Downton and Downward
By TIMOTHY EGAN
Timothy Egan on American politics and life, as seen from the West.
Like everyone else with a perverse curiosity about a castle-bound community fussing over whether to use a bouillon or a melon spoon, I’ve been consumed by the turns in “Downton Abbey,” the latest export from England to keep American public television afloat.
In a season of haute-soap plot twists, the story of the working-class Irishman, Tom Branson, whose marriage to Lady Sybil gives him a life leap in upward mobility, is worth examining for what it says about class, then and now. Branson is still “the chauffeur” to a family living on moldered wealth, and his brother the car mechanic is “a drunken gorilla” for asking if there’s any beer in the House of Lord Grantham.
But if someone with grease on his hands and an accent from a workaday neighborhood can rise to an estate management position in the rigid British class system, what, by comparison, are we to make of the American experience nearly a century removed?
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
About News From Underground
News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.
If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:
Help News From Underground!
Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."
Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: email@example.com
- How Australia plans to keep its vaccinated children safe from illnesses that they can’t catch
- On the mass delusion now afflicting liberals (and putting all of us at risk)
- There’s actually more evidence in Pizzagate than there is in “Russia-gate.”
- NYU is built for WAR! (Who knew?)
- HuffPost ran this strong defense of Bobby Kennedy, Jr.—then took it down just minutes later.
- Contact Lou Dobbs on
- Forbidden Bookshelf on
- Top US spooks see NO “conclusive evidence” of Russian hacking in Election 2016 on
- How blaming Trump’s “election” on the Russians could force Hillary on us after all—and end US democracy for good… on
- Election theft in Michigan and Florida may have been more dramatic than we think… on
- The strange death of Nancy Schaefer (two items)
- There's actually more evidence in Pizzagate than there is in "Russia-gate."
- Don't buy these products from Koch Industries!
- Forbidden Bookshelf
- Update on the strange death of Nancy Schaefer
- Online Journal
- The Ostroy Report
- Citizens for Legitimate Government
- Democratic Undergroud
- Election Defense Alliance
- Talking Points Memo
- Media Channel
- The Rude Pudit
- Barry Gordon
- Words of Power
- Suburban Guerrilla
- Thom Hartmann
- History Unfolding
- Media Matters
- The International Human Press
- t r u t h o u t
- The Existentialist Cowboy
- Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Need a bigger font size?
- Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.