The American Dream and the Art of Looking Smug . . . .

I always wanted to look smug, but to be perfectly honest, I've never really managed to pull it off. I suppose that to look properly smug, you have to feel smug; and to feel smug you have to have something to be smug about. And of course . . . there lies the rub with a person such as myself. As far as I am aware, while I have lots to be thankful for, I've got nothing to look smug about.

I can look happy. I can look sad. I can look puzzled. I can look mad. In fact, I can look a whole lot of things. No special talent required. But smug is a tricky one. Method actors probably have some secret trick for pulling off a smug expression (check out any picture of Jared Kushylife or his good-buddy, Mohammed bin Salmonid), some special thought that they intentionally think that engenders a feeling of condescending entitlement. Like if they were asked to play the part of an ancient Patrician (or Equestrian) aristocrat who had just been handed the keys to Rome; or if your father-in-law was improbably elected president and gave you a top governmental position without you having any governmental experience whatsoever; or, you are a relatively minor member of an enormous and fabulously-rich royal family who is suddenly elevated to the rarefied heights of true power. You see smug expressions a lot on TV commercials. Perhaps the TV commercial producers actually put out requests to central casting for five-star smug-rated actors. Perhaps smug-rated actors get paid the most because it's such a tough gig?

I notice that the word 'elite' is now being bandied around a lot on TV, social media and the web. I find this to be a disturbing trend and it will become obvious why I find it to be so as you get further into the body of this text. If, before you were even born, you were smart enough to ensure that you were part of the elite and had rich parents; far-sighted enough to ensure that you were intelligent; Earth-savvy enough to ensure that you were attractive, strong and healthy; then your sense of elitist entitlement would be very strong and looking smug would be second-nature to you.

For us ordinary mortals, however, a smug appearance is not so easily attained without the expenditure of a lot of willpower, multiple facial-muscle cramps and a strongly-focused talent for pretense.

Suffice to say that I will keep working at it . . . but I won't hold my breath on achieving this particular goal.