Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The C Word

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  • Emma Hart,

    He was a friend of Chris Trotter's and used to hang out in the corner bar of the Cook as part of that crowd.

    Kyle, can you just look over into that corner in your memory, and then answer me this question: are there any chicks?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Yes, and yes. But there are particular abilities and advantages that can transfer across both classes and really help out, like being observant, and a good mimic, and having great boobies.

    And therein is the secret to my success. (bwah-ha-ha)

    Oi, I'm a council worker! I know stuff'n'shit... :)

    Prove it. :)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    He was also right. Go figure.

    I can't remember the exact details, but it was something like his mother was head of a department in a decent secondary school and his father had a management job. His analysis I think revolved around the fact that they didn't own the means of production, so were therefore 'working class'. I'm not sure if he recognised that there was a middle class at all, which is what we were all entertained by.

    Like me, he was expressing his middle-class-ness by racking up student loans and delaying getting out in the real world to earn some money, by devoting large amounts of time to student politics.

    Kyle, can you just look over into that corner in your memory, and then answer me this question: are there any chicks?

    There was one I think. She, and her partner I think left the social grouping when they were told that their relationship and gender politics were interfering with a proper class-based analysis of the world. Or similar.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    transfer across both classes and really help out, like being observant, and a good mimic, and having great boobies.

    I guess 2 out of 3 doesn't cut it in these stakes.
    Anyway I've been perversely protective of my descent through the classes of NZ. It's curiously not that far to the bottom, and the landing is hardly noticeable.
    Now to plot my ascent, I'm sure my timing will be spot on in this rise.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I know stuff'n'shit

    or vice versa

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I can't remember the exact details, but it was something like his mother was head of a department in a decent secondary school and his father had a management job.

    His mother was still working class, I'm afraid, it's very hard to lump teachers with the bourgeoisie. With managers it depends - many of them are salaried but partake in several ways in the surplus value produced by the people beneath them. The team leader at your post office is still working class, beyond that you're shifting to petty bourgeoisie and then move up from there.

    For the record of this post, my mother was a teacher, my father an artisan. So yes, she was working class, but he wasn't, in spite of the fact that she made more money than he did in the course of their lives I'm sure.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, and yes. But there are particular abilities and advantages that can transfer across both classes and really help out, like being observant, and a good mimic, and having great boobies.

    Forgot too, in that metaphor, you can't gain any further XP in your old class. So your old party will forge ahead in the working class cred, and will easy defeat you in any encounter for quite some time. Fortunately the first levels of your new class are easiest, so you'll unlock the higher level middle class abilities and gain comfort with them soon enough. One of the first ones that can stand the old class on their heads quickly is first level Being Happy, which is a fantastic counter even for level 15 Working Class Blues. Beware anyone who has learned Accusations of False Consciousness, though. Run from them until you've mastered the counters. Your hit points should rise quickly with level 2 Specialist Health Care, although this can strain the gold.

    Please note, on Middle Class missions you can only wear your hard won Slutty Pants under a matching Pant Suit, but the Pant Suit does add bonus rudeness to them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Beware anyone who has learned Accusations of False Consciousness, though. Run from them until you've mastered the counters.

    Is there some kind of cheat code for this?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Is there some kind of cheat code for this?

    Winning Lotto and not quitting your job is a classic cheat.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Does it make the food taste better? My father-in-law was recently taken aback when I told that I have never owned a suit (other than a crushed velvet horror in the 1970s). Just wondering if anyone else has remained suitless.

    Actually, the point I was trying to make about owning a dinner jacket was that I'd bought it simply because I needed one; that is, I was going to enough black-tie events that it became a sensible economy to just shell out for one. I thought the attendance at the events, rather than the ownership, was more of a class marker.

    That said, many of the worst, most grinding jobs I've had have required me to wear a shirt & tie. And to be honest, several of the black tie events I went to were mainly about everyone getting to dress up in a black tie and play casino games with play money so they can pretend to be James Bond. So I don't think that clothing is necessarily a class marker in Western society.

    I've never worked out whether I'm middle class or upper class. If it helps, I own the means of production (well, a laptop), so I'm pretty sure I'm not working class (though I do work); can anyone tell me how to tell whether I'm upper class or not?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    So people become multi-class? You have to start at zero XP in the new class, though.

    No, that's dual-class. Multi-class means (to a certain age of Gamer) that you put half (or appropriate fraction) in each.

    (I deny the existence of 3rd ed, or anything which came after it, except as computer games).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    His mother was still working class, I'm afraid, it's very hard to lump teachers with the bourgeoisie.

    Ownership of the means of production has it's place, but my father doesn't own any capital in his workplace, yet he employs thousands of staff and earns a pretty decent salary. Any definition which lumps him in with the working class needs some large grains of salt.

    And the person in question wasn't working in a typical job at the time. He was a part time student, part time on the board of a student executive which made him an employer. His definition of him being working class was "my mother does this".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I/S true...I meant dual class. You had to start as multiclass. I guess only people with dual class parentage get to do that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm not quite sure where my class upbringing falls. I'm the son of a priest (well, two, but Dad died before Mum started studying theology and I'd left home by the time she was ordained so I don't think it really counts), which isn't exactly working-class but was definitely lower-middle for income. The free housing helped the overall fiscal picture, I'm sure.

    My latest conundrum is that I'm a fortnight away from starting work at one of the Big Four, and have no desire to start worshipping John Key and Rodney Hide as our economic saviours. This despite being in the top 10% of national income distribution and probably only two years away (less if things go to plan) from the top 5%. The top 1% is within reach. Bought my first pin-stripe suits last weekend, in preparation. Still not feeling the National Party 4eva vibe, though.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    yet he employs thousands of staff and earns a pretty decent salary. Any definition which lumps him in with the working class needs some large grains of salt.

    I think you'll find no sane definition of working class that does such a thing. But I was basing myself purely on the data you had given us, which seemed to imply that teachers aren't working class. Obviously I misread you.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Kyle, can you just look over into that corner in your memory, and then answer me this question: are there any chicks?

    that corner existed for a long time - it was where the poets and artists and CP hung out - or glared at each other as various factionalisations occurred - there were women - but not a lot - sadly most were temporary hangers on rather than storming another male bastion of (hoped for) power - 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 - the cops were showing off their shiny new batons prior to the '81 tour - the whole bar seemed to devolve into snide comments about Freud which seemed to largely go over the cops' heads.

    I do own a suit - it gets worn to trade shows and funerals - sadly I've had to wear it more often these days - I did exactly once rent tails (for a grand lesbian wedding - I was there in my family position as 'donor').

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    confessions of a tallow fellow...
    Being shot in a $1000 Italian suit for a Cha Cha spread (in the '80s) is as close as I've come to owning a suit...
    ...now suet is another matter!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    On teachering, there's some slippage between working class and working in class but generally if it can be considered otherwise rewarding it isn't paid as as much (presumably to keep the scarcity of happiness at appropriate class levels)...

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I have never owned a suit, not even a seventies velvet number, I do, however, own several matching pairs of socks and a coup[le of tee shirts without holes, rips or stains, I am all class.
    One of the first people I met when I arrived in NZ was the Prime Minister, David Lange, we chatted like old chums while watching the stock car racing at Waikeraka Park. Contrast that with an experience I had back in England, Kent to be precise.
    I was taking an afternoon drive around the countryside and decided to go for a stroll. I parked the car and wandered off into the woods. After a while I came across a couple, he with a quilted jerkin and her with a knitted cardigan and a silk headscarf, they both had green Wellington boots.
    The gentleman, and a gentleman he surely was, enquired what I thought I was doing, wandering about like a ruffian on the prowl and why I was on his land. I asked him which bit was his land and his reply was "All the way to the sea young man and I would ask you to be off it"
    Turned out to be the Duke of Kent, weird.
    So when people say that New Zealand is an egalitarian society I would tend to agree. I don't think we should get poverty, wealth or the bigotry and racism that goes with the divide confused with class, class is something you possess, unlike wealth which may be merely transitory.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Class, this man has it in spades.

    So who you jivin'

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Just wondering if anyone else has remained suitless.

    I'm 42. Not only do I not own a suit.... The only time I've even worn one was my wedding day.

    I expect the next time I'm in one will be my funeral?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Al Capone's Haberdashery and Bullet Shop

    I simply cannot stop laughing at this. An actual tear of mirth rolled down my cheek.

    If you teach at One of the Ten Worst Schools in Auckland, According to Metro (TM), are you more working-class than someone who teaches at Auckland Grammar? (Someone in my household may be interested in the answer.)

    Instant coffee is only vaguely palatable if you tell yourself that it is a 'hot beverage', and do not liken it to actual coffee in your mind. (Was instant coffee terribly posh when it first came out? I imagine it to have been part of the grand 'science and technology will make all things jazzy and modern!' movements of the postwar period. Like infant formula.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Can someone please explain to me the significance of the turned-up collar as a class signifier in NZ, me being a furriner round here and not used to your local ways?

    Just wondering if anyone else has remained suitless.

    I wish.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Did anyone else find it disturbing to discover Emma drinks instant coffee?

    No -- I adore the granulated coffee-like caffeine-delivery mechanism substance, because if I had to depend on (and pay for) the "real" stuff. to preserve my sanity, I'd doing a serious lag for armed robbery.

    (BTW, what class points do we get for having a coffee machine that hasn't been on the same continent as Italy, and was paid for with FlyBuys points?)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    BTW, what class points do we get for having a coffee machine that hasn't been within six ten thousands miles of Italy, and was paid for with FlyBuys points?

    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.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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