First, the backstory:
One day I was at this ladies-who-lunch thingy in this pretty, woodsy neighborhood where ladies do indeed lunch.
Everything was going along pleasantly enough, with me trying to hang in there as best I could, being a back-talking, left-leaning rabble-rouser who manages to get invited to these things anyway, when one of the ladies brought up the very serious problem of bicyclists riding through the neighborhood.
Like, these ladies were having to—get this—slow down and go around bicycles. Yes, I’m talking super inconvenient stuff here.
Now because it was my bounden duty to do so, I pointed out that, um, there are truly worse things that could happen to a neighborhood…
Except that I tried to lighten the mood and worded it like this, “They’re not, like, squealing through the streets shouting obscenities and knocking over mailboxes, are they?”
(But just between you and me, what I really wanted to say was, “Do you mean to tell me that this is how you choose to use your God-given right to complain—you can’t come up with anything better than this?” Good thing I know when to keep my mouth shut, I guess.)
Naturally, this lunchy lady was quite ready for me. She tilted her head and replied, “Can’t they just ride somewhere else?”
Boy, she really had me. I think it’s safe to say I was out of my league there.
It really got me thinking, and so I asked myself: Hey, how can I, too, be this entitled?
That’s when I realized that surely, I’m not the only one who wants to feel this way.
So I made you a list.
I’m not sure you need it, though, because by and large 21st century humans are an entitled bunch of privilege-hoggers, and honesttogosh, it’s like we have natural talent for it.
But in case you need to brush up on your hogginess, because I, for one, was off my game at that lunchy thing that day, I bring you this handy little how-to guide.
First thing’s first, though: these tips simply will not work if you have any doubts whatsoever that you are absolutely entitled to all the comforts, privileges, and advantages your lil’ heart desires.
And I’m gonna be honest here, nothing is guaranteed. I mean, you can be doing nearly all of these things and still manage to be a grateful schmuck.
But with the right attitude, you can let all that privilege of yours really fuel your feelings of entitlement.
Just remember, attitude is key!
So laminate this list and put it on the fridge—don’t let this shit get away from you.
Here are your ten easy steps:
1- Be white, preferably male, but being a white female is about 77% as good.
If you’ve never asked why there is no “White History Month,” well then, what are you waiting for?
2- Be western and preferably American, bygod.
I dunno, there just seems to be some sort of extra privilege that comes with being American; you really ought to take advantage of this.
And if you’re a white American, be sure to assert that you harbor no prejudice, ill will, or feelings of superiority toward African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans, and so forth; just insist that you’re simply American.
After all, there’s no need to say White-American or Caucasian-American, now is there?
3- Be rich, or sort of well-off, or even just pretty comfortable.
The key with this one is to make sure you’re out of touch with everyone but your own little circle.
And lots of bonus points if you you’re not in touch but think you are!
Under no circumstances are you to “walk a mile in another’s moccasins.” This would give you way too much empathy.
4- Alternately, don’t be rich or well-off, but instead be broke or outright poor.
To make this one work, do not try to relate to others in a similar situation—just be resentful. Very resentful.
And ever our wise leaders, politicians are very good at cultivating your resentment and blame, so listen to their wisdom!
Bottom line on this one: be a blamer! Be at-the-ready to blame your misfortune on other broken down people who are obviously moochers and don’t work hard like you do.
Pro-tip: Welfare queens and illegals come in especially handy when using this technique.
5- Be convinced that your country is the best country ever.
So easy if you’re an American.
But whether you’re an American or not, you can totally believe all that stuff about your country’s vast, infinite, chosen-by-God-or-who-the-heck-ever superiority.
Sing those nationalistic songs! Wave that flag no matter what!
This next one’s particularly appropriate for Americans:
6- Expect nicely paved roads and safe bridges and pretty parks for you and your kids and your elderly dad, and a post office that will carry a letter hundreds and hundreds of miles from your very doorstep, even to the furthest town in the nation, or even fly it to Hawaii in two or three days for a couple of quarters, but complain about taxes anyway!
It’s important here that you make no attempt to see the correlation between all the cleanliness, safety, and convenience you enjoy, and the taxes you work so hard to avoid.
Seriously, bitch a lot about taxes. Down with taxes!
Make sure you blame all kinds of stuff on high taxes, and not on the self-rewarding politicians we keep electing! We hate taxes!
7- Be ready and willing for your country to spend beaucoups of money on a whoop-ass military to defend you against the haters out there.
Because they’re just jealous!
Because other countries do bad things! So many bad countries out there—mean and unfair to their people!
Because they have terrorists!
Because Clint Eastwood! John Wayne!
8- Expect to wear something different and even good-looking every day, expect to eat something different at every meal, and expect to have a perfectly comfortable temperature inside your house and workplace and even your car at all times.
Pretty simple stuff on this one: your comfort and even indulgence are of the utmost importance ’round the clock. You deserve nothing less.
9- Remember that you’re better than people who aren’t as educated as you, or alternately, just be proud of your ignorance.
It’s good if you can be real subtle about your pity toward those who aren’t as smart and educated as you. Keep it stealthy so you look good when you’re doing your volunteer work!
And if that schooling and college nonsense isn’t your scene, resent people who use fancy words and flaunt their science and doctorates around and shit. Who the hell do they think they are?
It’s also good to assume that everyone, educated or not, should have the energy, cleverness, brains, initiative, and self-sacrificing bootsrap-ish-ness that will get them ahead out there, no matter how tired they are from working more than one job, or how unhealthy they are from not going to the doctor because they can’t afford it and can’t afford the time off from work, anyway, or how low on the ladder they started, and no matter how beaten down they are from responsibilities and obligations and sheer overwhelm and exhaustion, and having no connections or advantage whatsoever, because, of course, you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps, right?
10- Give no thought whatsoever to how your choices affect anyone else, and begrudge anyone for anything nice they have that you don’t have.
You just do whatever you want, whenever you want, because remember: the rules don’t apply to you. Rules are for the masses, not you!
And get really pissed off about special favors people get, like women-only scholarships, minority quota requirements, and stuff—why should anyone get something you can’t have?
It’s totally unfair, isn’t it?
So there you go—entitlement made easy.
If something’s not a problem for you, you just go right ahead and assume the liberal media or the tea party or some sort of fake news has exaggerated something just to stir up some shit.
Of course you could always wimp out and do the Golden Rule thing if you wanna go all world peace and justice-minded on me. You could always just go on trying real hard to understand where other people are coming from, and treating people well, and do-gooder stuff like that.
I dunno, you decide; I guess it’s kind of a toss-up.
On the one hand, there’s all that privilege-y stuff you rightfully deserve just because you exist and are lucky in one way or another and should be rewarded for all the things you didn’t even do, and on the other hand, you’ve got your conscience to consider.
I mean, no sense in hiding it! You’re blessed; you’re obviously hand-picked by God! God favors you! Either that, or you’re personally responsible for all the good things in your life, so go you!
You’re takin’ the high road, aren’t you? You really are trying to be a good person, aren’t you?
Well, shit, there goes my whole lesson.