Society & Culture

Snobs and Slobs

How very vulgar I have been—I am sorry, and I apologize!  I am just terrible, and it is all my fault.  And I accept the responsibility.  And how could I accept my own shame if I had not done so in public?  Yet my own vulgarity has been hedged, because I neither sinned nor confessed on television, so there!  I am still a snob after all.  Odi profanum vulgus et arceo—but not RKO.  And I am particularly a snob, if, like Lena Dunham and so many others, I confess and write a memoir about it.  Which is what I am doing, even as I word-process and you read.  “But what brings you to this confession,” you ask.  “How have you been vulgar, exactly?  We want to know the lurid details!”

Yes, I know you want the details, but I have to parcel them out in a dribble, just to keep you interested—sort of like Gypsy Rose Lee in her ecdysiast mode.  OK, OK, settle down.  If there are any further disturbances, I may have to summon the constabulary.  You have been warned for the last time.

But to résumé: Before my confession of vulgarity can be broached, we must have a contextual overview, so here we go.  There has recently been in the American media and even abroad—in times of war, terrorism, economic stress, and government-sponsored invasions—a bizarre emphasis on vulgarity in the political process. ...

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