The defensive elites of the cultural industries 

In my search for ‘defensive elites’, which is to say high-net worth individuals exhibiting insecurity and defensiveness about their position within society, I’ve tended to focus on the business world. But this fabulously readable book by Harry Browne, The Frontman: Bono (in the Name of Power), suggests I’ve cast the net too narrowly. From loc 877:

Drummer Larry Mullen Jr, not always a reliable ally of the man whose ass he had gazed at across a thousand stages for thirty-plus years, showed similarly touchy out-of-touchness when he whined about dirty looks at Dublin Airport: there was ‘a new resentment of rich people in this country … We have experienced [a situation] where coming in and out of the country at certain times is made more difficult than it should be –not only for us, but for a lot of wealthy people … The better-off [are] being sort of humiliated.’ Without the entrepreneurial rich, Mullen concluded with accidental accuracy, ‘we’d be in a very, very different state’.

Can anyone think of comparable examples? I’m sure there must be loads out there. 

Bono on loc 1510 from the same book:

‘It’s much more glamorous to be on the barricades with your handkerchief over your nose than it is to have a bowler and a briefcase and go to work … But … that’s the way to get the work done. It’s uncool. It’s incredibly unhip. But it’s the way to get it done.’

2 thoughts on “The defensive elites of the cultural industries ”

  1. I’m not sure about defensive, but we have a few reclusive elites of the cultural industries settling in here in New Zealand where society is too polite to humiliate the entrepreneurial rich (most of whom are farmers). We have AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd behaving badly but happy to live a quiet life here and we have James Cameron and family on a ‘lifestyle block’ /country estate in a quiet farming community north of Wellington. It will be interesting to wait and see what unfolds.

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