I probably should have put a caption or something that identified this dude as Clarence, the ninth Earl of Emsworth, with the Empress of Blandings in the foreground and Lady Constance and the Efficient Baxter in the deep background. The stories that make up the Blandings Saga (an intentionally ironic collective name, because the plots only ever consisted of light romantic comedy punctuated by the mildest knockabout farce, and were marked by a sturdy refusal to engage the tides of history) were written by P.G. Wodehouse between 1915 and 1977, and make up some of my favorite writing in the English language.
There are as many good solid reasons to dislike Wodehouse (the fear of women, the acquiescence in imperialism, the implicit support for aristocracy, the utter retreat from any political, social or psychological reality) as there are light and fluffy reasons to enjoy him (the use of language, the scrambled ethics of farce, the utter retreat from any reality), and I won’t pretend I’m not exactly the kind of easily-bruised man-child that finds solace in an imagined world where the worst thing that can happen to a white man with money is that he’ll get a dinner roll chucked at his head, or perhaps be roped into presenting the prizes at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School.
That the fluffy-headed Earl of Emsworth, who dislikes human relationships, the arts, and work, who cares only for the obsessively-bred flora and fauna that are his property, and who is protected by vast wealth (doubtless acquired by his ancestors through the murder, enslavement, and systematic rape of subjects both feudal and colonial) and a comprehensive class system from ever having to do anything disagreeable to the point that dressing in formal wear strikes him as an acutely miserable fate, would be any kind of model, even a satirical one, for me is frankly disgusting. It’s manifestly a good thing that I don’t have the kind of money that would enable me to lock myself in the castle library to fall asleep reading Whiffle on the care and feeding of pigs. Because I would, like a shot.