Where the WASPs Aren’t
Posted by Austin Bramwell on September 23, 2008 (original links and emphasis):
The TV show Gossip Girl, now in its second season, chronicles the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite”—”elite” meaning private school kids and their families.
In Gossip Girl, rich kids all have names like Waldorf, Archibald, Bass and van der Woodsen. (In keeping with media’s loathing of the Texas Bass family, the villain is named “Chuck Bass.”) In reality, however, the families of the old Protestant Establishment make up only a minority of New York’s wealthy elite. They haven’t entirely disappeared; they still host their debutantes balls, the Forbes family still keeps the Social Register afloat, and a handful of institutions (mostly hidden from public view) are still controlled by WASPs. Some WASPs even have substantial fortunes. (Those fortunes, however, are rarely very old; no Knickerbocker family like “van der Woodsen” can afford New York’s social whirl.) But WASPs as a whole just don’t have the numbers, much less the will, to dominate New York society. As Louis Auchincloss gently puts it, they have “lost their monopoly.”
Instead, perhaps a plurality of the rich private school kids in Manhattan—even at historically Protestant schools—are Jewish. The Jewish Daily Forward goes so far as to report that Trinity and Dalton, two of the top private schools in New York, are “largely Jewish.” An entire media industry follows the lavish bar mitzvahs of Manhattan private school kids. The closest real-world model for the high school in Gossip Girl, The Dalton School, has historically been the most recherché school for Jewish New Yorkers. (Most WASPs prefer to send their children to the old single-sex grammar schools.) Tellingly, the media now treat Dalton as the most posh school in Manhattan.
In Gossip Girl, however, Jewish kids don’t even exist, much less predominate. Everything about Gossip Girl is modern, from the drugs to the iphones, except for the sociological background, which the writers may as well have lifted out of the Gilded Age.
The comments exerpted below are even more blunt.
“Gossip Girl” is produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage…(“Savage” is also used by the radio personality Michael Weiner)and produced by Bob Levy,Leslie Morgenstein and John Stephens.
Posted by Mega Therion on Sep 23, 2008.
“Never mind Jews took over Manhattan 100 years ago, no one wants to watch a sitcom of them, not even the Jews themselves.
The one US sitcom that ever really offended me was Seinfeld, where WASP women were treated as disposable bags of meat.
Most US sitcoms take the more passive-aggressive approach of making the WASP male characters impotent, like Chandler in ‘Friends’ or, more overtly, the Kyle MacLachlan character in Sex and the City (so his WASP wife leaves him for the virile Jewish lawyer).
I also get the impression, contrary to some posters above, that up until the ‘60s US sitcoms & drama generally showed a positive portrayal of WASPs and the WASP nuclear family, especially heartland WASPs (Leave it to Beaver, Mayberry PD etc).
Nowadays we have stuff like ‘Law & Order’, where the Great WASP Beast is slain every week, over and over again, in a manner renminiscent of pagan ritual. Here it’s the always rich, always ‘old money’ white perpetrator, imprisoned by the heroic crusading non-WASP prosecutors (ironically Sam Neill is the very model of a Scots-WASP, playing an Irish-American ADA).
There’s something quasi-religious about it. I think it’s fascinating that Jewish New York writers seem to feel the need to do this, to eternally re-enact their grandfathers’ victories over the WASP establishment on TV, always dressed up in modern clothing.
I suppose there’s a parrallel with the popularity of Cowboy & Indian films, up until the ‘50s, ever re-enacting America’ victory over a long-dead enemy. In Britain for a long time we did the same with World War 2. The obvious difference though is that the primary market for these ritualised TV tales of Victory-over-the-WASP… is WASPs.
Posted by Simon Newman on Sep 24, 2008.
As the family of one of those ‘faded elite’ I would like to add a few thoughts:
a. there is little or no solidarity or identity among WASPs anymore – the networks of old families and communication simply do not exist.
b. Jews know FULL WELL they are the dominate elite now, and they also had a sense they were wresting power from WASPs and guilt ridden wasps didn’t seem to be a aware of it. You can often see manifestations of when Jews say the wasps ‘gave up without firing a shot’ – well we didn’t know we were in a war -we thought the jews were really upset about discrimination – it turns out they were upset about Jewish discrimination – they had and have no problem discriminating against us.
I openly admit I have bitterness against the new jewish elite not because they dominate but because they NEVER had any intention of being fair -it was all thinly vieled ethnic self interest. (and I emphasis my bitterness is towards the elite not ‘the jews’
Posted by Van Buskirk on Sep 24, 2008.
the new elite and new system still has to ‘pretend’ the old establishment exists. Why? And once people find out who really runs the prep schools, Ivy Leagues and most elite institutions in NYC if not a large part of the US and just how much their ethics have changed, what are the implications? For example, does our support of Israel take on a whole new light? Or our support of the Oligarchs and hostility towards Russia? What about the hostility towards Christmas ornaments? All the sudden it looks a lot more hatred than fairness.
Posted by knickerblogger on Sep 24, 2008.
“Jews know FULL WELL they are the dominate elite now”
They seem nervous about it though. The one US show I see regularly is The Daily Show, so by now I’ve seen dozens of hours of Jon Stewart sitting talking behind that desk, interviewing Bill Kristol, and so on. One can’t help but notice a lot about what Stewart seems to think of himself, his interviewees, his place in the world, and so on. I don’t know exactly how typical he is of the New York Jewish media elite, but from how he’s deferred to I’m guessing he’s not much of an outlier. The main impression I get is nervousness, a kind of “OK, we’re on top NOW, but if THEY ever realise it, who knows what could happen…”
Where the New York WASP elite seems to have been excessively complacent, the New York Jewish elite seems excessively insecure. And their fear is not overtly directed towards any rising group that might one day replace them, but towards the remaining WASPs and especially the non-elite WASP heartlands of ‘flyover country’.
Posted by Simon Newman on Sep 24, 2008.
I’m guessing 1/4 of John “Stewart’s” audience has no clue he is Jewish or that his name is John Stuart Liebowitz. Never underestimate the public’s wits.
Posted by Mega Therion on Sep 24, 2008.
Yes, it took 100 years but the Jewish Supremacists who own and control the USA are CLEARLY ruling America now and turning it into a police state.
The only people who haven’t figured it out yet are the brain dead.
Posted by Bob on Sep 24, 2008.
Bob, I don’t know that I’d phrase it that dramatically – they are clearly the dominate ethnic group in New York and have considerable, disproportionate influence in DC and, imhop, most importantly, in popular culture.
I will say, in my own waspy way, they have utterly failed as custodians and stewards (considering their long brutal history in East europe as buergermeisters , tax collectors and agents of oppressive regimes this should come as no surprise). It think this is deeply culturally ingrained – maybe even genetically- but the high mistrust and hostility towards ‘other’ particular the Christian west, makes them utterly unfit for leadership and trust as a group – individuals are another matter.
Posted by van buskirk on Sep 24, 2008.
One of the things we experience on the West Coast is some resentment in Jewish circles about the fact that only the Anglo-Saxons are allowed an acronym. Jews are insisting that WEJ is the correct acronym for white Jews when WASP is used, simply for equity.
WEJ as we all know stands for White European Jew and is pronounced “wedge” in the same manner that WASP is pronounced as the name of an insect.
It is to be much regretted that Austin Bramwell ignored this element of courtesy and we have to ask ourselves if he might be motivated by a little bias against Jews.
Posted by Sally on Sep 24, 2008.
Interesting post! I’m new here, so I was amused but puzzled by some of the exceptionally silly crypto- (and not-so-crypto-)anti-Semitic comments above. But I think I figured it out!
I’m pretty sure the people making these comments are themselves Jews, trying to discredit WASPs by portraying them as anti-Semitic to the other readers, who are also Jews.
The Jews posting the faux-anti-Semitic comments are, of course, doing it out of a psychological need to simultaneously co-opt and destroy the power that they feel has traditionally been in the hands of mainline Protestant blog commenters.
And the Jew readers of the blog are here as a result of an assimilation neurosis that makes them want to be like WASPs, which they believe entails reading anti-Semitic comments left by “fellow WASPs.”
So, as a Jew myself, I’d just like to say, to commenters and lurkers alike, “Hi guys! See you at the next world domination meeting!”
Posted by JS on Sep 24, 2008.
I think the pattern for Jews in relation to the Wasp governing class is ape, rape and escape. First they ape the Wasps; then they financially, politically and culturally rape them; then they escape them by surpassing them.
We now live in a very dynamic period in which different Jews are at each stage of the ape, rape and escape process.
Posted by Tappir Zapper on Sep 24, 2008.
Commenter JS demonstrates that it is not possible to observe, openly and matter of fact, that jews now dominate New York’s upper class without at least one reality-inverting anti-anti-semite showing up to shovel the usual combination of mockery, denial, fear, and effrontery.
Edmund Connelly’s Reel Bad WASPs provides an analysis of Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore as further examples of jewish in-your-face culture war grave-dancing – examples which predate Gossip Girls.
Whether big screen or small screen, the message has been the same, as Hollywood insider Ben Stein noted. Writing in 1976 (and updated in book form in 1979), Stein explained how the preponderance of Jewish writers—men who assumed mainstream America hated them, so the writers loathed them in return—meant that a false image of majority Americans was being created:
A national culture is making war upon a way of life that is still powerfully attractive and widely practiced in the same country. . . . Feelings of affection for small towns run deep in America, and small-town life is treasured by millions of people. But in the mass culture of the country, a hatred for the small town is spewed out on television screens and movie screens every day. . . . Television and the movies are America’s folk culture, and they have nothing but contempt for the way of life of a very large part of the folk. . . . People are told that their culture is, at its root, sick, violent, and depraved, and this message gives them little confidence in the future of that culture. It also leads them to feel ashamed of their country and to believe that if their society is in decline, it deserves to be.
David Gelernter pointed out in a wonderful essay that “the old elite used to get on fairly well with the country it was set over. Members of the old social upper-crust elite were richer and better educated than the public at large, but approached life on basically the same terms.” The new, heavily Jewish elite is not only different from the non-Jewish masses, in Gelernter words, “it loathes the nation it rules.”
“WASP” rule was legitimate and forthright, so long as it lasted. To a fault they followed their precious principles, shared their power, and their progeny now find themselves marginalized to the point that they cannot or will not prevent their own scapegoating. The “WEJs” in contrast deny they have power. Yet it is only because they do have power and suffer no hesitation in using it that their domination goes unchallenged, even as it visits social and economic upheaval upon the law-abiding, taxpaying disproportionately White “middle class”.