On Not Reading by Amy Hungerford [The Chronicle Review] “The activity of nonreading is something that scholars rarely discuss. When they — or others whose identities are bound up with books — do so, the discussions tend to have a shamefaced quality. Blame "cultural capital" — the sense of superiority associated with laying claim to books that mark one’s high social status. More entertainingly, blame Humiliation, the delicious game that a diabolical English professor invents in David Lodge’s 1975 academic satire, Changing Places. ”
This afternoon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne got on a train from Cheshire to London. Despite only having a Standard Class ticket, he headed straight to First Class, because (obviously) he couldn't sit with the Standard Class herd. So he sent an aide to tell the ticket collector that he was going to sit in First Class, but was unwilling to pay. Sadly for him, the discussion took place right next to a journalist, who tweeted the whole thing. This comes hot on the heels of Plebgate, of course: the protagonist in that embarrassment resigned soon after Osborne's gaffe, apparantly in an attempt to distract attention. [more inside]
Bicycle Snobbery - whether "mustache handlebars", silly tattoos, "mankinis" or other male cycling fashion statements, brass knuckle bicycle grips or celebrity brokeback pie-plates, NYC's Bike Snob casts judgment on all he surveys from one high gear
Judge a book by its cover. See if you can guess the Amazon rating.
There aren't many places in the United States that can count poetry societies run by Afghan cab drivers. Washington has two. And they don't like each other.
The Guardian examines "nu snobbery" and the social acceptability among the British press and middle class of ridiculing the working class. The chav phenomenon has been discussed many times on MeFi, but if anything it has gotten more widespread, and as documented in the article, even spawned Chav Discos. Where will it all lead? Has Britain slipped completely back into class snobbery - in both directions - or did it never really go away?
What's That? Sadly, the education of the youth of amerika is declining in more than one way. The other day I was at the grocery store and the checker was unable to identify a portabello mushroom. And no, she wasn't new...and to make matters worse the checker next to her didn't know either. (more inside)
Snobsite: Online home of the Rock Snobs Dictionary. Includes: Rock Snobbery Explained, and other excerpts.
Chavs, Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Kappa Slappers, Skangers, Janners, Stigs, Scallies
ChavScum "A humorous guide to Britain's burgeoning peasant underclass" is a website devoted to a particular "style" of a section of british society (similar to the US "Trailer Trash"). Some of the discussions in the forums vary from the hilarious to the deeply offensive. Meanwhile the Independent ask is chavspotting just harmless fun or a sinister new form of snobbery?
Time was, American society had at least a loose pecking order, with the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, et al, setting standards for snobbery and WASP-y elitism. Now, says David Brooks, “we’ve democratized elitism in this country,” with everyone finding their own niche in which to be a snob. [more inside…]
We are all snobs "I do look down on certain selected people--preferably, it's true, from a distance and until now unbeknownst to them. Yet look down I do, usually with an uncomplicated feeling of satisfaction.....Why did I need to assert my superiority, even to myself, when no one was contesting it ?" We are all snobs in one way or another.
Are you a snob? When was the last time you judged someone on their shoes?