I know that many of our readers are concerned about whether they're out of touch with middle America, so here's a quiz to help you assess your engagement with the mainstream culture.
How Thick Is Your Bubble?
My results: On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 5 and 8. In other words, you can see through your bubble, but you need to get out more.
1,2. I haven't worked on a factory floor, but when I was eighteen I took a year off between finishing school and going to college and did bindery work at a printing press. I was often on my feet all day, and I did ache at the end of the day from some of the repetitive motions. I also once caught my finger in the saddle stitcher, which was the machine that stapled envelopes into booklets. My fingernail grew back but I still have a small scar on the middle finger of my right hand. Every day at that job I would think, "This is why I'm going to college -- so I don't have to do this for the rest of my life."
6. I know some evangelical Christians fairly well, but most of my acquaintance are orthodox Catholics, which is a smaller sub-culture.
8. I am not a particularly political person. Like my parents before me I vote straight pro-life, and count on Darwin to keep me abreast of the developments of the day. Taking Facebook as an indicator, most of my friends, regardless of economic, educational, or social differences, have the same concern.
I know that I have deep political differences with aunts, uncles, and cousins (many of whom perhaps are the demographic for which this quiz was written), but I'm not especially close to any of them and I avoid those discussions. None of them have to ask about my political opinions; the number of children I have does the talking for me. Taking Facebook as an indicator, most of my friends, regardless of economic, educational, or social differences, have the same concern.
9. I have eaten at Applebee's in the past year, but frankly, I'd rather eat hot dogs at home than Applebee's food.
10. Neither Darwin or I have ever bought a pickup truck, but we've never needed one either.
11. Not only have I never attended a Kiwanis or Rotary meeting, I don't even know what they do. I don't know anyone who knows what they do. What do they do?
15. Of course I've never watched Oprah all the way through. Egad.
20. I don't know anyone who smokes, except some people who go to New Orleans.
Notes From the Road: Not Dead Yet
3 hours ago