A LOVE SUPREME

I am now blogging at a new blog: erdman31.com

If you post comments here at Theos Project, please know that I will respond and engage your thoughts in a timely manner.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Generation


I was watching a series on the History Channel called Our Generation. It is a fluffy series documenting the highlights of the Baby Boomer generation. The topic at hand today is the automobile.

The show opens: Cars tell where the Boomers have been and where they are going. Cars define the Boomer generation.

As I said, the documentary is something of a fluff-u-mentary, glorifying the lives and times of the Boomers. But the fact that cars define this generation is probably more-or-less accurate, with the exception of the counter culture, of course.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
- Joni Mitchell "Big Yellow Taxi"

"Living in Los Angeles, smog-choked L.A. is bad enough but the last straw came when I visited Hawaii for the first time. It was night time when we got there, so I didn't get my first view of the scenery until I got up the next morning. The hotel room was quite high up so in the distance I could see the blue Pacific Ocean. I walked over to the balcony and there was the picture book scenery, palm tree swaying in the breeze and all. Then I looked down and there was this ugly concrete car park in the hotel grounds. I thought "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" and that's how the song "Big Yellow Taxi" was born." (Joni Mitchell)

I took a brief interlude to mention Joni Mitchell, but this brings us to the paving of America, and hence the show continues: The highway, itself, is a Baby Boomer, born after WWII in the 1950's. The highway shaped cities and neighborhoods - it moved people out of cities and into the suburbs.

So, suburbia is born. This shapes our lives. Commute into work. Commute back home. The car takes us away from the close-knit neighborhood. No longer do we share life together with neighbors, family, and friends. Rather, it is now time for urban sprawl. Good fences make good neighbors, I was once told. Suburbia is nicer. More comfortable. Safer.

The show continues: The mini-van was designed to help the Boomers cart around their kids: Tailored to their needs, at the moment.

The show continues: The narrator states that the Boomers are a Peter Pan generation - they want to maintain their connection with their youth.

This takes us to the phenomenon of the Car Show. People now dedicate their lives to cars that they don't even drive. They just take them to the show, and maybe ride them around the block a few times. So, the car was originally built for performance and for function, and yet the car no longer performs. Now it is an item to be adored and preserved. It is a sacred relic we might say. It is now the fountain of youth. By preserving the car the Boomer is trying to preserve their own youth. Again, this is the Peter Pan syndrome: Youth is worshiped. Age is abhorred. The young have sensuality, vitality and value.

The show features dialogue with a reconstructionist of cars. The point, says the narrator, is to "reconnect people to their past."

advertising has us chasing cars and clothes
working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need
we're the middle children of history
no purpose or place
we have no great war no great depression
our great war is a spiritual war
our great depression is our lives

- Tyler Durden

45 comments:

Melody said...

A couple things

1. I had no idea that the parking lot song was by Joni Mitchell. I thought that it was sung by a man.

2. Nostalgia is a seductive liar. (George Wildman Ball)

It's really easy to say that everything was great and simple back in a time we never experienced where on television everyone loved everyone...but do you really think life was like the Andy Griffith show?

Do you really think people adored working in factories just to feed their families?

We could take it even further back to the 1900s when almost no one had a car. Do you think they enjoyed sending their children to possibly lose a hand or their lives just to pay the rent?

We have a better ability to work at something we enjoy than anyone has ever had before.

It doesn't make sense to blame our problems on the fact that we have better stuff and more options.

Jonathan Erdman said...

The Counting Crows covered the song with Vanessa Carlton.

Is this the one you're thinking of?
BYT

Jonathan Erdman said...

I don't know that the point is that things were necessarily better in the past....though one could certainly make a good argument in that direction.....rather, I think that the reaction is against the promise of so-called "progress" that has traditionally been attached to the industrial and technological revolutions. The marketing and advertising departments of Corporate America always promise that their products will make our lives better in some way. And yet we find that time after time industry and technology has bred its own terrible offspring.

Our topic is cars. The promise is for a better (faster and more convenient) mode of transportation. And yet car crashes kill massive numbers of people each year. Highways and pavement changed our landscape and completely reordered the way we lived our lives - taking us from cities into suburbia and smogging up L.A.

Sooner or later one always has to pay the piper.

Emily said...

Hmmm... Are you telling me I'm too focused on getting a car I don't necessarily need? (You're probably right.)

Jonathan Erdman said...

In this society it is absolutely impossible to be content with what you have.

Forget it.

No way.

There is always something else to get that will make your life better, easier, or more meaningful.

Melody said...

I think it must be the one I'm thinking of...that's comforting. I was so upset that Joni Mitchell's voice could ever sound that manly.

The rest of what you said doesn't make sense to me, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's because I can barely keep my eyelids open. I'll check back tommorow and see if it looks any better.

Jason Hesiak said...

Our topic is cars. The promise is for a better (faster and more convenient) mode of transportation. And yet car crashes kill massive numbers of people each year. Highways and pavement changed our landscape and completely reordered the way we lived our lives - taking us from cities into suburbia and smogging up L.A.

Actually Erdman I think you're being nicer to cars than need be. There's the obvious connection between cars, energy and our "freedom and a way of life" for which we are willing to loos the lives of manny many many people of our own country as well as others'. I think its more than just a matter of weighing the good and the bad. Its a qeustion of a whole way of life to which we committ ourselves.

Melody said...

Jason - freedom as a way of life goes back to the fact that our ancestors are people who escaped from tyrrany and came to a land where there were, at first, no governing authorities to live under.

The people who wanted to maintain the status quo, they stayed and developed really nice accents.

Our desire for freedom and indivuality isn't recent and it's much deeper than a tin can on wheels.

samlcarr said...

Our 'freedom' at the cost of other's lives, and that too with no accounting? Sounds a bit fishy to me.

Jon and Jason's point is reedom to do what?' Buy a new car? Have more choice in what to purchase? It's a bit of a stunted definition of 'freedom' isn't it? The freedom of a few to choose to die for the freedom of the many? Do you, or any other thinking American believe that what will result in Iraq is democracy and freedom, so it's all worth it?

Melody said...

And yet we find that time after time industry and technology has bred its own terrible offspring.

I don't really understand what you mean by this. Honestly, I don't think I understand what you mean by any of it.

People want more than what they have - that's always been true. Eve bit the fruit because she wanted more.

So what do you think we should do? Not have things?

I have run into people who keep giving stuff away try to be less owned by their posessions. I think that would be amazingly hard for me, I like "stuff" a lot.

Do you think those people lead happier lives? OR do they just focus on non-material things that they can't have - like husbands/wives, that ministry spot, respect, etc. ?

samlcarr said...

I guess it is incredibly hard for Americans to understand the concept of need, I mean in the sense of real necessity. Need, want and desire seem to be used almost as interchangeable ideas.

It's a bit too easy tho to blame it on the efficiency of 'the system'. That's a bit like not being surprised at Pavlov's dogs while Maslow's hierarchy of needs eems to bee working in reverse!

Jason Hesiak said...

Jason - freedom as a way of life goes back to the fact that our ancestors are people who escaped from tyrrany and came to a land where there were, at first, no governing authorities to live under.

Yeah I was taught that back in grade school too. How nice that it just so happens to help justify things like unjust and moronic wars.

I agree with Sam: Jon and Jason's point is reedom to do what?' Buy a new car? Have more choice in what to purchase? It's a bit of a stunted definition of 'freedom' isn't it? The freedom of a few to choose to die for the freedom of the many? Do you, or any other thinking American believe that what will result in Iraq is democracy and freedom, so it's all worth it?

And my guess is that Sam is rather aware of the following, but I think that issue actually runs deeper than whether or not we can or are willing to measure the gain or loss of things like the Iraq War.

I think that such wars, as well as their justification, comes out of a very sinister underbelly of willpower and committment that actually drives the whole thing. By "the whole thing" there I mean the cars, the war, the fight for energy, the "whole package" taken as a whole...the so called "freedom and a way of life".

I'm glad, Melody, that you were open and honest about your own sinister underbelly. Thank you. I am referring to: I have run into people who keep giving stuff away try to be less owned by their posessions. I think that would be amazingly hard for me, I like "stuff" a lot. May I sugges that you read some Thomas Merton?

More on the "sinister underbelly":

Bateman's an indifferent narcissist, as anyone trained by the aesthetics of consumerism must be. His life engenders nothing more than a search for sensory pleasure through goods, which, Harris points out, readily provide: 'If such soulless insentience is any indication, cuteness is the most scrutable and externalized of aesthetics in that it creates a world of stationary objects and tempting exteriors that deliver themselves up to us, putting themselves at our disposal and allowing themselves to be apprehended entirely through the senses' (8-9). Harris theorizes the aesthetics of consumerism play on the desire to be an individual in this world of mass-marketed products. He observes a dark side that the aesthetics hide: the underside of the cute and desirable is the anti-cute and the grotesque (12-15)...Our obsession with consumerism is psychologically fatal: underneath the narcissist lies not the loony toon but the sociopath. When Bateman questions his existence, he does not merge into an undifferentiated void of materialized emptiness per Zizek's analysis of the postmodern, and he doesn't simply buy more stuff to cover up and fill in his lack. Instead, he falls into an existential chasm that rips asunder his very identity. Clutching for stability, he grasps the images that have always provided his desire. Reality become mere image. Ripped apart himself, he tears apart other human beings who are reduced, in his image-conscious mind, to mere objects of desire, to be manipulated and played with until they satiate his need.
from:
http://www.americanpopularculture.com/journal/articles/fall_2002/blazer.htm

BTW...maybe you keep "running into people" who are trying to give away their possessions because God is sending a little message. And here's something on Thomas Merton:

"…community is not built by man, it is built by God. It is God’s work and the basis of community is not just sociability but faith. This is what we need to see very clearly, because it is very important." "… what really starts fighting is possessions. And people get into fights by preferring things to people. This is well developed in Christian theology, and therefore, for us, the importance of detachment from things, the importance of poverty, is that we are supposed to be free from things we might prefer to people. You can extend that to any limits you like – wherever things become more important than people we are in trouble. That is the crux of the whole matter. Figure it out for yourself!" - from "Thomas Merton in Alaska" I would especially recommend Thoughts In Solitude, which you should like since it isn't so "community" driven, lol.

"Fickleness and indecision are signs of self-love.

If you can never make up your mind what God wills for you, but are always veering from one opinion to another, from one practice to another, from one method to another, it may be an indication that you are trying to get around God’s will and do your own with a quiet conscience.

As soon as God gets you in one monastery you want to be in another.

As soon as you taste one way of prayer, you want to try another. You are always making resolutions and breaking them by counter-resolutions. You ask your confessor and do not remember the answers. Before you finish one book you begin another, and with every book you read you change the whole plan of your interior life.

Soon you will have no interior life at all. Your whole existence will be a patchwork of confused desires and daydreams and velleities in which you do nothing except defeat the work of grace: for all this is an elaborate subconscious device of your nature to resist God, Whose work in your soul demands the sacrifice of all that you desire and delight in, and, indeed, of all that you are.

So keep still, and let Him do some work.

This is what it means to renounce not only pleasures and possessions, but even your own self." - from "New Seeds of Contemplation"


And here is partially why I refer to the "dark and sinister underbelly" of the "whole package" with which arrives our "freedom and a way of life":

I have a profound mistrust of all obligatory answers. The great problem of our time is not to formulate clear answers to neat theoretical questions…[such as the justice or injustice of the Iraq war based on tangible and measurable "goals"]

The way to find the real ‘world’ is not merely to measure and observe what is outside us, but to discover our own inner ground. For that is where the world is, first of all: in my deepest self. But there I find the world to be quite different from the ‘obligatory answers.’ This ‘ground,’ this ‘world’ where I am mysteriously present at once to my own self and to the freedoms of all other men, is not a visible objective and determined structure with fixed laws and demands. It is a living and self-creating mystery of which I am myself a part, to which I am myself my own unique door. When I find the world in my own ground, it is impossible for me to be alienated by it." [in other words, I think the darkness that we find "out in the world", for which the phrase "our freedom and a way of life" appears as a parodic representation, is to be found in our very selves]

Jason Hesiak said...

Those quotes from Merton, btw, were from:

http://www.octanecreative.com/merton/quotes.html

Jonathan Erdman said...

That's tight.

Jason Hesiak said...

Erdmanian...what's tight? Lol...

Melody said...

Yeah I was taught that back in grade school too. How nice that it just so happens to help justify things like unjust and moronic wars.

It justifies nothing, it merely notes that where we are today started much farther back than the invention of the Ford.

I have no idea what you're talking about for the next couple paragraphs, unjustwars, sinister underbellies etc.

As for my enjoying what I own...
not even going there.

And as a side note, when you quote things that are miles long - italics makes it reaaally hard to read.

However, from what I did read it seems that who-ever-that-was is saying that an attractive exterior is wrong or that enjoying attractive things is wrong.

But things have to have some kind of appearance, so they might as well have a nice one.

And if his problem is not the appearance but the obsession with it, well duh. Anything in excess is going to be a problem. Vitamins in excess are unhealthy. Water in excess is unhealthy. Community in excess is especially dangerous.
That does not mean that we lable these things evil.

BTW...maybe you keep "running into people" who are trying to give away their possessions because God is sending a little message.

I keep running into people who enjoy druken orgies, is God trying to tell me something there too?

"Fickleness and indecision are signs of self-love.

That is absurd. Most women I know (I don't know about guys) are fickle and indecisive out of fear that someone else will be put out by their decision. They'll do anything to avoid a conflict, but they know that the other woman will as well and so they must, by stealth, figure out what she is secretly wanting so that they can do that thing. Often the other woman is doing the same.

As for the examples noted - I love myself as much as the next person...but I don't change my mind like that all the time. I still resist God often enough though...I think the author just knows what he wants out of life and looks down on people who don't.

That's what I think. It's ok to not know sometimes.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Melody: Community in excess is especially dangerous.

I heard that.

Interesting that excessive community seemed to mark the early church. It was dangerous, but the alternative (getting persecuted, denying their faith, etc.) was far more dangerous.

In America we have nothing to worry about in terms of persecution. Is it just coincidence that we have such fragmented and meaningless community???

So, I actually agree with you that excessive community is dangerous. I just, perhaps, don't believe that danger is a bad thing. In an ironic sort of way, playing it safe as a Christian strikes me as the greater of the two "evils."

Jonathan Erdman said...

Sam:
Need, want and desire seem to be used almost as interchangeable ideas.

That's so true. In American language we use the terms interchangeably: "I REALLY want that car!" means the same thing as "I REALLY need that car!"

So, our language betrays the fact that we have no real concept of need. But we will be convinced otherwise in a few months as the politicians seek election. At that point they will have to pour incredible amounts of money and energy into convincing us how bad we have it so that they can then present themselves as a messianic figure who only needs our votes to change our pitiful condition!

It's a bit too easy tho to blame it on the efficiency of 'the system'. That's a bit like not being surprised at Pavlov's dogs while Maslow's hierarchy of needs eems to bee working in reverse!

What do you mean by this?? Specifically, what "system" are you referring to? The well-oiled machine of the Corporate marketers? Or the American culture, in general?

I tend to place a lot of blame on systems.

Jason Hesiak said...

I agree about the need thing. Deleuze talks about that too, though. Doesn't he?

samlcarr said...

Sorry for being so vague. On Maslow's hierarchy, as the basic needs are taken care of, the person is supposed to be 'freed up' to do things like deal with philosophy and religion rather than being stuck in an endless cycle of purchasing more 'things'.

And yes, by 'the system' I did mean something like consumer demand driven corporate marketing strategies. These folks spend big bucks analysing just what buttons to push (bells to ring) to cause the buying public to salivate over this or that completely unnecessary accessory. So, the urge to comply is hardly surprising!

At the same time it is also true that Americans are about the most generous people on the planet with some folks giving (for this or that cause/need) till it hurts. That in turn implies that there are a number of people who are immune to, or resistant to, how 'the system' normally functions.

Melody said...

At the same time it is also true that Americans are about the most generous people on the planet with some folks giving (for this or that cause/need) till it hurts. That in turn implies that there are a number of people who are immune to, or resistant to, how 'the system' normally functions.

Or that some people enjoy their stuff so much that they want other people to be able to enjoy it too.

Kind of like how when a couple gets engaged all of a sudden they keep trying to set up all their single friends because, "We're just so happy and I want you to be happy too!" except less obnoxious.

Jason Hesiak said...

It's a bit too easy tho to blame it on the efficiency of 'the system'. That's a bit like not being surprised at Pavlov's dogs while Maslow's hierarchy of needs eems to bee working in reverse!
...On Maslow's hierarchy, as the basic needs are taken care of, the person is supposed to be 'freed up' to do things like deal with philosophy and religion rather than being stuck in an endless cycle of purchasing more 'things'.


My professor said that one of the things that happened at modernity, and was completed as an actuality in postmodernity, is that things were turned up side down. I think this is part of what he meant. Or at least something like it.

Or that some people enjoy their stuff so much that they want other people to be able to enjoy it too.

That reminds me of what it would be like to genuinely desire to bless others by farting. Our shit stinks too. It don't smell like roses.

Melody said...

That reminds me of what it would be like to genuinely desire to bless others by farting. Our shit stinks too. It don't smell like roses.

No one enjoys farting. People do enjoy stuff. Think about it, the difference will come to you.

In the mean time, I would encourage you to never head up any kind of charity drive or fundraiser.

ktismatics said...

"No one enjoys farting."

This is a controversial assertion probably deserving of a post of its own.

ktismatics said...

A usually reliable source has apprised me of some relevant research on the previously-mentioned topic. Follow the South Park link below, then click Season 10, then click the second episode entitled "Smug Alert." Ready? Heres the link.

Jason Hesiak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Hesiak said...

No one enjoys farting. People do enjoy stuff. Think about it, the difference will come to you.

Actuallly I thought about it and they seem more similar than ever. For the life of me I can't figure out the difference. See, sometimes I enjoy farting just as much as I enjoy my "stuff" - so long as the "plus" of the fart (the relief of pain in the depths of my soul, eerrr, belly) brings greater gain than what is lost in the various "minuses" I have to sustain (the smell in various peoples' noses) in order to keep the business going (my narcissistic enjoyment).

Jason Hesiak said...

Doyle,

A reliable source on farting or on Southpark?

:)

Melody said...

Oh-my-goodness. Forget I said anything.

ktismatics said...

"A reliable source on farting or on Southpark?"

Frankly, on both.

"Oh-my-goodness. Forget I said anything."

I'm afraid it's a little late for that, isn't it Missy?

Jonathan Erdman said...

Jason:
My professor said...

Which Professor? Prof. John Doyle???

Jonathan Erdman said...

Sam:
At the same time it is also true that Americans are about the most generous people on the planet with some folks giving (for this or that cause/need) till it hurts. That in turn implies that there are a number of people who are immune to, or resistant to, how 'the system' normally functions.

I do think that the system builds in to itself a certain outlet for charity and giving. The skeptic in my, however, believes that this is just a way of temporarily soothing one's conscience so that we can then dive in to the pool again and keep buying more and more cool stuff.

And even charitable organizations know they have to operate within the system in order to get the goods. As such, there are constant appeals to giving for the sake of making yourself feel better. Essentially the message is that we should give (stuff and money to the non-profit) in order to get (good feelings). And how often do we hear things like, "And only pennies a day can make all the difference..." See, it is still an appeal to the consumer to get a bargain - a lot of good feelings for only pennies a day.

So, charitable orgs have to operate within the system or they know they won't get jack (the official term for "very little $"). When is the last time you hear a Habitat for Humanity commercial saying, "Get your lazy ass off of the couch and do something for the world." Can you see Jimmy Carter saying that while he sits by the fire with his sweater??!!

Melody said...

When is the last time you hear a Habitat for Humanity commercial saying, "Get your lazy ass off of the couch and do something for the world."

Absolutely, people always find mean-spirited criticism amazingly motivational.

Jonathan Erdman said...

You make a good point, Melody, in that "mean spirited" advertising can be effective. However, it has to be nice. If an advert were really a mean one, and people were offended then forget it. So, mean spirited ads have to be somewhat satirical, walking a fine line between edgy and smart. If one can't sense the tongue-in-cheek nature of the ad then the ad will backfire.

Jason Hesiak said...

Which Professor? Prof. John Doyle???

Lol. I hope the Doyle sees that! But no...

http://search.vt.edu/peopledetail.jsp?person=808978

Generally if you hear me say "my professor" its that guy. In architecture its possible to have one main professor, especially if there's one you respected a lot and had him as often as possible (by your own choice). In architecture most of your time is spent in "studio", so you spend a lot fo time with one professor. But different prof's teach different years. I had him as a substitute professor for like a couple weeks in first year, then I took him in third year, then again in fifth year. Plus he was in Europe with me for a month...in Italy.

He's the reason I'm all crazy. Mainly him, at least. There are others, but mainly him.

:)

samlcarr said...

On giving 'till it hurts' I do think you guys are being a bit too cynical. I know families and individuals who really skimp on all sorts of stuff just to be able to give more. No idea really what proportion of the population this is, it may not be much % wise but it is a segment who think that the tithe is an OT joke!

Certainly the reality is that mostly unless one can bring about a feelgood, there will be no donations. But there are folks out there who give and do out of conviction.

Melody said...

You forgot about guilt, guilt is great too.

My little sister is a fundraising machine, but she never had better success than the year she was diagnosed with cancer.

Highschool student with incurable brain cancer and all she wants is to bring the gospel to China? How heartless would you have to be?

The only problem with guilt is that people get tired of it pretty quick. If they know you're going to make them feel guilty all the time they'll avoid you/your organization.

Another good method is to get people involved. Like, cutting a check can be enjoyable, but you forget about it five minutes later (or the fact that you've probably cut too large a check haunts you for the next week - but I suspect people who are better at balancing thier check books don't have this problem).

Better, is when you have people go out and buy the things themselves. Then they really get to envision the end result, thus enhancing the feel good aspect.

Having them write the child they're saving from starvation is a tried and true variation on this theme.

Sam, on the cynicism side...I don't know these people. Sometimes I tell myself I'll have fewer lattes so I can finance better giving, but mostly I just rest easy in the knowledge that however much money I give, I can always make more. That and the fact that God has never actually let me run out of money even when I've been at my most pathetic financially.

But I think most people look at it the way I do, as long as it's confined to skimping on the Lattes (which we really should lay off anyway, ya know?) we're good. If it involved...I don't know, what do people scrimp on when they want to give more?

samlcarr said...

I've been amazed. Kids who put all their pocket money into the family bin, a dad who sold his car for a motored bicycle and a mom who collects and sells everything including extra grocery coupons to her friends plus all the income she gets fro Tupperware parties..

But for these folks i think it's gone way beyond 'the things' to actually a way of life that is geared to 'doing with' only what is essential and that's a whole nuther ballgame.

I know definitely of three such families and another 16-17 individuals ho would fit in this category. I know one guy who believes that buying any technology that isn't at least 5 years old is criminally bad and it's been amazing to see how well he does with 2nd hand stuff including his laptop that's a black and white monitor running on a PII processor.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Sam,

It is encouraging to hear your perspective.

National, American stats usually show church givers giving somewhere under 5%. So, hence my skepticism. And its no like I am holier-than-thou on this one either because I am a horrible giver. But more and more I find it frustrating to just drop a check to my local church for the massive budget.

More and more I am looking for opportunities to give directly to something that I know is worthwhile and where I can make a personal difference in someone's life. I really am uncomfortable with giving to contribute toward the multi-million dollar church budgets. Is this part of why giving is down in America? Particularly in the gen x/y demographic? Because we don't really relish the fact of using our money to feed the Corporate church machine???

Melody said...

Where'd you get your stats?

This summer CNN reported that Americans give more towards charities than any other country in the world (based on percentage of income) and that most of these donations came from individuals and most went towards religious organizations.

samlcarr said...

I do think that Jon's point is valid and on a broad scale too. But Melody's right, there is also a lot of silent giving and doing going on.

People do not like giving too much to organisations and generally prefer direct action the most. It's too well known a fact that organisations take off the top anything from 50% to 80% as administrative cost.

Even the idea that the government should be taking a lead in this area is handled with suspicion mostly because of the mess the govt. makes of anything and also because of the fear of bias and corruption 'doing the dirty' on the very poor who are supposed to be helped.

Certainly this is true of those who are more on the politically conservative side and from whom in fact giving really does seem to be done more 'in secret'. I also think its a factor in why activist sites like Sojourners are not getting a great deal of broad spectrum support.

samlcarr said...

On overall stats, what I remember from a book "Who really Cares" by Arthur Brooks was that on percentage the poor give about 5% of their income, the rich about 4% while the middle class give less than 3%! That's about what Jon also had.

But, this statistic is bound to be off for the poor, for many don't file tax returns and those that do would be less likely to deduct and account for spending and whatnot as carefully as they should, so that my guess is that on percentages, the poor will be way ahead.

Jonathan Erdman said...

But we sure do drive some damn nice cars, don't we!??!

Melody said...

I don't know if my car quite falls in the "damn nice" catagory. Maybe the "dang nice" catagory or the "darn nice" catagory...

Jonathan Erdman said...

The category that rises above them all is:

"Frikin' A, Man. Frikin' A."