Get ready, fans, because season 4 is starting. This award-winning BBC masterpiece has wooed millions into its Edwardian elegance, replete with resplendent country homes, uniformed servants, formal dinners, all with a dash of form & formality not one Chicagoan in a thousand have ever experienced!
That, my commoner friends, is part of what makes this PBS series so compelling to so many. Jack-knifed into our couches in an assorted wardrobe of casual disarray, we can’t help but wonder what it would be like. Oh sure, our come-as-I-am guys and don’t-bind-me-in-those-corsets gals may deny it, but I have this creeping suspicion most of them are intrigued.
Good lord…dress for dinner? host fashionable parties every weekend? wear and serve your best instead of your least? conversations using entire sentences? affections between men and women conducted with orchestrated grace rather than grunts?
Yes, my friends, there was once such a time and such a place. Call it Camelot, call it Downton Abbey, call it a dream. Whatever your chose to call it, history reports there actually was such an age; and that even before it, were the equally elegant ages of Jane Austen. Victorian England, Elizabethan England, etc..
Americans take pride in our shirtsleeves, no-nonsense democratic camaraderie. Fine. But here’s one guy who has perhaps come to loath any more belly-bumps at the bar…shout-outs at the tailgate….animal barks in the football stands…and “come here, baby!” grabs instead of a courteous “hello.”
We like to call ourselves a classless society, but truth be known, we are probably the most classified society in the West. With the top 1% making a zillion more dollars and driving more BMWs than anyone in the bottom 99%. So here’s the way I look at this. If we really do have such class distinctions…why not use some distinctive class in the way we conduct ourselves?
I mean, come on folks, we can act civilized too!
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