Posts Tagged: Class

Ask Polly: Will Our Class Differences Tear Us Apart?

Hi Polly.

I've been with my current boyfriend for three years. We're really great together—similar interests, senses of humor, great sex. I love him so much—the only issue is that of our respective backgrounds. He grew up in a tony suburb, went to prep school, then to a very prestigious college, and finally the very prestigious graduate school where we met. I went to public school in a bad neighborhood, put myself through a not-so-prestigious college, made a name for myself in my field, then got into that same prestigious grad school. Our families could not be more different. I didn't think it would matter so much, but something happened [...]


Some Plutocrats Are Being "Classy" About Obama's Second Term

Congratulations to Pres Obama and his team on their terrific victory..

— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) November 7, 2012

One of the weirdest words to infiltrate Election 2012 wasn't "binders" or "rape." It was "classy," as in some guy in sweatpants surveying the omelet bar at an Embassy Suites buffet and saying to his wife, "This is a classy joint, they got shrimps in the eggs and everything."

But now, in this glorious second term of Barack Obama's imperial socialist presidency, "classy" is used to describe a powerful plutocrat when he briefly controls his vulgarian outbursts for long enough to express basic good manners. The right-wing wealthy [...]


What's Invisible At Harvard: A Conversation

Last week, The Paris Review's blog ran "Harvard and Class," a piece by Misha Glouberman (co-authored by Sheila Heti) about the challenges of dealing with class after attending "an upper-middle-class Jewish day school" in Canada and then going to Harvard—which, hmmm! As two recent Harvard grads ourselves, we wanted to offer a slightly different perspective on class, race and the Ivy League, as well as what it’s like to be offered $40 by your peers to remain invisible, please.

SJC: The first thing I thought of while reading the article was Dorm Crew [a student-run cleaning service]. You were one of the first people I met at Harvard—we both [...]


Upper-Class Aspirants Pop Their Collars Once More

As the cable cognoscenti renews its romance with the midcentury executive class, the fashion world is observing its own long-running dalliance with a perennial 20th-century marker of privilege: the global prep complex. As Guy Trebay notes in yesterday's Times Fashion Notebook entry in the entitlement-addled Sunday Styles section, all things prep are staging a robust comeback in international fashion-from the 30-year-later sequel to Lisa Birnbach's irksomely iconic 1980 bestseller, "The Official Preppy Handbook," to the successful launch of a Ralph Lauren restaurant franchise in Paris (with a menu that has to be heavy on Cape Codders and crocodile meat).


Strange Country Called 'England' Suffers From Class Entrenchment!

A shocking new British study suggests anecdotal evidence that rich people are more likely to succeed than poor people! The report found evidence of "informal recruitment systems," by which they mean "internships and work placement," which function as "a back-door for better-off, better-connected youngsters." (PICTURED: teens vying for one of these "internships" with posh English fucker Hugh Grant.) America, turn your back on this foreign, class-ridden horror-state!


Inside The Barista Class

One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked. NYU sophomores, the ones with Jansport backpacks in full makeup at 9 a.m., stuttered their orders and shyly complimented me on my nose ring. I semi-patiently listened to innumerable Wikipedia-style monologues about the music I was playing from men in their twenties trying to render their business attire invisible with cultural know-how. I was given zines, mixtape-party fliers, home-recorded chillwave demos.

I said things like "How’s the app going?" and "Welcome to the neighborhood." I answered questions for new Greenpoint residents—of which there were more each year—about the best place [...]


The "Cool Kids" Throw a Gross "Tech Homecoming" Party for Straight People

Tech Homecoming is happening next month! That's right, it's just like homecoming in high school, with football, a dance and a homecoming court: "The 2012 Homecoming court brings together 8 guys and 8 girls as representatives of the New York Tech & Media community. Homecoming court is selected by a panel of over 30 judges based on impact to the community, networks, and general likeability. One guy and one girl will be voted king and queen at the homecoming dance." They will vote on people! Like who is the "best dressed" and who is the "most eligible"!

Straight people: what is wrong with them? (Also, hey, look at [...]


When Did Indie Movies Get So Expensively Costumed?

"At the dawn of independent film, growing out of avant-garde culture, the movies reveled in their outsider status, portraying edgy misfits living on the cusps of society, in films like Stranger Than Paradise. Somewhere along the way, however, America’s self-styled outsider arts, the 'indie' movement in all its manifestations across film, music and fashion, not only made their peace with the capitalist hierarchy, but began to celebrate it. Across culture, the 'indie' world filed for emancipation from its downtrodden, protest-heavy forbears, and became something cloying, cutesy and simpering. Once upon a time, the sight of a man walking across the screen of an independent film in a $500 silk [...]


There Has To Be Some Sort Of "Going To The Dogs" Pun That Can Work Here

How to turn your nicely appointed, if slightly boring, kennel into a lightning rod for righteous class-based/lefty-aimed/etc. anger: Christen it a "nightclub for dogs," muse about your plans to hang a disco ball somewhere, and be sure to note to the poor Post reporter dispatched to cover your opening that dog owners who need to check their e-mail can use — gasp — an iPad! Et voila: "Of course it is some Dumbo, liberal, PETA, gay, progressive, Green, environmentalist idiot that has come up with this idea to attract other similar New York ilk! My only surprise is that it isn't in Pelosi or Boxers San Francisco district!" [...]


The Ladies Of Fifth Avenue

For many obvious reasons, this is maybe my favorite photo series in the world.


Britain Reboots Class System

"British people can now aspire to and despise four new levels of social classes, according to a new survey conducted by researchers in partnership with public broadcaster the BBC." Replacing your classic "upper," "middle" and "working" cohorts are seven new classes: "Elite," "Established Middle," "Technical Middle," "New Affluent Workers," "Traditional Working," "Emergent Service Workers" and "Precarious Proletariat." Distinctions aside, they will all stab you for looking at them funny. Which one would you be?


Common People: Class And The 80s

In the 1970s it was unusual to see wealthy families on television. The Jeffersons with their deluxe apartment in the sky, the occasional rich couple flitting over to "Fantasy Island" or booking a cruise on "The Love Boat"—these were the exceptions. But as the economy accelerated, mass culture was suddenly inundated with images of affluence. The wave hit around 1981, as the economy slowly recovered from the stagnant wages and inflation of the 1970s. Rabbit Angstrom, John Updike's scampering everyman, began to make serious money on his appreciating property and selling Toyotas on his father-in-law's lot in Rabbit is Rich; Joan Collins joined the cast of "Dynasty" as the splendid [...]


'Eat Pray Love' and 'I Am Love': Class Warfare

Today, two women look at summer lady-blockbuster 'Eat Pray Love' in the context of other movies with strong female characters. After this: Maria Bustillos on 'Life During Wartime.'

If your experience is the same as mine, and you do not garner your cultural criticism solely from the pages of O: The Oprah Magazine, you've heard of Eat, Pray, Love largely through negative press coverage. A veritable battalion of sudden class warriors have emerged in recent weeks to bash Eat, Pray, Love for its portrayal of cluelessness in rich white yoga-lady form, a near-universal object of derision if ever there was one in this culture.

It's not that [...]


Footnotes of Mad Men: American Grit

"Japan" is the explanation that Bert Cooper offers his British bosses for why they're standing in their socks inside his office. Japan and our role in WWII can also be offered as the explanation for what cinched America's role as the then-new empire. It must be a bit awkward for citizens of the waning imperial power that was England to strip down to their socks together. (Did you notice the armor lurking in the corner of Bert's office? And the buffed knight's suit standing guard in Lane's? Empire-building does come with some marvelous accessories.)


This Day In History: June 19, 1909

From the Penny Illustrated Paper, deep in the bowels of the British Library, comes this 100-year-old nugget about the relations between the classes.