Friday, November 30, 2012

Prize show?

Was this week the Thick Awards?

LW1 is about as self-aware as Sir Walter Elliot. At least, that was the first thought to spring to mind. It might be quite apt, as one wonders exactly how much indulgence one might have to extend to AW1. We recall well how Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable, whose judgment and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful indiscretion that made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence thereafter.

LW2 and LW4 apparently appear to be competing for the same award. LW2 is in slightly the more sympathetic position. While LW4's concern for the elderly might be exaggerated into something almost touching, it might be a truth universally acknowledged that the difficulty in informing one's partner of an unpleasant aspect of an Otherwise Highly Desirable Body Part decidedly lies in the challenge of making the communication without being consequently denied access to the Otherwise 
Highly Desirable Body Part in question. But LW2's selection of the Prudecutor by way of consultant is the less explicable. They both could use a touch of Miss Bates, who could not keep anything to herself for five minutes, or perhaps Mrs Allen, who could never remain entirely silent.

LW3 makes one wonder how OC3 was in any position to be able to make any confidences at all. We do, do we not, have freedom of association. One might think that LW3 could have been capable of choosing whether to have any conversation with OC3 or not, and one might wonder why a LW of any number whatsoever should consent to continual conversation with OC3 or anybody like her. Now granted, as is the case of Emma with Mrs Elton, there are some social menaces who cannot be avoided entirely. However, if one recalls such customers as Mrs Bambi Etheridge, it seems reasonable to suggest that LW3 might have done a better job of ducking contact. Having been the recipient of the dangerous confidence, it's a little late to be out of it now, but things ought not to have reached such a state; LW3 should learn for the future.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

11/22 - For the Reluctant Cardplayer

Some of my favourite Austensplaining:

In the evening it was found, according to the predetermination of Mrs Grant and her sister, that after making up the whist table there would remain sufficient for a round game, and everybody being as perfectly complying and without a choice as on such occasions they always are, speculation was decided on almost as soon as whist; and Lady Bertram soon found herself in the critical situation of being applied to for her own choice between the games, and being required either to draw a card for whist or not. Luckily Sir Thomas was at hand.

"What shall I do, Sir Thomas? Whist and speculation; which will amuse me most?"

Sir Thomas, after a moment's thought, recommended speculation. He was a whist player himself, and perhaps might feel that it would not much amuse him to have her for a partner.

Moral: Bring the relation in question a copy of Mansfield Park.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

11/15 - Quickie on the Recap

Well, to give the Prudecutor her due, at least she didn't pack the court with fawning follow-ups designed to attribute to her an infinite wit and wisdom which she possesses not. It certainly would have been easy to stack the deck; who could have proved it different? So the Unwanted House Guest turned out to be not quite so sinister as she thought.

But one glaring thing sticks out from the Twincest Follow-Up. Our LW mentions in the follow-up how his brother read the column at breakfast and flipped out when he caught on to the personal nature of the subject matter. One must wonder, therefore, why the flying flip the Prudecutor and her editorial council ran the letter without looking into the situation in the first place.

The LW obviously was familiar with the Prudecutor's column, and it stood to reason as highly probable that the twin was as well. As their circle had a reasonable degree of familiarity with them and their lives despite not being in on The Big Secret, it ought not to come as the greatest shock in the world if some of their acquaintance might just happen to be readers of the Prudecutor's column as well. Should such be the case, how possible could it be that any such person would not add up gay twins living together as supposed bachelors and not visibly dating?

As it would not take a team of rocket surgeons to work out the likelihood of discovery, the next thing is to wonder why the Prudecution would run the letter without first checking in with the LW that it would not ruin his life. Now, one could easily claim that there's no obligation to do so. And certainly the Prudecutor's conduct since the letters has been indicative of excessive salivation over the increase in traffic and revenue the letter would bring her way, given its vast superiourity to the legions of dull letters that only made this shine all the brighter. But not to check in first to make sure that both the LW and his brother were okay with the letter being run? Perhaps not necessary, but reasonably described as Heartless.

As for the follow-up itself, the LW comes across as rather the tedious sort, or at least borderline so. I do not blame him for Fitting the Stereotype; some people do, and he at least does not Universalize it the way one sees happening only too often. I just detect a bit of the wrong sort of uberassimilationist strain in the bit about sexual dropping-off being Not Uncommon Among Gay Male Companions and Guess What? Some Straight Couples Too!

Laissez-moi barf.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

11/8 Donning the Deerstalkers Again

Now that things are operational again after the storm...

Well, colour me dizzy from trying to make sense of Tuesday. Why now, of all times? In part, I suppose we can be thankful that the Forces of Evil miscalculated after 2008 and thought they'd be better off rebuilding in 2010, when their incursion into blue states probably could have succeeded. But I have concluded that the answer could well be Spain, the one blatant exception to the glittering example of Scandinavia and near-Scandinavia in the Euro-equality catalogue. If RC Spain can out-equal France (a little like Sonny outscoring Cher on the Awesome Parent Test), then I suppose it isn't surprising that the increased Hispanic vote could have been enough to tip the scale this time around, even if the Grand Declaration of Support didn't move the African-American vote all that materially. Perhaps the truly weird thing is that Minnesota undecideds didn't break in the traditional direction (almost everyone was being at best guarded about Minnesota), but that speculation must wait for another time.

Once again, we have to wonder why a LW chose to consult the Prudecutor this week. And this letter is perhaps even more of a puzzle. The Prudecutor has proved many times over that she knows virtually nothing about gay social circles. Much of her commentariat is in the same boat. This is a vastly less assimilated LW than the BF of the Deeply Closeted Actor of recent past, which raises a number of ideas. If he is deliberately consulting someone who is not the most knowledgeable of the known likely choices to tackle the question, then I shall diagnose an ideological difference with Mr Savage, especially as this doesn't really seem to be one of those questions where a LW's choice of adviser seems designed to result in that LW receiving permission to do what (s)he wanted to do all along. I shall diagnose the LW as a likely Log Cabin Republican rather than a full-on GoProud type. GoProuders are more assimilationist than LCRs.If the LW has less disagreement with Mr Savage over politics than I'm guessing, then their circle is likely to be more singles-oriented or singles-accepting than that of his counselor of choice. Mr Savage appears to socialize in a highly couple-centric environment, where a single person such as the PWA was would perhaps stick out badly. The LW's social circle appears to be flexible, perhaps of the sort with a core group of people who pair and unpair from time to time without materially changing the overall constitution and tenor of the group.

The group dynamic can be vital with certain types of gay men. This is one main reason why I might marvel to such an extent over the choice of someone so out of the loop to consult. It is, perhaps oddly, rather more Sex and the City than Tales of the City. But, even so, there are still things one wonders. Why, for instance, did the subject go so long unraised with the friend? It would seem the sort of thing that a support circle would be quite likely to raise rather early on in the dating cycle. Another point largely missed by the Prudecutor is that everybody else in the group  is backing the silent route, which, if this were a straight circle, would definitely suggest that there may well be something of which only LW1 is unaware. But this is less the usual pattern for gay circles than it is for straight ones. It certainly makes one wonder whether the group as a whole is so cavalier in general in the matter of the health of a member's partner. Is this standard operating procedure for the group as a whole? Is PWA1 a first for the assembled company?

Of the possible approaches, LW1 could just up and tell ARBF1 directly, could mention it in passing as if taking it as a given that the Revelation had been made, could hold Standard Blackmailing Conversation #42 with PWA1, could hold a non-confrational conversation with PWA1, could ask individual friends about their chosen course of action or could even call a group meeting. It would really be advisable to know more about the particular dynamics of this particular group before trying to select one from a number of paths. As far as the legal issue is concerned, well, the less LW1 appears to know about that, probably the better all around.

Moral: "Knowledge of the law is generally a bit of a handicap to a barrister."