In fairness, in mischaracterizing America’s upper class, Gossip Girl is merely following pop culture convention. Virtually every Hollywood movie and TV show, from Scent of a Woman to Family Guy, assumes that a WASP episcopacy that collapsed two generations ago still controls this country’s wealth and power. (Indeed, it is hard to think of any pop culture product that doesn’t associate wealth with WASP privilege.) I’m told even told that “chic lit” novels routinely assume that all Upper East Side socialites hail from patrician WASP families and despise anyone who doesn’t. The authors of these novels then do book signings on the Upper East Side in front of audiences that know full well that the novels bear no resemblance to the world they actually live in.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I found this piece by Austin Bramwell interesting: Where the WASPs Aren’t