Lyndon Hood - professional, Lower Hutt

Sunday, June 19, 2005

No Right Turn cites an instance of something that - up until this last week or so - I had never given much thought to: economic prejudice. Actual economic prejudice. The idea that someone's employment status or income somehow makes them a less worthwhile (or to be specific, a more stupid) human being.

Cathy, commenting on DPF makes the assertion more or less explicitly. Hamish's opinion should not be judged on the merits of his argument or on his expertise in the issue (which appears to be greater than that of most if not all of the commenters*). It should be judged on whether he earns more than $38,000 a year.

As in, if he earns less he should "fuck off".

And that without the use of a self-depreciating emoticon or anything.

How odd.

I suppose I had realised that lots of people behave as if this is true. I just hadn't realised that people explicitly thought like that.

Anyhow, my wife is in the top tax bracket, and she says my opinion is worth listening to, so here goes:

The cream of society - or that which, as Terry Pratchett put it, is found floating on the top and is therefore most safely called "the cream" - no doubt has its share of sensible, clever and/or talented individuals. But if people rise by these qualities it is a tendency rather than a rule.

And even these admirable traits don't make people right all of the time.

Much as I would like to go on, I don't know that anything would make the Philip Morgans and Cathys of this world get the point.

For what it's worhth, this may explain they way it worked in at least one case. Jean-Louis Barrault was an influential French actor type in the middle of the twentieth century. In his book Reflections on the Theatre, he tells this story:
One evening I dined with a big industrialist who built ships and who spent the whole meal pitying me because of my profession. A profession which, he said, consisted in smearing one's face like a girl, putting on fancy-dress as it if was carnival, and repeating the same words every evening . . . "and not your own words at that." I said: "You, sir, build ships. Very well. If you lost several million francs per ship built, granting that it wouldn't break you financially, would you go on building ships ?" "No, if I lost millions in building ships I would stop." "Very well, sir, then you don't really love building ships. As for me, if I lost my life acting I would still go on acting. Which proves that I love my craft more than you love yours." I should add that this little exchange bound us together and we went along full sail for the rest of the evening.

*The issue of defamation, that is. Not the issue of child molestation.

And now, one for the fans:

New Hood: Jackson Innocent - Hope For Benson-Pope?