Some may be confused. So here's a a simple test. Are you an elitist? 18 revealing ways to know for sure By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist Friday, September 12, 2008 You don't talk like a normal person. Only normal people talk like normal people. Sarah "no questions please, I'm Alaskan" Palin, according to House Minority leader John Boehner, she talks like a normal person... if by "normal" you mean "chillingly antagonistic toward anything resembling progress or political insight or women's civil liberties." According to the GOP, lower-middle-class voters with minimal educations really like it when people who think they can run the most powerful nation on the planet and steer massive military juggernauts and immense economies and affect the destinies of millions, don't actually speak like they have any idea how the hell to do it. Honey, if the Bush years proved anything, it's that the dumber you sound, the more effective you are at leading the country. Into the sewer. Did you know this already? Typical elitist. You are on a first-name basis with the sushi chef at Whole Foods. You have been to Whole Foods. Look at you, Mr. Fancypants, with your snobbish notion that not every piece of furniture in your bedroom must look like it came from the same 1978 Levitz fire sale. The impressive dimensions of the strap-on system in your dresser would make your average Alaskan redneck hockey player scream in horror even as it openly titillated a dozen Republican senators from Colorado Springs to Idaho, though it would probably still get you arrested in Alabama. You know what a strap-on is. In a good way. Barack Obama's oratory power, strength of character, and subtle understanding of complicated issues have actually served to dissolve a venerable portion of the acidic pessimism that's been eating into your very soul for eight solid years, causing you to actually begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, nuanced intellectual acumen and the nearly bankrupt American experiment do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. Only elitist snobs know what "venerable" means. Or "acumen." Or "you." When selecting an effective inebriant with which to numb if not completely drown the searing oatmealy dread that rumbles deep in your core after eight years of Bush and which has now been harshly rekindled by the offensive McPalin nightmare, you skip right past the beer and even the wine and go straight for the absinthe. You arrive at a dinner party at the home of a friend-of-a-friend whom you don't know very well. What's the first thing you notice? A) The quality of the stemware, B) the origins of art on the walls, C) the titles of the books lining the shelves, D) The hugeness of the head of the giant dead polar bear whose face you're nearly sitting on. Answering anything but D makes you an elitist snob. Obviously, that's a grizzly, not a polar bear. A "real American" is A) an obese deer hunter/blue-collar millworker with a giant truck and a gentle smile and a thing for origami B) a tattooed yoga-loving urbanite intellectual hipster who loves A.S. Byatt and red meat C) The Muslim chef/mother of three who was born in Fort Wayne and went to Burning Man for the first time this year and dropped Ecstasy and was struck to giggling wonderment by the gorgeous silliness of all existence, D) the nice family of Sikhs living next door, E) What is this, f--ing alphabet day? Enough with the multiple choice already, elitist hippie. You find it profoundly unfair that, while cretinous Fox News charlatans get to sling "elitist" at anyone of nuanced or open-minded intellect who happens to care about the world, the media refuses to pick up "Karl Rove's toe cheese" as a clever counter-epithet. The hammer with which you often consider striking yourself in the face when listening to Bush speak or when observing McCain's creepy grin or hearing Palin's embarrassing answers to simple questions of policy has never actually been put to use for any "real" work, and has only ever really been used to tap down a few loose nails on the deck of your Martha's Vineyard summer cottage or tighten some planks in the fetish dungeon. You prefer spirituality to religion, fluid self-determinism to Biblical dogma, premium sake to sacramental wine, devising new sins instead of merely indulging the old ones, swallowing instead of spitting, back door to front, Shakti to Mary, and floating instead of kneeling. You speak a foreign language. This implies you might understand something of the world, have an interest in a culture other than your own, or have perhaps even traveled to some exotic foreign land that isn't Texas or New Jersey or Hawaii, a place where they like weird cheeses and don't fear gay people and ride bicycles to the opera. You recognize and appreciate more than 50 percent of the references and enjoy at least a quarter of the featured profiles in the New York Times Arts section. Also, you read the New York Times. Also, you read. You are, for some godforsaken reason, absolutely convinced all the way down to your most profound sense of what is divine and truthful in this strangled world that violence and bloodshed are rarely the answer, that the irrefutable spiritual laws of the universe confirm that like attracts like and even at a quantum level there is a profound pull toward a divine, benevolent dynamic equilibrium, and therefore constructing a malicious national policy of torture and surveillance and pre-emptive aggression merely shames the better nature of the human animal and invites a particularly violent energy into the national bloodstream and poisons the human heart as it creates nothing but more turmoil and unrest and hate in the world. Man, only an elitist jerk would tolerate a ridiculous run-on sentence like that. Your most treasured pieces of writing don't feature Muggles, Hobbits, glossy centerfolds of Dale Earnhardt Jr., dogs named Marley, or an angry and omnipotent patriarch who demands unquestioning subservience and strict adherence to often cruel, arbitrary laws of behavior from on high, who forsakeths thou for months and years at a time and never writes or calls and then suddenly reappears without warning only to rain down hellfire and frogs and locusts and totally inconvenient plagues on everyone, and never even apologizes. And then you're supposed to feel all guilty? For like, 2,000 years? Whatever.