Re: genius genes

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 07:37:55 MDT

At 10:43 PM 10/08/00 -0700, Spike wrote:

>> Well, that was implicit in my irony, of course, but really I don't think
>> the Kennedys have been around nearly long enough. This is Cabots and Lodges
>> territory, no? (Speaking out of complete ignorance, you understand.)
>Cabots? Lodges? Never heard of them.

Okay, so my ignorance is not as complete about American local history as an
American's. :)

The Cabots, Lodges and Lowells are among the famous Boston Brahmin Yankee
old money lineage that dates back to the Puritans, if I'm not mistaken. The
Kennedys, by contrast, represented new money (not to say corrupt bootlegger
money) and crass Irish power, disdained by the Brahmins. E.g.:

< Boston did not welcome Irish Catholics, though the city required their
labors. In turn, Irish Catholics battled
Yankee-Brahmin Boston, though the immigrants adopted New England values. If
Boston's first families reminded the Irish immigrant of their former
Anglo-Irish landlords, the Boston Lowells, Cabots and Lodges also served as
their models of American propriety and achievement. As though both groups
were trapped on an island, rather than crowded onto a peninsula, the
Yankee-Celt encounter grew into a grudging marriage of convenience, driven
by necessity, often acrimonious, but also not without respect, even love. >

The Bostonian establishment noted in a famous phrase that the Cabots spoke
only to the Lodges, and the Lodges only to God. These Brahmins include the
same Lowells who produced the great 20th century poet Robert Lowell, who
created one of the most well-known of all American poems "For the Union
Dead" for the 1960 Boston Arts Festival, and Percival Lowell who much
earlier invented the canals of Mars. Or so I gather, but then what would an
Aussie know about big city living?

Damien Broderick

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