Thursday, January 5, 2012

1/5 - Vanity, Vanity, All Is Vanity

No prizes for guessing this theme.

L1: Oh, good grief. Have you paid no attention to the way in which Sir Pitt Crawley refuses to put on any hairs or graces, or the manner in which Rebecca Sharp manages to navigate the series of little social embarrassments she encounters with reasonable sangfroid? The perfect example is provided by George Osbourne during the party at Vauxhall. When Jos Sedley has begun making a fool of himself after indulging in the rack punch, Amelia and Rebecca excuse themselves from the table. Jos' inquiry into their purpose in doing so meets with a blunt retort and the beginning of some plain talking from George, who does not much like the idea of his putative future brother-in-law being wheedled into marriage by a governess.

Dump yourself already, LW1. You clearly are not fit relationship material. Get another boyfriend when you have acquired the maturity of at least an eleven-year-old (if not someone a good deal older, but eleven will probably prove sufficiently daunting).

L2: LW2's friend appears to be a somewhat sideways version of Miss Crawley, the member of the family who has the lion's share of the cash. Her health is always a matter of great concern to her nearest and dearest. It is rather to Rawdon's credit during his ascendancy (in other words, before his unfortunate marriage) that he avoids the temptation to wish that her next bad spell might carry her off. For the most part, her nearest and dearest wish her continued excellent health, although what any of them might think should they ever be securely in favour might be open to interpretation. LW2 is somewhat in the situation of Pitt when he learns that he has succeeded Rawdon in his aunt's will, though LW2 has rather more time to act on the secret knowledge. And therein lies the rub.

I find it hard to imagine that there isn't some provision for the illness and absence of a partner, especially when one of the partners has already had cancer, whether that was or wasn't before the start of the business and partnership. There are enough horror stories floating around of businesses floundering as a principal tried to deny or conceal a critical condition. It can be presented that the partners will have to know one way or another, letting the friend choose to disclose in her own way rather than have it all come out with no say in how. And of course LW2 can do everything possible behind the scenes to see that the business can function as well as possible without any individual partner, but, then again, how has this not been handled/discussed already? As for what the friend decides to tell or not tell her family/children, LW2 can centre her friend's wishes and stay far afield of that, beyond an offer of support in that area should such support ever be desired. At best, that's the sort of thing where anything more pushy is only partially justified if it happens to get lucky and work.

L3: F3 appears to have all the prejudices of John Osbourne, George's father, though judging people by race or sexuality rather than by success in the City. GF3 displays the less appealing aspects of the naivete of Amelia, most poignantly and particularly during the confrontation with her mother when she is inclined to refuse Mr Osbourne's offer to raise Georgie in exchange for relief from financial want, still believing that with her little put by she can buy her son a new suit without the family starving, and not realizing that her brother's financial support has, like so many other annuities, been sold.

There is one disturbing aspect of the Prudecutor's response which merits lengthy cross-examination. Many people come out to a parent or family member to whom they have been close all their lives to less than sterling reviews. The most supportive, positive and gay-themselves sources (and I would rate the Prudecutor only as the most feebly supportive and nowhere near positive of straight advisors) generally advise allowing a grace period of a year for the absorption of the knowledge and the manifestation of an appropriate amount of support. That is generally a good deal more time than I like to approve. And here the Prudecutor, who indulges in quite a fair share of her own homophobia herself from time to time, most particularly her advice to Mrs Brokeback, becomes a Winged Fury. F3 is to be shunned by all society until the end of time. Well, that might be all quite well and good were it not for the fact that the Prudecutor finds homophobia insufficient grounds for condemnation. F3 is a, a... racist!!! It is that which is Beyond the Pale. The Prudecutor reminds me of those commenters (fortunately an entirely small number) who could at least hypothetically forgive Dr Schwyzer his attempted murder of an ex-lover but demand his castration for the far more serious crime of attempted enforced seating at dinner parties and his belief that introverts should be yanked kicking and screaming out of their comfort zones.

As to what LW3 ought to do, I am entirely in favour of not engaging with F3 again. The more serious question is what to do about GF3. It strikes me that there is a serious possibility that the pair ought to separate, although clearly this should happen in a way that makes it abundantly clear that the parting is nothing to do with the wishes of F3. Why might the couple be unsuited? It is possible that GF3's silly reaction comes from a philosophical belief that LW3 is only in a same-sex relationship because she (GF3) is so irresistible she could attract a lover across the boundaries of sexual orientation. Not that such a thing has been unknown to happen, but who needs a girlfriend so full of herself? If GF3 has simply not figured out for herself that LW3 would be just as same-sex-attracted without her as with, there could be issues of incompatible mentality. Or, if the Prudecutor is correct and GF3 simply cannot believe (rather like Amelia) in the possibility that a parent might be disagreeable, the lifestyles of the two are likely to collide early and often, despite the comfort LW3 appears to feel with GF3's family.

L4: LW4 has two examples of inquiring minds examining into Rebecca's doings from which to choose. There is the disagreeable Mrs Bute Crawley, who uses the information she has gleaned to make Miss Crawley feel far worse after the marriage of Rebecca and Rawdon by exposing Becky's lies about her background. Then there is the far more restrained Lady (Jane) Crawley, young Pitt's wife, who makes nowhere near the active inquiries of Mrs Bute into her relation's conduct and character, but who is ready with a strong defence when Rebecca attempts to impose on Pitt after Jane bails Rawdon out when he's taken in for debt and he returns home to find his wife alone with Lord Steyne. The choice is LW4's.

I find it hard to believe, in this age of the Corporation, that whether LW4 is or is not entitled to check up on A4's address is not spelled out quite clearly in the guidelines to her post. It does not appear to be anything that would necessarily be supposed to be up to her. I am rather inclined to disagree with the proposed addendum, although, if what LW4 did was not at all improper, a different addendum might be in order if LW4 really feels that the original writeup was insufficiently informed or that (s)he had made some omission.

Moral: "They've gone to p---, Jos. Ladies do it, too."

1 comment:

  1. Agreed that the Prudicutor & LW1 are overreacting about the business partner. People can and do depart suddenly and without warning all the time, and yet the people and businesses about them generally manage to survive. I would assume that an intelligent and capable businesswoman has made the necessary preparations in the event of her demise. The Prudecutor seems to believe that one who might eventually die must be forced out of their means of support as soon as possible, in which case no one would be permitted to be in business.