Nick:  You haven’t seen this?  (Stops and briefly unbuttons collar.)  Detachable collar — not many people wear them anymore.  They look much better.  So many things which were better in the past have been abandoned for supposed convenience.

Tom:  I had no idea anyone wore those anymore.  

Nick:  It’s a small thing, but symbolically important.  Our parents’ generation was never interested in keeping up standards.  They wanted to be “happy”, but of course the last way to be “happy” is to make it your objective in life.

Tom:  I wonder if our generation is any better than our parents’.  

Nick:  It’s far worse.  Our generation is probably the worst since … the Protestant Reformation.  It’s barbaric, but a barbarism even worse than the old-fashioned kind.  Now barbarism is cloaked with all sorts of self-righteousness and moral superiority … (Pause.)

Tom:  You’re obviously talking about a lot more than detachable collars …

Nick:  Yeah, I am.  


From Metropolitan, by Whit Stillman