Thursday, July 14, 2011

how condescension became contempt

Chavs
Is it the book, or the review? I don't know
Here’s how Mr. Jones sets the scene. “Sitting around the table were people from more than one ethnic group. The gender split was 50-50, and not everyone was straight. All would have placed themselves somewhere left of center politically.” Each guest “would have bristled at being labeled a snob.” Disaster arrived, as it always seems to, with the black currant cheesecake. That’s when the talk turned to the economic crisis. One of the party’s hosts joked: “It’s sad that Woolworth’s is closing. Where will all the chavs buy their Christmas presents?” The other guests tittered. Mr. Jones stewed.

The word chav, if your subscriptions to British periodicals have lapsed, is a noun that essentially means “ugly prole”: loutish, tacky, probably drunken and possibly violent. The stereotypical chav is a hormonal 20-something lad in an Adidas tracksuit, sideways Burberry baseball cap and bling, but women can be chavs, too. Think of Snooki with a cockney accent.

What angered Mr. Jones about the dinner party comment, he explains, is that the joke could easily have been rephrased thus: “It’s sad that Woolworth’s is closing. Where will the ghastly lower classes buy their Christmas presents?” This got him thinking. “How has hatred of working-class people become so socially acceptable?” he asks.

... How this came to pass in Britain, which has long revered its stalwart working class, is Mr. Jones’s primordial subject in “Chavs.” The book poses this principled question: How did the salt of the earth come to be viewed as the scum of the earth?
"Long revered." "Stalwart working class." "Salt of the earth."



The Reformer.


"He said: I want to help the common people..."

Thatcher didn't invent the British Class system.

This is a modern world - This is the modern world
What kind of a fool do you think I am?
You think I know nothing of the modern world
All my life has been the same
I've learned to live by hate and pain
It's my inspiration drive -
I've learned more than you'll ever know
Even at school I felt quite sure
That one day I would be on top
And I'd look down upon the map
The teachers who said I'd be nothing -
This is the modern world that I've learnt about
This is the modern world, we don't need no one
To tell us what's right or wrong -
Say what you like 'cause I don't care
I know where I am and going too
It's somewhere I won't preview
Don't have to explain myself to you
I don't give two fucks about your review

Punk wasn't a rebellion against capitalism. It was capitalism, rebelling against the hereditary aristocracy. Today's snobbery is the snobbery of the nouveau riche, the multiculti new bourgeois.
Margaret Thatcher didn't invent the fucking British Class system.

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