Still enjoying Utopian Dreams by Tobias Jones published 2008.
I called someone a chap recently, meaning it as a compliment, and he had never heard of the chap phenomenon. I have even read a copy of The Chap magazine. Don’t think I would quite qualify as a chap myself though – no Harris Tweed jacket. Tobias saw something serious in the chap movement that I had failed to see.
The quote below is from page 14:
I hear myself grumbling and begin to suspect that I’m becoming a fogey. Perhaps this is what ageing feels like. The world suddenly seems tawdry, ineluctably more tacky and vulgar than you remember it. And yet, if you look closely, the fogeys are getting younger . . . which is amusing but also intriguing. Why are people barely in their thirties, having gulped down every elixir in the cupboard, suddenly saying ‘this is wrong’? ‘This is vulgar and silly and unsatisfying,’ they think, but rarely admit it because they think to do so would appear, well, fogeyish. Some do say so, and with humour: the ‘Chap Revolution’ is an amusing movement for more politeness, etiquette and class. It’s a Sideshow which barely registers on the media radar, but it’s delightful precisely because it tries to recuperate what we chucked away in the rush for that cupboard. It takes a leaf out of the cool, non-conformist’s manifesto and turns, tongue-in-cheek, against the vulgarity of modern life.