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Old 04-28-2006, 05:59 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Chip On My Shoulder

I'm reading a book right now, and it's pretty good. However, it's a bit of a semi-non-fiction narrative, and the author is an editor for a major magazine who grew up in New York City in what appears to be a wealthy family. He went to an Ivy League school and his father is a specialized attorney, and when he mentions other family members, they tend to be Ivy Leaguers as well.

Setting aside for the moment my disdain of books written by people with connections to the publishing industry, I find that I moderately dislike the author of this book, and it has nothing to do with his writing style. In fact, the book itself is pretty good. It just annoys me to read about a guy who started life out on the sixth rung of the ladder of success, with all sorts of advantages that are not acknowledged even in passing, but are instead implied to be "middle class". Even if the guy is a hard-working, nice guy, I find that I've got a chip on my shoulder about people in this situation.

I feel like I'm running a marathon in life, and as I pass each mile marker, I see new people joining the race partway through, wearing fancy sneakers and with butlers carrying their water for them, while I'm all sweaty and tired before I even get to their starting point. And then I realize that when I started my marathon, there were probably some sweaty and tired people who had already run ten miles to get to the point where I started, and I never paid attention to them or thought about where they had started in life, just like these others never think about me.

My sister and I are the first in my family to go to college, and we're more or less the only people in my entire extended family to do so. I was kind of clueless about doing anything that wasn't more or less manual labor, and it took me several years to develop the level of polish one needs to succeed in my current world, and some would certainly argue that I'm still not there. When I moved to Denver, my first job was at a company where everyone was the child of rich people - and when I say rich, I mean RICH, sons of CEOs and mutual fund heads and semi-famous people - and it annoyed me that they were so polished and smooth, and that they moved so easily in these worlds that I was sprinting to learn, all sweaty and stuff.

And seeing that, and reading this book, makes me think more about the people who've come a lot farther than me. Yeah, I've been stepping up the "social scale" (whatever that's worth) to an altitude that seems high to me, and alien to my upbringing, but I also had two parents who have a work ethic, and who valued education even if they couldn't afford it themselves, and who did what they could to support me, even if an actual helping hand and role model was sometimes difficult to come by. More and more, I think about the people who grew up on an Indian reservation where work is scarce, or in a house with an alcoholic, or some other bad situation, and it really makes me realize how far some people have come, even if they aren't necessarily rich or successful or polished. And they'll never get the respect they deserve, because they're still not rich or successful or polished, while the rich ones will continue to be featured on the social page of the newspaper. It's kind of a shame.

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking about on a Friday night, and I hope I start liking the author of this book a little more. I feel bad for disliking him because of the standing of his birth, because that doesn't seem right. It seems just as bad as disliking someone because they grew up poor and rough-hewn.

Anyone else tend to have this internal conflict?
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
JBucc JBucc is offline
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #3
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:25 PM   #4
bogie bogie is offline
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As I get older, I find myself feeling this way. I often judge people of great success more harshly. I see someone in a nice car and I wonder if Daddy got it for them. I went home over Easter and got in a heated conversation with my father about the guy who owns Bass Pro. My Dad is convinced he robbed and stole his way to the top. My Dad actually compared him to Hitler. I don't remember the reason he compared him to Hitler (I was drinking) I just remember saying "you're actually comparing this guy to Hitler?" I fear as I get older, I'm going to get more angry at people of wealth.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:33 PM   #5
nychief nychief is offline
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nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.nychief has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:34 PM   #6
stevieray stevieray is offline
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You can't find yourself in someone else.

Hard life lesson to learn, especially with today's media.

You might be just going through that forty something where am I going to be financially later in life "thing".
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:34 PM   #7
Skip Towne Skip Towne is offline
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Like Billy Martin said of George Steinbrenner " He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple".
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Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.Skip Towne < Tried to steal Andy's chili fries.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:41 PM   #8
bogie bogie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Towne
Like Billy Martin said of George Steinbrenner " He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple".

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bogie is a favorite in the douche of the year contest.bogie is a favorite in the douche of the year contest.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:51 PM   #9
58-4ever 58-4ever is offline
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Success is so much sweeter when you start from scratch. Overcoming obstacles builds character. On a side note (not to make this thread darker than it already is): Oft-troubled Steve Howe died at the age of 48 today in a car crash. I guess all that cocaine didn't get him after all. It was a ****ing car crash.
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:01 PM   #10
Psyko Tek Psyko Tek is offline
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my problem isn't about the silver spoon people,
I grew up working my ass off and understand the value of education,
I screwed up college but did get an associates degree,
parlayed that into a decent, but unsteady living

now, my step daughter is flunking out( bright kid but lazy and wants to be cool, why is dumb cool?) of highschool, thinking she can make a living at Taco Bell if she drops out.

where can I get a big enough Clue by 4 to keep this idiot from screwing up her whole life ?


sorry just ranting
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:05 PM   #11
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Towne
Like Billy Martin said of George Steinbrenner " He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple".
That is an excellent quote.
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Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:07 PM   #12
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyko Tek
where can I get a big enough Clue by 4 to keep this idiot from screwing up her whole life ?

Yeah, that would be frustrating, I bet.

I grew up in a college town, and of the professor's kids, it seemed like half were very high academic achievers who were really motivated, and half were low-energy slackers who were poor students and had no ambition whatsoever. I always wondered how exasperating that must be to be a Ph.D. professor and have your kid be a slacker.
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Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:11 PM   #13
stevieray stevieray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man
Yeah, that would be frustrating, I bet.

I grew up in a college town, and of the professor's kids, it seemed like half were very high academic achievers who were really motivated, and half were low-energy slackers who were poor students and had no ambition whatsoever. I always wondered how exasperating that must be to be a Ph.D. professor and have your kid be a slacker.
I wonder if people that go on Jerry Springer ask their parents to watch.
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:22 PM   #14
bogie bogie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieray
I wonder if people that go on Jerry Springer ask their parents to watch.
Unfortunately, I suspect that some do.
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:29 PM   #15
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I've never felt the chip I think you're referring to, Mr. Rain Man.

I've never viewed people as being "better" or "worse" based on their social status or income. Any judgements I make are usually predicated on a person's intelligence and goodness. I've known a lot of very, very interesting people who lacked possessions. And, many of the more affluent I know hold little interest for me.

It is the "heart" of the person that defines them.

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