Monday, May 05, 2008


interesting piece on the perception of liberals as elites.

the prescience/applicability of the quotes for some reason reminded me of this cool passage in sinclair lewis's babbit. is it ironic to quote a satirical novel as postscript to an article about elitist liberals? how pretentious.

through the wonder of the internet, i was quickly able to locate that passage for your enjoyment:

"They went, with ardor and some thoroughness, into the matters
of streamline bodies, hill-climbing power, wire wheels,
chrome steel, ignition systems, and body colors. It was much
more than a study of transportation. It was an aspiration
for knightly rank. In the city of Zenith, in the barbarous
twentieth century, a family's motor indicated its social rank
as precisely as the grades of the peerage determined the rank
of an English family — indeed, more precisely, considering the
opinion of old county families upon newly created brewery
barons and woolen-mill viscounts. The details of precedence
were never officially determined. There was no court to decide
whether the second son of a Pierce Arrow limousine should
go in to dinner before the first son of a Buick roadster, but
of their respective social importance there was no doubt; and
where Babbitt as a boy had aspired to the presidency, his son
Ted aspired to a Packard twin-six and an established position
in the motored gentry."


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