Thursday, August 03, 2006

somewhat un-PC question

Aren't these "opt out" men of recent NYT fame the new Welfare Queens? Except possibly worse, since at least the so-called welfare queens were usually raising children?

Part of me sympathizes with these fellows. Their skill sets having gone obsolete, they don't feel compelled to work simply for the sake of working. Certainly not having them clogging the pool of job applicants helps more motivated other folks. And they're not hanging out on street corners with 40s, or playing game after game of Grand Theft Auto; they're playing pianos, writing bad novels, having a grand old time.

I enjoyed being unemployed. Far be it from me to begrudge anyone else their early retirement.

But. This article strikes a very interesting tone, in my opinion, staying verrrrry carefully this side of judgement. Is that because the subjects are generally middle-of-the-road white men, men who put the I Am in American? Why isn't the government passing legislation intended to get them from welfare to work? And their poor wives! Where are they in this tale of sloth? While I don't agree with this Huff Poster's cry of sexism, I do think the piece is subtly trying to incite hysteria of a specific kind. White men! In America! Aren't being productive!

Only Laguna Beach type women can get away with being entirely self-indulgent. The vast majority of women work, either outside their homes or inside them or both. Now, an article about WOMEN that showed large numbers of them drifting out of the capitalist system not to have babies or to be wives but to cultivate deadend artistic ambitions and lie around -- what would that look like?

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