Culture War: The Rules

Could somebody remind me—-I have so much difficulty keeping track . . . poker and Nascar are all-American, but feed caps and PBR are inauthentic, they’re just for hipsters, right? I have a feeling that poker was inauthentic a few years ago, but now that the fad has peaked, poker-playing is normal again. How about MMA? That sure sounds all-American, but given that I’ve actually heard about it, maybe it’s just another example of upper-class slumming. On the upside, I have a feeling that if we wait a few years, gay rights will go downmarket enough that it will be ok to go to a pride march without forfeiting one’s credentials as a middle-American. $45 pasta, though: I think that will remain upper-class.

Background here (via Jay Livingston).

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.