In the middle of a brief recap of the 2005 season of Donald Trump’s Apprentice, this sudden revelation:
The degree-holders were no richer than the degree-free. In fact, the average net worth of the street-smart team was three times that of the book-smart one. Were the college kids more intelligent? No again. Time after time, a dandruff-club nerd puzzled over something that a cool smart-aleck ended up accomplishing with one hand tied behind his back.
But then one challenge threw the difference into relief. The contestants were charged with renovating motel rooms. The book-smart people chose to host a pool party for prospective guests. The party was fun. The street-smart players started to flail.
Finally, one street-smart player observed that the book-smart crowd had an unfair schmoozing advantage. They had been to college, he said. So naturally they knew how to do … cocktail parties.
Why take on student debt and study special relativity, ladies and gentlemen? What’s college for? You heard it here first: cocktail parties.
Although the conclusion is meant to be in jest, there is something to this. American culture is obsessed with socialisation, and drinking buddies are a strong bond. Four years or more in the same watering holes will cement that bond. But that, in turn, is one reason why American elites are so sybaritic in their focus: it’s the way up around here. And that’s also why, when people like Jews and Asians come along with a real work ethic, they’re beaten down by the “well-rounded” (maybe well-rounder is more accurate) person. It’s an aspect of this culture I find profoundly distasteful, and one that will be its undoing in the long run.
On a personal note: my grandfather could drink with the best of them. But perhaps not the right people; had he chosen the people he drank with more carefully, perhaps he could have displaced Cliff Henderson as the leader of American sport aviation in the 1930’s.