Talking About Privilege: An Open Discussion

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53 Responses

  1. Stillwater says:

    Here’s a little armchair psychologizing:

    How does a person acknowledge that they come from relatively to very fortunate circumstances while appearing humble and also with having open dialogue instead of getting screamed at?

    Maybe by actually being humble instead of trying to appear humble? Those are two different things, yeah? If you think humility is a virtue, anyway.

    Or should one just take the rage?

    Well, if someone expressed actual rage in the incident you mention then that person has a problem, not you. And if so, then it seems to me you make a determination as to whether you want to continue to have a relationship with that person or not, or try to understand what they’re enraged about. But as stated, it’s sorta hard to imagine actual rage being expressed over that particular incident. If the rage was real, it was motivated by something else. If it was less than rage, then I think it’s on you to figure out why you perceived it as rage.

    Is there an ethical responsibility to say that you don’t have student loans when others are complaining about their student loans?

    I don’t understand this question, to be honest. It’s a fact that you either have student loans or you don’t, yeah? So basic honesty sorta requires that you don’t hide that fact. On the other hand, if your perception of other people views about you make you feel you have something to hide, then I think it’s on you to figure out why you feel that way (is it something you’re ashamed of? overly proud of? rub in their face? etc?), and perhaps why they feel that way about you.

    That’ll be two cents.Report

    • I pretty much agree with Stillwater here. But I have a third cent to offer.

      When it comes to student loans, you have no actual obligation to disclose your happy situation to casual friends. To closer friends, well, it’ll be kind of hard to hide it. Maybe you could think of it this way: part of the benefit of running a large debt to pay for school is that you can complain about it and part of the cost of having others pay for school for you is that you can’t complain about it and have to just deal with the fact that you’re privileged enough not to have such debts.

      As for being humble vs. appearing humble: It depends partially on what you mean by humble. If you take humble to mean “poor, or in very modest financial circumstances,” then don’t try to be or appear so. If you take my personal definition, which is, “a realization that you [the universal you] are not god, not the center of the earth, and not the most important person in the world, and that all things are impermanent and the universe won’t and oughtn’t bend over backwards for you” then by all means try to be humble, because merely appearing to be so is the antithesis of being so. However, that’s easier said than done, and I haven’t been able to do it.

      I’ll address this, here, too:

      I am also someone who comes from very comfortable but not amazing wealthy circumstances. My grandparents worked hard and saved lots of money. This allowed me to attend college, grad school, and law school debt-free (and have a small bit left in savings) and I am eternally grateful for this.

      To a lot of people, those circumstances count as “amazing wealthy” and not merely “very comfortable.” But as you note, it’s a tendency to look up rather than down, and if I looked down, others would see my circumstances probably more on the “amazing” side than not. And I’ll give you kudos for providing facts by which others can judge your statement.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        Your point about being “amazing wealthy” is a fair one but I think it is important to note that seeing as how Saul’s money for schooling came from his grandparents, it is very possible there was a disparity between the lifestyle that fact would imply and the lifestyle he actually lived with his parents.

        I grew up pretty solidly middle-class. Four kids… mom was a teacher and dad was a firefighter. Parents divorced and mom remarried a college professor who had three kids of his own from a prior marriage (who did not live with us). I can’t know what anyone actually made but I think it fair to say from both what I know about those occupations and what I knew about our actual lifestyle that we were solidly in the middle class. But, as I discuss below, my grandma left us money to pay for school. So I similarly did undergrad and grad debt free. My grandma and mom had a strained relationship so none of my grandma’s wealth really filtered down to our everyday lives as it might in other families. Sure, she occasionally (read: every 10 years or so) would take us on a trip somewhere and she tended to go overboard on Christmas, but we didn’t live in a house above my parents’ budget because she offset the difference or anything of that sort.

        So, yea, the totality of Saul’s experience likely put him in a small minority with regards to finances. But it is still possible that his day-to-day life growing up were something other than that.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        I did mention above that I grew up very comfortably and this is by American and international standards.

        I am absolutely privileged in that I am a comfortable member of the upper-middle class. My parents did rent their first house in town and then we moved to a slightly bigger house and I did not get my own room until I was 10 or so when we moved to an even bigger house but only the first house could really be described as small.

        My mom’s parents did by a really modest suburban house in the early 1950s and they lived in this house until my grandmother died in 2000 (my grandfather died in 1990). My mom went to the same high school I did but she grew up in a town that was one over and more modest but had a small sliver of the town that belonged to a school district that was much wealthier. She always felt like her house could not compare to those of her friends in high school. The second floor of my grandparents home was very attic like. When she was shutting down her parents home, someone came in and made an open statement about how they wished they could afford a home like this and my mom said that was a humbling experience because she always thought the home was not great aesthetically (compared to her high school classmates homes).Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:


        I recognize that. My point was just that just because someone graduated from college debt free doesn’t mean they grew up in the top 1% or even top 10%.Report

      • @kazzy

        That’s a good point. I actually know someone who got their undergrad paid for by their grandparents, at a very expensive university, but who actually grew up in pretty poor conditions. So I should’ve had that in mind.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Stillwater says:

      That’ll be two cents.

      Sweet deal! Lucy charges a nickel!Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Stillwater says:

      I’m on a page very similar to @stillwater — but I think I would add to what he says about this:

      “How does a person acknowledge that they come from relatively to very fortunate circumstances while appearing humble and also with having open dialogue instead of getting screamed at?”

      While I agree with still above, I think I might go one extra step and ask what exactly one means when they use the word “humble.”

      As I’ve always understood it, the word means different things when applied to situations than it does when applied to people. So a person who was raised in a mansion does not by definition come from a humble situation; a person who was raised in a shack does. But either of those people can either be humble or arrogant.

      Being a humble person is a virtue; we are all taught this from a young age. At some point, I think, we conflate humble the virtue with humble the financial designation — and suddenly, being financially strapped is a virtue and being well off is a sin, regardless of what kind of person you are in either case. (A kind of mirror of the conservative’s “poor = morally lacking/rich = morally virtuous” formula, if you will.)Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @tod-kelly, the word humble entered the English language from the medieval French word, nomble. Nomble means deer guts. During deer hunts, the meat from the deer would be reserved for the better off. The less genteel made do with eating the deer’s humbles in the form of the pie. Hence, the expression “eating humble pie.” When you referred to somebody as humble, it originally meant that the person had inferior social standing and class. A person who grew up in a mansion could by definition, not be humble.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        that’s only humble pie. not humble itself.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Two possible responses:

        1. Well then, to be clear: Saul, do *not* cover yourself in deer guts. It may make you appear humble, but it will creep everyone out.

        2. Lee, I think you’re response is quite awful. 😉Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @tod-kelly, I am to please. ;).Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Compare “He comes from humble origins” vs “he comes from humiliating origins”.

        No, wait. That’s not right.

        Versus uses of the word “humility”. The word “humility”, in common parlance, or the argot of the masses, refers to a psychological property of people, not a material state that happen to be in.Report

  2. Kimmi says:

    It’s 5 bucks. Surely you could have spotted them that much, since it was your idea?Report

    • Saul DeGraw in reply to Kimmi says:

      It was 5 bucks. This particular incident happened when I was in college which was a long time ago and there were times when I treated people but I am not inclined to treat people whose first instinct is to scream at me with unrepentant hellfire for making a suggestion.Report

  3. Kimmi says:

    You have your really rich people in the arts, and then you have your dirt poor people. Art doesn’t really discriminate, though I’m certain the “independently wealthy” folks do more “independent art”. There’s plenty of art that gets made to a schedule and paid to a schedule — same way with writing.

    I suppose I’m more familiar with the “hobbyists” and the “holy shit I’m running a small business!” kids. (Hobbyists tend to have a dog’s life, because they’re pulling 1+ jobs — one to get money, and the other to have fun).Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Kimmi says:

      It is my general experience that people who stick with the arts generally follow three or so types:

      1. People who were born to Mega-Millions styles of wealth;

      2. People who were born into serious poverty like “Tell your parents you are all being evicted unless rent is paid by Friday” poverty.

      3. People who truly cannot imagine doing anything else (this group is probably the smallest group).

      There are many people like me who grew up upper-middle class and with parents who encouraged and supported or artistic passions and interests and then we discover later that making a living in the arts is hard and we switch or find alternative careers. I know several people who tried doing the artistic life for a year or two but then switched to some form of professional grad school or corporate job. It is interesting to see from grad school, who went corporate and who is still fighting the good fight via bartending, adjuncting, etc.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        How much of this might have to do with the standard of living one has come to expect from their earlier life experiences?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        @kazzy, that was Saul’s point. People who are born into serious poverty can do the artistic life because they are already used to it. For people who aren’t mega-rich or super-poor, adjusting to the artistic life can be hard because of their earlier life experiences. Even kids who grew up solidly working class or lower-middle class could be in for a shock.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        What sort of a shock is doing “work to order” for BigFishGames?
        [Note: answers only accepted in Croatian]Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yeah, I think you have an odd selection-sampling. Might be because you’re pulling out of “people who went to school for art”, might be because sane artists don’t live in San Francisco unless they can REALLY afford it.

        Of course, I can’t help but feel like you would say “But Pete Abrams doesn’t count as an artist.” (insert other “artist who makes a living doing art on the internet” if you must). I think this thought is probably not giving you the benefit of the doubt, so if you want to tell me that I’m being a jerk-ass, I’ll just agree with you.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I don’t know if I would use the word expect because expect starts to get into the world of moral judgment but people do grow up knowing a certain lifestyle and there is nothing out of the ordinary about people who grew up with a relative level of comfort wanting to keep at that level or improve it.

        Now this raises all sorts of interesting questions about what parents should tell their kids and not tell their kids. I know people whose parents did not let them major in art because they were worried about their kids becoming starving artists. My parents wanted me to study an field that they considered to have academic weight and show mastery in it and they had their own views about whether studying business or accounting counted as an academic subjects (they did not).

        I think my parents had the view that it was better for me to discover that it is almost impossible to make a career in art rather than having that knowledge or decision forced upon me because I was ready to move on via my own volition and with being able to say “I tried” instead of being resentful about “Damn my parents forcing me to major in business instead of drama. What could have been?” Or something like that.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Good point about the use of the term “expect”, @saul-degraw .

        But it makes sense that those who’ve lived in poverty would be better suited to continue living in poverty AND that those who have money available to them beyond their primary line of work (i.e., family money) would be better suited for a line of work that paid little. It would make sense that people from these two groups would make up the bulk of the ‘starving artist’ contingent.

        You fell in-between these two groups… growing up comfortably but not with a trust fund to support yourself with and, as such the ‘starving artist’ life would have required a level of transition that would have been incredibly taxing.Report

  4. Kimmi says:

    How does one? Well, being humble is nice. But if you can’t do humble, do smart. And that means being able to talk about not just what you know about the ghetto, but also helping people from the ghetto.Report

  5. Roger Ferguson says:

    People who are genuinely humble know that their own circumstances have little signicance. One must “be” humble. Those who aspire to appear to be so, or confide that it is “easier to look up instead of looking down” are looking for answers in the wrong places. Please be assured this is not intended as a put-down. Just an observation following years of a similar struggle.Report

  6. zic says:

    It intrigues me that we could have two people who also started businesses, one with $100,000 of inherited money, one with the same amount of borrowed from credit cards/friends/family, and we would probably not be having this conversation; both would be judged by their success at that business, not necessarily the source of funding for that business, because it’s much easier to measure business success by financial transaction. Van Gogh, who sold only one painting during his lifetime, thankfully felt there were other reasons to keep painting, and kept painting until he committed suicide.

    I know a lot of poor artists, artists who have a day gig because they can’t make it as artists without another form of support. If they lived in some countries, they wouldn’t have to do that, they’d be compensated for making art. Socialism at it’s best! I also know a lot of women who run businesses out of their homes on a part time basis because they can with the aid of their husband’s income. I also know men who do this very same thing; depending on their wives work to cover basics and provide health insurance, etc.

    I know a few wealthy artists who actually invest money that creates opportunity for other artists; hiring them to play on their records, producing records, producing shows, purchasing paintings, running galleries, donating time and money to art non-profits. My BIL, who created a new art from and runs a successful tech company providing tools to digital artists, doesn’t have an office for his employees, and instead, invests that income in artists to help artists who use some sort of digital media in their art.

    I grew up very, very poor. I am not poor now. I don’t feel any more requirement to feel guilty about being able to ‘afford’ being an artist (or married to an artist, as well) as I feel need to feel shamed of once having been really poor. We still need to make enough income to feed ourselves, etc., we just don’t need to pay off a mortgage or rend any longer, and we opt to live modestly so that we can pursue art and related work, and we needed need to provide for our children to attend college, they inherited that wealth from their grandparents. Yes, that meant we could be starving artists, and not have to wait tables or man a cash register to do so. Why should we feel guilty about that? Why shouldn’t we be peeved that being a creative artist is of so little perceived value, rather like the housework, childcare, and food prep so many woman did that was considered of no monetary worth?

    I’m sure we can argue about marginal utility and markets and what not, and I’m equally sure that the people making those arguments have posters, photographs, and paintings on their walls even as they make the arguments.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to zic says:

      1. I think the Van Gogh story is much more complicated. He was not purchased that much but people knew who he was and he was talked about and admired in artistic circles and his brother did successfully boost him more than popular history remembers.

      2. I think being an artist in a country with single-payer healthcare is easier and there are many countries that do subsidize the arts more but I can’t think of any country where this funds are as big as they exist in the minds of American artists. I’ve also seen plenty of stories about theatres in the UK scrambling for funding because they lost their government funding grant one year. Not necessarily a political decision but not everyone gets funded or funded equally in the UK or other countries.*

      “I know a few wealthy artists who actually invest money that creates opportunity for other artists; hiring them to play on their records, producing records, producing shows, purchasing paintings, running galleries, donating time and money to art non-profits. My BIL, who created a new art from and runs a successful tech company providing tools to digital artists, doesn’t have an office for his employees, and instead, invests that income in artists to help artists who use some sort of digital media in their art. ”

      There are artists who do this and they are highly commendable. There are probably more artists who do Amanda Palmer type things where they ask people to do their for exposure. Or there are really rich people who can afford to take the zero or little money that many artistic (especially theatre jobs) seem to pay because they don’t need to worry about that money to pay their bills.

      *Since I know a lot of artists, I see this cartoon on social media a lot that says “If we paid or talked about other professions like we talked about artists” One of the panels has a guy talking about how he has two day jobs to support his CEO habit because being a CEO is a labor of love. I generally dislike libertarian arguments along these lines but this cartoon does bring out the part of me that wants to scream “you don’t understand economics!” The cartoon presents a very simplified version of the world which rubs me the wrong way.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “One of the panels has a guy talking about how he has two day jobs to support his CEO habit because being a CEO is a labor of love.”

        HEY! I know that guy! (Honestly, he’s too busy making new businesses to actually bother with being CEO. He claims a well-run business doesn’t need one, anyhow).

        I’m pretty sure Saul is suffering from some selection bias in his sample of people who are artists. I probably am too, because I know someone in the field (not “fine arts” — commercial arts). But it’s been my general impression that most of the people who are in commercial arts are doing “mostly okay” for themselves. They collect a salary (or get paid to commission) same as the rest of us. And then they draw stuff in their free time. Because artists.

        If you want to look at how commercial artists are doing, webcartoonists tend to be fairly open about how well they’re doing (ditto sci-fi authors).Report

      • zic in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I think there’s also a third thing here:

        When I was writing (and getting paid to write), it was mostly because that’s what I gave me a flexible schedule that allowed me to mostly be home when my children weren’t in school; this was really important to me, but still provided a relatively decent additional income, and didn’t include day-care costs. So my creative-economy job worked in concert with his more traditional job (at the time) to best match what we thought were our family’s needs. I didn’t expect to earn enough to run a household, and I turned down a lot of full-time offers, a couple really cushy ones to work in PR in big companies; that work also got me a lot of attention a resume would never have garnered.

        My husband’s students don’t expect to be the next rock star or youtube sensation; the expect to go into video-game programming, sound production, scoring, and other highly technical fields that require their hard-won expertise; but he’s teaching on the cutting edge of technology, where the demand for applicable skill outstrips the supply.Report

  7. Jaybird says:

    As I’ve said a couple of times before, my father passed when I was young. 10 years old. I was raised by a single mother during the tail end of “being a widow” being the only acceptable kind of single mother. I don’t want to say that we were poor or anything like that… I never went to bed hungry (and she didn’t date after my father’s death so I didn’t have to put up with wild/crazy stepfathers or anything like that). She was college-educated and did her darnedest to instill college-educated values in us and made dang sure that we knew that we were going to graduate from high school and that we knew that we were going to graduate from college because the fact that she had a college degree was the only thing that kept us out of the poorhouse when she became a widow.

    We were taken to the library. We were taken to museums. When we got poor grades, we were taken to the woodshed. Failure was not an option.

    And now I’m a grownup with a college degree and jobs that I could not have gotten without it.

    It seems odd to say that my upbringing was particularly privileged… but that’s when I compare myself to my peers. When I compare myself to some of the horror stories I see out there every day? Holy crap! I was downright sheltered, groomed, molded, and made to flourish.

    Indeed, I’m the 2nd luckiest guy on the planet.

    My suggestion is to spend as much time as you can counting your blessings and less time counting the blessings that other people have that you don’t: especially the blessing of having a leg up in any argument due to a crappy upbringing.Report

  8. Kazzy says:

    I was similarly lucky in that my grandmother left funds earmarked for education before passing and I was able to fund my entire undergrad and most of my graduate work without incurring any costs myself (what little I did incur from graduate school I paid as I went). I never hide this fact. But I am careful to present it in such a way that demonstrates my understanding that my situation was A) atypical and B) in no way indicative of any superiority on my part. As such, I can’t ever remember getting any pushback. And this includes conversations with friends who have six-figures worth of debt.Report

  9. Pinky says:

    I’m not sure what being an artist has to do with this. I’ve known people from every walk of life who came from a full spread of backgrounds, and who were currently in a full spread of financial states. Is the idea that an artist has less confidence in a steady future income stream than, say, an engineer might have?Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Pinky says:

      There’s a particular style of artist’s living where they make works, and then try to sell them, rather than running to commission or making works that can be parceled out to everyone (Nice Boat!).

      When Saul talks about artists, I tend to get a bit cross-eyed, as I’ve met one person, exactly one, who’s been in that particular branch of the art field. I know TONS of people who do watercolors, comics, etc. They make a decent living (perhaps they need to “busk” occasionally with a “help I need money” — but they aren’t seriously in danger of needing another job).Report

  10. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Sometimes I get that huffiness from others when I tell them my undergrad degree was paid for, lock, stock & barrel. Then I explain I was in the Navy & the price of that benefit was two shattered arms & a messed up leg that will likely give me trouble for the rest of my days.

    Then they seem grateful to just have student loan debt.

    Never be ashamed of the fact that you had family that was fortunate enough to be able to look out for you. Don’t engage in a race to the bottom of who has the suckier life.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Of course you don’t tell them your injuries came that night you were drunk and trying to jump into the hotel pool from the 5th floor balcony.

      Too soon? 😉Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to James Hanley says:

        I could take that route, but the military & the VA are not in the habit of granting expensive lifelong benefits to reckless idiots who get drunk & do gainers off the 5th floor.

        Guys (who were not at fault) on the losing end of a car v. motorcycle accident, on the other hand…Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley says:

        Reckless guys who spill classified secrets to the woman they’re cheating on their wives with, on the other hand…Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to James Hanley says:


        During WWI there was allegedly a British general who said he hated discussing war stuff with the Cabinet because the Ministers went home and told their wives.

        The General then added “Except Lloyd George. He goes home and tells another man’s wife….”Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      “Never be ashamed of the fact that you had family that was fortunate enough to be able to look out for you. Don’t engage in a race to the bottom of who has the suckier life.”

      True. No one wins in the Oppression Olympics.

      At the same time, being tone deaf and/or obnoxious about coming from a fortunate family is similarly problematic.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

        Can’t not leave this.


      • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

        @kazzy, people do win the oppression olympics. It just is a posthumous victory.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:

        At the same time, being tone deaf and/or obnoxious about coming from a fortunate family is similarly problematic.

        Apropos of what Stillwater was saying above, with some people, the very fact that you enjoy a measure of fortune is in & of itself tone deaf & obnoxious. For some people, you can never be humble enough if you come from some lofty* height.

        With lofty being a very subjective value.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        Conceded. But as he notes in that initial comment (which I believe is the one you are referring to), one shouldn’t really concern one’s self with those who react irrationally.

        If someone’s knee-jerk response to you mentioning your father was a doctor is to yell, “OOO, look at Mr. Fancy Pants over here!” well, it probably didn’t matter what you said or how you said it.

        I used to work at a summer camp for a very wealthy* independent school (my mom taught there). About half the counselors were alums of the school and thus came from incredibly wealthy backgrounds. Which, honestly, was whatever to me. We still hung out at the end-of-year keg party all the same. But one girl would make comments like, “Ugh… the salary here is stupid. My weekly allowance is more than this” or “I’m so mad at my dad. He won’t let me get the [top end luxury car] for my birthday. He says I can only get the [mid-level luxury car]” or “Everyone thinks I’m rich. I don’t get it.” This girl was worthy of a certain amount of derision, as far as I’m concerned (Though, given her age at the time, I hope if/when she did receive it, it was done so constructively). Which isn’t to say she should have been excluded from talking about any of those topics because of her background; only that the manner in which she discussed them was, frankly, obnoxious. Regardless of one’s SES, avoiding being obnoxious is generally preferable to not doing so.

        * Current/former parents of the school include Patrick Ewing and Chris Rock.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:


        Re: the girl – one does not get to be that obnoxious without having that behavior encouraged. Her peer group must be OK with that behavior, and the adults in her life are not actively discouraging it.

        As you said, hopefully somebody did teach some tact.Report

  11. Mike Dwyer says:

    A couple of things…

    The idea of a ‘starving artist’ is a product of Hollywood. The overwhelming majority of artists live comfortable lives. Their art is a hobby, maybe even a lucrative one, but they have a day job. They make their art at night. This site is a good example of that. None of us are getting paid to write for OT and yet it is our art. So with that said, part of the Op is a bit flawed from the start.

    The other part, as near I can tell, is that it boils down to “how can people that have comfortable lives talk about their comfortable lives and not get shouted down as being out of touch with the struggles of those beneath them?” In my experience, you can’t. As a white male, try talking about how tough you have it to an audience of minorities. At the end of the day Americans are far too cynical to believe in empathy.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


      You made an interesting pivot there. The quoted section refers to discussing one’s good fortune. You then shift to discussing one’s struggles. Those are fundamentally different conversations that ought to be handled in different ways. And, yes, audience certainly does matter.

      Saul wants to discuss the difficult he perceives in those who come from greater privilege (economic privilege, in particular) discussing their situations without incurring the wrath of others. I’m not sure why you want to make that about how white guys can’t complain to people of color (which isn’t even true).Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Kazzy says:


        Perhaps the second point was not made well. Really, the problem is that Americans in general are distrustful of anyone from another group. So whether it is Saul trying to explain his own privileged upbringing to someone from another economic class or a white guy trying to say he understands the plight of blacks or a yankee trying to speak with certainty about the South…it is very hard to be taken seriously. Saul wants to know if there is a way to tell people he is privileged without being shouted down. I echo the sentiments of others when I ask why he needs to tell them in the first place? Intent conveys much.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Gotta wonder how many artists there are. I figure that MOST video game artists are actually employed (look at BigFishGames if you don’t believe me — there’s a glut on the market right now, I blame the communists).

      A good deal of your graphic artists are employed, though often they’re just designing websites or something else “to spec” that may be braindead and boring. (And, to be frank, most of what’s drawn “unprofessionally” is pornography).

      I wouldn’t be surprised if most musicians were not employed full-time as musicians, however. We incentivize people learning instruments to a vastly greater degree…Report

  12. Damon says:

    Growing up, my Dad worked in Labor Relations for management at a plant that was unionized. He never told me what he did, specifically. He was in “HR” because I went to public school with the hourly worker’s kids as and fellow salaried employees, some of who’s parents were subordinates or superiors to my father at work.

    He never wanted me know of this so I could never grief them about my status vs theirs or be envious that their dad was my dad’s boss. I was just a kid and I never cared who their parents were. Looking back, I think this was a very good idea. Nowadays I don’t advertise my status because I still don’t care about it vs others, and in talking with folks. I generally won’t mentioned something I’ve done or been unless the other party brings it up, and I don’t brag about it at all. Amazing how you can get along with pretty much anyone if you keep your mouth shut and let them talk. 🙂Report