“Oh no, has Adamas Nemesis gone terminally online!?” I can hear you asking; well, as someone practically raised by the Internet, it’s rather pointless to worry about such things anyway. But really, I just couldn’t resist making a whole blog post out of a meme I saw on Twitter of the attractive popular privileged kids and the lives they go on to lead, specifically in the white South, because it’s as amusing as it is truthful. Let’s start with the starter pack itself:
Sure, there aren’t that many people who are this privileged, but there’s enough for it to be a definite type that most people familiar with the white South have seen and heard of, though even then they don’t usually look quite as much a cross between an HGTV program and a Ralph Lauren photoshoot as these people do. I don’t personally know anybody who fits the description of the “‘We’re So Blessed!’ starter pack”, but among my social circle I actually do know quite a few people who are what one might call a lower-class version of Brock and Kenzie.
Like, they know all the important members of the community and have schmoozed with them from childhood, the man owns a business that generates a rather standard-issue middle-class-level income with which they buy a generous-but-not-quite-McMansion-sized house in a “nice” neighborhood, perhaps with help from relatives who’ve grubbed their way to “middle-class millionaire” status, indulging themselves in their retirement by buying vacation homes, owning boats, and doting on their grandkids. The woman might be a full-blown stay-at-home mother but much more common is her helping out the man with the family business when the domestic demands on her time permit, or the woman having her own “business” she occupies herself with but that doesn’t really bring in much money.
One aspect of the lower-class version the full-blown version leaves out is the obsession with residing in an area with “good schools”. Brock and Kenzie need not concern themselves with this, as their kids are going to private prep and possibly boarding schools anyway, but on the next rung down the ladder from them it’s an obsession that people even in northern Virginia, let alone far less southern environs like California, would find hard to comprehend. In the South public schools dominate social and economic life.
Business ownership is perhaps the archetypal way to make a living for the Brocks and Kenzies of the world, as well as their less privileged counterparts, in large measure because in even the nicer areas of the South earning potential for employees is rather limited. Williamson County, Tennessee is perhaps the best example; hyped up as one of the wealthiest places in the country, if you look at Indeed you’d be hard-pressed to find any listings there that tout pay over $150,000 a year or so; even above $90,000 a year or so it starts to become slim pickings. The odd remote-work listing out of San Francisco that offers $300,000 or even more sticks out like a sore thumb. If you want to earn mid-six-figures, you kinda have to be some kind of business owner; in somewhere like New York, by contrast, earning that much as a white-collar professional employee is actually realistic.
Nevertheless, at the low-six-figure or (more commonly) mid-to-high five-figure range, it’s ubiquitous for the man and usually the woman too to be some type of white-collar professionals. Perhaps the most stereotypical arrangement is for Kenzie to be a schoolteacher while Brock is a lawyer (nigh-archetypal Southern lawyers can be found in abundance near any courthouse, like moths buzzing around a flame). But as often as not one or the other might be a real-estate agent, the woman usually as a more part-time, almost amateurish, endeavor and the man usually as a hard-charging full-time professional salesman type.
What we think of as generic office work is also common, even if it’s not as fun to contemplate. Particularly common, especially among the women, is some role in the medical industry, which is huge in that part of the country. I go to California and everything seems normal, but almost as soon as I cross the 100th meridian I see billboards advertising pain clinics, doctors, and hospitals. Being away from all that for a while really highlighted how abnormal it is. It’s like in the whole eastern United States (note: the Rust Belt is probably even worse about this than the South) most people’s jobs and even their very livelihoods have been hollowed out and/or shipped overseas, leaving behind a husk of a land and a husk of a populace, the only truly major industry left there being the art of giving these husks palliative care until the ruling class can at long last dispose of them. No wonder the NEETish masses envy Brock and Kenzie so much; they’re part of the 1% who manage to escape this grim fate!
Moving on a bit, notice that Brock and Kenzie have three children, all charming and very preppy-looking blondes. I’m kinda surprised the meme leaves out their regular attendance of a church that they wear on their sleeve; in the circles the Brocks and Kenzies of the South travel in, churches are perhaps second only to schools as the center of social life.
Though on the other hand, at Brock and Kenzie’s level of the socioeconomic ladder the tenor of life actually starts to become more secular, less religious, and less “churchy”, if you gather my meaning. Williamson County, Tennessee is the most archetypally conservative community in the entire country (yes, really; though in my view it’s possible some suburbs of Atlanta or Houston might best it), dominated by churchy professional-class types that are rabidly socially and religiously conservative. Nearby Belle Meade, by contrast, being an old-money enclave, is dominated by actual upper-class people, and is habitually much more socially moderate. Mind you, there’s not much actual progressivism of any sort to be found at the Belle Meade Country Club, but there is something akin to the chill attitudes and more mixed views prevalent in the working-class-dominated countryside that voted like 80% for Trump. The upper middle class, you see, are both more socially liberal and more socially conservative than the rungs above and below them on the socioeconomic ladder; the rich and the poor aren’t nearly as polarized.
Anyway, three children is rather common for their type. They probably possess a (to my view) rather sickening and saccharine sort of happiness to their lives and demeanor, which helps when it comes to getting in the mindset to start a family, especially a decent-sized one that goes beyond the even-more-goody-goody “one boy and one girl” model prevalent among secular big-metro professionals. Interestingly, having a large family is more atypical at Brock’s income level than almost any other part of the economic scale. Fertility famously declines with greater income, but this only holds true up to a level of $150,000-$200,000; once you reach $200,000 it starts to climb up again, to the point where households with incomes over $1 million have the highest birth rates of any bracket! So much for dysgenics…
Nevertheless, the average household earning $150,000 a year, while coming from some modicum of privilege, just doesn’t have the more upper-crust background Brock and Kenzie have (not to mention they probably have more assets than their $216k household income would suggest); their behavior on net, therefore, should more closely resemble the seven-figure set, among which having 3 children is likely about as common as having 2.
The kids’ names — Raleigh, Hudson, and Ashlin — are just too good and spot-on, because those are exactly the sort of names possessed by privileged late-Gen-Z/early-Gen-α Southerners. Raleigh is a South-themed name (and honestly not a bad choice at all for a real baby!), in keeping with the recent vaguely-androgynous-surname-name trend. Hudson is a popular name with the trendy “ən” ending, and is also in keeping with the same trend as Raleigh, though if I could add one quibble it would be that I’d expect Hudson to be more common among those with some connection to New York; a privileged baby Hudson sounds closer to an old-money New Yorker who’d appear on “Gossip Girl” than a privileged Southerner who’d show up on “House Hunters”, even if it fits both pretty well on an absolute scale. Ashlin is a bit cringe, but it’s a variant on the quintessentially Gen-Y “Ashley” that swept the South and has never quite let loose since; in this case Kenzie might have even named baby Ashlin in honor of a sister (the baby’s aunt) named Ashley!
Speaking of Kenzie, her name too is quintessentially Southern Millennial. Of all the names only Brock really seems off, not being a name I’d particularly associate with privileged Gen-Y Southern men, but according to Nameberry it was popular enough in his birth cohort (#300 or so), so…eh. At least it does bring off the privileged vibe successfully.
The cars are just too good in the meme; in my ample experiences across the region I can report that these sort of vehicles are indeed very common for the Brocks and Kenzies of the world, even among those a couple rungs down from them. Even the Infiniti make of Kenzie’s crossover is perfect; Nissan (which makes Infiniti) is very popular in that part of the country.
So all told, a great meme, one I found really enjoyable from the first time I spotted it on Twitter this morning. Bizlet of Twitter (@bizlet7) says “Whatever this is is my politics.” Hmm. ✋🥚-chan of Twitter (@SakakiIsCute) says “In the end every dissident right-wing anime guy’s biggest fantasy is to just live like the popular kid at his Highschool who went to UGA or Ole Miss rather than ‘burn the cities’ or ‘revolt against bugmen democracy'”. Well, there’s a lot of truth in that. After all, just look at this meme that makes the rounds on the black-pill circuit, more or less overlapping with the same people; it just oozes envy, albeit in a more depressive than crab-in-a-bucket sense:
On the other hand, I myself am a little bit too close to this social status for comfort, although I’m a dissident who’s neither right-wing nor an anime fan — indeed, but for being barely in the top 1% by net worth for my age group, I answer to Robert Stark’s description of the “smart but poor” — yet I don’t really envy these people at all, in any of these memes. Sure, their lives are nice in an abstract intellectual sense, but it’s not the sort of life I’d want or would be truly satisfied with even if I had a genie by my side and I could wish myself into living it for the rest of my days. It’s like being offered marriage to a woman who’s beautiful by all the objective metrics but doesn’t turn you on; sure, it’s better than being with someone ugly or plain, but in the end you’re still settling and will never truly be satisfied.
What would really make me happy? Frankly, much the same lifestyle I lead now, only with a lot more money, in a much better location, and a real business to call my own (money helps a lot with the last two 😀 ), not to mention a dreamy beloved and a whole bunch of kids. Think not Brock and Kenzie but rather more like some character who wouldn’t look out of place in a Jane Austen novel, or, and this might be closer to the mark, among those innumerable genius protagonists in adventure stories who have meaningful and even lucrative (a)vocations but who never really seem to want for funds even when they don’t work.
Like, I’m never going to be a normie, but why can’t I be a super-cool member of the independently wealthy? That’s a goal that actually appeals to me. It’s even realistic; by my calculations, if financial assets grow in the 21st century remotely like they did in the 20th, then I’ll make it there by some point in midlife. Even a quarter of Brock’s income added to my nest egg every year will greatly enhance my wealth base, and should be quite achievable for me even in the short term. Hmm…that’s some food for thought. Makes me feel a lot less depressed. Thank you, Twitter memesters! 🙂