We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was young and vain I thought I was one. I read lots of books, got myself overly-eddicated, used to read the New York Times daily, and robotically held most of the socially-acceptable, arrogant, bien pensant views. Now I know I am a regular person who just tries to live in reality as best I can, fully aware that many non-tweedy, non-Ivy grads understand life far better than I do. Uncommon sense and sensibilities can replace common sense. From Tom Sowell's new book, with interview video, at SDA:
Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society - intellectuals certainly can renounce war, “and that does not stop your neighbor from building up the biggest army in the world and coming in and killing you.”
I cannot recall which Tom Wolfe book it was in, but Wolfe long ago pointed out that 'intellectual' does not describe anything about a person's intelligence. The word, instead, describes a lifestyle.
As an example, Wolfe pointed out that Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, despite being a person of formidable intellect (with a PhD in orbital mechanics from MIT, or somesuch) would never be described as 'an intellectual.' Indeed, intellectuals would likely look down on him as a sort of talented lab rat. But --
But Aldrin could easily establish his chops as a bona fide intellectual simply by making a few lifestyle changes: Start wearing turtlenecks and grow luxuriant sideburns. (Hey, it was the Seventies.) Make a few public pronouncements about the moral necessity to spend more money on earthly social problems and less on space travel. Collect a stack of unread issues of 'The New York Review of Books.' And -- voila! -- his smouldering brilliance would soon be recognized.
Aldrin is an interesting character. If you get a chance, you should read [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnificent_Desolation_(book)]Magnificent Desolation[/url] which is a textbook on how somebody missed his days of fame and glory and almost lost himself in the process. It is quite the book.
RNB ... Buzz Aldrin is much too intelligent to want to be, or live as, an 'intellectual.' He wouldn't waste his time trying to dictate to his fellow men how they should live their lives. He's humble enough, secure enough, and self-confident enough not to waste his time doing that, choosing instead "to boldly go" into new and fascinating areas of mental investigation. Which are more fun anyway.
I don't believe Wolfe's point was that Aldrin would ever WANT to be 'an intellectual,' but how easy it would be for him to be recognized as one -- not for any feat of intellectual prowess but by assuming the social trappings of one.