Thursday, April 06, 2006

Entitlements

Who uses it: Government budget-makers
What it means: Payments that go automatically to members of a certain group once they meet specific requirements. The most obvious examples are Social Security and Medicare.
How you can use it: To describe your own automatic payments.

If I had to choose one quality I most dislike in others, it's the sense of entitlement.

Growing up in a house with one income and five siblings made it impossible to feel "entitled," even without Mom's tactical nuclear weapon: "Who do you think you are?" Then I went to a prep school on scholarship, and then I went to Georgetown at a time when the student body was transitioning from middle-class Catholic kids to kids whose parents could afford the tuition.

So I'm following this Duke lacrosse team case with a great deal of interest, not to say vicious contempt. It's not fair, but my first thought when I heard about the accusations of rape was, "Yep... knew that was coming." I feel like I know those guys -- the ones who skated through class, who snapped the bra straps of nerdy girls, who laughed too loud and drank too much and had lawyer fathers who would bully teachers and coaches out of any threatened consequences.

We all know those guys -- unless we were those guys.

And on behalf of nerds everywhere, I want to reprint this obituary, which caught my eye this morning:

LONDON (AP) - Anthony Burgess, a prominent notary who wrote a book about how his profession was represented in opera, died March 17, Cheeswrights Notaries Public confirmed.

Burgess was senior partner in the firm from 1958 to 2000. He was 80, Cheeswrights said Wednesday.

A question from the Master of the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who appoints notaries in England and Wales, inspired Burgess to research the portrayal of notaries in opera.

That result was ``The Notary in Opera,'' published in 1994.


More support for my belief that anything is interesting, if you look at it closely enough.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The real questions are (1) Does not a single boy on the Duke LAX team have a conscience? and (2) Why haven't some of these kids' parents driven down to Durham and dragged their kids to the police station?

I say close Duke and jail Sheshefsky. (You spell it. And I don't care that this problem doesn't involve the men's basketball team. Coach K is a [fill in the blank].)

Anonymous said...

Ooops. That was me posting. -- Ed

Paul Tomme said...

Is the entitlement thing why you hated Scent of a Woman?

AnswerGirl said...

No. I disliked SCENT OF A WOMAN because I found it obvious, manipulative and sentimental, and I saw nothing heartwarming, funny or cute about either Al Pacino's character or Chris O'Donnell's. I also thought Al Pacino overacted shamelessly.

JJ said...

I don't think we can be shocked by the actions of people who live life free of consequences. It's an old equation.

I agree with you on Scent of a Woman.