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January 6, 2013

Yearning for the Mud

Nostalgie de la boue tends to be a favorite motif whenever a great many new faces and a lot of new money enter Society.

New arrivals have always had two ways of certifying their superiority over the hated “middle class.” They can take on the trappings of aristocracy, such as grand architecture, servants, parterre boxes and high protocol; and they can indulge in the gauche thrill of taking on certain styles of the lower orders. The two are by no means mutually exclusive; in fact, they are always used in combination. -- Tom Wolfe on Radical Chic and Leonard Bernstein's Party for the Black Panthers -- New York Magazine

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 6, 2013 1:43 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Thanks for the link. I haven't read that piece since the '70s, and it's still laugh-out-loud funny.

Nobody like Tom Wolfe, ever, for puncturing the pretensions of the better-than-you.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at January 6, 2013 8:20 PM