Actual class struggles apart, one of the aesthetic ways you could prove that there was a class system in America was by cogitating on the word, or acronym, 'WASP.' First minted by E. Digby Baltzell in his book The Protestant Establishment , the term stood for 'White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.' Except that, as I never grew tired of pointing out, the 'W' was something of a redundancy (there being by definition no BASPs or JASPs for anyone to be confused with, or confused about). 'ASP, ' on the other hand, lacked some of the all-important tone. There being so relatively few Anglo-Saxon Catholics in the United States, the 'S' [sic] was arguably surplus to requirements as well. But then the acronym AS would scarcely do, either. And it would raise an additional difficulty. If 'Anglo-Saxon' descent was the qualifying thing, which surely it was, then why were George Wallace and Jerry Falwell not WASPs? After all, they were not merely white and Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, but very emphatic about all three things. Whereas a man like William F. Buckley, say, despite being a white Irish Catholic, radiated the very sort of demeanor for which the word WASP had been coined to begin with. So, for the matter of that, did the dapper gentleman from Richmond, Virginia, Tom Wolfe. Could it be, then, that WASP was really a term of class rather than ethnicity? Q.E.D.
'WASP' is the only ethnic term that is in fact a term of class, apart from redneck, which is another word for the same group but who are in the lower social strata, so it's inexplicably tied up with social standing and culture and history in a way that the other hyphenations just are not.
The raven hatches its young; the fish spew forth their eggs; the slim-waisted wasp transforms, and when a younger brother comes along the elder brother weeps. For too long I have not been able to work in harmony with these changes. So, given that I did not play my part in harmony with others, how could I expect to change people?
Granddaddy had told me about the wasp that could opt to be male or female while in a larval stage. An interesting thought. I wondered why human children weren't given that option in their grub stage, say up through age five. With everything I had seen about the lives of boys and girls, I would definitely choose to be a boy grub.
George Bush is by American standards rabidly Upper Class - Eastern, Socially Attractive, WASP, 19th-century money, several generations of Andover and Yale (and, while we're at it, his father, George H. W. 'Poppy' Bush, was a former president and his grandfather was the Nazis' U.S. banker in the 1930s).
He stared at the corner of the yellowed ceiling, at the spider web and its solitary occupant. 'Why here?' he asked the spider. 'You could choose anywhere instead of this house. I know I wouldn't be here if I didn't have to be.' The spider said nothing. Come to think of it, Callum was sure the spider hadn't moved even an inch in the last week. Maybe it was dead. Dead and crisp like the untouched wasp carcass on his window sill.
I switched the light out again. The room was totally dark, not even the starlight showing while my eyes adjusted. Perhaps I would ask for one of those LED alarm radios, though I'm very fond of my old brass alarm clock. Once I tied a wasp tot the striking-surface of each of the copper-coloured bells on top, where the little hammer would hit them in the morning when the alarm went off. I always wake up before the alarm goes, so I got to watch.
I have gone into town to buy a few last things we need for the expedition: Peruvian wasp repellent, toothbrushes, canned peaches, and a fireproof canoe. It will take a while to find the peaches, so don't expect me back until dinnertime. Stephano, Gustav's replacement, will arrive today by taxi. Please make him feel welcome. As you know, it is only two days until the expedition, so please work very hard today. Your giddy uncle, Monty
Link is a quiet man to meet- easy and courteous. His music, though, betrays that deep inside he gets very very mean very often. I remember being made very uneasy the first time I heard Rumble , and yet very excited by the guitar sound. And his voice! He sounds like a cross between Jagger and Van Morrison, even sometimes like Robbie Robertson. We met him in New York in 1970 while recording Who's Next.... this later inspired the b-side Wasp Man, a tune we dedicated to Link Wray.
Some had hurled spears first. Those spears thumped into our shields, making them unwieldy, but it hardly mattered. The leading Danes tripped on the hidden timbers and the men behind pushed the falling men forward. I kicked one in the face, feeling my iron-reinforced boot crush bone. Danes were sprawling at our feet while others tried to get past their fallen comrades to reach our line, and we were killing. Two men succeeded in reaching us, despite the smoking barricade, and one of those two feel to Wasp-Sting coming up from beneath his shield-rim. He had been swinging an ax that the man behind me caught on his shield and the Dane was still holding the war ax's shaft as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I saw his eyes widen, saw the snarl of his mouth turn to agony as I twisted the blade, ripping it upward, and as Cerdic, beside me, chopped his own ax down. The man with the crushed face was holding my ankle and I stabbed at him as the blood spray from Cerdic's ax blinded me. The whimpering man at my feet tried to crawl away, but Finan stabbed his sword into his thigh, then stabbed again. A Dane had hooked up his ax over the top rim of my shield and hauled it down to expose my body to a spear-thrust, but the ax rolled off the circular shield and the spear was deflected upward and I slammed Wasp-Sting forward again, felt her bite, twisted her, and Finan was keening his mad Irish song as he added his own blade to the slaughter. 'Keep the shields touching!' I shouted at my men.
the burrowing wasp, which in order to provide a supply of fresh meat for her offspring after her own decease, calls in the science of anatomy to amplify the resources of her instinctive cruelty, and, having made a collection of weevils and spiders, proceeds with marvellous knowledge and skill to pierce the nerve-centre on which their power of locomotion (but none of their other vital functions) depends, so that the paralysed insect, beside which her egg is laid, will furnish the larva, when it is hatched, with a tamed and inoffensive quarry, incapable either of flight or of resistance, but perfectly fresh for the larder...
Early Morning in Your Room It's morning. The brown scoops of coffee, the wasp-like Coffee grinder, the neighbors still asleep. The gray light as you pour gleaming water- It seems you've traveled years to get here. Finally you deserve a house. If not deserve It, have it; no one can get you out. Misery Had its way, poverty, no money at least. Or maybe it was confusion. But that's over. Now you have a room. Those lighthearted books: The Anatomy of Melancholy, Kafka's Letter to his Father, are all here. You can dance With only one leg, and see the snowflake falling With only one eye. Even the blind man Can see. That's what they say. If you had A sad childhood, so what? When Robert Burton Said he was melancholy, he meant he was home.
I've grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains - good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over), not chilly WASP mothers (emotionally distant isn't necessarily evil), not soapy vixens (merely bitchy doesn't qualify either). I'm talking violent, wicked women. Scary women. Don't tell me you don't know some. The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves - to the point of almost parodic encouragement - we've left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.
Couldn't we camp down by the lakes?' Nynaeve asked, patting her face with her kerchief. 'It must be cooler down by the water.' 'Light, ' Mat said, 'I'd just like to stick my head in one of them. I might never take it out.' Just then something roiled the waters of the nearest lake, the dark water phosphorescing as a huge body rolled beneath the surface. Length on man-thick length sent ripples spreading, rolling on and on until at last a tail rose, waving a point like a wasp's stinger for an instant in the twilight, at least five spans into the air. All along that length fat tentacles writhed like monstrous worms, as many as a centipede's legs. It slid slowly beneath the surface and was gone, only the fading ripples to say it had ever been. Rand closed his mouth and exchanged a look with Perrin. Perrin's yellow eyes were as disbelieving as he knew his own must be. Nothing that big could live in a lake that size. Those couldn't have been hands on those tentacles. They couldn't have been. 'On second thought, ' Mat said faintly, 'I like it right here just fine.
Miss Mapp moved towards the screen. "What a delicious big screen, " she said. "Yes, but don't go behind it, Mapp, " said Irene, "or you'll see my model undressing." Miss Mapp retreated from it precipitately, as from a wasp's nest, and examined some of the studies on the wall, for it was more than probable from the unfinished picture on the easel that Adam lurked behind the delicious screen. Terrible though it all was, she was conscious of an unbridled curiosity to know who Adam was. It was dreadful to think that there could be any man in Tilling so depraved as to stand to be looked at with so little on... Irene strolled round the walls with her. "Studies of Lucy, " she said. "I see, dear, " said Miss Mapp. "How clever! Legs and things! But when you have your bridge-party, won't you perhaps cover some of them up, or turn them to the wall? We should all be looking at your pictures instead of attending to our cards. And if you were thinking of asking the Padre, you know... " They were approaching the corner of the room where the screen stood, when a movement there as if Adam had hit it with his elbow made Miss Mapp turn round. The screen fell flat on the ground and within a yard of her stood Mr. Hopkins, the proprietor of the fish-shop just up the street. Often and often had Miss Mapp had pleasant little conversations with him, with a view to bringing down the price of flounders. He had little bathing-drawers on... "Hullo, Hopkins, are you ready, " said Irene. "You know Miss Mapp, don't you?" Miss Mapp had not imagined that Time and Eternity combined could hold so embarrassing a moment. She did not know where to look, but wherever she looked, it should not be at Hopkins. But (wherever she looked) she could not be unaware that Hopkins raised his large bare arm and touched the place where his cap would have been, if he had had one. "Good morning, Hopkins, " she said. "Well, Irene darling, I must be trotting, and leave you to your-" she hardly knew what to call it-"to your work." She tripped from the room, which seemed to be entirely full of unclothed limbs, and redder than one of Mr. Hopkins's boiled lobsters hurried down the street. She felt that she could never face him again, but would be obliged to go to the establishment in the High Street where Irene dealt, when it was fish she wanted from a fish-shop... Her head was in a whirl at the brazenness of mankind, especially womankind. How had Irene started the overtures that led to this? Had she just said to Hopkins one morning: "Will you come to my studio and take off all your clothes?" If Irene had not been such a wonderful mimic, she would certainly have felt it her duty to go straight to the Padre, and, pulling down her veil, confide to him the whole sad story. But as that was out of the question, she went into Twemlow's and ordered four pounds of dried apricots.
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation's OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won't it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It's a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenite