Joe Grogpint

On the current disdain for ‘elites’ and education

Jeffrey Ewing is a freelance writer living in Sacramento

OK. Change of plan. We hath cleaned house a little bit, so will be starting anew on our late undertaking, the previously titled Declaration of Independence, which for the sake of fresh starting will now be called “Why We’re Going.” Other suggestions have for the moment been tabled, including “A Letter of Grievance” (too fancy-pants), “Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out” (too polite) and “Adios, England” (too foreign).

Happily, we are free as well of the overweening influence of our bewigged compatriots from Massachusetts and Virginia. They have been dispatched to their universities and plantations, having no part in our common agenda. The self-reflection they required was an affront to our stubbornness and our hard-won Protestant incuriosity. Notably, Mr. Thomas Jefferson has been escorted away bodily, his elitist coattails dragging. We have retained Mr. Samuel Adams alone, for obvious reasons.

For the record, Mr. Puckett herewith moves that the word “elite” be stricken from future use for its conspicuous Frenchness. Hear, hear! Aside from Jefferson and his ilk, there is nothing like a Frenchman to make one feel inadequate. All in favor? Putteth a cork in it, South Carolina. Good enough, so moved.

First order: Is it required even to write this “declaration” down? Such a momentous undertaking, I feel, may best be left to spread itself through common gossip and the “tavern telegraph.”

Mr. Secretary, please note that I have just invented the “air quote,” enabling me thereby to mock a thing while at the same time appropriating its finer qualities. Touché.

Sorry, Puckett. Attaboy.

But is it not true that quills and ink smack foully of education? And education, if applied too liberally, may yet yield a diversity of opinion hazardous to our own well-being? Huzzah!

As a cautionary example, let me quote from Mr. Jefferson’s draft:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them …” yada, yada, yada.

My head acheth. Such is the soup of words prepared in the kitchen of the Educated Mind. Thank God that I, as a boy, was chased from the schoolroom before such words were allowed to associate, and thank Him, too, that the Grogpints have never been slaves to a muscle that is best employed in additioning and interest calculation.

That “separate and equal” part I liketh not one bit either.

Yes, Mr. Figgleton, you may consign the parchment to the hearth. There is no room in this new nation, I say, for the verbal offal of that country we now must spurn, for the prissy and treasonous germs of grammar and syntax. Fie on them! Noseflute, take this down:

“Dear King George: Ppppfffft!”

My friends! My countrymen! Today we are free!

Adams, set us up!