Thursday, June 2, 2011

6/2 - Same Old Same Old

Well done to Li Na for spoiling the hopes of NBC and keeping Maria Sharapova out of the French Open final Saturday.  As was formerly the case with the endless rounds of hype in favour of Andre Agassi, it seems clear that the marching orders had gone out to all talking heads to pump Sharapova through the roof.  How tiresome.

In the Tuesday Leftover department, may I submit, with all due respect to the LW with the non-heterosexual father that almost all of her evidence is Hearsay and therefore of little or no value?  He was "caught cheating" with another man - pretty phrasing to make it appear that they were caught in the act, but, as the LW had left home, it was presumably not the LW who discovered whatever was discovered - if it even was a discovery and not a revelation twisted (understandably) by a bitter wife.  Several other cross-examiners have picked up on the point that the witness cannot possibly have any clue about whether the "flings" really are such.  I don't know where the Prudecutor gets the idea that LW and YB are not homophobes, as there seems to be very little evidence either way.  About the only piece of direct evidence is that the LW does not feel comfortable sitting there listening to a description of Daddy's Love Life, but this requires a bit of cross-examination as well.  What does that phrase entail?  Those of us with more than a passing acquaintance of How Breeders Interact with a Non-Breeder are familiar with the double standard that conflates the smallest piece of social information into Explicit Sexual Details.  Or the exuberant Pappa could well be providing lots of ESP.  Further questioning is required, of the sort that might last three weeks or so if the daily refreshers are good.

On to today and the Prudecutor in usual form.  Quick Thoughts:

L1:  Move.  (If they were all this easy, I'd be done in no time.)

L2:  Have the FUNeral NOW.  Why wait?  Let the poor dying woman enjoy the occasion.  For an example of how to do this, watch It's My Party - at least from shortly after the beginning through very nearly the end.

L4:  Oh, good grief.  If the Prudecutor's strategy actually worked, then half the people seeking employment would be making deliberate errors and following them with a similarly cheesy correction.  But my real point of concern is how the Prudecutor and LW4 both buy right into the Corporarchy and hand the running of the world cheerfully over to the evil cohorts of Mr Messy (I grant Mr M personally the benefit of the doubt as a courtesy to Ms M).  They both assume that it is quite right and proper for LW4's panties to get into a Major Bunch, as if this one detail will Ruin LW4's Life if it is not Handled Correctly.  How the Prudecutor comes up with taking too big a risk is completely beyond me.  One can only presume that she actually approves of 1984, when all sorts of the tiniest of actions were similarly risky and carried dire consequences.  And yet the vast majority of the population is perfectly content to go along like sheep and play right along at being the Corporarchy's willing little drones, too terrified to go to the lavatory without Corporarchal approval.  Can we not end the insanity now?  Ah, but how?


L3:  Well, this one is somewhat interesting.  In LW3 we have actually a female (and it was only the word second being applied to the other woman in the case, which is quite a shame, as it really would have been a much more interesting letter had the couple been MM and BF3 been secretly maintaining a side relationship with a woman) version of Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park, at least to a partial extent.  It's tricky without a Fanny Price involved for the letter, but I suppose a letter from LW3's long-suffering admirer, who'd watched her doomed relationship over the five years and lamented the failings of BF3, would read similarly.

I must take further issue with the Prudecutor.  The invocation of Mr Edwards seems tolerably apt, but why bash polygamists?  They would be relatively unlikely to be keeping a second partner in secret; in their book, as it wouldn't be cheating barring particularities in their agreement, it would likely be in the open.  The swipe was undignified and, typically, more characteristic of the Prudecutor's private prejudices than witty or illuminating.  As for the remainder of the Prudecutor's comments, dealing with relationships, exes and friendship, I feel it only fair to recuse myself.  I could a tale unfold, but I am not here to give evidence.  I might, though, wonder how long the second relationship was ongoing.  If it was for the better part of the five years, then BF3 looks rather worse, but LW3 also looks rather more oblivious, not really an enviable state of affairs.

Back to Mansfield Park, much of its particular point of interest may well rest with the depth in which the doomed love between Edmund and Mary is examined, even by Fanny herself.  Fanny's own success in replacing Mary in Edmund's affections comes as almost the briefest of footnotes as the novel gently subsides.  Mary has not quite had the double life of BF3, but she has had the bad example of her uncle, Admiral Crawford, who, after the death of his wife, installed his mistress in his house, thus forcing Mary to seek new and respectable accommodation with her half-sister Mrs Grant, even in  a country parsonage.  Mary's life is open enough; she has twenty thousand pounds and is ready to marry to advantage.  She even expects to become fond of Tom, Edmund's elder brother, and the heir to the baronetcy; it rather surprises her to find her inclination drawn to the rather too quiet and serious Edmund.  Early on in the acquaintance, Edmund and Fanny discuss Mary's faults in a way that has not borne up well with time.  But Mary's flirtatious style and skill at the harp gradually win Edmund over.  Fanny can only watch in horror as increasing attachment leads Edmund to overlook Mary's fondness for playacting (and even agree to take part in the theatricals himself), her determination to sparkle in Society on a better income than their united fortunes might provide, even her irreverance and preference for him not to go into holy orders.  When even Edmund's ordination appears to be forgiven, a deus ex machina is required to part them.  But by then we have seen quite enough of Fanny appreciating all Mary's moral faults to the full and lamenting Edmund's reducing them all to little errors and fancying himself strict in criticism.  Mary never really deceives Edmund, unless one counts her willingness to accept him being based largely or primarily on Tom's dangerous illness (an area in which Miss Austen is somewhat less adept than usual).  But Edmund reacts in much the way LW3 seems to have done at most stages of the relationship and post-relationship.

As far as what LW3 ought actually to do, it's hard to care.  She can let him and whatever little vestiges of hope she has clinging to life support finally go.  She can manoeuvre her mentality into a state in which they can truly have a friendship.  But this is just silliness.  She isn't going to get what she thinks she wants.  On the other hand, he does seem to be a source of amusement, and that might well be worth the price of admission.

Moral:  "On his side the inclination was stronger, on hers less equivocal.  His objections, the scruples of his integrity, seemed all done away, nobody could tell how, and the doubts and hesitations of her ambitions were equally got over; and equally without apparent reason.  It could only be imputed to increasing attachment.  His good and her bad feelings yielded to love, and such love must unite them."

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