Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The C Word

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  • BenWilson,

    Considering that one of these, which is in fact made in Italy, will set you back approximately $40, you belong to class "silly" along with most other owners of espresso machines.

    I've owned both. I definitely used the machine way more. It's just a whole lot quicker. But the simpler device has a certain charm, particularly the fact that it will work over a flame so it's good during power cuts and camping.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I do remember my 18 yr old flat mate hiding under the pool table once when the cops came in to roust the joint I've no idea how she ever got away with that

    I do. The underneath of the pool table can make a very good bed at midnight also.
    Back in my youth, myself and siblings belonged to a couple that I would consider Bohemian. Art,craft and fashion.
    Never had a suit, although I wouldn't mind one. They seem to stay clean for weeks.

    ...whut?

    We are not making this shit up. Surely you have those in Remuera?

    We had everthing in Remuera. The good, the bad, the ugly and the rest.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    It was just either link to that, or bellow for Megan.

    Hey!

    or political science.

    Double hey.

    But, yeah, Rich, as I explained over on that other thread, I'm informed it's kind of a rural look that has crossed over to the merivale ladies who lunch. Or, if you will, New Zealand's landed gentry.

    When I first started university, I pretty much had a uniform of linen shirt with upturned collar, and some kind of scarf tied around my neck.

    Thank God Emma had already left, is all I can say.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Where your theory falls down (and Bill's, and Gerry's) is that George currently lives in Australia.

    Laughed!! I fell off my chair. Boom Boom.

    Bloody lip shooters.

    ....He could have made a special trip to NZ you know....

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Fascinating discussion about class. Does anyone remember the old Elley-Irving scale we used in research to designate people's socio-economic status by their occupation? It seemed to triangulate income, education and standing in the community, with the last very much the weak leg. Farmers were only 4 on the 1-6 scale, and so were ministers of the church, while lawyers and doctors and the usual suspects were 1. Teachers were 2, clerks were 3, plumbers were 4 (funny how the income/status equation worked in the opposite direction there) drivers were 5, and cleaners and fish-filleters were 6. We classed a lot of middle-class ladies who were cleaning for pin money as 6.

    I remember getting a questionnaire back, occupation=prostitute, which of course wasn't included in the approved list of jobs. I think we went for 5 in the end.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 240 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Yes Ben. Ditto for the Atomic. We take it on holiday as it works on flame and some friends have houses without power. Parts for it will be arriving business class soon.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Laughed!! I fell off my chair. Boom Boom.

    Bloody lip shooters.

    ....He could have made a special trip to NZ you know....

    I got a laugh out of this too.

    So, I currently make coffee in my teapot. I couldn't be bothered shelling out for another glass plunger, especially since I'm about to move some distance by airplane again. The results are decent, if the water is about 90C and it's left to steep for about 2 minutes. I'm not a fan of stovetop brewers, since I believe that coffee should never reach boiling point, at least not if you want to bring out the flavour.

    Where does this leave me on the class scale?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If you're into percolating, coffee bags are pretty hard to beat for convenience. Good for picnics etc, if you take a thermos.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Regarding teachers as middle class vs teachers as working class, and 'owning the means of production' as a marker of class, I thought the more usual distinction these days (y'know, about 150 years AM [After Marx]) was wages vs salary. Them wot works for an hourly wage are working class, and them wot works for a salary are middle class.

    Clothing... management lecturers wear suits and arts lecturers wear whatever. I struck some problems in this regard this week: on Monday I was teaching in political theory in the morning, and 'Business and Society' (1st year business course) in the afternoon. What to wear, what to wear.... I compromised in grey pants, cream shirt, no jacket. By today, I was back to Arts wear: scrubby jeans, an embroidered top, and my purple Mary Jane Docs (I luvs them). It's about what I would call, were I teaching 'Speaking Theory and Practice', which I have done in my time, "register" i.e. the appropriate voice and style for the occasion.

    Regarding class, this week I was talking to students about Plato's republic, and in particular, about how he divides people into gold, silver and bronze, and assigns them work accordingly. (Philosophers are gold, and they get to be the rulers: I think it's an excellent theory.) I asked them to consider how we assign work in our society, and after a while, pushed them to think about whether we deliberately create areas in which we breed brute labour. They were shocked. It was good for them.

    Part of the reason that they were shocked is because like NZ, Australia is intensely egalitarian, in its ideals, if not in its practice. I think that there are ways in which we just don't get class.

    boobies

    Thanks to Emma, I have now worked out why I am incorrigibly middle class. No blonde bobs or upstanding collars, 'though. My hair is red. And short. As I said to my students, that's why my feeble lady brane is urging me to vote for Julia.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Them wot works for an hourly wage are working class, and them wot works for a salary are middle class.

    That seems pretty arbitrary, even in New Zealand. And it wouldn't work completely in many other countries where hourly rates are not what determines a salary, only overtime. Factory workers in Italy for instance all get a salary.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Crowley,

    My first job, (I did an apprenticeship in the Navy) was for a salary. I was getting $119.00 p/w after tax in 1987. I have been on wages for the last 15 years. If I want to make any further advancement within the company I work for (into low, low lower middle management) I will need to trade in my wages for a salary once again. I will also need to take an income cut of around 20%. That way, with my families expenses, I can remain disensentivised enough to remain in my position. Which enables my employer to keep the most qualified people in my position and the bottom end management job's for their friend's nephew's.

    Otautahi • Since Nov 2008 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    How about we just make simpler. Those wot has money are middle class, those wot has none are lower, and filthy rich scum are upper class. If you manage to fit in with any of these groups in spite of your income, good for you.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Crowley,

    I was however able to buy a pair of Doc Marten's boots on layby during my apprenticeship. They lasted me for over 10 x year's teaching me an important lesson in buying the best quality you can afford.

    Otautahi • Since Nov 2008 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    How about we just make simpler. Those wot has money are middle class, those wot has none are lower, and filthy rich scum are upper class. If you manage to fit in with any of these groups in spite of your income, good for you.

    Or we can learn what this thread has taught us: that, when it really comes down to it, humans are just as obsessed with the minutiae of status as your average baboon. We can just draw the discussion out a lot longer. ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I think it is less about status and more about values and where you feel comfortable. My mother, born 1917. was a keen sociologist and told us stories based on her awareness of where she and her family 'fitted', and her delight that the grandchildren of the family's maid and the town doctor married, as that would not happen in the Waimate she grew up in. Her father was the local lawyer and she was well aware there were more and less desirable families and children to play with (which she resisted to a certain extent). But it was also about religion with the Catholics as an easily identifiable 'other' - which they still were when I grew up.

    At boarding school - which was already for the wealthy elite - the hierarchies were also strong with the Canterbury landed families top and those in 'trade' at the bottom. She belonged to the middle group, the professions. It was the depression, and although she noticed girls leaving before they had finished school, she didn't realise its impact till later. (And my father who had been at Christs College, was asked as a Canterbury university student to join the troops attacking the protesting workers.)

    She felt 'other' because she was good at academic study and went on to university. (Where she had Popper and some other significant intellectuals as lecturers). The importance of education and learning is where my values come from. I feel comfortable in messy houses like mine full of books, and uneasy in (very tidy) houses without bookshelves. Our first degree was just that - a first degree - barely noticed. Post grad study was where you really started (and why I am still studying decades later not sure how to start on real life).

    My loneliest experience was being a beneficiary and a single parent in a decile 10 suburb in the early 1990s. But I'm still in that suburb, and a book-lined-house owner, because two important people in my life died.

    So status and class alone do not sufficiently explain the complexity, diversity and dynamics of how we live.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    And as a postscript I should mention that my partner was once blessed by the Pope.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Them wot works for an hourly wage are working class, and them wot works for a salary are middle class.

    There is a certain truth in that. If you expect to get paid just for being there and every hour that you are there, you are being paid for your time/labour where as if you are paid by the year, as it were, you are there in a capacity that exceeds your personal input, the whole being greater than the sum, and as such you are worth your salt.
    With the suit and tie you have an indication of what sort of work you are expected to do, you don't see many ditch diggers in suits.
    Interesting point. Plumbers were, for many years, expected to arrive for work in a suit and tie and wear overalls to protect their clothing, This may seem to destroy my point but when you consider how old the craft of plumbing is you can understand how they can charge as much as, if not more than, an equally old profession.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Considering that one of these, which is in fact made in Italy, will set you back approximately $40, you belong to class "silly" along with most other owners of espresso machines.

    I got my fancy-assed espresso machine as payment for services rendered, and you can have it when you prise it from my cold, dead hands.

    I work from home, and I don't want to have to leave the house to get a good coffee in the morning -- nor pay three or four bucks for an indifferent one, which is more often the case. I can generally make a much better espresso with the Domobar than I can buy at a cafe.

    In line with Emma's theme, I remember when we were a young family on a benefit, then Taskforce Green wages -- and I distinctly remember when things improved enough that I could buy olive oil instead of budget cooking oil. That was great. So, I suppose, I'm irredeemably middle-class.

    But I'd endorse what Steve said upthread. You don't really know a class system until you've experienced it in Britain. It's no mere measure of income. Sometimes it felt like these people were from different races.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    No matter the century, there are always some differences.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm not sure if the quality of my stove top one is a bit shit or something, but I also think that the pressure generated in the machines makes a much richer espresso. What I get from the stove top one is a more watery. It could be because the pressure comes on gradually.

    Also, I usually drink latte and you need the steam wand for that. On that score I think the more expensive machines definitely have an edge - the quality does seem to come down a lot to how hard it can crank the steam out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The one I'd like to update to is the modified Atomic. Ben, this could be up your alley.All class.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    From our "In a Nutshell" Department.
    If you are working class you have to earn your living. If you are upper class you have a right to a living, the working class will earn your living for you.

    As a child I had class, apparently. One time my Mother told me I couldn't have a new bike because we couldn't afford one "Why Not?" I demanded "Because we don't have enough money" she admitted, sheepishly.
    "Well go to the bank and get some" I told her. The lower classes have so little imagination and resourcefulness..

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    But I'd endorse what Steve said upthread. You don't really know a class system until you've experienced it in Britain. It's no mere measure of income. Sometimes it felt like these people were from different races.

    The scary thing is how it lingers for decades. My husband left England at the age of 18, and fell with huge enjoyment into the New Zealand way of life, but four decades later, when we went back for family visits, he became hypervigilant about what one did and wore at certain times. Not just in front of the family, and for unenculterated me, more than for him. "You don't do that here" was a phrase that crossed his lips more than once - in a camping ground, too! (I think one episode was about hanging knickers out to dry... )

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 240 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Plan A: wins Lotto tonight, orders the new modified Atomic. Waits

    impaitently until Monday when it is couriered to Big O. Places carefully

    in van, and drives happily ever after-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Those wot has money are middle class, those wot has none are lower, and filthy rich scum are upper class. If you manage to fit in with any of these groups in spite of your income, good for you.

    Except it's not just income. As I said, my father earned probably less money than my mother, but always saw himself as a businessman and an employer (which he was). He was a burgeoise, albeit far from a wealthy one, and that made material differences to his social and political outlook. (Also, there was no union available to him, but rather a cooperative which - again - was essentially an employers' federation.)

    That said, these days people in all kinds of work are treated more and more like self-employed free agents simply in order to ensure that they can be accessed on tap. But I would still hesitate to just use income as a measurement. The measure of the upper middle class it's also that it can choose to forgo employment for extended periods - say, when the children are little - because of the expectation that they will make up for it later. Supermarket packers in those years may have a greater income than the voluntarily unemployed professional, but their long-term prospects are very different.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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