Sorry I haven't been posting so much as of late. I've been hard at work on Chapters 3 & 4, which have melded into one big chapter. I just finished several paragraphs on Risky Business, which end in a short discussion of the travails of the high school prep. I found this great NYTimes op-ed piece online, which I wanted to share. Enjoy this excerpt (or follow the link):

Part of what made the insular preppy world so alluring was its assurance, which was part and parcel of its conservatism. Preppies hung onto not just furniture and names but also customs and especially shares in Exxon bought back when it was called Standard Oil or something equally quaint. The culture was also conservative in the sense of accepting these things without question. Your true preppy, it seemed in 1980, was a stranger to self-doubt: can we think for a minute about the whale as a design motif on clothes intended for grown men?

Today, though, I think the unself-consciousness that used to distinguish the preppy world is gone. When anthropologists study a tribe, however respectfully, they change it. Preppy clothes had been a uniform by which you recognized the guy to sit next to on the train to New Haven. Like all the best uniforms, they were a visual language, instantly not only identifying but also, more subtly, placing the wearer.

Nantucket red pants came from Nantucket. Period. No Nantucket, no pants. The more faded they were, the more hours you'd spent on the water. They were better than an "I'd rather be sailing" bumper sticker because only the right people could read them.

And then, suddenly, in the 1980's, everybody looked like the guy on the train to New Haven. Imagine how they'd feel at West Point if all the tourists were in uniform too: cadets might begin to wonder about uncomfortable things like claims to legitimacy.

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