Two related items have grabbed the Internet's attention in the last few days: the foofaraw over a garish shirt, and the attention a curvy young woman attracted while walking through certain areas of New York City.
The catcall video: Surprise! Some lower-class men can be rude, by the standards of the privileged classes. This is of course completely unprecedented; in all other times and places, surely the lower classes were unfailingly polite to their betters.
The shirtstorm: Curiously enough, some creative people don't have the specific set of social skills and conventions-of-the-week to mix well with the modern clerisy. This is absurd, as surely they can take time out from painting masterpieces and landing spaceships on comets to attend finishing school, and the weekly and annual refreshers.
We seem to have acquired a collection of classes - ruling, chattering, and academic - drawn from the wealthy and privileged ranks of society, and completely unaware that anyone outside their bubble even exists - or, when they're forced to notice, their reaction is that such people ought not to exist.
Which brings us to that third item. Building codes certainly serve a good purpose; if I buy or rent a building, or take a job in one, I do want assurance that it's been built to proper standards, and duly inspected and certified as structurally sound and fit for use.
And yet: Many jurisdictions insist that building codes apply to structures that will be occupied solely by the builder, and make violations (including failure to secure the government's blessing) a crime. So, buy a cheap bit of land out of sight of anyone, build a shack from scrounged materials, and live in it alone, without modern amenities, and just for that you become a criminal.
Back when we had that big recall election in California, and anyone with a few bucks and a few dozen acquaintances could run for Governor, I toyed with the idea of running on an Evil Overlord platform. One of the planks was this: I planned to eliminate poverty in California though a system of regressive taxes which would force the poor to move out.
Alas, this notion has now gone mainstream, backed by a submerged version of the sentiment commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette: "The peasants have no bread? Well, can't they eat cake?"
The ones who make the rules, and who define (with ever-shifting social conventions) Polite Society, simply can't imagine any lifestyle other than their own, let alone anyone wanting to live that way. Homesteaders, hillbillies, carnies, artists (the talented kind, not the rich and famous kind), or even the workmen who keep the cities running but can't afford posh penthouses: those people, if we must notice them at all, are scary!
The same attitude, by the way, is behind the Affordable Care Prevention Act, whereof the premise is that everyone is entitled to, and must have, the sort of comprehensive health plan to which the professional classes have become accustomed, and details of how the lower classes will pay for such a thing are of no consequence.
We must force everyone into the same mold! Full conformity of lifestyle and opinion (apart from certain approved deviations for members of certain approved groups) must be attained!
Because we simply cannot tolerate the presence of Unmutuals in our society.