Regarding the college admission scandal, it's incomprehensible that parents would pay tens of thousands in bribes to get their kids admitted to elite colleges. Sure, once their kids are admitted, graduation is assured. And once they graduate, they are automatically given entry to the top echelons of business and government.
But why would they want their kids to be part of a rotten elite that is turning the rest of the country rotten, just like the proverbial fish that rots first at the head?
A quick answer is that the parents are themselves members of the rotten elite, and, as such, are phonies. They say all the right things about social justice, diversity, white privilege, climate change, or whatever is the progressive cause du jour. But they are unabashed hypocrites of the worst kind. They are hoity-toity hypocrites. And oily ones at that.
If cream used to rise to the top, it no longer does. Now oil rises to the top, as seen by the oily characters at the top of America's major institutions, including the presidency, Congress, FBI, media, industry, entertainment, arts, sports, academia, civil rights organizations, and the Catholic Church. Caligula looks like one of the Twelve Apostles by comparison.
The oil slicks aren't very bright, despite, or because of, their Ivy League pedigrees. Granted, they are articulate and often eloquent, and they know enough about literature, history, art and high finance to leave a good first impression. But the first impression quickly dissipates when it becomes apparent that they don't know what they don't know and don't care to know.
It shouldn't be a surprise that the so-called best and brightest got us into Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq; created the housing bubble and the Great Recession; were surprised by the election of their fellow huckster Donald Trump after they helped to hollow out the heartland for the benefit of themselves and their rich, insulated enclaves in coastal California, Manhattan and Washington, DC; gave capitalism a bad name and thus opened the door for up-and-coming socialists, or more accurately, fascists; and could have cared less that colleges had become prohibitively expensive for the middle- and working-class, due to the oily academics and apparatchiks at the top of universities participating in the tuition loan racket and building swank facilities and huge sports franchises that have nothing to do with education.
These are the same people who lecture the rest of us about social justice. And to top it off, they aren't likable.
This was obvious in a recent series on A&E about the Trump dynasty. Partly a political hit-piece, it covered the unethical, sleazy dealings of Donald Trump on his rise to fame and fortune. Observations about Trump were made by elites in media, industry, and the arts—the kind of people who live on the Upper East Side and attend charity galas at the Guggenheim. The men looked as phony and oily as Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen or his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the bejeweled women were—there's no nice way to say this—ugly. Instead of letting themselves age gracefully and attractively, they had their facial skin pulled so tightly that it looked as if it had been stretched on a medieval rack and then plastered with garish makeup.
Given a choice, I'd rather speak with Walmart employees than with such phonies as these men and women, and that's exactly the choice I made when I fled from the New York area years ago, taking along what was left of my self-respect and going through delousing as I boarded a passenger jet at Newark Airport.
It is telling that two of the richest companies in America are Google and Facebook. They became rich by creepiness—by eavesdropping on private communications and selling the information to advertisers. This is no different ethically than a creep following library patrons as they peruse books and periodicals and then selling what he observes to advertisers.
Thank goodness that android Mark Zuckerberg, who had gotten into Harvard, won't be coming to my house for dinner. I'd be afraid that when my wife and I weren't looking, he'd rifle through our personal effects. Afterwards, he'd testify in Congress that what he had done was ethical, because we had invited him into our house.
It also is telling that National Geographic magazine is a favorite of the hoity-toity hypocrites. The magazine is as phony as they are. It pretends to be obsessed with global warming but recently had a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal for "An Extraordinary Journey by Private Jet." For a starting price of $92,795, phonies can fly by private jet over 24 days with "renown journalists and experts to explore the future of our planet at 10 breathtaking sites around the globe." The ad didn't say if a prerequisite is to be inflicted with cognitive dissonance. Maybe it's just assumed that anyone who professes concern for global warming while spewing carbon at high altitude has to have cognitive dissonance. Or maybe they think that the rest of us are gullible rubes and laugh at us as they fly overhead.
It remains to be seen whether the gullible rubes or the up-and-coming socialists, er, fascists, will be the first to overthrow the hoity-toity elites. Either way, they will get what they deserve.