At LewRockwell.com, Taki Theodoracopulos recalls the better manners and culture of the Hamptons set of yore, while lambasting the “barbarianism” seen in the area today. He writes (abridged):
SOUTHAMPTON, L.I.—These are peripatetic times for the poor little Greek boy, out in the Hamptons for some sun-seeking among WASP types, and then down to the nation’s capital for the memorial service of that wonderful humorist P.J. O’Rourke.
And do take the following with a grain of salt, but even 800 million years ago, when only microorganisms slithered around the beaches, belonging to a private club was all-important, especially in the Hamptons. Never have I seen more chest-thumping, bandy-legged, bearded louts trash-talking while polluting the beaches in this beautiful town. Southampton was once a luminous little village that served as a seaside refuge for New York’s civilized rich during the unbearable heat of urban summer. You know the kind, white wooden houses, long green lawns, wicker chairs, yellow-and-white umbrellas, and people who talked in what was known as Park Avenue lockjaw. Back then belonging to a private club was pure snobbism. Now it’s a lifesaver. The barbarians have overrun the place, putting up Hollywood-type monstrosities on the wide acres that once grew potatoes and driving prices through the roof.
Staying at an old club that’s been around for a century and that I joined long ago made my days and nights. No one among the members used the ubiquitous f-word, and better yet, no mobile telephones are allowed within the common rooms and terraces, making the place feel like Tahiti when Paul Gauguin was around. A long weekend there restored my spirits.
Taki is an ex-Greek Davis Cup player as well as a former captain of the Greek national karate team. He has won the U.S. national veterans judo championship twice, and in 2008 was world veterans judo champion 70 and over. Since 1967, when he began his career with National Review, he has been a columnist for the London Spectator, the London Sunday Times, Esquire Magazine, Vanity Fair and Chronicles Magazine. In 2002 he founded The American Conservative with Pat Buchanan. He has covered the Vietnam War as well as the Yom Kippur War and the Cyprus conflict of 1974.
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