Elitism, snobbery and balls

Peter Hastings

Message 13916 · 29 Oct 1998 11:22:01 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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I find (for once) that I am in partial agreement with Ian Price that the
use of briefings lessens that sense of occasion which differentiates a
formal ball (a once a year, decade, lifetime event) from a monthly social.
Similarly, turning up in trainers and a T-shirt would do so, also. One of
the recent mails laid out a sliding scale of briefing v. occasion which I
agreed with totally.

Elitism - these days any activity which demands both some aptitude and
considerable application will be regarded as elitist. So what ? Excellence
is always elitist since not everyone can be excellent. As long as _anyone_
willing to make the minimum necessary application is welcome then all is
well. I suspect that the definition of minimum is what separates the
warring parties in this case. I also suspect that the minimum varies with
the occasion.

Snobbery - should have no place in modern life.

I don't see that making the necessary effort in dress, deportment,
preparation, personal cleanliness (:, blah, blah, blah to make a ball an
occasion is either elitist or snobbish, it's simple courtesy to the other
participants.

> In this sense, the practice of "formality" is snobbish and elitist.

Peter Hastings
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

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