Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

New York Times Follow Up Opinion Piece: The Case Against Meritocracy

In Today's New York Times,  Opinion Columnist Ross Douthat writes, in a follow up to his Why We Miss the WASPs, a case against our current flavor of meritocracy.  Some quotes:
I think it was a good and necessary thing that the American upper class diversified, and that more African-Americans and Jews and Catholics (like myself) and women now share privileges and powers once reserved for Protestant white men... 
Here it’s important to stress that... WASP refers to a specific kind of American elite, mostly from the Northeast, mostly high-church Protestants... [who] shared the code of service and piety and manners that defined the elder Bush’s career. The WASPs were distinct from other white elites — including the planter class that ruled the South, the regional elites that emerged as the frontier moved westward, the immigrant tycoons who challenged WASP power in the East... In the middle of the 20th century, you could find elite Catholics who imitated WASPishness — think of William F. Buckley Jr. or the Kennedys. You could even find WASPish African-Americans... 
[But our current version of] meritocracy discourages inherited responsibility and cultural stewardship; it brushes away the disciplines of duty; it makes the past seem irrelevant, because everyone is supposed to come from the same nowhere and rule based on technique alone. As a consequence, meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice.
- From The Case Against Meritocracy <https://nyti.ms/2zQot3L

100 Years of Nine Lessons & Carols from The Choir of King's College

Photo by Salt Water New England
For those who enjoy the inimitable Christmas carols of The Choir of King's College, this new collection, 100 Years of Nine Lessons & Carols, is a truly glorious combination of both new and old recordings.

It can be sampled at Amazon <https://amzn.to/2L5AGG6>, iTunes, and Hyperion, and for those with streaming music services, hopefully it is included.  It is also available on CD.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Good King

Photo by Salt Water New England
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing 

Christmas Rolls

Photo by Salt Water New England

Wool for Winter

Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Christmas List, 2018


A collection of gift ideas from SWNE.  Full descriptions are in the source entries.  New additions may be added in the next week or two.

Men's Navy Pheasant Velvet Slippers

Velvet slippers can elevate almost any outfit at almost any time, but are perfect for evenings with friends, especially this time of year.  Cordings offers their beautifully finished version, hand made in England.
Photos by Salt Water New England

Robert W. Stolz's Silvia

It is easy to understand why this classic women's long loden coat is Stolz's most popular Woman's coat.

New York Times Opinion Piece: Why We Miss the WASPs

Left to Right: Choate Headmasters Seymour St. John, his father Rev. George St. John, (distant cousin*) Poet Robert Frost, and Philanthropist Paul Mellon - Photo by My Father
In Today's New York Times,  Opinion Columnist Ross Douthat writes:
Americans miss Bush because we miss the WASPs — because we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well....  
You can get rid of the social registers and let women into your secret societies and privilege SATs over recommendations from the rector of Justin and the headmaster of Saint Grottlesex ... and you still end up with something that is clearly a self-replicating upper class, a powerful elite, filling your schools and running your public institutions.... 
You even end up with an elite that literally uses the same strategy of exclusion that WASPs once used against Jews to preserve its particular definition of diversity from high-achieving Asians — with the only difference being that our elite is more determined to deceive itself about how and why it’s discriminating.... 
[T]he WASPs had virtues that their successors have failed to inherit or revive.  Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success..."

 *For genealogy enthusiasts, common Robert Frost direct ancestors include: Frost, Woodman, Colcord, Sawyer, and French.

Half-Staff

Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Classic Women's Long Loden Wool Coat with Removable Hood - Robert W. Stolz's Silvia

Austrian Loden - Photos by Salt Water New England
It is easy to understand why Stolz's classic Silvia is their most popular Woman's coat.  It is beautiful, comfortable, and highly versatile.
The lovely drape is achieved by the authentic loden - 85% Virgin Wool / 15% Alpaca - woven by Pischl & Pischl (founded 1864) in Tyrol, Austria, as well as the attention to detail in design,  construction and fine finishing.  

The removable hood buttons shut.

Monday, December 3, 2018

From the Geraghty Era

Photo by Salt Water New England
Taken at the Westport Historical Society.

Irish and Swedish

Photo by Salt Water New England

Watch Hill

Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Silent Night

Photo by Salt Water New England
Salt Water New England will continue its regular posting schedule but without comments for the time being.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Around Town

Photos by Salt Water New England





L.L. Bean Aligned with Conservative Traits

Quoted in many publications including The New York Times:
[A]ccording to new information from Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower,  “Fashion data was used to build AI models to help Steve Bannon build his insurgency and build the alt-right”... 
He mentioned Wrangler and L.L. Bean in particular as brands that Cambridge Analytica aligned with conservative traits. 
- Cambridge Analytica Used Fashion Tastes to Identify Right-Wing Voters, <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/style/cambridge-analytica-fashion-data.html>
While traditionally right-leaning hunters and left-leaning environmentalists have effectively worked together to preserve countless acres of land, apparently affiliation with L.L. Bean is statistically better represented in the former than latter group, as well as an indicator of a better prospect for the "alt-right" (Wylie) community.  The marketing of Bean, in contrast, often tries to paint a more balanced view, perhaps trying to hang on to a few of the customers from decades past.

This data-driven observation likely came before Trump tweeted, “Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage...  People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine.” after, "Linda Bean, the granddaughter of L.L. Bean founder Leon Leonwood Bean, donated $60,000 to Making America Great Again LLC, according to the Associated Press. That contribution exceeded the Federal Election Commission’s allowable limit for the PAC and her support has prompted some to push for a boycott of the Maine-based company." <https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-thanks-l-l-bean-linda-bean-233529> This would suggest the data could have influenced the tweet, not the other way around.

Leather Shooting Gloves for Men from Cordings of Piccadilly, Made in England

Photo by Salt Water New England
Cording's handsome, silk lined gloves may not be the first choice for arduous, physical work in the bitterest of colds, but they could just be ideal for everything else.  For town and country, corporate trips and the titular shooting parties, they are snug, protective, and allow for significant dexterity.  They also allow for the pointer finger to be freed quickly without removing the glove, such as for using a shotgun, a camera, or a phone touchscreen.

Shown here in Brown, they also come in Green.
Tough, elasticated nylon cuffs keep them firmly in place.

Monday, November 26, 2018

New Shirt, Old Tie

Photo by Salt Water New England

New Mercer Shirt (Blue Pima Oxford) <www.mercerandsons.com/>, Old (1990) J. Press Tie

All Creatures Great and Small

Photo by Salt Water New England

Tree Time

Photo by Salt Water New England

Sunday, November 25, 2018

House Check Tweed Holdall Bag by Cordings of Piccadilly, Made in England

Photos by Salt Water New England
 Made in England of Scottish Tweed, the Medium Holdall from Cordings of Piccadilly is an ideal travel bag - handsome enough to use when a weekend house guest and tough enough for commercial travel.  Using a traditional rubber bonding process, it is completely waterproof.  It has navy canvas handles and a matching detachable shoulder strap, and is lined in navy cotton drill.

Offered in their house check, and shown here in a medium, it is also offered in a size large.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

God and sinners reconcile...

Photo by Salt Water New England

The Black House

Photo by Salt Water New England