Friday, December 14, 2012

A Monologue of Class

The following monologue should be delivered in a upper-class British accent, preferably while wearing a top hat and monocle.

Good evening.  I am Reginald Herbert Archibald Fortiscue Montebank Tree, and I would like to talk to you about the tremendous problems facing the upper class.  Now, some of you might be wondering what problems the upper class could possibly have.  We are very wealthy; in some cases, fantastically wealthy.  This wealth allows us access to better healthcare and legal representation, better education for ourselves and our children, more influence in society and politics, more opportunities for entertainment and leisure. 
But consider this: The hopes and motivations of people in the lower classes are focused almost entirely upon gaining wealth.  They aspire to own a larger house (or simply a house), a new motorcar, fancy clothes and jewelry, bottles of fine wine; modest goals, perhaps, but goals nonetheless.  And it is these ambitions, these dreams of luxury, which motivate the lower-classes to work and strive and feverishly pursue wealth for almost their entire lives. 
But for an upper-class person who has already attained all these things, perhaps was even born into them, those goals do not exist.  What is there to motivate them?  When one wants for nothing, one hopes for nothing, and thus many rich people languish in a state of hopelessness and aimlessness, lacking the simple ambitions and aspirations that give the poor their direction in life.
Of course, many of the rich simply strive to become even richer, to acquire more wealth and finer possessions.  But here they face another two-edged sword.  The more a person has, the more he can lose, and thus the more afraid of loss he becomes.  Anxiety and paranoia run rampant amongst the upper classes.  They jealously guard their property against theft and destruction, and no system of protection or security can ever totally relieve their trepidation.  Whereas poor people fear loss less owing to the simple fact that they have less they can lose.  A poor man may fuss about losing the one or two things he has, but a rich man may be overcome by apprehension over losing the dozens and dozens of highly valuable things he possesses.
Now, some will argue that a poor man’s possessions are rendered more valuable to him by virtue of their scarcity and the complications he would face in replacing them.  It is true that poor people are forced to “do without” in many cases owing to how much of their time, energy, and money is devoted to simply meeting their basic needs.  Theirs is a life where the ultimate goal is simply survival, the basic animal instinct to stay alive.  Some say this is cause to lament and pity the poor, but I say no; in fact, just the opposite.  This living hand-to-mouth simplifies their existence by removing extraneous entanglements and tiresome complexities.  Their concerns are simple, and focusing their energies on such basic problems frees them from a veritable cavalcade of anxieties.  A poor man need never fret about dressing out of fashion for a museum gala or agonize over which caterer to hire for a country club luncheon.  Fluctuations in stock prices do not matter to him, nor does the long-term depreciation of a collection of impressionist paintings.  He does not have to dread the thought of his holiday cruise ship sinking just off the Cape of Good Hope because he will likely never be on a holiday cruise ship anywhere.  These are the kinds of troubles that afflict only the well-off and the well-to-do, and like it or not, there is little help in sight to ease their bevy of burdens.
So I ask you all, everyone here tonight, to please offer the upper class your sympathy and support as they struggle beneath the yolk of prosperity.  Even if you are middle-class or upper-middle-class, remember there is always someone who is better off than you.  Furthermore, you must do all that you can to ensure the chains of wealth do not spread outwards to ensnare greater segments of the population.  Do not help the poor.  Do not give them money or donate to charitable causes.  Let them live continue to live simple lives free of the encumbrances of wealth and the anxieties of affluence.  The very future of our society depends upon your efforts to keep the upper class as small and exclusive as possible.  Thank you. 

Copyright (C) 2012 by Eric Landuyt

1 comment:

  1. I really like the punchline for this. It's a great example of a satirical argument you can imagine someone in real life actually taking. Middle-class ennui interests me no matter how it's discussed, so for someone to see it as a threat is pretty entertaining. The guy's name made me laugh too (even though I could see that joke coming).
    I'm not sure upper-class British accent would be the way to go for this; it's a really slow one, so people might get the joke and then have to wait for the presenter to actually expand on it. It's a topical piece, so I don't think an accent would be needed.