The Corner

Rudest Person in America, Cont’d

A reader:


I am sure your rudest person could be found somewhere among the 400.

I bet he’s right. Sample quote from that article:

The Native Society … is a loose collection of the city’s elite kids who went to private schools, left briefly to attend Colby, Trinity, Harvard, Princeton and the like, and have since returned to take up the reins as New York City’s ruling class. … In just four months [Oliver] Estreich [What, no “III”? — JD] has attracted almost 400 members — 400 posh, young, beautiful members …

At the Native Society’s winter event, in February at the Plaza (naturally), 180 of those “mature” individuals appeared like characters out of one of [Bret Easton] Ellis’s books. Handsome chisel-faced man-boys in tweeds or tails twirled around long-limbed ladies wearing designer skirts and minks. The girls drank champagne; the boys, martinis. The girls appeared to have had their hair tousled by professionals, the boys by the winds over Long Island Sound.

I’ll register mixed feelings here. I’m strongly allergic to snobbery at close quarters, and wouldn’t go near the Native Society even on the infinitesimal probability they’d accept me.

On the other hand, if we must have snobbish elites (and I suspect, on anthropological grounds, that we must), I much prefer these Drones Club types to the likes of Ron Schiller. Bertie Wooster didn’t want to live among proles, but he didn’t mind us, so long as we knew our place. The Schillers regard us with active, consequential loathing and contempt.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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