Part 1: The Introduction (Or A Taste Of What It Is Like To Be Unprivileged Scum.)
As a member of the underclass, I’ve grown very weary and tired of being moralised, judged and dissected by those who occupy a better position on the social hierarchy by the virtue of being birthed out of the right vagina.*
I’ve always felt excluded by many people, like I don’t really belong.** It’s a strange feeling to be honest, one that’s hard to explain . As much as I can analyse or reason about prejudice, it still remains a phenomena that is rooted at its core in insanity. You can pick at bits of it, you can develop fairly well explained theories but you’ll never exactly understand why you are hated for the crime of, well, existing really. You’ll never understand why a group of people, who don’t know you, hate you so furiously even to the point where even in the darkest depths of their minds they wish for your death, violence upon your body, or at the very least, scorn your life because your feckless mother never chained up her legs***. In their mind you aren’t a person, you are a stereotype, everything that is wrong in the world and you cannot escape it. From crime to banking crises, everything is your fault.
Don’t fit the stereotype? Then tough, you should! I know, I have actually received venom from people who believe society is neatly organized into tick box groups and who were shocked to discover that I wasn’t “a chav.” It can be as much of a crime to fail to live up to “the stereotype” as actually living it. They’ll always find some kind of fault; an acceptable reason to file you under “human garbage.” You can’t win.
As it has been proven time and time again, many wealthy people just don’t understand what it is like to be poor, how class discrimination and inequality actually affects and cripples people’s lives.
You [wealthy person] may not be a bad person, you may have sympathy for those not as fortunate as you but you’re highly likely to be pretty clueless and prone to removing the agency of those people you have been conditioned to think of as your “lessers.” Too many times I have been in presence of nice middle/upper class people- and I mean that genuinely, they weren’t bad people but they fell into a trap of talking about “poor people” as if we are more helpless than a stray dog flirting blissfully unaware with death on a busy motorway.
Guys, guys, hate to break it to you but we can in fact function like a human being, with thoughts, feelings and intelligence, just like you! Snark aside, I appreciate that you care, I appreciate that you aren’t a horrible person like much of your fellow kin. Those people, who think we can skip merrily into any job,**** that the American Dream***** will come true and we’ll be sipping champagne together while mocking those dirty chavs who “chose” welfare rather than that magical pixie dust job. For the record, looking back, I clearly made terrible, God-awful, “poor life choices,” I should have gone into drug dealing, it pays better than trying make it the “honest” way.
Part 2: The Actual Point Of This Blog Post, The Allegory.
Anyway I should move on. How to describe class division… well here goes…
Think of society being centred around a mountain. Lets call it Mount Olympus because its connection to old selfish Gods.
At the top is paradise, where everything is lovely and safe from any dangers******. It is where the rich were born, it is where they rule over the rest of us like the Gods they were destined to be. The other two tribes that exist on this mountain live on two opposite sides, on the one side there is this valley; climbing to the top of the mountain is difficult but not impossible. The valley offers stable comforts, it’s not as lovely as the top of Mount Olympus but people there can live out a decent happy life, this is where the middle class reside. That luxury is unfortunately not given to the other tribe, the Ice Tribe aka the working class, for us we are right at the bottom, surviving on the top of a thin ice bed that can easily crack and plunge any one of us into the underworld.
For those who live on the top of Mount Olympus all the struggle******* they have to content with in their life is just simply a brisk scenic walk from point A to B in their beauty exotic paradise. They face no problems, no hurdles to overcome and they are free to go anywhere and do what they want. They even have their own helicopter which they can use to safely observe the other tribes. For the other tribes this is presented as the ultimate goal and the upper class Olympians were lucky to be born in it.
Life in the valley is fairly safe for the middle class, (aka the Valley-men) it is peaceful and pleasant if a tad unexciting. There’s nothing to really fear for the majority of them, even through they may encounter problems from time to time. They are able to see in good view, the dazzling delights that exist on the top and so wish to journey forth to reach that top. Their struggle is like walking up a series of steep hills, tiring yes but it can be done and some do reach it. Even if they give up they can settle down in place which is a little bit nicer than the valley in which they came from. Hell, if they do tumble-down the hills, they still have the valley to secure their fall (though some do fall off the wrong side of the mountain and onto the ice. (For examples the ones that had audacity to get ill or disabled.) The valley will always be there for them.
The last tribe lives on the opposite side of the “mountain”, this side, as pointed out earlier, is treacherous and dangerous. The Ice Tribe lives upon a layer of thin ice which can plunge them, at any moment, into their freezing watery grave. Everyone one in this group fears being sent to the Underworld. The fear is constant; everyday it lingers and torments them, will they – we rather, survive or will our number be up?
Therefore the members of the Ice Tribe have little choice but to look upwards at Mount Olympus. They know their only chance of survival, of security, is to climb that mountain and find sanctuary. That said, not all members will attempt to climb the mountain, some are too daunted at the massive dangerous climb ahead of them, others simply lack the ability, for whatever reason, to climb and they hope each waking day the ice doesn’t take them.
For those who do decide to climb, the journey is long, tough and filled with hazards that can make anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time fall down to the bottom of the underworld. Avalanches are a regular occurrence; swallowing and dooming a whole wave of people at a time.
Some of the people find a cavern which isn’t the most comfortable place to settle but offers enough security and stability to be cope, compared to the dangers outside. Others climb further upwards. If they reach high enough to make it to the valley, they are regarded with suspicion and discrimination. If they aren’t careful, a Valley-man would be all too happy to push them over the edge of the mountain, back down to “their rightful place.” Ditto, more so, for those who reach the peak of Olympus itself.
Very few of the Ice Tribe people ever reach the top of the mountain. It is almost impossible as the climb is just too long and is designed against them from the get go. It is merely an urban legend that anyone and everyone can make it to the top of Mount Olympus if they are determined enough. The few that do make it, have to be better than the best who live on Mount Olympus and even those from the Valley. And even when they are seemingly perfect in every way , they still have to rely on the most crucial factor of all: LUCK. If the avalanche comes for them, no matter how strong or intelligent they are, they will fall down to the icy gutter. Those who live on Mount Olympus and in the Valley don’t have to be blessed with extra special gifts and abilities to reach their peak. The Olympians, especially, have the freedom to be stupid and untalented; they’ll still be rewarded with whatever they desire.
The Olympians sometimes decide to go into their cute little helicopter for a sweet little adventure. Often in their adventures they like to observe those climbing up the mountain; not unlike a gawking child at the zoo for the first time.
Sometimes they are kind and offer food and supplies to make the climbers life a little easier. Although they take pity at the plight of the climbers, they never offer a true helping hand of security and safety. They make the existence of the climb more bearable but they aren’t willing to change the fundamental structure to which the Ice Tribe is condemned to.
Those Olympians, though, are better than their cruel brethren. Those “Gods”, instead of being helpful, look gleefully at the struggles of the Ice Tribe and fire missiles (or thunder bolts if we want to keep to the Ancient Greek theme) at them, destroying the terrain in which they cling to, and of course they cause more avalanches to fall. Not content at shooting at the struggling climbers and ruining their chances, these vicious Olympians also like to drop bombs at those living on the ice, plunging them all into the Underworld. They also like to use the lucky few climbers that made it to the top as propaganda, claiming as these individuals “made it,” everyone else of the Ice Tribe (while still firing at them) could do so too, but as they don’t, they must be lazy, useless and stupid for being unable to make it.
If rain clouds do appear at the top of Mount Olympus, instead of blaming themselves for the fact they failed to shelter from the rain, the Olympians, in pride and ego just cannot handle any failings of themselves – why should they, they are Gods after all? Therefore they lash out to those beneath them, most of the fury is directed at the Ice Tribe but the Valley-men are not necessary immune from the fires of their hatred. To placate their anger and hatred, they require sacrifice from those tribes. The tribes must be punished for the rain that made the Olympians wet, they must be taught that the rain should dare not fall on them again, even though it is a certainty that it will.
Those at the top never understand what it is like to be at the bottom, fearing that at a whim, completely out of your control, the very foundations of your life can crumble, leaving you to die a cold lonely death.
*Oh wait, I’m sorry, my bad, that should be: “Hard Work.” *sniggers*
** I hate to imagine what it’s like for non-whites.
*** Because, you know, abortion is bad.
**** Just like they did.
***** In Britain, I guess that would be ‘The Pillage Your Land And Slaughter You If You Fail To Do As We Say, Aristocratic Dream.” Just call it the Aristocratic Dream for short. Describes the American Dream too, just with more frilly, ridiculous clothing.
******* Aside maybe revolution.
******** Unless they decide to self-inflict a drug habit on themselves. *cough* Osborne *cough*