When I saw reports of how a bunch of 20-somethings across the country decided not to go into the office Thursday and instead sit at bars and listen to James Comey’s congressional testimony, I said: “Yes, this is the Coalition of the Ascending that I’m eager to let run the country one day.”
Starting at 9 a.m., eager Brooklynites swarmed into Building on Bond, a bar in the hip Boerum Hill neighborhood, and pretended that they were a part of history. Only a schmuck has a real job, anyway. Besides, there’s nothing more important than watching Bae Comey take down Dronald Drumpfman in real time.
Skipping work at your boutique advertising agency to watch history in the making over a few IPAs is non-negotiable—your parents will understand when you ask them for a raise in allowance. Sure, most people across the country can’t afford the luxury of starting drinking at 9 a.m. on a Thursday, but have you seen my SAT scores?
Meritocracy used to mean those who worked the hardest and were the smartest enjoyed a higher salary, a bigger house, and a roomier office at America Industry Corp. Now, all it means is not having a job that expects you to be sober every day.
Look, people in Brooklyn aren’t out of touch. If anything, they know more about what’s really going on in this world than the average dumbass coal miner. They’ve read the Wikipedia pages on like four different 20th century social theorists.
Is it any surprise that these people know what’s better for the rest of us? They have the luxury of removing themselves from the real world and focusing on congressional testimony the significance of which only around 20 percent of the country could coherently explain to you.
Some might call this privilege. Some might wonder what these people are doing to put more money in the pockets of working Americans. Some might say that if they have so much time to watch C-SPAN in a trendy bar, they could be volunteering somewhere and making a difference.
I’m genuinely not sure I know what the difference is between a 23-year-old in a run down West Virginian town looking to score some heroin so he can forget about his crumbling surroundings and a 23-year-old in Brooklyn pretending he’s making a difference by tuning out the rest of the world while his eyes are glued to MSNBC. Both groups represent some sort of decadence and cultural decay, but one of them isn’t so smug about it.