Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Lowest Common Denominator

Note: I’m sorry if I have taken something you’ve said to me out of context but I’m talking generally about this phrase. Please don’t take this as a personal attack, it is an exploration of my blurted-out opinions, nothing more.

Lowest common denominator.

I want it said here and now that I utterly despise this phrase. I will not use it. Saying something which appeals to the masses is “lowest common denominator trash” or implying that it is somehow beneath your level of evolutionary progress makes you elitist. Whether you're describing music, art, literature, entertainment or sport (or indeed anything else) it makes me disregard what you say about popular culture, about society, about everything. I am going to explain why.

Class is not something I talk about with any level of sincerity at any given moment. I joke about being working class and how this makes me different from others from time to time but in a lighthearted way. I truly believe that no matter your background, in this day and age you can rise above whatever box you were brought up in and chase your dreams. I do also admit fairly frequently that I am naïve, gullible and starry-eyed, so perhaps that clouds my judgement.

I get upset when people who I class as my peers; who’s opinions I respect; who I often will look to for clarity, guidance and debate, when these people waste their well-processed arguments in one fell swoop by their use of lazy snobbery.

By forcing, in your mind, a certain group of people into a group of lower intelligence, morals and values you are oppressing them. I can see we are moving into cloudy and frankly unsavoury territory here but please do bear with me. I want you to understand how I see it for a second.
Because a person enjoys entertainment that isn’t wholly educational does not make them a lesser being. I see it more and more every day, the geeks (like myself) ganging up on people whose only crimes are to be slightly ignorant or incorrect or interested in other things. Are you really the sort of person who still looks to separate people into groups ranked from highest to lowest? Whether through wealth or intelligence, pushing people apart like this is, in my humble opinion, wrong and I won’t stand with you while you do it.

Separating ourselves from “them” whoever “they” might be makes us weak. In times like this where even the most tolerant of citizens (aka. Me) are beginning to feel a daily dose of rage against the current injustices in our society, surely we should be looking to work together? I don’t want to start preaching about politics as it’s not my place and I certainly don’t know enough about the subject, but what I do know is that squabbling amongst ourselves makes us easier to control.
You may not agree with your fellow people, you might even think they are morons quite a lot of the time. That’s your prerogative. Quite honestly a lot of the time I do believe that I’m the best person and everyone else is an idiot, as I’m sure you do too. I think what I’m trying to say is that if you truly believe there is a class of people below you who only deserve to be loathed and ignored; you’re as bad as Cameron.

Take a look at the people you’re sneering at and admit that every once in a while, you are one of them. Unless you live in a state-funded townhouse you are part of the general populous which gives you the same perceived flaws as the rest. Doesn’t feel nice to be despised, does it?
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