Friday, September 26, 2008

Anglo-Americans as portrayed on television
Known in America as WASPs (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants; this includes people of other Northern European stock like New York’s old Dutch Knickerbockers). I’ve never seen most of the shows being talked about but get the point. Why so unflattering, outdated and simply wrong?
My favorite TV moment of this sort is from the a show starring the Dreyfus chick from ‘Seinfeld’, ‘New Adventures of Old Christine’ [sic]. She plays a struggling single mom, trying to keep her child in a Los Angeles ‘country day’ type school. Of course, all the other children are blond or sandy-haired! While Christine and her spawn are both dark-haired. Of course Christine wants to bring diversity to the school, in the form of a black child, while some Stepford Wives-type characters try to block this noble endeavor.

Everything about ‘Gossip Girl’ is modern, from the drugs to the iPhones, except for the sociological background, which the writers may as well have lifted out of the Gilded Age.

The rich kids all have names like Waldorf, Archibald, Bass and van der Woodsen. In reality, however, the families of the old Protestant Establishment make up only a minority of New York’s wealthy elite.
Just like the mainline churches haven’t called the shots but rather have been chasing secular society’s trends for at least 30 years.

There’s also the correct Paul Fussellian point about real class not flaunting wealth: English modesty and acting as though one doesn’t need or crave money (driving a 20-year-old Buick not riding in a Rolls-Royce).
WASPs, however, unlike others wealthy groups, have not formed a pressure group to punish studios that portray them unfavorably. (WASPs instead prefer to express themselves politically through benign environmental causes, with perhaps a little feminism mixed in.)
See above on the mainline churches. Well-meant charity as political correctness.
Many ... television shows ... are nothing more than Jews making fun of ... non-Jews.
There are also the factors of deliberate dumbing-down, giving those outside a culture what they expect not the real thing, and envy and emulation of what one thinks the culture is.
The one US sitcom that ever really offended me was ‘Seinfeld’, where WASP women were treated as disposable bags of meat.

Most US sitcoms take the more passive-aggressive approach of making the WASP male characters impotent.
I appreciated Larry David’s intelligence but never really liked ‘Seinfeld’, a kind of Jewish humour built on put-downs.

From Taki.

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