re: a wall of text on the subject of elitism07/06/2010
(aka. an explanation of why I hate the way the word is used)
There have been some excellent posts about “elitism” recently, my favorites being Tamarind’s and Vixsyn’s two-part post. I agree very much with Vixsyn on the concept of it and with Tam on the linguistic part of it. I -hate- the way the word “elitist” is used, especially when it is tried to be used as an insult. The political climate and the media of the last 10-15 years has turned the concept of being elite into something they feel we should be ashamed with. I refuse to allow that sort of rhetoric into my past-times as well. It makes me sad that both Vixsyn and Tamarind fall into the trap of “WoW elitism is different from that horrible RL version of it!” That makes me very sad.
We’re going to get a bit personal here, but I want to explain why it is that I am a proud RL elitist. When I had to find a surgeon for a rare condition I had almost five years ago, I had a choice. I could go with a doctor who had never dealt with my specific disease or I could hunt down one of the two elite musculoskeletal oncologists in my state that had dealt with cases like mine. Elitism was exactly what I wanted, what I needed at that point. Leadership by an elite surgeon. I didn’t care if the doctor was the kind of person I could hang out with on the weekends; I wanted someone who was so skilled at their job that they could look me in the eye and say “I will fix this because I am -that damn good.-”
It isn’t just in medicine where I want that. My car deserves the best mechanic, my finances the best accountant and my government the most elite diplomat I can find. I don’t -want- to sit around and drink beer with my senators. What I want is for them to do their jobs so that my family is safe from threats foreign and domestic. But it’s like definition #3 of elite up there blinds people to what being elite really means, as if the economics of classism has taken over the good parts of being elite.
None of this has to do with WoW too much, does it. In the end, I suppose I’d just rather people be accurate with what they say, especially when it comes to insults. If someone is being a “holier than thou” snob, then call them a snob. If someone is being an idiot, call them an idiot. There’s no need to call them “elitist” or “casual.” Neither are actually insults! Can’t we work to keep them that way?