Our mores are becoming more like those of aristocratic courtiers.
Although most men no longer wear velvet bows in their hair, in our own way, we are again highly concerned with asserting status by projecting refinement.
As just one example, we wouldnt dream of driving the large, vulgar, chrome-bedecked cars our fathers favored: we require the more toney understatement of "international sport sedans." We also tend to strenuously disavow watching television, and feign familiarity with any number of literary works. We shun meat-loaf-and-gravy emporia and old-style, crassly over-opulent restaurants, choosing instead to pay high prices to eat in places with tastefully severe bare wood floors that serve only a few tiny morsels of actual food, arranged ever-so-elegantly on the plate.
Even something as basic as the price of real estate is heavily influenced by our concerns about refinement. Let an "arty" or creative group of people take up residence in an old, dilapidated section of town, and before you know it, it will be transformed into a trendy and pricey Soho or Old Towne by people willing to pay handsomely for the chance to have some of that ennobling artiness or creativity rub off on them.
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.