Rich White Trash

I thought the category had reached its zenith with Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, but I was wrong. At the moment, the Crown of Crude must surely go to the Family Couch. At the moment, Killer Kid is dying his hair in Puerto Vallarta, Mumsie is winging her way back to California, hopefully at her own expense, and Papa Bear is god knows where.

It would be difficult to imagine a worse case of disciplinary failure. Deciding that the steroidal indulgence of the parents constituted an excuse for their son’s criminal conduct, the state compounded the error with punishment that even his negligent parents may have considered unduly lenient. And when Baby Brat finds even that unduly restrictive, he once again violates the law. At least this latest violation does not involve the murder of four innocent citizens. What a relief!

Mexican prisons are not generally known for their comfy conditions. I think Master Couch would benefit greatly with a stay there, without his cell phone, iPad, and any other emblem of his unearned life of privilege.

It’s clear that great wealth does not necessarily breed meretricious behavior. One need only observe the incalculable social value of the activities of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and yes, even Donald Trump to verify that point. And, on the other side, poverty does not necessarily produce virtue although there are many examples of that as well.

The point is that trash is trash, whether exemplified by Bill Clinton or Bill Cosby. Being rich just puts a brighter spotlight on it.

The celebration of trash is also reflected in the language and behavior of teenagers (or former teenagers who seem unable to graduate from its categorical confines). There’s a pervasive coarseness, lack of nuance or intellectual curiosity about the unique expansiveness of the English language that infects much of youthful communication these days.

My wish for 2016 is that although trash there will always be, human or material, we as a society can pay less reinforcing attention to it.

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