For too long have you been weighed down by the chains your society foists upon you — the chains of mediocrity, of processed food, of mass-media, of social obligation, and of “the real world.” These chains have one purpose only: to hide from you your true destiny. What is that destiny? A future brighter than anything imaginable by the vulgar throngs: it is a future of tweed and elbow patches, of gin and cigars, of Fellini films and Baudelaire, of resilient apathy and intellectual masturbation. It was once the future of which every young Ivy League scholar dreamt, but has, in our postmodern quandary of relativism and beer pong, been abandoned.
But no more! We have heard the cry of the oppressed intellectuals, the screams of the alienated artistes. And we are inspired by the great words of our fearless comrade, David Weil ’07: “Few if any of the urbane delights of life seem accessible to the great majority of our purported peers who, finding their metonymical identities in the vicinity of the belt, that is, under or below it, rather than above the neckline, indulge in debaucheries villainous and sundry with nary an appreciative pause. Now, no one would argue with Marcuse that the performance principle stands in need of further refinement; the incapacity, however, to apprehend the elevated of the few sophisticates still extant in these Ivy halls can be counted more as a failure than a choice.”
It is time that these Ivy halls once again ring with the cynical voices and blase footsteps of the young, the brilliant, the privileged, and the entitled! It is time to release yourself from your fetters, to rise above the hoi polloi, and take your rightful place at the table of the chosen!
Do not feel alone in the world, for we are your brethren, and we know you well! You prefer vermouth to beer; you have read Kierkegaard but are loathe to touch the “Da Vinci Code”; you spurn Newsweek and cherish the Economist; your last essay contained three semi-colons in its title; your hands have not been hardened with labor, but they lovingly caress your leather-bound Plato; you mourn the onset of the digital age; you run to the Algonquin when you find yourself Yalemüde; you believe that saran wrap is an abomination; you watch “Brideshead Revisited” by yourself in the dark; you pepper your sentences with foreign phrases like raison d’etre and Weltanschauung; you feel that only Fitzgerald or Proust could ever have truly understand you; you dream not of political power, but of admission into the Elizabethan Club; you lament the decline of the subjunctive; you seek not to be understood, but to evade all understanding. Above all, you empathize with our comrade-in-arms, Rudolf Simone ’06, who wisely said, “What is the use of the masses? The only thing the hoi polloi ever gave me was an STD.”
You, restless children of Postmodernism, princes of perspectivism, are the inheritors of the future! Make no mistake: The path ahead is difficult. Your parents will tell you that life is about “making a living”; your professors will tell you that you have “obligations to the world”; even some of your naive friends will insist that you are “a pretentious prick.”
But leave the rabble behind, and listen to us:
…ARISE, COMRADES, AND JOIN THE REVOLUTION OF THE FEW!
It is the conspiracy of the many that LANGUAGE is considered a medium of communication. Properly understood, language is a tool of distinction and exclusion. The impenetrability and complete meaninglessness of our discourse are the foremost markers of our unique ontological status. When we speak, we aim at intelligibility, we embrace tautology, and we revel in jargon. The truly successful Yale student is not he who is concerned with the pursuit of truth, but he who can make any piece of nonsense–through the sheer force of his rhetoric, his dazzling mastery of sophistry–seem as gospel. We follow in the brave footsteps of revolutionary comrade Brett Peace ’06, who prophesized thus: “When Michel Foucault characterized Derrida’s prose as obscurantisme terroriste, he never came near a dismantling of our grandiose synthesis: an ethos allegedly perturbed by polemics. Rather we grow stronger. We are the terrorists of obfuscation; take watch over your metropolei of the clear and concise.” This “obscurantiseme terroriste” is both a badge of honor in our revolutionary movement, and the clandestine password to all that is desirable at Yale: fellowships, seminars, exclusive clubs, and even sexual conquest.
To this end, we never say “is” when we might rather speak of the ONTOLOGY OF STRUCTURE; POSTMODERN PARADIGM is preferable to “today’s world”; INTERSUBJECTIVELY AVAILABLE is superior to “commonly known”; “as” ought to always be replaced with QUA. And remember: a sentence that lacks un mot of Greek, Latin, German, or French (never Spanish) might as well be on the side of a plebeian cereal box.
Seminar and Section are the formative realms of this talent for inscrutability. The content of the seminar and the substance of the reading are irrelevant; our telos is total opacity and complete obscurity, and this is most easily achieved without any grasp of the content. Beware the professor who insists that education is the pursuit of truth! He is a villain, a democratic fanatic, a vicious counter-revolutionary! Stop up your ears and run from his class! And learn well from the example of our revolutionary prophet, James Martin ’07, a master of such profound meaninglessness that he is indecipherable even to himself: “Some take themselves more seriously than others. For example, I have known several to speak in perfect palindrome all the time. Alas, these linguistic Übermenschen leave others, like myself, behind, never fully able to escape the aporias that constitute this modern life of palindromic alienation.”
And bask in the senseless glory of the paradoxical and self-undermining comments of our prophet Christopher Kochevar ’07, who is best known for uttering these words: “My oxymoronic capacity for self-aggrandizing francophilia is perhaps only rivaled by my sensitivity to the Byronic plight of those marginalized refugees of heteronormativity. I take pride in my own ability to synthetically subsume my gifted exterior in the greater cause of an apotheosis of otherization. That is, true sorrow for the foreign folk. Double-skinny splenda soy latte. Rocks.” Notice the total opacity, the complete impermeability, of our revolutionary leaders: theirs truly is a language of the few!
Thus, our first motto is:
Clarity is human; incomprehensibility, divine
It is another conspiracy of the mob that selective institutions are considered abhorrent. What is the belief of the many? That “everyone is special”. But what does this mean except that “everyone is mediocre”? We speak the truth when we say, “we alone are special”. But we must not merely say it–no! We must continually prove it, testing ourselves to scale the highest ranks of social and intellectual institutions. You have already taken the first step by coming to Yale, but your task is far from complete. All around you is a complex matrix of elite institutions that demand to be uncovered, decoded, and conquered, taken by seductive force like Machiavelli’s Fortuna.
The merit of any institution is to be judged primarily by its IMPERMEABILITY, and secondly by its aesthetic trappings. The elite institution that is entered by way of application is worthy, but worthier still is the institution to which entrance is gained only through the nebulous machinations of social relationships, networking, and reputation. The Yale man who sips his tea at the Lizzie before going to dine at his tombed society is far superior to he who attends his EP&E seminar and then organizes an event for the Roosevelt Institute. But both are better still than those who enter Yale only to eat at Commons (does not the name say it all?); such individuals are malcontents whose hatred of elitism masks their deepest fears: they that are infer
ior. But let them have their mundane equality and their democratic dining hall trays! We few hear the secret that our revolutionary comrade Christopher Glazek ’07 whispers in our ear: “Pert as pineapples, we await the Rapture of the Innocents with a mixture of knowing satisfaction and frenzied jouissance. How wonderful the world will be with those yahoos gone! For humanity’s better part, those ‘left behind,’ reveals itself to be hopelessly déclassé. They say they want a shining city on a hill? I say let them have it.”
Comrades! Resign your position with the spurious Yale College Democrats, remove yourself from the deadly grasp of Dwight Hall, and stop protesting irrelevancies on Cross Campus! Instead, gain yourself an invitation to the Elizabethan Club, make the acquaintance of some well-endowed Yale legacy, and take a visit to J. Press for some new cufflinks or an ascot. And be galvanized by the visionary words of comrade-in-arms Matthew Campbell ’07: “We will never stop fighting until every Yalie summers on the Hamptons, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard!”
Thus, our second motto is:
It is always more laudable to enter through a locked door than an open one, regardless of what it hides.
Never underestimate the value of AESTHETIC CULTIVATION, for it alone insulates us from the ugliness of the vulgar world. Our fine aesthetic sense should permeate all that we do: where and what we eat, how we dress, the books we read, and with whom we associate. Above all, remember the wise words of our chief prophet, Justin Zaremby ’02 GRD ’08: “Ours is an existence caught between the sublime and the beautiful. We live not according to the rules of time as laid down by those who use digital watches and ipod timers. Accept anachronism as your raison d’etre and embrace the boundless Schadenfreude of Yale’s work (Arbeit). Only do what is heaven with strawberries.” To fully emulate the aesthetic grandeur of Comrade Zaremby, abide by all times at the following principles:
Do not be mistaken: A Yale man is judged by what is ON HIS BOOKSHELF, and never by what he has actually read. Required texts include: Post’s Etiquette, The Official Preppy Handbook, Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Joyce’s Ulysses OR Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, any work by Derrida, Heidegger’s Being and Time, and Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. Optional texts include: Clausewitz’ On War, Baudrillard’s Simulation and Simulacra, Nabokov’s Lolita, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, Melville’s Moby Dick OR Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and any collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. Banned texts include: Catcher in the Rye, The Da Vinci Code, White Teeth, anything by John Grisham, or anything on the New York Times bestseller list. Do not be dismayed by the impenetrable nonsense of some of these texts; our mission is not to understand them, but to seem to–truly, there is no difference. Consider our revolutionary prophet, Jesse Wolfson ’07, whose illiteracy does not prevent him from speaking about any text with a seductive ease that recalls the spreading of a fine foie gras on toast: “Most people just don’t see the poetry that permeates so much of Michel and Jacque’s oevre. It’s tragic, really, but what can you expect from people who don’t even own a decent Harris tweed?”
DINING is an art, not a necessity. If one cannot eat in style, one prefers not to eat at all. Our epicurean comrade, Claire Siebers ’07 calls us to a higher form of culinary delight: “Let us lick our fingers in defiance of all that is reheated, repackaged, or limp. Let us bathe in espresso and moisturize with frangipane! Let us cook quail eggs for breakfast then throw them away because they are bobwhite instead of coturnix! The world is our oyster! Let us suck out all the pearls!” A true revolutionary has a membership to Mory’s, but never eats there. Instead, one eats out at The Union League (without reservations, for one is well-acquainted with Jean-Michelle, the maître). One avoids at all costs all the popular ‘middling’ restaurants in New Haven, including, but not limited to: Roomba, Café Pacifico, Zinc, Samurai and Café Adulis. They are strictly for those would lack taste but are unaware of that fact. On a budget, one eats at ‘honest’ establishments, such as Ivy Noodle or the Burrito Cart. Similarly, one either drinks at the Union League or at Rudy’s (though at the latter one is careful not to mix with the local clientele); only a philistine thinks to have a cocktail at a place like Hot Tomato’s, that den of wholesale mediocrity posing as class.
The revolutionary comrade never makes the mistake of thinking that he is judged primarily by what is in his head, rather than how he CLOTHES HIMSELF. The faithful comrade dresses in tweed blazer and tie, or button-down shirt and sweater, as if he is continually at a garden party on a Saturday late afternoon; he never wears a full suit unless at a funeral (or at an interview, which he never attends); he knows that white socks and sneakers are only for athletic engagements; and he occasionally dons, for the sake of authenticity, a vintage blazer or his mother’s college sweater. The female comrade has a penchant for her grandfather’s tweed jackets, sleeps in her pearls, has enough ballet flats to outfit a small African nation, and only wears flip-flops to the beach, if then. Both men and women comrades know that sweatshirts, sweatpants and sweatwear of any kind — particularly when emblazoned on the posterior with words — are the spawn of a twisted mind that endeavors to reduce us of all to the level of velour-clad sheep.
Thus, our third motto is: Our only defense is the beautiful; our only revenge the sublime.
Brethren, you have heard our call, and now is the time to answer it. So cast off the trappings of your mediocrity, and embrace your true selves! Put on a blazer, fondle a worn copy of The Dialectic of Enlightenment, and swish a glass of gently warmed port between your fingers. Turn up the Wagner on your record of the “real world” outside your window, and settle down for an evening of revolutionary contemplation.
Yours in striving,
The Committee for the Revolution of the Few.
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