Not In Front of the Servants

By: Thursday March 14, 2013 8:00 pm

Many years ago, my friend Marcus delightedly brought over his latest purchase, along with the usual two six-packs: an early twentieth century etiquette book.  As we got drunker, he kept finding ever more hilarious admonitions in its yellowed pages, reading them out loud in his thick German accent.  “Don’t ever discuss personal topics in front of children or servants,” he recited, giggling and gesturing with his finger on his lips toward my friend Judy’s boyfriend, who was going through a rough spot in his career and was then cleaning Marcus’ and my apartments each week.

Poor Mitt Romney evidently spent too much time with the Book of Mormon and not enough with Amy Vanderbilt, and somehow missed this important lesson.

 

Class, and the Lack Thereof

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 8:00 pm

One of the most pernicious delusions that plagues American political discourse is the association of wealth with what once was called “class.” I use the word in the same sense John F. Kennedy did when he commented simply but accurately after hearing a particularly snarling, whiny statement by his 1960 opponent, Richard Nixon: “No class.”

Class is, after all, a slippery concept; like obscenity, you only know it when you see it. “No class” is much more concrete, and it seems to be the defining trait of the modern Republican party, and despite his untold (heh) millions, Mitt Romney has no class.

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