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The Anti-Snobbery of ´Downton Abbey´
Wall Street Journal, by Raymond Zhong

Original Article

Posted By:FlyRight, 2/2/2013 4:29:37 PM

London - The Anti-Snobbery of ´Downton Abbey´ The creator of the hit television series on class and comfort in our increasingly uncertain times. Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of "Downton Abbey," doesn´t take long to say what he thinks is the message of his smash television drama. "I think the—well, not even the subtext, the supertext—of ´Downton,´ " he says not five minutes after we sit down for coffee Monday morning at the Savoy Hotel in central London, "is that it is possible for us all to get on, that we don´t have to be ranged in class warfare permanently—that for the general public,

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: 2dogs, 2/2/2013 4:44:59 PM     (No. 9154755)

Spot on!


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Reply 2 - Posted by: killerbee, 2/2/2013 5:00:42 PM     (No. 9154772)

FTA: "I think America has dealt with—I mean, this is simplistic and of course I don´t live in America—but the impression I get is that there is not a kind of obligation to dislike those who are better off or be frightened of those who are worse off . . . The Americans, I think, are better at seeing themselves as a kind of community—that the important thing is to be American."

That used to be. The media, entertainment industry, and politicians have created rifts for their own gain that may be insurmountable.

I wish we truly were as he describes us.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Dante, 2/2/2013 5:21:51 PM     (No. 9154792)

Yep, his vision of America isn´t reality. The left has created a permanent, ignorant underclass to whom they can lie and pander in order to maintain power.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Rafter, 2/2/2013 5:43:08 PM     (No. 9154822)

Shirley MacLaine is in this...
and her daughter Sachi Parker says she is/was a lousy mom.

Only interested in being a star...
and her husband of 28 years, Steve Parker, was a con man only interested in her money.

Sheesh! I thought she was a psychic genius.
Took 28 years to ditch her con man hubby.
Remind me not to watch this.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Dante, 2/2/2013 5:47:28 PM     (No. 9154829)

Your choice, #4, but MacLaine has only a tiny role and is in maybe three episodes. I can´t stand her either, but it´s no reason to avoid an outstanding show.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: ketchuplover, 2/2/2013 6:02:25 PM     (No. 9154852)

This is perhaps one of the best shows on tv now. My 81-y.o. mother and I´ve been hooked for a year, having watched the first season on Netflix, the second season on Hulu, and now the third season on PBS. There are so many compelling characters. One thing, however, we have to watch with the close captioning, because sometimes those Brits just cannot talk plain English! :-)

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Reply 7 - Posted by: mabel normand, 2/2/2013 6:09:21 PM     (No. 9154861)

#4 And she delivers one of the best lines of the whole season, if you´re a conservative. But hey, you should totally skip that whole series because Dancing in the Light irritated you.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Susannah, 2/2/2013 6:16:00 PM     (No. 9154872)

I highly recommend Fellowes´ two novels, "Snobs" and "Past Imperfect," both of which are variations on the theme of class in Britain. "Snobs" may be the better of the two in terms of character and construction, but they´re both very worthwhile.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: nonsense, 2/2/2013 6:19:31 PM     (No. 9154883)

I believe Americans are as Julian Fellowes describes. It is just our un-American Dear Leader who does not understand, or who does understand but has become fixated on class warfare as a weapon of distraction.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: PoliticalJunky, 2/2/2013 6:28:35 PM     (No. 9154895)

I love Downton Abbey and have watched it since the beginning. There are many characters from different classes and many points of view are represented. Each has frustrations and problems caused by cultural pressures and world changing events. I don´t know about it being "anti snobbery". Grandmother Cawley has a pretty rigid sense of class.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: FunnyGirl, 2/2/2013 6:32:10 PM     (No. 9154901)

I love the show - superb writing and acting. We are a divided country and we can blame it all on the left or we can do our part to reverse it. The first step would be to stop using divisive terms like "low information voters", "makers & takers",etc. It starts with us.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Pearson365, 2/2/2013 6:35:53 PM     (No. 9154906)

To # 9, Downton Abbey is the perfect example of why Romney was correct in ending the taxpayer subsidies. DA is a BBC production, and other than broadcasting series, PBS has zero to do with show. Which begs question, what in the world is PBS doing with our money?



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Reply 13 - Posted by: trombo, 2/2/2013 6:45:15 PM     (No. 9154911)

Absolutely the best show on TV. The ensemble cast is amazing, the writing is superb, the sets and costumes are just beautiful. Last week´s episode was the best hour of TV I have seen in years. I recommend to all of you that you watch it.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Ida Lou Pino, 2/2/2013 7:10:36 PM     (No. 9154941)

Shirley McLain was awful - - simply dreadful.

I´ve always admired her work - - especially the roles she played on Planet Earth - - but I think it´s past time for her to retire to her home on Asteroid Xygnot - - and live out her years there.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: WAN2, 2/2/2013 7:14:17 PM     (No. 9154947)

The cars, sets, scenery and clothes are jim-dandy. Now if only I liked soap operas.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: masscon, 2/2/2013 7:49:47 PM     (No. 9154978)

It´s soap opera all right. Can´t stand the upstairs crowd. Especially the parents. Cora´s maiden name is Levin? She´s Jewish? Give me a break.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: JHHolliday, 2/2/2013 8:32:54 PM     (No. 9155021)

Part of the appeal to me is that I would love to live like the upper class did in England between the wars. They had servants, beautiful homes, did nothing but entertain and be entertained. What´s not to like.

Now being a scullery maid might not be so peachy....

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Reply 18 - Posted by: yorkiemom, 2/2/2013 8:43:57 PM     (No. 9155031)

#9 just wanted an excuse to knock Romney, #13.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: jorgecito, 2/2/2013 8:58:23 PM     (No. 9155038)

Article is interesting, but agree with #16:
Downton Abbey is soap opera schlock.

Pretty costumes and cars; dreadful acting and writing.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: Penney, 2/2/2013 9:17:22 PM     (No. 9155050)

We haven´t seem it but look forward to checking it out on Netflix. Successful dramas do NOT need tax-funded pbs/npr to showcase them.

Defund the dems´ ´public´ broadcasting!

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Reply 21 - Posted by: smcchk, 2/2/2013 10:42:03 PM     (No. 9155113)

The best part of Downton Abbey is that the characters are realistic. The staff aren´t all always-wise, downtrodden victims. The family aren´t always arrogant snobs. At one political rally, it´s the socialists who bring in some thugs to cause trouble. The characters are very affecting and the scenery and sets are fantastic!

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Reply 22 - Posted by: FlyRight, 2/3/2013 7:32:35 AM     (No. 9155367)

Read a little history. Many American Jewish millionaires married their daughters to English aristocracy looking for what they felt was social clout. There are Jews throughout the best family in England to this day. Anyone remember Churchill´s mother, Jennie Jerome from Brooklyn? And the character´s name was Levinson.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: StormCnter, 2/3/2013 7:48:53 AM     (No. 9155384)

I´m telling you, Brendon Coyle (John Bates) and Eric Bolling (Fox The Five) were separated at birth.

I´m a big Downton Abbey fan, as is my fifteen-year-old granddaughter. So, the appeal is wide.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: Namma, 2/3/2013 8:10:13 AM     (No. 9155413)

Many daughters of the new found rich in America married into English society,taking millions of American dollars with them. This helped the English Lords and Dukes to keep their castle like homes from ruin. Marshall Fields daughter Ethel, became a Countess, Consuelo Vanderbilt became the Duchess of Marlborough..It was a way to get a title and be in high society..Amerians did not have titles and the only way to get one was to marry into English society.
What brought the English high society down was the opening of trade between countries..the Lords who had the serfs working the land no longer grew their own food, they could buy imported products cheaper. The one product that really caused the downfall of the lords and dukes was American Wheat.
Most servants were not treated as nicely as Downton Abbey protrays...the servants were there to take care of the the Dukes and Duchess. Most of their work was done before the house woke so they were not seen by the Lord and Lady of the manor...
I love this show...and wait all year for the next 6 segments....

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Reply 25 - Posted by: chillijilli, 2/3/2013 8:15:46 AM     (No. 9155420)

As a former expat, I´ve always said that I´m never as aware of how American I am until I´m around a Brit. This series validates my feelings. It may be soapy, but isn´t it interesting to see similar character arcs developing within the aristocracy and within the staff?
Shirley MacLain couldn´t hold a candle to Maggie Smith. Her script was mostly 2-word sentences, and she looked like a clown. Hopefully, an excuse to write her out of further episodes will be forthcoming, to save her any more embarrassment.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: Periwinkel, 2/3/2013 8:18:07 AM     (No. 9155424)

You can purchase all of Season 3 on Amazon. Snowing here in Kentucky and I am watching it...to avoid Super Bowl idiocy...not the game, just the all-day-pre-game nonsense.

Growing weary with the Bates in prison thread.

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Reply 27 - Posted by: M2, 2/3/2013 8:24:03 AM     (No. 9155431)

Fabulous series. The third season is now available on DVD in stores, which we just took advantage of.

Superb acting and a window into England´s royalty mindset and class-divisions at the time. I doubt much has changed among the Brits, but a lot has changed here in America regarding class differences.

Many would insist there are no class differences here but that is no longer true, thanks in large part to the Left´s demonization of "the rich" against "the disenfranchised."

While in Downton Abbey´s structure there is dignity in work even at the "lowest" levels of society, in America, there is no dignity in work at all, except for the few remaining Americans who find honor in working.

For L.Dotters not familiar with the show, do try watching from the beginning. Maggie Smith, as always, steals every scene just with a lift of an eyebrow.

This season´s addition of Shirley MacLaine is a mystery to me. She´s abyssmal and too many plastic surgeries have taken their toll. Meowwww....

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Reply 28 - Posted by: masscon, 2/3/2013 8:24:58 AM     (No. 9155433)

Elizabeth McGovern Jewish? But the old man is anti-Catholic.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: reformationmama, 2/3/2013 8:26:33 AM     (No. 9155434)

Have been a fan of the show before the first episode. We most certainly have snobs in America as shown by our very one Snob-in-Chief who has made it a habit of seeing how many first person pronouns he can use in his blathering pronouncements.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: Echohawk, 2/3/2013 8:36:48 AM     (No. 9155448)

Good point, #22. Fellows turns our expectations inside out. Yes, there are the wretched excesses of the evil rich, but there are plenty of evil poor in this series as well. It´s the evil poor who do the most damage.
I really like the way Cora (the American) looks at the class/religion struggle in DA and shakes her head in bewilderment. Fellows is right--Americans don´t care about such things.
Obama has used class and race to gain power. He is the aberration, the anti-American.


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Reply 31 - Posted by: Flyball dogs, 2/3/2013 8:48:32 AM     (No. 9155473)

Love the show! My 87 (tomorrow) yr old mother enjoys, too, although the words are a bit mushy sometimes. Bought seasons 1 and 2 and will probably buy no. 3 soon.
I was reading about plot lines for no. 4, and they may get racier (more gay storylines for instance). I recognize that the human condition has not really changed since the Garden, so I do hope Julian does not bow to the PC crowd. I have already detected some phrases and words that seem a little more suited to today.

But love love love the show. I may go buy a hat!!

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Reply 32 - Posted by: bubby, 2/3/2013 8:49:56 AM     (No. 9155479)

I enjoy the show and just started watching it recently. My grandfather left England and migrated to Canada after fighting in WWI to get away from the very class system portrayed in the show. That class in England inherited enormous wealth and landholdings by birthright. I believe we are headed in that direction because the Democrats are making it impossible to create new wealth since most of it will be taken in taxes. The old wealth held mostly by leftists will continue to be passed along. We are all headed to become servants of the Government I´m afraid.

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Reply 33 - Posted by: ZurichMike, 2/3/2013 9:00:47 AM     (No. 9155513)

Agree that the costumes and set-shots are gorgeous. The plot themes are borrowed badly from any number of works by Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Trollope, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Edith Wharton, to name a few. If you´ve seen "Upstairs Downstairs" or "Brideshead Revisited" you can tell how derivative and water-downed this series is. A few clever lines does not make for world-class TV, but it does make for good entertainment.

With a series that includes about 16 characters, at best you get just a couple of clever lines per character, but no real character development; every character is a caricature: the ditzy American wife with money, the dashing heir to the family estate, the scheming and ugly maid, the stern butler with the deep voice.

But its appeal is that the speed and frequency of changes scenery and clever bon-mots matches perfectly the speed and frequency needs of a generation that lives for sight-bites, sound-bites, mobile phone photos, and text messages.

Having said all that, I would sell my grandmother to live in the library of Downton Abbey!



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Reply 34 - Posted by: lizzee1, 2/3/2013 9:03:11 AM     (No. 9155516)

I am watching ´´Upstairs Downstairs´´ for the first time, on Netflix, and Downton Abbey is somewhat of a clone. The same things occur,there are similar characters..even down to a cook that screams at the scullery maids.I like them both, but this has been done before.

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Reply 35 - Posted by: msjena, 2/3/2013 9:06:55 AM     (No. 9155522)

#17--Cora is based on a real person, who was half-Jewish. She was the daughter of Levi Leitner, who founded Marshall Fields.

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Reply 36 - Posted by: kanphil, 2/3/2013 9:25:29 AM     (No. 9155550)

When my BH first brought this to my attention,I dismissed it as just another chick flick. But, I am a sucker for anything with Maggie Smith in it, so I sat down and watched one episode all the way through. Now, I´m hooked. Don´t want to miss a minute of it. As to PBS, they are not necessary. DA would have found commercial sponsors on one of the networks. The network would have been far better off sponsoring DA than the drivel they have on now.

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Reply 37 - Posted by: smcchk, 2/3/2013 9:29:23 AM     (No. 9155552)

Please forgive the double post but #28 mentioned something that we have so obviously lost in our "developed" world and that is the dignity of work. The sense of honor and the standards of conduct down to the lowest kitchen maid are sadly gone from today´s world. And one tip, use subtitles, if you have them, as British speak can be hard to understand.

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Reply 38 - Posted by: sorosisbehindit, 2/3/2013 9:40:16 AM     (No. 9155571)

I never thought of America as having a class system until I began observing politics and saw the straight line connecting the Ivy League law schools to our three branches of government.
This is why our elected politicians look down their nose at the voter. They argue on the floor of Congress for the cameras, but enjoy drinks together at the club afterwards. We ARE the ignorant masses for continuing to send them back.

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Reply 39 - Posted by: Lawsy0, 2/3/2013 9:43:47 AM     (No. 9155585)

Personally, I have developed a crush on the gentle ´´Carson´´ aka Jim Carter.

Didn´t you just love this quote FTA? ´´That is written because they have to say something,´´ Lord Fellowes says of his detractors in the British press. ´´And in this country, you have to say something nasty.´´

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Reply 40 - Posted by: farmwife, 2/3/2013 9:57:14 AM     (No. 9155607)

Love the series, love Maggie Smith.

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Reply 41 - Posted by: locomotivebreath1901, 2/3/2013 10:00:32 AM     (No. 9155612)

I´ve never understood why elite, lavish and erudite productions about elite, lavish and erudite people amid elite, lavish and erudite backdrops require the taxpayer subsidized efforts of PBS.



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Reply 42 - Posted by: Tianne, 2/3/2013 11:00:05 AM     (No. 9155705)

Downton Abbey is television at its best. With the exception of the very few, the characters of the series treat one another with graciousness, courtesy, and respect and the characters that don’t display those qualities are scorned by the others - sometimes subtly but effectively with only the lift of an eyebrow. Impeccable manners and dignified and honorable behaviors are absolutely expected of the characters at all times. One character, Matthew, has struggles with an issue that results in painful soul-searching and self-criticism – he holds himself to stern self-examination, the concept of which is sadly unfamiliar to many modern viewers. I love the graceful decorum and civility of the characters of the program and think that many of us miss and yearn for the virtues displayed - perhaps that is why the production is so beloved.

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Reply 43 - Posted by: mabeldog, 2/3/2013 11:00:36 AM     (No. 9155707)

#9 Actually it´s an ITV production, not the Beeb

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Reply 44 - Posted by: Arby, 2/3/2013 11:05:44 AM     (No. 9155714)

Nice piece. Informative and persuasive.

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Reply 45 - Posted by: RancherJack, 2/3/2013 11:05:52 AM     (No. 9155715)

Not a fan.

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Reply 46 - Posted by: starboard, 2/3/2013 11:14:42 AM     (No. 9155725)

Downton Abbey gives us a delightful glimpse into life from a past culture. This series is so well produced, when I watch it, I feel Scotty has beamed me up and become totally transported back in time. What a respite and a treat from the present state of affairs we now have.
Thank you Julian Fellowes. Five stars.

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Reply 47 - Posted by: AutumnJoy, 2/3/2013 11:42:54 AM     (No. 9155763)

I love DA and have seen every episode. The rumor is that three characters die this season. Last Sunday´s death scene had me absolutely riveted to the tv. Even now I see that scene in slow motion in my mind. Heartbreaking.

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Reply 48 - Posted by: Vaquero45, 2/3/2013 12:06:21 PM     (No. 9155803)

My wife and daughter love this show. I´m indifferent to it. I read the WSJ article yesterday and found it interesting that Fellowes is himself a Lord. The lord and lady of Downton Abbey are portrayed as a couple of twits, as is the dowager countess. They have no marketable skills, and aren´t smart enough to take care of their own affairs. They have valets, as they can´t seem to keep track of their own clothing or get dressed without help. The lord´s mismanagement of the estate and its money bring it nearly to ruin, saved only by other people´s money earned through hard work and careful investment. In the last episode, Lord Grantham´s intransigency led to the death of his youngest daughter. I have a feeling it will be the lord´s new son-in-law who ends up saving everyone´s bacon so they can continue with their meaningless lives, being waited on hand and foot.

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Reply 49 - Posted by: absalom, 2/3/2013 12:35:34 PM     (No. 9155862)

#25. A strong demurral. The Great War caused the destruction of the English upper class and the British Empire. Britain, our major trading partner since 1783, became the wealthiest nation on earth because of trade. Sir Noel Coward´s Three Act Play ´Cavalcade´; from which the DA soap opera is derived; definitively explores this theme.

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Reply 50 - Posted by: cgood, 2/3/2013 12:44:20 PM     (No. 9155874)

I just started watching this series last weekend and am hooked. I´m midway through the 2nd season (watched the first on Netflix and found the second on Amazon). I like the complexity of the characters and appreciate that the family members are not portrayed as one-dimensional, evil rich folks and the servants are not all virtuous poor people. Even the villains surprise you now and then with their humanity.

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Reply 51 - Posted by: DanvilleBill, 2/3/2013 1:44:41 PM     (No. 9155953)

To quote Flounder, today is going to be GREAT!

1) The Super Bowl with the GREAT 49ers playing the pathetic Ravens.

2) The Super Bowl post game where the 49ers GREAT Jim Harbaugh accepts the Lombardi Trophy after trouncing brother John´s pathetic Ravens.

3) And later on, Downton Abbey, a GREAT TV production and possibly the GREATEST costume dama ever put on TV.

One other thought, if you like DA I suggest you get a copy of Follett´s "Fall of Giants" which is set in England over the same time frame with similar class-based themes, WWI action, etc. A GREAT read.

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Reply 52 - Posted by: 4LadyK, 2/3/2013 1:49:56 PM     (No. 9155965)

Love the series for what it is: an engaging soap opera. And 39 gets it.

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Reply 53 - Posted by: tnorling, 2/3/2013 2:25:47 PM     (No. 9156023)

Libs hate it because it doesn´t fit into their narrative. There are no victims needing state support.

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Reply 54 - Posted by: Mike6, 2/3/2013 2:41:13 PM     (No. 9156046)

You are correct that Obama does not understand Americans freedom and democracy. He prefers to bypass Congress and bomb Libya and throw Mubarek and Ghaddafi under the bus, who were both dictators but American friends.
Low information voters do not understand that Obama hates America because he is a Kenyan marxist and probably a muslim. I bet that Barry Soetero was a naturalized American Citizen and Barack Obama does not exist legally except for a phony SS#, from 1891 that once belonged to a man now dead.
If Republicans were smart, they would be yelling this information about the bogus Obama SS# from every roof top loud and clear until every low information voter had heard it.

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Reply 55 - Posted by: flaming sword, 2/3/2013 2:52:39 PM     (No. 9156059)

I love the show.Love it.

For those of you who don´t have Netflix like me, but are Amazon Prime members, do you know all episodes are available free?
I had been an Amazon Prime member for at least a year before I realized there were hundred if not thousands of free movies and TV shows available to me.
I renewed the second year because it paid for itself in free shipping within 3 or 4 months. Before I realized it had free video goodies.

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Reply 56 - Posted by: flaming sword, 2/3/2013 2:57:30 PM     (No. 9156067)

I needed a comma there. I don´t have Netflix.

For those of you who don´t have Netflix, like me,



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Reply 57 - Posted by: VAfreedomluver, 2/3/2013 3:12:31 PM     (No. 9156084)

My wife and I are hooked on Downton Abbey. We´re both history buffs and Anglophiles. While it´s true that the series probably treats the upstairs/downstairs divide as more genteel than it usually was, it´s nice to see a series such as this where the characters all have the feel and motives of real people, rather than caricatures.

One has to understand that the term "class" in English parlance did not refer to economic status, but to social status. One could be poor and yet still "upper class", as we´ve seen on Downton Abbey. One´s social standing was determined from birth and was almost totally fixed until the day you died. In America, we usually refer to the upper-class as the rich, but our classes are quite fluid compared to the English social classes. In fact, in America it´s more of a "gradient" than a system with sharply drawn lines between classes.

A few very rich merchants and captains of industry were able to buy their way into the English aristocracy in those days, but they were typically held apart from the "true" aristocracy of the blooded.

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Reply 58 - Posted by: belwhatter, 2/3/2013 4:29:17 PM     (No. 9156183)

It is good to hear heartwarming affection for Downton Abbey and how it is portraying the march of change through the 20th century. The very fact that we have taken these characters to heart speaks of the skills of Fellowes´ writing, the director and the actors. Enormous attention is paid to detail. For those that decry it´s social statements,calm down, it is after all entertainment and in these dreary days of Obamanomics it is wonderful to be transported on Sunday evenings to another world and even so,to see the eternal situations of the human condition play out.

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Reply 59 - Posted by: John318, 2/3/2013 5:22:11 PM     (No. 9156260)

Voyeurism reigns supreme in America. Get a life all those of you that are Hooked.

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Reply 60 - Posted by: Pinons, 2/3/2013 6:30:07 PM     (No. 9156336)

#9, you don´t get it! All those thousand of "tiny" subsidies add up to BIG WASTE.

#60, I´m sure you are so straight laced?

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Reply 61 - Posted by: flaming sword, 2/3/2013 6:40:25 PM     (No. 9156344)

I´ll bow to the superior intellect of #60.
Tonight I will watch BET, MTV and the Chicago news channel with their daily murder report.



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Reply 62 - Posted by: Harlowe, 2/3/2013 7:03:46 PM     (No. 9156369)

The BBC Masterpiece Theater series, and most other BBC special productions compared to the American entertainment industry can be described very succinctly: class versus crass.

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Reply 63 - Posted by: seminolesecure, 2/3/2013 7:58:45 PM     (No. 9156407)

I love ths show and am hooked, but I do think Mr. Fellows has bowed to the criticism, as much as he claims not to have. The 2nd and 3rd seasons have creeping and annoying PC stuff, the characters are more shallow, i.e. the ones with the social standing have become charicatures. They were so much more likable and real in the first episode.

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Reply 64 - Posted by: geminale, 2/3/2013 10:24:35 PM     (No. 9156623)

Love DA, or Dog´s Bum Abbey, as Dan Stevens calls it. Greatest period drama I´ve seen, and I´ve seen many. Thanks to l.com for this article.

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Reply 65 - Posted by: cat2, 2/4/2013 12:32:35 AM     (No. 9156749)

Oh, just relax and enjoy the show. Follow the characters´ personal dramas and forget pondering the social justice messages. Almost all of theatuh and literature is trying to propagandize you. You outfox the authors if you ignore all of that and just keep your tissue box handy and view it as a soap opera.

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´The debate over repealing this law is over´:
Obama boasts 7.1 MILLION have signed up to Obamacare
but study shows just 858,000 newly insured Americans have paid up!
Daily Mail (UK), by DAVID MARTOSKO    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 4/5/2014 7:49:46 AM     Post Reply
A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America´s health care system ´a lot better´ in a Rose Garden press conference. But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality. Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

No Country For Young Men.
PJ Media, by Richard Fernandez    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 4/4/2014 9:18:12 PM     Post Reply
The author of the Twilight of Abundance, David Archibald, sent an email a few days ago, saying “there is a whole new world coming.” Archibald, who’s an Australian, warns in his book that the world is running out of food, energy and security. Where he differs from Malthus, however, is in arguing that the shortages are the consequence of policy, rather than the inherent limitations of the universe. The world is doing everything it can to run in the opposite direction of abundance because we think we have too much. The West dreads warmer weather, even though warmer weather might

Clinton docs: Lewinsky,
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Posted By: FlyRight- 3/29/2014 3:26:29 PM     Post Reply
The Clinton Library took the wraps off another batch of White House documents Friday afternoon, offering new insights into how aides scrambled to address the Monica Lewinsky scandal, how the hot-button issue of race tied the White House staff up in knots and how former President Bill Clinton cast a wide net for advice in advance of his major speeches.The new set of Clinton documents make little mention of then-first lady Hillary Clinton, and so are unlikely to have a major political impact. However, many of the memos were written by or mention aides to Bill Clinton who now hold

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Daily Beast, by Lloyd Grove    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/29/2014 9:43:10 AM     Post Reply
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Deadline Near, Healthcare
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Posted By: Flyright- 3/28/2014 8:06:16 AM     Post Reply
WASHINGTON — The online insurance marketplace in Oregon is such a technological mess that residents have been signing up for health coverage by hand. In Texas, political opposition to President Obama’s health law is so strong that some residents believe, erroneously, that the program is banned in their state.But in Connecticut, a smoothly functioning website, run by competent managers, has successfully enrolled so many patients that officials are offering to sell their expertise to states like Maryland, which is struggling to sign people up for coverage. The disparities reveal a stark truth about the Affordable Care Act: With the first open

CNN producers busted trying
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New York Post, by Larry Celona, Kevin Fasick    Original Article
Posted By: Flyright- 3/26/2014 6:46:14 AM     Post Reply
Two CNN producers were arrested Tuesday for trying to sneak into the World Trade Center site to test its security — after The Post reported that a teen made it all the way to the spire of the world’s top terror target. Connor Boals, 26, and Yon Pomrenze, 35, made multiple attempts to get onto Ground Zero before being arrested shortly after 2 p.m., law enforcement sources said. The pair initially tried to get through a gate at Vesey and Washington streets, with a source saying they told the cop who stopped them that “if a 16-year-old could get on the site, they should be able to get in.” Next, they headed east, with Boals twice being spotted

Malaysia Airlines defends text message to
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Fox News and Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/25/2014 8:04:04 AM     Post Reply
Malaysia Airlines officials on Tuesday defended their decision to notify relatives of missing passengers of Flight 370´s presumed fate via text message, as China demanded that Malaysia turn over satellite data it used to conclude the jet was lost with no survivors. Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a press conference that the company´s "sole motivation" for informing passengers´ family members of their findings through text message was to ensure "the families heard the tragic news before the world did."My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families," Yahya told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International

Bryan Cranston: ´I scare people´
Guardian [UK], by Oliver Burkeman    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/23/2014 3:07:55 PM     Post Reply
The actor Bryan Cranston smiles a lot, but when he isn´t doing so, his craggy features settle into a default expression of unyielding menace. "My face, in repose, is mean," he tells the Guardian´s photographer, apologetically, at the Manhattan photo studio where we meet. "I scare people. You know how some people have a built-in smile? I look like I´m going to eat children." Cranston, 58, is currently appearing on Broadway as Lyndon Johnson in All the Way, a three-hour play that taxes his vocal cords – on Mondays, when there´s no performance, he obeys a vow of silence.

U.S. to allow some people to
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Reuters, by David Morgan    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/22/2014 2:45:28 PM     Post Reply
The Obama administration will soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to enroll in health coverage after a March 31 deadline, but only under certain circumstances, according to sources close to the administration.The sources said the new federal guidelines for consumers in the 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its website, HealthCare.gov, would allow people to enroll after March 31 if they had tried earlier and were prevented by system problems including technical glitches. On Friday, the administration published in the Federal Register new regulations that would allow state-run marketplaces new flexibility in setting insurance coverage effective

The Left’s Laughable Effort to Label
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Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/22/2014 2:42:31 PM     Post Reply
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Health Care Exchange in Oregon,
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New York Times, by Kirk Johnson    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/22/2014 2:27:42 PM     Post Reply
SALEM, Ore. — As the federal health care overhaul was rolled out over the last few years, Oregon was invariably the eager overachiever in the first row, waving a hand to volunteer. The governor, John Kitzhaber, a doctor who left the emergency room for politics, made health care his main issue. Fellow Democrats controlling the Legislature went along, embracing ambitious plans to extend insurance coverage and Medicaid to low-income residents. Yet for all that, by some measures Oregon has among the most dysfunctional online insurance exchanges in the nation. Only about 50,000 people in Oregon have signed up for a commercial

Push the Keyboard Away
National Review, by Jonah Goldberg    Original Article
Posted By: FlyRight- 3/22/2014 6:59:39 AM     Post Reply
If you haven’t seen it, John Hinderaker at Powerline has a devastating fact-check on a shabby piece in the Washington Post today on the Koch Brothers. Read it here.The authors of the Post piece, Steve Mufson and Juliet Eilperin, have responded. Here’s the bulk of it: First, regarding the political leaning of the group that brought this story to our attention, our article makes clear its left-wing origins, the controversial nature of its earlier claims, and its political agenda. Second, regarding whether Koch would benefit from the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, we make clear that many of Koch’s leases



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Brendan Eich and the New
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62 replie(s)
American Thinker, by Sally Zelikovsky    Original Article
Posted By: magnante- 4/4/2014 6:48:31 AM     Post Reply
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$6 Billion Goes Missing at State Department
48 replie(s)
Fiscal Times, by Brianna Ehley    Original Article
Posted By: happywarrior- 4/4/2014 1:04:42 PM     Post Reply
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Ex-CIA boss Morell gives unorthodox
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40 replie(s)
Fox News, by Catherine Herridge    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/3/2014 10:03:11 PM     Post Reply
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CEO of Firefox maker Mozilla steps down
36 replie(s)
USA Today, by Brett Molina    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 4/3/2014 4:06:40 PM     Post Reply
Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich will step down following uproar over his apparent opposition to gay marriage. In a statement released Thursday, Mozilla -- which makes the Firefox Web browser -- apologized for not reacting more quickly to the controversy surrounding Eich, who made a 2008 donation supporting California´s plan on gay marriage, The Guardian reports. "We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it´s because we haven´t stayed true to ourselves," said Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker in a statement. Last week, Eich attempted to dispel fears on whether he would support equality as the head

Romney 2016: Coulter Says Mitt
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32 replie(s)
Breitbart´s Big Journalism, by Jeffrey Poor    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/4/2014 1:02:48 PM     Post Reply
Earlier this week on Boston’s WRKO-AM’s The Howie Carr Show, conservative commentator Ann Coulter shocked some conservatives when she said she is making 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney her favorite for the 2016 Republican contest. Last month in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Romney himself ruled out the possibility of a 2016 run and said he was instead focused on who to get behind in that contest. Coulter, however, wishes otherwise. “Well, don´t tell him but I´m planning on giving Mitt Romney a little more time to rest -- flying out, kidnapping him and depriving him of sleep, food and

Muslims Object to Easter Eggs
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Fox News, by Todd Starnes    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 4/4/2014 11:34:07 PM     Post Reply
Muslim moms and dads in Dearborn, Mich. are upset after students received flyers promoting an Easter Egg hunt at a local Presbyterian church. The parents say the egg hunt violates the U.S. Constitution. The Muslims told the Detroit Free-Press that they were concerned about the religious implications of Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church’s “Eggstravaganza!” They were also troubled by images of a bunny rabbit. “It really bothered my two kids,” parent Majed Moughni, told the newspaper. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed

Beating of white driver by
angry mob after he accidentally
ran over young boy ruled NOT
a hate crime by Detroit police

31 replie(s)
Daily Mail [UK], by Ryan Gorman    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 4/4/2014 5:01:05 PM     Post Reply
A 54-year-old white man has been left barely clinging to life after he was brutally beaten by a group of black men when he got out of his car to check on a young black boy he accidentally hit. Steve Utash, from suburban Roseville, was beaten into a coma Wednesday by an angry mob in a poverty-stricken Detroit neighborhood after David Harris, 10, ran in front of his truck on a busy street, but police insist the incident was not racially motivated. The gang also stole his wallet before leaving him for dead. Utash is in extremely critical

David Letterman makes big announcement
29 replie(s)
CBS News, by Lauren Moraski    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 4/3/2014 5:00:45 PM     Post Reply
It´s the end of an era: David Letterman announced Thursday that he´s retiring from CBS´ "Late Show" sometime next year. He made that announcement during the taping of his program this afternoon. The late-night talk show host, who will celebrate his 67th birthday next week, made his debut on the "Late Show" on Aug. 30, 1993. Letterman got his television start in 1978 on the CBS variety series "Mary," starring Mary Tyler Moore. Months later, he paid his first visit to "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" -- marking the first of 22 appearances. He also guest-hosted "Tonight" numerous times.

Eric Holder defends using Justice
Department airplane for 27 personal trips

29 replie(s)
Washington Examiner (DC), by Joel Gehrke    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 4/4/2014 9:34:34 PM     Post Reply
Attorney General Eric Holder disputed a Government Accountability Office report on his use of Justice Department airplanes for personal trips, saying it overstated the number of trips he took and failed to recognize that some trips were job-related. "My staff keeps telling me to take it easy, you know, well, this is one that gets me," Holder told Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. "There was this notion that we´ve taken -- I think it was described as hundreds of personal trips. That was wrong. GAO counted flights, not round trips. And we looked at it

Networks Refuse Obama Request for
Primetime to Announce Obamacare
Hitting 7 Million Mark

27 replie(s)
Mediaite, by Noah Rothman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/3/2014 7:04:57 PM     Post Reply
According to a report via BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, President Barack Obama requested the opportunity to address the nation in prime time on the major broadcast networks on Tuesday night to announce that the Affordable Care Act had reached 7 million enrollees. Those networks did not, however, accommodate the White House’s request. “Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the prime time slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular,”

Dem Rep.: ‘Members of Congress
Are Underpaid,’ Can’t Afford
to ‘Live Decently’

27 replie(s)
Mediaite, by Josh Feldman    Original Article
Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/3/2014 7:15:42 PM     Post Reply
Do you think members of Congress are overpaid or underpaid? Most likely you’d go with the former, but Democratic congressman Jim Moran argues it’s actually the latter. In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Moran says, “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid.” The House recently took up a bill to freeze members’ paychecks, placing another halt on the annual cost-of-living pay increases they would normally get and keeping annual salary at $174,000. Moran believes that this is the wrong way to go, not necessarily talking about himself in particular, but saying there

Gov’t Spent $700 Million
Promoting Obamacare

27 replie(s)
Washington Free Beacon [DC], by Elizabeth Harrington    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 4/3/2014 10:38:14 PM     Post Reply
President Barack Obama contended that the government did not “make a hard sell” for Obamacare, despite his administration spending nearly $700 million to promote the law. “We didn’t make a hard sell,” Obama said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, praising the 7.1 million sign ups for the Affordable Care Act. “We didn’t have billions of dollars of commercials like some critics did.” However, last July the Associated Press reported that Obamacare’s marketing campaign would cost at least $684 million. Taxpayer funding went to all 50 states in efforts to encourage people to enroll, including nearly $28 million for the


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