Sunday, May 31, 2009

she's in parties (part trois)

"If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales." -Oliver Goldsmith
"Even when given more than a thousand choices, people prefer the sound of their own voices."- le Cornichon

Searching for successful ways and means in the quest to being an upstanding citizen, socially that is, is a task that can be as daunting as the search for Flaubert's Parrot, The Holy Grail or finding something in my size from the Jean Pierre Braganza Autumn/Winter ‘09 collection. (*sigh* I need those fur shoes...) To start with, it is of the utmost importance to let the world know you exist. To "blow your own horn" so to speak. The best way to let yourself heard, is, well, to let yourself be heard. The shrewed art of conversation has been key to the rise of such sows ears to silk purses as Helena Rubinstein, who was a keen conversationalist and also known for apocryphal quips, such as when an intoxicated French ambassador expressed vitriol toward Edith Sitwell and her brother Sacheverell: “Vos ancêtres ont brûlé Jeanne d’Arc!” “What did he say?," Rubinstein, who knew little French, asked a guest. “He said, ‘Your ancestors burned Joan of Arc.’ ” Rubinstein replied, "Well, someone had to do it". Cheeky monkey that Helena...

But why talk at all? How clever and original to be silent, But no one in their right mind does that, because talking accomplishes so many things that silence cannot. Conversation gives substance to vaporous emotions, room to air hidden anxieties. It exalts the ego, perfects the self image and puts your mark on the environment. When you go around the room at a party, speaking to each person in turn, you're like a naughty kitty marking every corner of a new penthouse. Bad puss puss.
In the present philosophical haze, talk is used as a sort of foghorn for the ship of the mind. It announces your ever shifting opinions on things in the hope that you will escape having your hull punctured by such metaphysical icebergs as religious fundamentalism, solving the economic downturn or support for the wars raging on in "those dusty parts of the planet." The fact that foghorns are useless for avoiding icebergs only improves the metaphor.
Conversations also help fill certain voids in existence. In a world in which we are constantly bombarded by stimuli- broadcast media, Muzak, bright lights, bold graphics, scents: indeed, sounds sights and smells of every kind- even the damned cheerful sounds of birds singing, for some reason, in those ungodly hours before noon when proper persons are still sleeping- there are still moments of quiet repose and calm. You can get rid of them by talking. One thing mere talk cannot accomplish, however, is communication. This is because every body's talking too much to pay attention to what anyone else is saying. Real communication therefore should be done through lawyers or through the purchasing of air time for a late night infomercial.
Actually people do pay attention every now and then if what is being said is intensely personal. Therefore people will always listen to Flattery and Gossip. These sisters are very important gals to get acquainted with in your rise to the top of the dung heap, um, I mean social ladder, of course... Lets invite them up into our Chanel Tree-house, shall we? Oh look. cupcakes! Yums. Let's begin.

The beauty of flattery is that it is so easy. Say anything that pops into your head, "What lifelike maquillage you are wearing this evening Countess!" or "Oh twaddle, hairy knuckles are this seasons must have, Your Majesty!" See how easy it is? Flattery is like money, it does not need to have any intrinsic worth, and neither its source nor the intended object of its use deprives it of any charm in peoples eyes. You cannot go to far with flattery, if you want to be polite. Tell people they're brilliant, beautiful, important and accomplished with the morals of a saint. This is known as lying, but it is old fashioned but still widely used by those people who are smart enough to know whether they are telling the truth or not.
A much more modern approach than lying, one that requires less thought and energy, is to develop a lack of personal sense of judgement, so thorough that you really believe the people you are talking to are brilliant, beautiful, important and accomplished with the morals of a saint. This state can be achieved by not paying attention to what anyone says for twenty or so years or by drinking grain alcohol for breakfast- not recommended if you carpool.
Gossip is what you say about the objects of flattery when they aren't present. Gossip is very similar to flattery in that sense and judgement should play no part in its formulation. Gossip can far more solidly grounded in fact than flattery, especially vicious gossip, given the way most people conduct themselves these days, this should pose no problem.
Never gossip about people you don't know, the best subject of gossip is someone you and your audience know and love dearly, the enjoyment of gossip is thus doubled: "To the delight of disapprobation is added the additional delight of pity." Mmmm delish, I know.

So, make sure you audience not only loves the person that you are telling something dreadful about, but also the kind of dreadfulness about which you are telling. That is, if you are speaking to thieves, gossip about someone stealing. The thieves will have an intimate understanding of the subject and in addition ill be flattered that you assume they are honest; if you didn't, you wouldn't be be talking about thievery and such in front of them... win win they say.... somewhere, I think in corporate cubes- or rather cubicle.... um, things.

A far superior topic for gossip than stealing is, of course, sex. This is because most sex acts take place in private and are easy to deny, and, mon petite, nothing indicts like denial. Other worthwhile subjects of your precious venom are secret drunkenness and drug addiction. You certainly can also gossip about someones public drug or alcohol consumption that 9 out of 10 times if asked they will freely admit to, and if a person has no shame about his behavior, it's really your duty to supply some. Bon mots and bouquets are sure to follow, as manners are supposed to increase the pleasure, and half the pleasure of acting up is the feeling of having done something terribly naughty or socially forbidden.

It would be wrong, however, to assume that all gossip is negative. You can gossip about your friends tremendous success, like the faboo movie directing job he just got by stealing the idea from someone else- that will remain nameless (toujours- oui? ha ha) and committing a perverted sex act that included a Barbie doll in the roll of the Christ Child's Immaculate birth with the producer. Whatever your tidbit of prime boeuf is, make sure you tell your audience not to say they heard it from you. This will, of course, remind them to say that you did. It's an old trick, albeit a sneaky one, but you don't want all the gruesome stories that took you so long to dig up being circulated without attribution. Progeny being Destiny and all that rot. Yawn. More later- you are looking a little tired dear. Are you sleeping well? Oh well, here's a wee nightcap to conjure up old Morpheus... or is it Hypnos... a white trash elixir that will knock you off your Manolo's.

The Southern Death Cult

2 oz Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey

2 oz Southern Comfort® peach liqueur

2 oz Wild Turkey® bourbon whiskey

3 oz Coca-Cola

3 oz 7-Up soda
Put ice in a highball glass and the add the liquors. Top the glass off with Coke and 7-up and a lemon twist. Stir. Do not under any circumstances tell anyone where you got this recipe. Promise? Oh goody.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man