Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dignity....or what we used to call class, an endangered way of life

Younger readers may find this stuffy, but if you have a gray hair or two you'll be nodding your head. It's just a bit political, unusual for my blog, but if anything, the NY Times' David Brooks is a disgruntled Republican, so maybe it's okay.

This piece rung super true for me. See if it doesn't make sense to you too.


Anonymous said...

If you don't know what dignity is, you probably won't recognize it in others. Characteristics of dignity; personal honesty, self-awareness, pride, are derided these days. [See Facebook].

Class is now thought of as how much money or jewelry one has.

David Brooks occasionally surprises. But I think mostly he is appalled and embarrassed at the classless, ignominious hypocrites that have stolen his Republican label.


j.cagampang said...

Interesting, and in many ways things I have been thinking about for years- as I watch American culture implode under the weight of yet another episode of MTV cribs, et al.

Yet, I don't know how comfortable I am with David Brooks as Miss Manners, either ;-)

As a 'radical egalitarianist', I shudder at the loaded word 'class'..yet, I get the point. I often wonder why social/cultural egalitarianism must default to the lowest common denominator- I think the Modernists would have hoped for a general elevation, not a depression of the norm.

now, where are the keys to my gold accented Hummer?

bikelovejones said...

Very interesting. I would suggest that this sort of "dignity" was available mostly to persons of the middle and upper classes, and that perhaps another reason for its demise was rooted in the ruling clas' desire to seem more like "just folks". And so it IS related to class, or guilt about class, or something like that.

I think it's possible for individuals to maintain personal dignity, even as the idea has lost traction in our modern society.