11.14.2006

Something Just Felt Terribly Wrong About It....

I was raised a bourgeois wannabe, without any ammunition and no real chance of getting any. My daddy, although a man of really garish taste, still had a good eye for "quality" and cursed me with it early on. I appreciate a well-tailored suit. I know what a salad fork is. I can be...well, maybe with a little refresher course...be quite gracious in that trivial, shallow sort of way. But, listen: i was not prepared for the gig i played the other night.


It was a political fundraiser. And a pretty baddass one at that. And this wasn't even 1st string. This wasn't even 2nd or 3rd sting, really. The first string kicked everything off two weeks ago when the president and vice president made a simultaneous showing there. All we got was a bunch of tired old senators and representatives, but i still recognized a lot of names. Sort of. (Before i knew who we were playing for, Roy Blount of "missourah" introduced himself to me, and i said "the author?")

This fundraiser was held at a pretty exclusive resort on an island around here. You have to pay to get there. There are several guard shacks. Here's the deal (and the reason i mention the bourgeois thang): If i had been able to climb to where my parents wanted me to climb--and i had stayed politiclly where they wanted me to stay--this thing would have absolutly impressed the gee-willikers bejeezus outta me. There is nothing at this resort--and i do. mean. nothing.--that is not nicer than anything i have ever owned in my life. The rug in the entrace hall of the resort? Nicer. The landscaping? Oh, way nicer. The telephones? Nicer. Even the paper towels in the bathroom, embossed with the name of the place, were nicer than any paper towel i've ever had. Hell, i didn't even know they make paper towels like this. I took several just for the hell of it. I plan to try and dry off with one after a shower just to see if i can.

Anyway, i could get into the fact that there was a mixture of the new rich and the old rich at this thing. (I know this because one over-dressed woman with bad plastic surgery ignored me while a youngish couple in jeans volunteered how much they loved the music and appreciated us being there.) But that's not really the point here.

The point is that this former agricultural, slave-occupied island cum newly private, million dollar homed island--with its several golf courses, it's fee to even enter, it's private security force--is just too much wealth. The resort itself, with all that nice stuff, and with the party i played at being hosted on a luxurious putting-green quality lawn the size of most housing projects, this resort with well-mannered white people as the help and the guests dining on a damn pig with an apple in its mouth as the ocean's waves softly broke on the nearby shore....well it all just made me sick.

This is how our national policy gets made. And the whole scene reminded me of nothing more than what i might have found at Versailles before the revolution.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Boy do I agree on this. It has always saddened me that folks that were born and raised fishing those islands can't even easily walk on them now. There's something inherently wrong about that. And it's, like you said, just too much wealth. My brother used to live behind at gate at Hilton Head, and the cost of play 18 holes of golf at his community's course was more than all my utility bills combined for a month. It's craziness. And it's not the real world - so how can so many important decisions be made by so many (important?) people in a world that is so...unreal?