The "society" column is not what it used to be. There is a section of the paper usually dedicated to "Society," but now it means society in the anthropological sense. "Society" used to be run by certain people who were known as uppah clahss.

The major last book about this kind of Society was written by Cleveland Amory in the 1950s. It was entitled, "Who Killed Society?" Amory was a New York-Washington liberal - no other writers let their politics be known in the 1950s - so one of his conclusions was particularly surprising. He concluded that the only place where an upper class "society" existed was in Charleston, South Carolina!

He almost said it in plain English, "Charleston has an aristocracy. Everybody else has turned into jumped-up white trash."

One of the most amusing (and least emphasized) examples he gave was when the Four Hundred Book Publisher came to Charleston. There had been a book describing the four hundred families who made up Society in New York, then another on the four hundred families who made up Society in Philadelphia.

Being popular, this Four Hundred Book idea spread to Chicago, Boston and on down the population scale. Then they showed up in Charleston. The scout who was to find out about the four hundred in Charleston was directed, of course, to a little old lady on the Battery. He went to her and he told her about the book, which everywhere else had met with gushing enthusiasm.

The Charleston lady was not grateful, she was puzzled, "Why are you doing this?"

The man replied, "So people in Charleston will know who the leading families here are."

The lady replied, "We know that."

There was never a South Carolina Four Hundred.

When integration came, our Charleston Society led the fight against it. When Kennedy invaded Mississippi, the Charleston paper said, "We should fight on the campus, we should fight them in the trenches. This is war."

The New York Times took the other side. The Atlanta Journal took the other side. Charleston didn't give a damn. And being so confident of your loyalties that you don't give a damn what others think is one of the major factors that separates aristocrats from naciocrats.

Everywhere else, the "upper class" in Atlanta or New Orleans fought for integration. They wanted the kind of approval that comes from New Yorkers who published the Four Hundred.

In Britain, the Queen says all you need to live in the UK is to be loyal to HER. Her birth as Queen is important. The average Brit being born on the island doesn't mean a damned thing. All peasants are equal.

The son of the Prince (Elector) of Liechtenstein came to America and married a black woman.

Charlestonians, the only real aristocrats left, were leaders of THEIR people, which is what aristocracy is all about. Louis Andrews, an old ally of mine who publishes the web page, "Tracking the Wild Taboo" is one of the last of that breed. I am sure that the rest of the Charleston "upper crust" has joined Atlanta and New York.

So what we call aristocracy and the uppah clahss today is jumped-up white trash.