Monday, July 23, 2007

More on the New Victorians

RC picks up on the supposed New Victorians trend. I thought I should elaborate on my skepticism. I think this is just a case of poor reporting and social commentary, where a few legitimate cases (Erica Jong's daughter, for instance - wonderful to see!) are confused with a whole bunch of unrelated people. Every article on the New Victorians that I've read has commented on their careerism - in other words, on their self-involved materialism. A far leap from a modest, family-first life. And then there are the comments about fancy dinners and french poodles and similar retro-yuppie waspish class markers. Sounds to me like these people are treating marriages and children not so much as true callings, but as status symbols. Can't afford that nice apartment in the Upper East Side? No worries, you can still get that promotion and impress your friends with your tennis club membership, your golden retriever, and your nuclear family!

Yes, having kids as status symbols is a step up from having drugs and hookers as status symbols, but I don't know how long something built on such a shaky foundation can last. The reporters marvel that there is no hint of infidelity or unhappiness in these families - um, hey, they're twenty-something newlyweds, give 'em a few years!

Finally, as a young twenty-something myself, I have to say that I have never encountered anyone even remotely like the people in these articles. I remain very skeptical about whether these reporters aren't just making this whole story up.

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