QUANTIFYING ELITISM…. Following up on Charles Murray’s odd piece on “elitism,” Claire Berlinski created the “How Plebe Are You?” test. Kevin Drum suggest this “deserves meme-dom,” and I’m inclined to agree. Here’s how I did:

1. Can you talk about “Mad Men?”

I can and I do.

2. Can you talk about the “The Sopranos?”

Yes, in great detail.

3. Do you know who replaced Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right?”

Oddly enough, yes, but I haven’t seen the show since I was a kid.

4. Have you watched an Oprah show from beginning to end?

Yes, but it’s been a long while.

5. Can you hold forth animatedly about yoga?

Not a chance.

6. How about pilates?

I’ve heard the word, but I’m not entirely sure what pilates even are.

7. How about skiing?

I like skiing, but can I “hold forth animatedly” on the subject? Sort of.

8. Mountain biking?

Not even a little.

9. Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is?

I do, but NASCAR isn’t for me.

10. Does the acronym MMA mean anything to you?

I know what it is and what it stands for, but I’ve never watched it.

11. Can you talk about books endlessly?


12. Have you ever read a “Left Behind” novel?

No, but I can tell you quite a bit about how looney one of its authors is.

13. How about a Harlequin romance?


14. Do you take interesting vacations?

I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with this word “vacation.” Put me down for a “no.”

15. Do you know a great backpacking spot in the Sierra Nevada?

I don’t even know of any awful backpacking spots in the Sierra Nevada. No.

16. What about an exquisite B&B overlooking Boothbay Harbor?

I hear it’s a lovely area, but no.

17. Would you be caught dead in an RV?

I’m not philosophically opposed to being in an RV, but I have no experience with them.

18. Would you be caught dead on a cruise ship?

If I didn’t get brutally sea sick before even leaving the dock, sure.

19. Have you ever heard of Branson, Mo?

Of course, though I haven’t personally been there.

20. Have you ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club?


21. How about the Rotary Club?


22. Have you lived for at least a year in a small town?

Depending on how one defines “small town,” absolutely.

23. Have you lived for a year in an urban neighborhood in which most of your neighbors did not have college degrees?

I’ve never thought to ask, but I’m guessing no.

24. Have you spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line?

Actually, yes, though it’s been a while.

25. Do you have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian?

I have a limited number of people I consider “close friends,” but if we expand it to mean people I talk to on a regular basis, sure.

26. Have you ever visited a factory floor?


27. Have you worked on one?


I’m not sure if that makes me an “elitist,” but that’s my record.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.