Classy People Never Deal with the Future

[T]he leisure class’s "veneration of the archaic" shows itself everywhere: in the popularity among the upper-middle class of attending opera and classical ballet; of sending its issue to single-sex prep schools, because more unregenrate and old-style than co-ed ones; of traveling to view antiquties in Europe and the Middle East; of studying the "humanities" instead of, say, electrical engineering, since the humanities involve the past and studying them usually results in elegiac emotions. Even the study of law has about it this attractive aura of archaism: there’s all that dog Latin, and the "cases" must all be rooted in the past. Classy people never deal with the future.

Paul Fussell, Class: A Guide through the American Status System, p. 72.

6 thoughts on “Classy People Never Deal with the Future

  1. “ones; of traveling to view antiquties in Europe and the Middle East; of studying the “humanities” instead of, say, electrical engineering”

    I must be one screwed-up puppy, then. According to Fussell, anyway.

    I studied software engineering AND the humanities in college. I ‘deal with the future’ every day at work (at a startup mobile content provider), but my breaks are spent travelling to ‘view antiquities’ in Europe and (hopefully soon) the Middle East. I’m dreaming of Cairo, Luxor, Marrakesh, and Istanbul)….

    But I’m obviously not classy. I came to terms with that long ago…. ;(

  2. Wow, first Thorstein Veblen’s “Theory of the Leisure Class”, now Fussell’s “Class”. What’s next? Pierre Bourdieu’s “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” or rather C.P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures”?

  3. > Classy People Never Deal with the Future

    They don’t, indeed. They have the proles to buffer its brunt. Some aestheticising überbau will explain why this is a good thing, or at least permissible – and it sure is always good for a an enlightened chuckle à la Fussell. Lovable happy valley dwellers. I’m a nutter anyway, and vulgar at that, so, let’s have a look at the future for those without green card and eventual access to guarded communities, ok?

  4. Btw, on the rare occasion that, after watching other people pick their nose on the commuter train and debating postcard slogans on German Joys, I am still in dire need of some brainless distraction, I switch over to this blog, which I came across by the hell knows what freak accident. The author, a rich fuck with an arts/history degree that spends his inheritance on knick-knacks from flea markets, entertains with heroic stories of fighting the straw men of the non-existing German blogosphere to distract from the inconvenient fact that he isn’t able to contribute anything to society at all.

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