This is getting really weird.
Anyway, the quote I saw mentioned comes from this article in the Telegraph. Of course, it's an interview and I'm rather wary of interviews these days (looking at you, Daily Mail). Especially as I've seen people say before on Tumblr that Herr Cumberbatch doesn't intend on leaving the UK. Apparently this article went viral earlier today because I originally found it on the Huffington Post and I couldn't get the link to load and the comments on Twitter shown on the bottom of the page were really starting to pile up and people were beginning to comment about it all over Tumblr, debating about whether he's being serious, about whether he's being tongue and cheek, whether this is a misquote... et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Oh, the internet...
(What did I do before I had this line to express my doubt in internet sources? Really, I love this so much.)
Anyway, I'm not going to ponder whether or not what Cumberbatch is alleged to say is actually what he said and in what sort of tone and so on because why in the world would I know that? (Besides, there's enough people scrutinizing this, I don't need to jump on board and nor do I want to... even though I kind of already have by writing this. Damn) I wouldn't know what he actually said unless I was psychic... which would be terrible for the world. Instead, I'm going to marvel in the weirdness of the publication of this article right after I had my post on wealth and clothing. The universe is a funny, funny place.
And it makes me feel very funny as well. After the post mentioning the Westwood jacket, I feel like a bit of a tool for being wary of expensive clothing. Because, as I was later discussing with one of my friends, if I were wealthy, I'd be buying clothes like that too. The weirdness of it is all rather relative (and partly due to the fact that I'm incredibly cheap). But the fact that I would be somewhat nervous around wealth makes me feel somewhat like a jerk. Especially in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
|Yes, thank you for your insight. (http://static6.businessinsider.com)|
So if you're still reading and haven't decided that I'm either a Communist or a bourgeoisie pig, congratulations. You stuck it through that little soap box and I appreciate it. But I feel like I need that background on the Occupy movement and my opinion on it to illustrate why I'm interested in this article from the Telegraph. Being a college student at a liberal state school in a big city gets a lot of influence from position like these. And so this has weighed heavily in my mind over the last year and a half or so.
So with all of this weirdness in my head, I stumbled across the Telegraph article today and thought, "Shit." Really, if I think the distinction between social standing is bad in the States, a place where class standing is expressed differently, I can't imagine how pronounced it must be in the UK. Britain has often been perceived as a clearly class-based society. Writers like Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackery, Charlotte Bronte, and Ford Madox Ford show this prominently in their writing and... well, it's what we learn a lot about in Cultural Studies. And so this shouldn't surprise me if this is such a problem.
But the aggressiveness and the timing of all this surprises me. It seems like now that Cumberbatch is famous, it's a bigger deal that he also went to private - I mean public - I mean private school. Because now he's wealthy and had a privileged background and so on and so forth. As if that was his fault and something to be blamed for.
*sigh* This is why I don't like this crap. Blaming people because they have a different background than someone else. Because they had certain "advantages" and therefore deserve to be punished for them or something. Somehow, I fail to see how treating people who have had more "privileged" or wealthier upbringings or showing a prejudice towards them is any different than showing that sort of prejudice towards people with poorer upbringings. You know, if people hadn't mentioned online that Cumberbatch had attended a private... a school that costs money to attend (really, what is with this total backward meaning of public school between the US and the UK? It's a major pet peeve of mine) and that people teased him for going to "Hogwarts," I seriously would have had no idea that was the case.
And really, what does it matter? When it comes to acting, backgrounds vary dramatically. Tom Cruise initially was enrolled in seminary school. Kristen Stewart and Kate Winslet were both child actors. Brad Pitt dressed up like a chicken selling Mexican food until he got his break (no, seriously, he did). Acting might be one of the few careers where having training isn't always necessary. Not to impugn Mr. Cumberbatch's work by any means of course, but classical training doesn't mean instant success - what matters is the what you do with the training.
And of course, there's the issue of the salary, as my weird Daniel Day-Lewis dream highlighted. Actors get paid a crap-ton of money. But would I refuse that salary if it was offered to me? Nope, probably not. Is it their fault that they get offered such high sums? (And may I note that American's two highest paid actors - Tom Cruise and Kristen Stewart - happen to have far different training than Benedict Cumberbatch?) It also doesn't help anyone either that the media is intent on focusing on the glamour and expensive lifestyles of celebrities and reacts in shock when they're buying eggs in a grocery store or walking around in sweatpants. And there was some freak-out on Entertainment Tonight the other day about some celebrity wearing clothes from Kohls, a department store, and I just sighed.
And now we're back where this post initially began. To think this started out as a post about clothing...
I was having a text conversation with my friend Ashley the other day about wearing nice clothes to boost confidence. Which led to a long philosophizing on style and appearance in reference to people we know who don't dress that well and act odd about people who do dress up. For instance, I said an acquaintance of ours, "always calls me a hipster in a backhanded way and I just ignore it as best I can" and "does this whole 'dressing nice is so bourgeoisie' thing that makes me feel like a jerk." And the rest of the conversation went something like this:
Ashley: Everyone can find clothes that look great on them and they don't have to cost a lot of money. It just takes more work for some people than others…* What Not to Wear is a sort of fashion reality show where two experts are brought in to throw out the entire closet of a person who has a very questionable wardrobe and helps them to find clothes that look good on them and make them feel good about themselves.
I am mean when it comes to people I don't like though. It's my brainwashed "woman" side coming out or something…
Me: That's ok. I find it really hard to treat people I'm mad at nicely. I'm friendlier with perfect strangers :P
Ashley: Sorry about the clothes rant. I've been watching too much What Not to Wear* this summer and they're all "what you wear should reflect who you are on the inside"
Me: It's fine. I love what not to wear. Most of the time they're really nice about advice. I just feel like clothing is a way to respect your body and show you care about it (as nudity is frowned upon in this establishment :D) thus people don't have to be fashion geniuses but trying and caring is important. It isn't a monetary statement but a show of respect for yourself (end of my philosophy of clothes)
Ashley: That's exactly how I feel. Yea, people don't always know what looks good on them, but your clothes should make you happy when you put them on. Otherwise, why are you wasting money on them anyways?
Me: Exactly! I 100% agree!
Ashley: See, I always like your clothes because when you wear them, you look so confident and happy!
Me: Aww thanks! That's what I try to do and I'm glad it's working!
Also another draw back for men: unbeknownst to me, apparently they have to care about money more. We discussed this quite a bit in my psych class this summer. There is an expectation that men are meant to be well-off and have a good career and money in order to support a family. This is less of an issue for women because men are expected to be the bread winners and women are supposed to rely on men (yay patriarchy). There's this pressure for men to have high-earning careers and be well-off to entice women. Which is something that for women seems to be a total non-issue.
That kind of sucks, guys. That really kind of sucks. You have to have money to impress. But if you have too much, you're criticized for it. If you don't have money, you can't make the same impression with either your suit or your reputation or your freaking business cards. Which makes me think of this scene from American Psycho:
Well, no happy, neat bow-tie ending tonight. Alas. Better luck next time.