How To Fit In: The Cultural Elite
- Know your fashion. Do not sequester yourself to only the major fashion houses. You’re not a housewife – you’re on the streets and you should know who’s coming, who’s doing a collabo and who’s going. If you’re a girl, Isabel Marant is your leader and if you’re a guy, try wearing Celine as a public statement on gender, image and consumerism.
- Know your film. Don’t even think about name-dropping Fellini. (101.) Have a concrete knowledge of all highbrow film spanning the decades: Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, and 70s American (post-)classics. Love the horror genre and for some unknown reason, have the ability to sit through entire B-rated movies and like, Snakes On An effing Plane because your cultural palette is diverse and discriminating only in an elite majority situation.
- Don’t know your television. You shouldn’t have a TV (if you do, you should cancel your cable package); you should consume public radio. While the world marvels at the texture of J. Lo’s skin on Idol, you’re bettering yourself with This American Life or in the case that you’re feeling sensitive and tactile, reading Dostoyevsky and tweeting about it.
- Know your music. Listen to all genres. Have deep affinities for the Pixies, Joy Division, and My Bloody Valentine. Listen to ironic, often early hip hop to offset your largely independent catalog. And don’t feel guilty or (god forbid) late about following suit in this arena: good music is good music and you can’t deny it. That’s a good thing. You’re getting cultured now.
- Know your food. Local is so last year. Truffle oil? Been there. You’re probably into meat and fat right now but not for long as popularity seems to be waning. You can order like a pro but there is a very high possibility that you can’t actually cook for yourself – forgivable as you’re still young. Start exploring pesce- and flexitarianism…
- Dabble in knowing art. Full immersion isn’t required to fit in with the cultural elite – just have enough to riff off of. I mean, it’s hard to care about something you can’t afford to consume. A couple of names and ideologies should get you by for now. Have Art Basel dreams; (New York is over).
- And if you really don’t know, apathetic displays usually move the conversation along. Not sure what your elitist friend is referring to? Pause. (You’re thinking, really thinking on it.) Inhale deeply and part your lips slowly as if to speak, blink, then seal them again. Exhale through your nose as you let your throat whisper, filling the dead air around you. More blinking and a slight upward gaze should be just enough disregard to reset on a new topic you know lots about: curating your personal and affected arsenal of culture.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.