05 February 2012

Dalrymple's Verdict on 'Downton Abbey'

The reason for the popularity of the British soap-opera and PBS's Masterpiece Theatre Downton Abbey, according to British essayist Theodore Dalrymple, pen name for Dr Anthony Daniels, is that we Americans really do love the idea of social class rather than that 'all men are created equal' claptrap: my guess is that Dr Daniels is seeing himself reflected in his own eyeglasses.

Of course, we commoners like a good story, even if it is a soap opera; and we enjoy comparing and contrasting the upstairs characters and their way of dealing with the world with their downstairs counterparts. Just like our British cousins. But to say that we Americans like Downton Abbey in the same way that we like using the 'N' word is just silly.

The decline of the aristocracy in England in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century is a grand collection of a great many interesting smaller stories. We Americans may see some prospect of declines in our own fortunes in the late 20th century and early 21st century, and thus we may look to earlier times for help.

No comments:

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here