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Bootstraps? Fiddlesticks!

Sticks to play the fiddle? Absurd!
 
Here’s another sign our cultural literacy level can’t handle satire: “bootstraps.” It’s become a keyword for the conservative/libertarian dismissal of society’s need for a safety net. Apparently lazy welfare recipients won’t “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.” As if it takes but the effort, even as we can only interpret what was the procedure, since few of us come close enough to wearing riding boots to recognize a bootstrap. But I’ve heard social advocates offer this meek argument for their disadvantaged/minority/ailing charges: “but what if you don’t have bootstraps?”

Well give that person a bootstrap if they think they can levitate with it. Bootstraps may be colloquial to us now, but they only ever could assist you to pull up your boots. Perhaps we could suggest new idioms for the poor like: lose weight by tightening your shoelaces. Or if that’s going to be dated soon: hang on to your earnings with Velcro.

When did hard nose conservatives assume command of the expression that used to ridicule the inhumanity of their tough-love logic? “Bootstraps” now asserts that taking care of oneself is so self-evident it doesn’t merit thinking about.

Does “let them eat cake” register as elite class disconnect anymore? I wonder because the affluence brought by modern capitalism has proved Marie Antoinette cynically prophetic. The disadvantaged have their cake these days. Little Debbie’s. It’s pseudo-food rat poison. We won’t give them bread.

3 thoughts on “Bootstraps? Fiddlesticks!

  1. An organic rat killer is typically called a “Cat”.
    Did you know that your username links to a commercial website?
    Not saying it was your intent, mind you, but generally speaking people who post a reply to a weblog post which has nothing to do with the subject of that post are typically called “spammers”. Especially when they provide a link to a commercial enterprise.

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