-“You know how he is,” Gladys, my mother, said. “He’ll never change.”
-“ Yes,” replied Mario, my father. “He takes on the family’s both sides.”
My parents were referring to a long forgotten haughty act of Yours Truly who not only had two grandmothers, Mita and Mémé, who were unrepentant snobs but also a Brit education.
D.J. Taylor, writing for the Daily Mail, finally put my conscience at ease. He said “ one of the worst charges you can lay at anyone’s door in the early 21st century is to suggest that they are a snob. And yet, I would argue, snobbery is key to our national life, an essential part of who we are. Without it, for example, the English novel would more or less cease to exist. Imagine Charles Dickens’s Great expectations without the social pretensions of his hero Pip. Or George Eliot’s Middlemarch and William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair devoid of characters obsessed with putting on airs and graces.”
We must speak frankly about the snobbish attitude once and for all. There are many ways in which an individual can make a mark in this world. Even possessing equal intellectual and/or physical aptitudes to complete the task combined with similar socio-economic circumstances, not everyone can or will make the necessary effort or put the time to achieve the desired goal.
My father Mario, a lifelong progressive militant, told us that society must guarantee that all individuals start with a level playing field to develop their potential skills but should not try to homogenize them into a uniform lot. All social experiments from the right and left sides of the political spectrum to erase individual differences and achieve uniformity have inexorably failed.
D.J.Taylor says that “to want to succeed, and to delight in your success, is not necessarily a moral failing and given that so many people consciously or unconsciously practise it, snobbery is a unifying as much as divisive force… To look at all forms of snobbery is… to see yourself reflected in them.”
Living in the USA, I have had plenty of chances to relish in my favorite pastime.
What do you want me to say? Don’t blame me…I was born that way.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.