very folks promoting the policies that keep folks like that unfortunate woman in a thankless job. There is a special place in hell.

    • It was all fun and games when I was in the Coast Guard because I was surrounded by like-experienced individuals. But once I left the CG I worked, first, in PR and then Asset Management. I was surrounded by advanced degrees. It’s humbling. I tried not to let it stand in my way and I’ve done okay, all things considered, but it’s still eats away at me, all these years later. Especially when I see stuff like this McHenry character. Privileged. Entitled. Strikingly beautiful. I’m consumed with envy and hatred. To hell with her apology. She showed her true colors.

      • I plan to go back to college when I retire … some day. But I’ve been incredibly lucky — in the right place at the right time several times. Still, I know I’d be ruling the world if I only had that sheepskin!

      • I think the barn door has closed on a degree for me. Next lifetime. I’ve also got luck to thank for getting as far as I have. That and the ability to talk a good game. That helped a lot.

      • Speaking as someone with 2 degrees, they don’t come with any guarantees. course, maybe the degrees were not in the best fields, but they are degrees nonetheless. I believe I am working just as hard as I would be had I not gone to college at all. Tell me, do professional sport superstars also raise your blood pressure?

      • First of all, I’d prefer to take my chances WITH a degree than WITHOUT one. I like the odds better. Second, yeah, I’m annoyed by sports stars, but this really seemed to ruffle my feathers.

  3. Be happy with scotch. Any scotch.
    Really, though, it’s an exaggeration of how we normal folks often react to what we’re offered. “That free continental breakfast? The ‘maple syrup’ was actually corn syrup. Imagine!” We all rise to our level of entitlement, and we should all just shut up.

  4. For the guy in first class, I say just be grateful you’re there. As I walked past the lovely first-class cubicles on my recent flight to London, I longed for their roomy seclusion. Instead I passed my time in coach. And honestly? I was grateful to be there, because I was about to go to London. 🙂

    As for the towing incident, regardless how frustrated and upset someone is, that doesn’t give them the right to resort to such hurtful, personal attacks on another person. Talk about childish. Plus, I’m sure the woman in the booth was not the one who towed the car. She was just doing her job. Poor thing.

    • Why do they make us walk through first class? Do we need to see that? I was gifted a complimentary upgrade to first class once when I was traveling on my birthday. Worst thing that ever happened to me. I was much better off not knowing. It’s not a subtle difference. It’s a tremendous leap forward. There’s not democracy on an airplane. It’s an economic monarchy.

      If I’d been the woman in the car I’d have found a way to not release her car from the impound lot. Because I can be vindictive like that.

      • I would feel uncomfortable sitting up there as people walked by. As if I was too good for my britches or something.

        I do fine in coach (though I hate when people put their seat back), but I feel bad for my husband who’s 6’3″ and 200 pounds. Poor guy can barely move his legs.

      • I do enjoy walking through the first class to look at the suckers who are sponsoring part of my ticket price. It’s not like they are going to get to their destination any faster than I will.

  5. The upper level boss should just shut up and drink the Dewar’s. His expectations were too high. It’s not as if his business-class ticket bought him a PBJ, a handful of Aldi knock-off brand M&M wannabees and a luke warm can of Carling Black Label. Which anybody in coach would have accepted and scarfed with a smile, by the way.

    McHenry, though, is far worse. Moaning like a rich fat cat about a general inconvience is nothing compared to railing to a specific person with a volley of combo class-financial-educational stereotypical slurs in a case that was zero her fault and (most likely) totally your own. What a loser ESPN woman showed herself to be. They suspended her. Good for them.

    I rather liked the live spidey art. Ingenious eye, that. Thanks for bringing me into that dark exhibit, Mark.

    • “Hey Mabel! Black Label!” Remember that one?

      These class distinctions have always been with us and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, because of the widening disparity of wealth, it’s only going to get worse. I’m not sure anything can be done. I’m not an optimistic, shiny happy person by nature.

      Her suspension was only for one week. Let’s hope there’s a groundswell of outrage and they fire her cute, little button ass.

      • Yeah, the chasm is widening, for sure, Mark.

        I don’t think she’ll get fired. Because of the way you described her, she drives ratings. That’s their bottom line.

  6. AARGH! I hate entitlement. It sucks. When I went to B-school only two of us out of 50 had done blue collar work (the HR prof actually asked for a show of hands on that exact question). The remainder had always done white collar work, either directly out of university or as students their white collar parents had gotten them white collar summer jobs. My team members (we had teams of 6) were discussing and comparing first class seats on various airlines and they came to choosing an airline by how sexy the hostesses looked. They actually were discussing breast sizes when i lost it. I called them entitled, sexist pigs who were spoiled children who should be consigned to hell for their elitism, lack of caring and respect for humans. I told them I hoped they got treated the same way some day – that the majority of people could not even afford to fly while they discussed stewardess breast sizes. I told them they made me sick to my stomache and i had lost all respect for them and their kind.

    Ha! it was one of my best rants ever. They never discussed anything like that in front of me again. I wonder why? 😀

    Great spider web designs Mark. I enjoyed the pictures.

    thanks for the post and the memories.

    • That’s admirable of you, Paul. It takes guts to stand up in a room full of people and give an opposing viewpoint and tell people what unfair tools they’re being. Weren’t you afraid they wouldn’t show you their secret handshake? And what about talking about you behind their backs? I’m always worried about that one. Well done, sir. But cynical old me thinks they either didn’t realize they were being pigs or, worse, knew and didn’t care.

      • They knew and didn’t care. For some reason they were scared shitless of me – it could be because I had once told them I had killed a man. i didn’t elaborate. One of the guys told us he had had a dream one night that he had come into our meeting room and I was sitting there with my feet up smoking a cigar (I was the only one who smoked – cigarettes – in the team) with a shotgun in my lap. The program director was in pieces on the floor and i said: “There, now I can smoke here.” ha! They treated me very carefully and with a great deal of respect. Mind you I was about 10 years older than they were (I was 44 and the 2nd oldest in the class), my marks were as good or better than theirs and I could negotiate them off the edge of a cliff if I wanted. They used to come and visit me and ask my opinions on not only school work but personal stuff too. They were all hard working and smart and I must confess that i used their fear and let them volunteer for most of the work. I contributed my fair share idea wise – but avoided the written side if I could – although when it was my turn I did my part.

      • Knowing and not caring is definitely worse than being too dumb to know any better. I’m sorry to hear that. Age carries gravitas with it. I’m sure it worked in your favor, but I’m also sure it was the vibe you gave off as well.

  7. I want to talk about the spider exhibit. You went to great lengths to provide detailed photographs and commentary.

    But I’m too enraged about the other things. Britt McHenry is human garbage. Somehow, it makes it even worse when you read that the woman she was abusing is a single mother of three.

    And to answer your first question, that man is a douchelord. Period. I don’t care about his crushing pressure or the exorbitant cost. I experience that, relative to my life, and I would never carry on about the absence of such an incidental, and very specific, luxury item. It’s not like they completely ran out of Scotch! He’s an entitled ass. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    • Woo hoo! I’m a pyromaniac! Light a fire to the ass of my readers! I’m strangely comforted that people are reacting to this. Because I’ve been feeling like a thin-skinned baby-man for feeling so insulted. But perhaps my outrage isn’t so misplaced after all. Why did I let that woman in life to torment me? Why did I give her so much power over me?

      I’m attending a formal dinner on Thursday to celebrate my father-in-law being inducted into the Freehold High School Hall of Fame. For real.

  8. With regard to the first question, my thought was that this is a vehicle flying through the air with limited capacity, they can’t carry everything to please every one every time. He should just deal with it. I understand that when you pay more on a plane you should get more, and they do get more. Sometimes I can understand. I once got off a flight and heard somebody who had been in first class on another flight complaining at a desk that the luggage for the first class passengers had come off after the luggage for coach. He wasn’t being rude or insulting, he was actually putting it quite reasonably and just making the point that when they’ve paid so much more for their ticket they expect to get better service, and one part of that should be maybe not having to wait as long for their luggage when they get off. I heard a couple muttering to themselves like “Oh just because he’s first class he thinks he’s something special”, but actually I thought, yeah, fair enough, if I had paid so much more I might expect that too.

    It’s the attitude that makes the difference, like in your second point, sure, we’ve all got annoyed about stuff and taken it out on someone that maybe we shouldn’t have, but to resort to an attitude of ‘I am so much more important/better than you’ is shameful. I hate class snobbery stuff too.

    So in summary of those two points, and to conclude my essay for today, I think it’s ok to have high expectations, but not to act like you’re better than someone else if those expectations aren’t met.

    Oh wait, I haven’t finished my essay. I also wanted to comment that it’s pretty smart of the artist to get the spiders to create the art for him. I bet it’s fascinating to look at though.

    • Unfortunately, I do think they have a valid point. Those seats are a fortune so I suppose they expect good value for their money. Just like you and I. As for my second point, I’m a master of projecting. I took all those woman’s hard words and projected them onto myself. Silly thing to do but it’s in the news so maybe I wasn’t the only one.

      When I saw that exhibit I thought the EXACT SAME THING. The spiders did all the work! And all they got for their troubles were some fruit flies dumped on their heads. I wonder what those pieces cost? They’re for sale, you know. It *is* an art gallery. Not a museum.

      What do you mean?! Your essays are awesome and always welcome!

  9. First guy: my verdict: big baby. His job isn’t any more stressful than a cop, a doctor, or a teacher. He should work harder so that he could afford his own jet filled with premium single malt scotch.
    McHenry: I really want to hear what the tow company woman is saying, and want to know what happened before, because it could be that she was only responding to insults with her own. The jury is still out on this one.
    The spider exhibit: the verdict: very impressive. But the next spider I see in my house is still getting the death penalty.

    • Yeah, that’s my verdict, too. What a child. Drink your free liquor and keep your mouth shut. Senior exec or not, he’s really just a glorified pencil pusher.

      I can’t imagine the towing company employee saying anything that deserved that attack. Have you heard the whole thing? It’s over a minute long and pretty brutal. They interviewed the woman in the trailer and she said she forgives McHenry. I wouldn’t. I haven’t.

      • I have watched it, that’s why I wasn’t sure what exactly happened there. Assuming i’d have been in that trailer, I might have forgiven her, because I had worked in a kind of a customer service job and dealt with that behavior occasionally – especially now that she seems to be nearly out of her job, which is I think is an excessive punishment for being an asshole to others. There is a book out So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, which I haven’t read, but I read a few interviews about it – how we, the social media, tend to jump on people intentionally or unintentionally saying wrong things and dumping all kinds of insults, trying to get them fired, and ruin their lives in general often out of proportion to what happened.
        But I think the most appropriate punishment for McHenry would be for the network to keep her employed, but transfer her to a tow company trailer for a year.

      • I read a convincing commentary that argued she shouldn’t have been suspended at all, much less fired. Is being a nice person a requirement for the position? Nope. Nevertheless, I’d like to see her punished just for how horrible. I doubt it’ll teach her any humility but it would certainly make me feel better.

  10. There’s no excuse for Britt McHenry’s behavior. Yes, we all have shitty days, and sometimes it takes just one piece of extra stress to tip you over the edge. But being an adult means having self-control! It is my profound hope that the video goes viral and shames her as deeply as she has wounded the subject of her temper tantrum. (Maybe it already has – I wouldn’t know, and don’t care enough to find out.) Saying things like that … they’ll stick and fester in her victim’s heart possibly for a lifetime – there is no knowing how much damage her cruelty may have done, to that person and other’s whose lives interact with hers.

    • I wouldn’t have given this episode a second thought but I felt like I was being personally attacked. We all have our buttons. I’ll bet you’ve got one, too. And that’s mine. Afterwards, I couldn’t figure out why I watched it again (and again). If you put your hand on a stove and it burns, you probably shouldn’t touch that stove again. I think there might be something wrong with me.

      • I can identify with that need to keep looking. It’s like rubbernecking as one drives past a car accident … you have to force yourself not to. Anyway, I agree with you – “Ask not for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for you.” She WAS attacking you. She was attacking everyone who didn’t fit into the tiny box she inhabits. Disgusting.

  11. Adding my 2 cents worth to the entitlement conversation would just give them more publicity.(I’d have liked the cabin steward (ess) to have given him a teated baby bottle of warm milk…) Ms Important TV Star? Probably the same.
    The spider installation? Art shmart! You wanna come over here and see MINE! Actually, I do have two Nephila species that I check every day.One is on her web, attached to the screen on the window about 2 feet from me and she is at her mature size;I’m hoping for more!The other is only about hal full size and I like to think she may be from last year’s wonderful golden egg sac.There are others, different species, but all doing a damn’ good job of keeping mosquitoes down.
    Thanks for taking us to yet another interesting art show, Mark.

    • Those two were cut from the same cloth. I wish I could report that the account exec was being sarcastic or said it with tongue-in-cheek, but he seemed genuinely outraged at his “misfortune.” How dare they, indeed.

      As far as the spiders are concerned, neither you nor I ever thought of dragging them into an art gallery, making them ply their trade and then put a price tag on it. Bully to him for coming up with the idea.

  12. Was this guy grousing about not being served single malt scotch on his flight because he had had it on previous flights? If that’s the case, I can relate. JetBlue, my carrier of choice, used to have a biscotti cookie, but it’s long gone. And yes, I’m being intentionally snarky here with the comparison. But, if he was used to sipping that type of scotch and they’ve stopped serving it, I can understand why he’d be miffed. I’m sure that the ticket price increased. If he just pulled this desire for single malt scotch while flying literally out if thin air, I say, “What an irritating prima donna.” Privileged people can be such arrogant douche bags and baguettes.

    I think this McHenry is a card carrying douche baguette. Like you, I think we glimpsed her pampered princess side. Her superiority complex is appalling. I’m glad she got nailed. For someone so educated, she sure looks like she holds a masters in stupidity to me. We live in a day and age where cameras are rolling everywhere and all the time. What a pity that she was too busy to read that memo.

    That exhibit looks very cool. I might try to go.

    Unrelated theater whoredom notes: Milton and I are seeing The Visit and Buzzer. I’m ushering Iowa and we might go for rush tickets to 20th Century this weekend.

    P.S. Neither Woody Allen or Peter Jennings or my late great dad went to college either. You’re in good company.

    • I don’t know if he’d been served premium scotch on previous flights. He’s kind of a malcontent so I don’t think it really matters. If they’d served premium scotch, he’d have found fault somewhere else. I laughed at your excellent biscotti analogy. Totally excellent and appropriate.

      Can you imagine dating or, worse, being married to McHenry? An exhausting proposition. A pretty face will only get you so far. Even Christie Brinkley, a real stunner if ever there was one, has been married five times. And each time her husband fled. You’ve got to be nice. Like you and I!

      That exhibit is only up through the 2nd and since it was featured in the Times, there have been lines to get in on the weekends. I ran down to Chelsea on my lunch hour and had the entire gallery practically to myself. There was a really helpful gallery rep who was answering questions about the pieces and touting the artist. And it’s all FREE FREE FREE.

      I’d love to see Iowa and, maybe, Buzzer. I’ll pass on The Visit. Saw Skylight last night and liked it quite a bit. I know you had problems with it but I thought Mulligan was good and Nighy spectacular. The dialogue that cascaded out of his mouth was something to behold. Hare is a great playwright and the dialogue was handled well. I just got my hands on a $30 ticket to see MTC’s “Heisenberg” at City Center II with my pretend girlfriend, Mary Louise Parker. One of my pretend girlfriends. There are a few.

  13. I think we all rise to our level of entitlement, and need to learn to be humble about it. I sit in first class often on business trips and I’m thrilled (and fortunate) to be there because my company pays my way – but some people people pay their own ways and have expectations of the money they dish out…so I disagree with the comment that says “be happy you’re in first class”…they are also welcome to spend their money on a first class ticket…if that’s how they want to spend their money…and they can also derive certain expectations that come with sitting in first class. My theory is – if you are prone to complaining you are gonna complain if you are in cattle class or first class. Generally speaking anyone less fortunate tends to complain about someone more fortunate that complains about anything…which is what a lot of people above me are doing. be happy with what you have and don’t judge those who have more, you don’t know their story. For all you know they won millions of dollars in a libel or rape case and live a miserable existence and nothing that makes them happy.

    I don’t think taking out your anger on anyone is appropriate ever, though we all slip and make mistakes – generally to those closest to us. However, taking it out on a complete stranger is entirely unethical behavior – it has nothing to do with wealth or fame – the woman is just a nasty piece of work if she is the type of person to do that to another human being working a job to pay her bills.

    • I think it’s conditional. I think there’s a tremendous difference between shelling out your own hard-earned pesos for first class and being there because it’s coming out of a corporate expense account. In the second example, you really should feel lucky to be there and temper your enthusiasm and demands. I sat next to a woman in first class who complained and gave the stewards hell the entire flight. For no good reason! Be glad you made it. I like your theory of who complains and why. It’s not based on economics. Nice rational you’ve got here. Well done.

      I’m betting that McHenry always treated people like that and probably always will. It’s just that she got caught. Nobody gets THAT angry as a matter of single circumstance. If you’re of a mind and haven’t heard it, you should listen to the tirade. It’s pretty brutal stuff. She tells the woman to lose weight at the end, which is the third rail of insults.

      • Thank you! I am very thankful for what I have achieved and the rewards I reap from it. I don’t condone entitlement for entitlements sake, but I think sometimes there really is a reason to complain…or sometimes people just are built that way. The bottom line to me is you should never really make other around you uncomfortable with complaining loudly or being demeaning.
        On the other hand, I do think people with *less* (and let me caveat – less *anything*) judge people with more as being spoiled and entitled. IMHO, they don’t remember there is someone always lower or higher than you on the totem pole, so guide your own actions and worry about yourself….I am in a privileged place in life, in my own opinion, and I am thankful for it. It doesn’t mean I don’t complain when my latte is cold. :\ lol. I just don’t blame the barista and warm it up in the microwave.
        I heard part of McHenry’s rant and it disgusted me. People like that are small minded and it’s the real reason for her behavior.

      • I think envy is a powerful force in human nature. It causes people with less to hate people with more—even if that “more” is hard earned and well-deserved. To take it even further, I think Muslim radical hatred of the West is rooted in envy. That, and anger over their failed leaders. I’m off track but you get my meaning.

    • My 8-year old daughter PICKS UP SPIDERS and tosses them outside. She saves them. It freaks me out but I try not to show it because I don’t want to teach her to be afraid. I’ve already ruined amusement park rides for her. I don’t want to add spiders to the list

      • Aha! I know about that. One day when I was a nanny. I was caring for some kids. My worst nightmare came true. I was sitting a sandbox with said kids. Next thing I knew her clothes were moving. She was covered from head to toe in baby spiders which meant…So was I. Everything in me wanted to freak out but I couldn’t for the kids sake. I did call for their mother who happened to be home. Together we worked at getting the off. ARRGGH!

  14. Mark, I’m so glad that you included these two asshole’s examples of elitism. The scotch guy is full of himself and has an enormous sense of self entitlement. He should be grateful that little folks put him where he is today. Of course he would never admit that the poorer people pay his salary. It all works from the bottom up just as in nature. It’s called the food chain.

    Britt, what’s her face should be fired. I became livid reading your account of how she treated the woman at the impound station. She apparently thinks she walks on water. How in the name of Sam Hill does anyone with a brain verbally demean someone who had nothing to do with your vehicle being impounded? Her actions tell me that she has the brains of a piss ant and is way too big for her britches? So she thinks that because she is on TV, it’s proof she is smarter and superior to a blue collar worker who works in a trailer. Rude does not come close to describing her behavior. She made a complete ass of herself. She should be fired. Her ilk is easily replaced. There are lots of so called cute little things that are waiting in the wings.

    Last but not least I’m with you with the college degree thing. I have always felt inferior to college grads and individuals that have more money. However, I didn’t go to college but became a registered nurse from a hospital diploma school. It took three years and in the end I made more money then most teachers or other women who had a college degree. I have a good retirement and don’t owe anybody money. I have good friends who are college graduates and they don’t act superior. I’ve been fortunate to have been blessed with the smarts to get by using my skills and common sense.

    This is quite long but I want you to know there is no shame for your lack of education. You are well versed in many topics. And you worked to get where you are. So stop feeling inferior and be grateful for what you have accomplished. Last but not least. Blue collar workers now make as much or more than someone with a four year degree. Many guys knock down up to 100,000 and more, plying their trades. In the end a degree makes a difference, only in some career fields.

    • I can’t help wondering if there’s something to the fact that these two incidents threw themselves in my path within a day or two of each other. I was just minding my own business and wham! I’m accosted by the upper crust. What’d I do to deserve that? I feel the punishment but can’t connect the crime.

      If all you know of this McHenry business is what you’ve read here then consider yourself saved. There are but a few gory details. I just mentioned a couple of choice insults but it went on for a while. The video is painful to watch. The fact that I viewed it a few times actually worries me a bit. Why would I let all that ugliness in my world? Why didn’t I just ignore it? And then I have the nerve to blog about it! Holy cow!

      Well done on your becoming an RN. A respectful calling. The exec who complained about his scotch does nothing but move money around. From this spot to this spot. That’s his calling. He doesn’t save lives or create anything. Most everyone I know has been to college. I’m not made to feel out of place in their presence. But once in a while I’ll get a reminder. Oh, yeah. I forgot to get a degree. I will try to get my inferiority complex under control but I fear it’s part of me. Here to stay.

  15. I think the airline seating choices are representative of the ever-widening gap between the wealthy and the middle/working class, hence the obliviousness that convinces someone to open up their yob about something petty like Scotch choices when people in coach are doing contortionist acts to keep their limbs from going numb.

    As for the woman who verbally attacked someone because of having a bad day, your character shows on those bad days. If she said those kind of things, if that’s her go-to thought process under pressure, that’s her character. You can call someone all kinds of pretty, but pretty people are a dime a dozen as well. People with character, not so much.

    Growing up poor in an uneducated family has made me consistently defensive – even after getting that 4 year degree (after doing Army time). Then I was prickly about postgraduate degrees. As I’ve hit midlife and revisited the education issue, I realize it’s just not important to me anymore. If it were, I’d go back to school. That has somewhat dissolved the chip on my shoulder.

    I have that same spider art in the corner of my kitchen. It must be a forgery, dammit.

    • Isn’t boarding a plane weird?! Perhaps if I flew more often I wouldn’t think it so odd but I’ll walk on a plan and think, “Oh, here are the people with money. Back there are the people who aren’t quite so well off.” It’s so obvious. The theater is the same way. I’m usually in the back of the balcony looking down into the orchestra wondering how they can afford to pay those prices.

      As for Ms. McHenry, I’m convinced she was showing her true colors. I don’t think for one moment this was an isolated incident. If she’d had thrown a few racial barbs she’d have lost her job. I don’t see this as being any different. Hatred towards another economic class is no different than hatred towards another race. Same thing.

      Quick! Take the spider art in your kitchen, place it in a cube, preserve it and ship it to New York. A windfall awaits you.

      • So much to say here Mark — I guess what I’ll share, because it seems all the good seats have been taken now that I’ve waited too long to show up, is (probably like you) I do my best to really be polite to wait staff always, but especially in front of my kids, so they ‘get that.’ It’s the saying that everyone should wait tables at some point in their life so they’re kinder when they’re on the other side of the table some day. I enjoyed the art photos, and Ross’s ribbing of you. And I think he might have been ribbing me too, one of my favorite bands The Smiths (This Charming Ham), and Portrait of the Artist’s Portrait or thereabouts. On the college thing, I can imagine what that chip on the shoulder must feel like…you are ‘you’ without it, and arguably a better person for it, for how you come through here. Good, rich stock.

      • I think Ms. McHenry must have had terrible parents. Who raises a kid to act like that? Or perhaps she’s been told how beautiful she is once too often. That can go to a person’s head.
        Artspeak is absolutely ripe for parody. As am I! As are you! Ross does a nice job of skewing all parties.

  16. It’s interesting to me that you can put together an endless stream of engaging and thoroughly interesting blog posts,and that McHenry person can only read from a tele-prompter. It makes me wonder,who is wearing the Emperors clothes. You really should stop apologising for your lack of academic qualifications. News flash, Shakespeare,amongst a couple of thousand other highly regarded people had the same gap in their C.V. Didn’t seem to slow them down. Write a book and get it out of your system and then write the book you really had in mind.

    • Well, I certainly didn’t post this to fish for compliments but I’ll gladly take it. thanks, very much. I know I have a horrible problem but I can’t seem to shake it. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I’m not catatonic with misery because I didn’t go to school, but I do think about it once in a while. Especially when I get these reminders thrown in my path. How unfair was that?

      The more people tell me to write a book the more I want to write a book. Nobody has ever encouraged me to do much of anything, so this is a new sensation.

      • ok, so write the book already would you?? Then we can all say “we knew you when….”

    • Oh, really? Try getting a job without a college degree on your resume. Let me know how that goes for you. Employers don’t care if the degree is unrelated to the work you’re applying for. The only want to know that you went and completed.

      • True – and that’s why it sucks.
        It’s a business now – I know because I’m working my ass off to pay for my kid’s now (a State cheaper one) and because everyone who can buy one has one. So I agree with you, it’s almost like a high school diploma – you better have one. But the idea that you are actually better educated because you have one – completely over rated.

      • I think we can debate the merits of having a degree until the cows come home but we seem to both agree that you’d better have one or you’re going to have a tough row to hoe. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for my kid’s college. I do okay but by the time they’re of age, it’s going to take better than just okay money to send them. I dread it. Maybe I’ll write a book and it’ll sell. Ha.

      • Keep in mind that if they are serious with their studies, challenge themselves and do well, there are scholarships and grants available that do wonders for their choice of schools. My daughter still has her “thanks for applying” letter from Notre Dame. She had the brains to go there, I expected her to be accepted and find the scholarships would be better elsewhere. As it turned out she went to a pretty ritzy private school. My son is just finishing at DePaul. Not a snowball’s chance had he not done so well in school up to college time…

      • I’m hoping for scholarship magic. Otherwise it’ll be state school or a mountain of debt for my girls. When I see what college coaches are paid I want to vomit. Don’t get me started on the cost of higher education. It’s a business is RIGHT.

  17. Yeah, but how do the fruit flies feel about it?

    Can you answer honestly, that if you were in the same situations as examples 1 & 2, that your reactions would be different?

    • What do fruit flies eat? Fruit, right? Okay, maybe we can do an installation from the fruit’s point of view. See how they feel about being eaten by a disgusting fly.

      My reactions would have been COMPLETELY different! I’m no Prince of Humanity but I don’t treat people like doormats and take my anger out on them. Oh…wait…was that a joke? I can’t tell. I love it when I can’t tell.

  18. If only the woman behind the counter had said “One of the perks of this job is pissing off snotty-nosed bitches like you.”

    I think the circular webs are more beautiful than the complex candy floss stuff, but maybe mathematicians could do more interesting work on the latter.

    • Hey, you got spam-blocked again and I had to approve. What gives? I thought we had that all straightened out. Did the nature preserve get a new IP address?

      I like that he introduces different spiders into the same cube so you get these different types and textures of web. And the fact that he flips them on their side so the poor spiders have to start all over again. Pretty smart. Plus, they work cheap.

      • It normally competely swallows comments make under my wordpress ID, but this time it said “under moderation”, so that was an improvement. Did you find it in your spam folder, though? It should have been listed as a comment to moderate.

  19. People get too carried away with all their needs. I’m sure that guy on the airplane will survive without his drink. As for Britt what’s her name (I don’t care)…she’s disgusting! For shame. She doesn’t deserve to recover from this. I think she should be fired and never allowed to work again in TV. The sad thing is that won’t happen. Everyone will forget all about it probably. Like someone else said, the whole thing will probably increase ratings and she’ll get promoted. The best thing is we can bitch about her. Maybe someday she’ll get what’s coming to her. One can hope!

    I love these spider webs! What a cool installation. I like the way they’re shown more than anything. And what a title that one has. The spiders weave works of art.

    • Perhaps your point about her not being fired or ever pay a lasting penalty is what feeds my underlying anger. Don’t the rich, attractive and famous seem to get away with pretty much anything they want? A one-week suspension and it’ll all be forgotten. But that woman in the booth who was berated is never going to forget it. I hope she’s made of firmer stuff than I am.

      The spiders do all the work! It’s a clever conceit, though. I didn’t come up with the idea. I wonder how the pieces are preserved and wonder what they cost? I’d hesitate to buy one.

  20. A very cool exhibit that gives me the heebie geebies. I am not a fan of spiders, and I fear that in the darkened gallery I would be bombarded by imaginary spiders on me. It’s like when my cat smells my face just before I fall asleep. Her whiskers… spider on my face….

    As for Class wars, the classes are just not categorized correctly. It should be entitled jerks, thinking feeling human beings, and pond scum.

    • Julie, I love giving you the heebie geebies. And I thought it was going to be just another dull Thursday. My 8-year old picks up spiders by their legs and tosses them outside. How kind is that?

      I also love your idea of rebranding the social classes. It’s such a smart idea I’m surprised it wasn’t done long ago.

      • we do try to release them to the yard. You should see me running with a spider on a paper plate trying to get out the back door before it runs up my arm!! EEEEEEEEEKKKKK!

      • Keep telling my daughter to stop picking up spiders. That they can bite her. I think there’s even a poisonous version where we live. The brown recluse. But she no listen to me. I hope she doesn’t get that hard lesson.

  21. For what it’s worth, I went to college for 3 semesters. On my resume, I listed the name of one school (of the two) and noted my major. Nothing about a degree. Worked successfully for many years. After I’d been employed at one job for several years, HR (a friend) casually asked whether I had a BA or BS…and I said ‘neither.’ I could do the job…that was what counted.
    Of course, Britt should be (a) fired and/or (b) forced to do ‘menial’ customer service work for a while.

    • I think I attended a community college for about three semesters and finally gave up and went into the Coast Guard. I knew I wasn’t cut out for college. I never took my SATs. I didn’t know what they were. I remember my friend scheduling his SATs and I asked him if they were a mandatory test. He said no and that was that. I never thought about them again.

  22. So who else would post their feelings about an irritating prima donna and a card carrying douche baguette (to quote V who nails this stuff perfectly every time) followed by an art installation on spider webs? The only thing I like more than your blog is your blog’s comments! I loved the web photos – wish I could see that in person. Maybe it will come to CLE someday.

    • I hate saying it looks better in person because just about everyone reading this can’t see it in person and I don’t want to sound like a pretentious douche. But it’s easier to appreciate the delicate nature of these when you’re standing next to them. So, yeah. That. I hope you get out to the Cleveland Museum of Art once in a while. That’s a world-class museum with a world-class permanent collection. I like to drag the kids out there when we visit. They complain but they’ll thank me someday. Or end up hating art. It could go either way.

      • Good Morning Mark! Yes, we frequent the beautiful museum here, as well as others in the area. I love University Circle. My daughter paints, so art museum visits are very special to us. There are also more art galleries opening in Tremont as well as Ohio City. They stay open into the evening, so it’s nice to visit them after dinner down there. I think it’s great that you are making sure your daughters are exposed to the arts. You set a good example for them 🙂

      • My dad was a butcher in the West Side Market. I remember going there when I was just a tyke. Now, we visit every time we’re in town. I walk through with my daughters and wife. The circle is complete.

      • That’s so cool! I love going there! Yes, that sounds like a nice tradition you have. There are many places here that you can take them to that they will enjoy, as you well know. The city is so vibrant right now with so many exciting changes taking place.

  23. Case 1: I would probably gripe too, if I’d paid for the first class seat, but I would not complain to the public at large, because it makes you sound like a dick. I would whine, in private, to someone like my mother or my husband – people who might judge me but have to love me anyway.

    Case 2: I’m going to say that car towing is a fairly stressful situation (you come back and your car is just …. gone), and I tend to think most towing companies are only a few steps up from a mob (they only accept cash and make you sign a release form saying any damage to your car is not their fault before you can get your car back, which is extortion, in my book), but I would never, EVER say such hideous things to another human being. I haven’t seen the tape but it sounds appalling. I agree with sentiments expressed above – let’s put her in the web.

    Which brings me to my next point – how is that art?! I know I’ve admitted my narrow mindedness and lack of culture before, but the so called “creator” didn’t do anything more than trap a spider in a box! However, it is quite pretty, once I convince myself that a giant spider isn’t going to come scurrying out of the corner.

    • I wonder about our senior exec’s brain chemistry. What makes those thoughts come into his head? Here he is in business class, which is quite nice, he’s got these heavy responsibilities and the thought bubble that floats out of his head–the thing he expresses to colleagues–is he feels cheated about his brand of scotch? It seem ludicrous. I can’t believe he’s in charge.

      The tape is rough stuff. I wouldn’t recommend listening to it. I kind of wish I hadn’t. It’s in my head and I can’t un-hear it. I refuse to watch any of those beheading videos, too. You’ll never un-see that.

      It’s art (for me) simply because it pleases my eye. I agree the artist didn’t do much to produce these but, you’ve got to admit, it’s a clever conceit.

      • Every time I get on an airplane, I wonder how rich I’d have to be before I regularly shelled out thousands more than everyone else to get to the same place at the same time. Of course now that I know airlines don’t serve premium drinks, that number just went up quite a bit.

        I don’t watch the news at all. Mostly I skim the BBC website to see if there are any stories that won’t make me lose even more faith in the world, and read those. Last week I read 3 articles.

        Now that I’m over the shock factor and have gone back to look at the pictures, I can appreciate it more. The setting, I think is what makes it art. Otherwise it’d just be an exhibit at the local zoo.

      • Interesting factoid about the setting of that exhibit: They have a small cube in the lobby of the gallery. In the light of day, it’s not impressive at all. You can see the webs but there’s no real visual impact. Once you part the two thick, black curtains and enter the pitch-black gallery with the spotlights, the exhibit becomes quite something else. It turns into a spectacle.

  24. today is a bad day for me to read all of this. i have no love for jackasses who think the world owes them something or that their “lovely face” entitles them to special treatment or forgiveness for a “faux pas.” fuck’em and the horse they rode in on! arrrrrggghhhhh! (yes, it has to do with he companies the MITM has contracts with in deepestdarkestafrica)

    maybe i should revisit this when i’m not so fucking pissed off. (you know i love you, sugar!) xoxoxo

    • Ommmmmmm.

      Do your chant, dear.

      Ommmmmmm.

      You are absolutely within your right to be outraged. You should have been in the room with me when I first viewed that video. It wasn’t pretty. Come back and vent anytime you want. You have a lifetime pass.

  25. I’m a little late to this party, but just had to add that your comments are well taken. Discrimination is no place for the so-called “educated.” Folks with that kind of background should know better. I’m not surprised you picked an executive and a TV person. Low-hanging fruit. The spider-web art was a great counterpoint to your comments. Lifted the whole tone of your entry. Fascinating stuff.

    • Pish. It’s never too late. You’re correct that those two clowns are low-hanging fruit, but they bring it on themselves. If they don’t want to be picked on, then they should put such giant bulls eyes on their backs. It’s their own fault.

      Thanks for your kind words. Feel free to invoice me!

  26. I like the juxtaposition of class war with the web art. Something to do with, as pointed out above, the artist getting the spider to do all the work; and then the idea that those in power create and control the web others are caught in.

    • Honestly, I wasn’t that thought out about this post. Or, life in general, for that matter. I wish I was. I simply put two half-posts together to create one normal-lengthed post. The fact that they work in concert with one another is a happy accident. I probably shouldn’t admit that. I should probably just let you all think I’m much smarter than I actually am.

  27. Classism or entitlement? In some ways similar, but my brain explodes when i run into anyone – of any class – with a sense of entitlement. Turd-boy in business class? Feeling a bit entitled to the good scotch? Puh-leeeze, brother! He – no wait, HIS EMPLOYER – probably didn’t even pay for the seat – but got comp’d the upgrade if he’s a frequent flier. Asshat Supreme.

    Ms. Brit? Deserves to wake up in a parallel universe where she has lost privilege and has to start over. No well-positioned mentors to help her from one promotion to the next. Rent due and a minimum wage job, then Whoops! You get sick and have to pay a massive medical bill…

    Throughout my entire adult life – in part due to the financial paranoia of my ex-husband – i have always had a plan to step down the lifestyle if i had to, at the loss of a job, or a medical nightmare, or… who knows… Last week, driving through a neighborhood in the city, i was looking at houses and reminding myself that i could ditch my current place, use the equity to pay cash for a city house, and always have a roof over my head, even if it leaked a bit…

    • That guy who complained about the scotch is one of our most talented salesmen. Apparently, he’s a master at his game and brings a lot of money into the firm. Not sure how that plays into his attitude. I know he gets his ass kissed royal because he’s a rainmaker so perhaps that went to his head. A shame, really. To be so talented and successful and allow little things to bother you. He should meditate while sitting in first class.

      It pays to keep a low ceiling. My Bride and I have one and it’s come in handy. When I was laid off for four months back in 2010 we never fell behind on our bills because we don’t have that many of them. Sure, I’d love to drive something other than a 10-year old Subaru and would love a big house, but I don’t want the debt that would go with it.

  28. I am late for this blog. Vent Central has covered all sides of Class War 1 and 2. As usual they all make good points, but it’s a no brainer. My views come from a side most people don’t experience day to day. We always buy first class tickets, because we are obese, not carnival fat though, no seat belt extenders. We don’t want the humiliation or embarrassing remarks for taking an extra inch or two of our neighbor’s space. Also the wife uses the lavatory more than most people. So it’s easier to share it with 8-12 passengers than 150+. But every time, she has to wait, because several coach passengers insist on coming through to the forward lavy after they been instructed to use the aft lavatory. They urinate on the seat to show their feelings. Now, am I a First Class a-hole to complain?
    Regarding the journalist, I thought it was acceptable for hot women to ridicule people (sarcasm). Life has a pecking order. You see it every day at work and TV. There are some people in this world that go through life doing whatever they want, and don’t call them out on anything because you will accused of judging or a hater. You just can’t win.

    • Is that true?! Do people actually urinate on the seat to show their displeasure with having to sit in coach class?! I’m flabbergasted. I can’t imagine anything more reprehensible or weak-minded. That comes from a self hatred that I can’t even fathom. And I thought *I* had problems with class separation!

      As far as a pecking order, no place is less democratic than an airplane. Economically speaking, you know exactly where you stand when you board a plane. No reason for the hatred, though. It’s all born from envy. Envy is a great and destructive force in human nature. I believe that all the nonsense in the Middle East is rooted in envy. They look west and see advanced societies and they hate us for it. Their governments are corrupt and can’t provide the basics.

      • Do you also think the stories of fast food grillers spitting on the burgers are not true because they resent their job or the people who can afford to buy them? Or is it a class thing! There are jealous and hateful people in this world. I kind of resent the tone that I made this up. It wasn’t dew on the seat.

      • You mistake my response, sir. I never, for one second, thought you made this up. I believe you completely! I just find it so shocking that it knocked me back a bit. Can you imagine being so full of hate and self-loathing and envy that you’d respond in the ways you describe? I can’t wrap my mind around it. But I have no credibility issue with you at all.

  29. Pingback: How Did i Get Here? | Trailer Park Refugee

  30. Completely agree with you. I have a BA, MA, and MBA from a major university. Had a good job as a consultant. Had a bipolar break. Now work stocking cheese. It’s amazing how differently some people treat me. (Strangers, not friends.) I’m just grateful I wasn’t an elitist snob back before I got sick.

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