Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Real American Blogger Crushes

with one comment

Several times in the past weeks, I’ve wanted to comment about posts by Phoebe Maltz and Freddie, but then realized I had nothing to add to what they’d written because I was in complete agreement. And then I’d read the next post each wrote, and feel the exact same way. And again, and again.

So this is really just to say that I have two big old blogger crushes. And that if you are not already reading them, you should find room in your RSS feed. Phoebe is a socially-liberal conservative and Freddie is … well, I’m not even sure. Neither fall into neat ideological categorization, which is what makes them interesting. And both are, currently, preoccupied with the concept of elitism and intent on pulverizing the myth of the “real American” that’s ever-increasingly being trotted out as this campaign season wears on. Some choice quotes:


Much has already been said about the bizarre and destructive notion that it’s bad to be elite, and I continue to maintain that thinking that a president should be “a regular guy” or whatever is lunacy. I like urban people. I like educated people. I like entertainers and artists and nonconformists and thinkers and writers and, yes, I tend to like liberals. None of this indicates that I dislike the “common folk”, or whatever other euphemism is in style at conservative blogs. It’s no insult to the salt of the earth to say that I also really dig the pepper.


Which brings up the question: if we’re defining as ‘real’ those who live in small towns, those whose lives are not represented in sitcoms, where does that leave those of us who see movie stars at the local Starbucks, those of us who took the subway to high school, those of us for whom both the snooty-sounding or ‘ethnic’ foods and tiny apartments that mark city life (that is, outside of abject poverty) are the default? Am I less of a real American because churches and exurbs are not my own life experience, because I’m 25 and no one I know my age yet has a kid? I’m not running for any office, and so have no need to claim a life other than the one I’ve led. But is it elitist and un-American simply to be who I am, a New York Jew, an atheist, and (and this is starting to be embarrassing) incapable of driving a car? It’s one thing to say my experiences are not representative, but must they be denounced as those of a foreigner?

Phoebe also has a great post at Culture11’s LadyBlog on the inanity of using WalMart as a proxy for ‘real.’


Written by Elizabeth

September 17, 2008 at 8:37 pm

One Response

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  1. I’m honored!

    Phoebe Maltz

    September 18, 2008 at 9:45 pm

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