So there’s this man from Lafayette who adorned his gold Lamborghini with purple stripes to show his support for LSU. The Independent linked a piece from SB Nation about it, with a note to check out the comments; apparently, the owner was getting a lot of hate, which I assumed would be in the form of a UL vs. LSU, “How dare you do that in Lafayette?” kind of thing.
Boy, was I wrong. This two-way row was much more interesting.
Anybody who’s ever written anything on the Internet knows that someone, somewhere, will troll you. You can write about how much you love puppies and some spoilsport will ask where you get off on promoting rabies. It’s practically a given. Most of the time, it isn’t worth dignifying with a response.
But that’s exactly what the subject of the article did. Lots and lots and lots of times. And what started as a debate on the style/gaudiness of the car became an elaborate deconstruction of everything that’s pitiful about people with too much money to spend, too little empathy for others and endowed with a strong need to have the last word.
To be fair, the people attacking him are juvenile at times and, like the man himself, are better off just ignoring the whole thing. But the guy does himself no favors with his reactions. I’m not going to taunt my OCD by citing and parsing the best quotes that the car’s owner makes to commenters, because there are entirely too many; take a look for yourself. But I will note that one of the first responses he makes to a critic is to ask the critic about his own theoretical Lamborghini. In other words, call me back when you’re consuming at my level, then I’ll care what you have to say.
Not this again.
A very prevalent attitude in Louisiana — one that, possibly more than anything else, has me pining strongly for blue-state pastures — is the obnoxious flaunting of wealth. Many rich people in the South tend to have little to no humility when it comes to vast riches. As the state’s love for chemicals and disdain for regulations and education attest, we’re a business state where quality of life is strictly secondary. As is often said, toxic waste smells like money to us.
Consequently, the prevailing attitude is, if you’ve got it, flaunt it; if you don’t, then obviously you’re a welfare-gorging leech. Not to mention jealous as hell, which incentivizes the haves to double down on their having. They cannot fathom anyone having other goals in life, such as creating art or music, or simply earning a decent standard of living — winning the toy race is all that matters, so why shouldn’t one be unabashedly arrogant about their conspicuous consumption?
You get the impression that if these people were an undefeated football team, they’d scream around town in Hummers, slapping teddy bears out of little girls’ hands while shouting, “Yeahhhh!! We’re 16-0, fools! Aren’t you jealous of me? If you are, maybe you should form your own team and go 16-0, little girl!” Meanwhile, the kids are crying because the players made short work of the only thing they have.
No one likes a sore winner, especially when no one else is playing the game.
But I digress. Back to the Tiger car.
I can live with the flaunting part. It’s not my style (not that I’m in danger of having much to flaunt), but I accept that it is for some. And even though I’m a fan of fuel-efficient cars and am not a big LSU fan, I think the Tiger car is pretty cool. Above all, a person is expressing himself as he chooses and no one’s getting hurt. I dig that no matter how someone chooses to do it.
What irritates me (and everyone else on the thread) is not his car or his wealth, but his condescending attitude. He thinks everyone is jealous of him, and by the time he gets to blabbing about Obama and socialism, it’s clear he’s flailing to box everyone into his reality. But arguments like his land with a thud for people like me because I don’t want what he has. I’d be happy with a job that allows me to pay my bills and otherwise be a responsible person. Otherwise, I have everything I want. People like this guy don’t get that, just like they don’t get how their arrogance hurts us all. Including themselves.
They don't criticize him because they're jealous, but because he insists that they must be.