In The Atlantic, Daphne Muse has a really terrific look at what it was like to be a black butler in mid-century Washington D.C.—”the ‘invisible’ men” who heard and saw the powers who shaped our country before and after the Civil Rights movement and are the subjects of the Lee Daniels film The Butler. Muse looks at the experiences of her father and uncle, who both worked as butlers, and what it said about race, class, and service work at the time.
Angela Serratore’s latest essay in Smithsonian Mag has some matchmaking tips if you’re looking to marry a British dude with a name and a big house (and aren’t we all). 1. Have it be 100 years ago. 2. Be from new money in America so everyone here, with old money, thinks you’re trash. 3. Have your father be willing to sell you to a British dude with a name and a big house. And that’s it!
Collector’s Weekly has a fascinating interview with Robin Nagle, an anthropologist who has spent much of her life studying trash (literal trash) and embedding herself with the New York City Department of Sanitation for a decade. She explains how New York was just the filthiest city with garbage and dead animals filling the streets for months at a time until a Civil War officer named George Waring took charge of sanitation in the 1890s.
Karl Marx, communism’s founding father, famously had some problems with the way we all Do Money.