The latest post on theintellectualsnob.blogspot.com reveals the 'truth', that whoever and whatever the writer claims to be, she isn't.
She isn't the Yale and Havard alumnus. I'm not too sure if she was from Raffles Girls Secondary and Hwa Chong Junior College. It's pretty odd that my wife came from all the schools mentioned except for Havard, so I didn't know whether to take her seriously when she said she could be the one behind Intellectual Snob. Shucks, right? It'll be a nice Mr and Mrs Smith scenario, minus the guns and explosions.
Intellectual Snob now claims to be an NTU undergraduate in this latest admission.
What interests me greatly is the truckloads of reactions her posts have attracted. Many of them border on flaming, aimed at criticising and accusing the blogger of "elitism".
"Elitism" is the new witch, let's burn her!
It is highly ironic, amidst the angry mob of critiques, that what I see as a very dramatic and well performed role-playing/make-belief has provided all of us with a parody of elitism.
Most of us are exposed, in this instance, to be over-sensitive towards any brand and manifestation of elitism, even if it were impersonated by non-"elite".
Intellectual Snob, on hindsight and based on the latest revelations (assuming they are true), has given us the most fundamental lesson on information and personalities in the realm of cyberspace - don't believe everything. But we believed her, her posts and her biodata.
We are taken away into her fantasy world. It is not wrong to fantasise, by the way. I could fantasise that I have Dutch blood and all that, like a certain Dawn Yang/Yeo, and that is cool, because that is fantasy.
I think what Intellectual Snob has done is a class act. She has assumed the position of the popularly despised, by gloating her "credentials", "background" and even giving herself a monicker "Intellectual Snob". Why didn't I even see this in the beginning? The language and derogatory signifiers that she has used are so condescending, and too "good" to be true.
Her persona is a non-elite caricature of an elite. It represents what most of us dislike about elitism.
This saga exposes the extent to which we are so sensitive and so ready to stamp out or sweep under the carpet any hints of elitism. I believe it appears that our sense of political correctness favours the lower-to-middle classes, i.e. most of us feel a rich man insulting a poor man is more morally wrong than the other way around.
It is as if the traditionally oppressed (by socio-economic class, in this case) presumably speaks the greater truth.
Whether this is intended or unintended, I think Intellectual Snob is amazing. She wears the skin of the monster we hate, and in the process exposes most of us as monsters ourselves, exposes most of us as blinkered proponents of a certain brand of political correctness, a certain set of discourses that collectively villainises upper class extravagance, despite most of us harbouring dreams of upward social mobility.
In the end, as much as I do not want to say this, we are our own George Lim Heng Chye. I am saying this with a straight face. We all have a moral position, and most of us are part of a moral discourse that valorises a certain type of poltical correctness that we view to be the most legitimate, so much so we share a common perception (although often critically stereotypical) of the constitution of victimhood and villainy.
The creation of elitism comes with the celebration of the socio-economic and "life chance" underdog, but its moral discourse creates the invisible underdog that are the "elites", a term that has steadily acquired negative connotations. The "elites" (to use it neturally) are the moral underdogs.
Perhaps it is the status frustration of some of us as we wield our pitchforks and torches and chastise (or disparage) elitism. Ironically, there are some among us to desire to be in the privileged positions the "elites" enjoy. We are monsters, aren't we?
Intellectual Snob may be intellectual, may be a snob, or she may be neither, but I believe she has given us something to reflect on, if we can even see beyond our own biases to grasp it.
I believe it is time to start questioning the moral inclinations and political orientations of what we understand as "political correctness". As we unwittingly (or not) champion this common brand of political correctness on a daily basis with our attitudes and behaviours, are we not being elite and snobbish ourselves for claiming to be part of what is "right" or "true"?
I think I should create a blog and post as a highly homophobic bigoted Christian fundamentalist and use all the rhetoric that their critics find to be unreasonable and self-righteous.
This saga really exposes another brand of intolerance we have not yet come to recognise, or probably never will.
I don't know how to put it in words, but I think about subjectivity and discourse when I learnt about Intellectual Snob's recent admission. A non-(elite)member becomes a member, and in the process becomes the "outsider" of her own "community", who proceeds to earn the hatred of her own "community".
(Although unrelated...) The Good Woman of Setzuan, any one?