No Catholics or Californians

Posted on by David Gelber

I always thought WASPs were young women called Missy who dressed in little pink cardigans and pearls and preppie young men called Lowell or Carter, fashion items really. Well, this gigantic volume, conceived on a scale of grandeur to rival the US Capitol itself, has put me right. Rooted in Puritan New England, the WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) emerged in the 1860s as a would-be moneyed ruling class pitted against the brutish, vulgar

Roadkill for Tea

Posted on by David Gelber

There is a sketch in Chris Morris’s monstrously unsettling 2000 series Jam in which Morris plays a very posh man who has decided to live outside. The man stands wistful and weather-beaten, deriding the useless comforts of beds and central heating as he describes skinning dead blackbirds and fighting cats for food. Sometimes, he tells […]

My Yam is Bigger Than Yours

Posted on by David Gelber

In his magnum opus Economy and Society, published posthumously in 1921, the German sociologist Max Weber laid out a famous tripartite theory of stratification. Power in society, he noted, is mediated in three principal ways: through social class, through political parties and through something he called Stand. The word is one of those beguiling Teutonic […]

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Born Identities

Posted on by David Gelber

‘This is the book of the generations of Adam.’ So begins the fifth chapter of Genesis, and it lives up to the billing. Starting with Adam, who ‘begat a son in his own likeness, and in his own image, Seth’, the chapter describes the generations onwards – through Enos, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah and […]

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RLF - March