Thursday, December 20, 2012

12/20: P-Q6

Two Brownie Points to anybody who immediately got the point of the title and can guess to which letter it refers.

L2: The obvious solution to any impending situation in which one knows that a particular set of Privileged People will be Practising Privilege (here what might be called Dotage Privilege) is simply Not to Go. One might give the Prudecutor the tiniest bit of Wiggle Room on the question of it being both harmless and gracious to give the old dears permission to ride their fantasy for a bit. She has laid no foundation for the supposition that OD2s actually are imagining any sort of heat radiating from themselves. After all, one might say that she is presumably well past her prime - but there is no good purpose in speculating as to the nature of her private reading matter.

But there is a far better and more important question. There are people bound to ask whether the situation would merit the same response if the readers of some ghastly pornographic book were LW2's father and uncles instead of her mother and aunts. Of course it wouldn't, and there's an excellent reason. Old Women are Officially Past It. Old Men often are not deemed to have lost viability. When, to pull a hypothetical out of thin air, Betty White dating the winner of the Heisman Trophy were to generate no greater scandal than Hugh Hefner marrying a Playboy Bunny of the Year, come back and we'll talk.

L3: I thought the no-brainers were usually saved for L4. When in doubt, contact the recipients and ask. Some might be delighted; some might prefer not; some might opt for vetting. But whatever LW3 does, the worst thing to do would be to add the ridiculously obvious bits of smarm suggested by the Prudecutor, who has demonstrated on many occasions that she is convinced that her faked sentiment will fool the reader as surely as Imperial Margarine will convince Mother Nature it's butter. And we all know it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

L1: Whether XBF1 is a jerk, an abuser, both or neither, some of us will be concerned with the fact that we are, after all, dealing with hearsay evidence. It is one thing to know and understand what might or might not incline one to accept or doubt something told one by a friend, but here we are forced to trust both LW1 and LW1's account of F1. Who wants to be certain on such grounds? How often does one get a detail wrong? I can recall three occasions on which I posted a comment in one forum or another in some detail about something that happened on a television programme, with a majority of the details and the whole spirit right, but with an inaccuracy (for instance, saying that action X took place after both A and B when it was really after A and before B, though the timing was inconsequential to the point). Of course, when the welfare of a child is at stake, Mizz Lizz Probert will be the first to inform any Court in the land that we are not bound by legal quibbles about hearsay - even if that one comes back to bite her in the end.

In defence of F1 (if this really is a Degree of Separation letter, which I'll believe by default), at least she is not duplicating the conduct of Dr Schwyzer's potential partner in procreation, who simply decided (with excellent reason) which of two possible candidates she preferred for the role of Daddy, never informing her preference that she'd had any other encounters and convincing the future doctor to keep the secret. While I understand the temptation to arrange a relationship in such a way, giving oneself all the power to ruin one's partner's life in a moment of anger, it seems almost impossible that being in that relationship with such a lopsided power dynamic must surely have done the relationship harm.

Mainly, though, I wonder how long it will take, given the rush to the declaration that F1 should do all that is humanly possible to make sure that her secret is kept perfectly guarded in perpetuity, for straight men who want nothing to do with potential progeny to start wishing cancer and dead puppies all around. Not to knock the capacity of women to determine veracity, but it seems a plausible consequence.

L4: This was the title reference. Gentle readers may recall that Alice met Humpty Dumpty when she passed into the Sixth Square on her chessboard journey. One might recall that it was Mr Dumpty who persuaded Alice (or made a gallant attempt so to do) of the superiourity to birthday presents of unbirthday presents, due to the extreme superiourity of frequency of days on which they might be received.

As might readily be deduced, H4 has an entire year in which to manifest his delight in providing some less fortunate relation with The Perfect Present. I suppose it is encouraging that some men are as susceptible to the socialization of the obligation of such fanaticism. Some feminists may be pleased with this letter on that account. But his insistence on producing the goods only at Christmas in front of a Full Family Audience guaranteed to be amazed by the spectacle is behaviour to which a great many people would assign an adjective rhyming with, but with the prefix of an extra syllable than, flattery.

And H4's insistence (or the LW's; it's hard to say which) that he just wants to have the freedom to express his love of Christmas has a HUGE smack of the Christianist crowd that just wants to have the freedom to express their love of their version of Christ Jesus by indulging in what they view as his favourite pastime and stoning (or some socially-acceptable-in-Western-civilized-society equivalent, although I suspect most of them would go for stoning if they could) sodomites.

Moral: "When I pay a word, it means what I tell it to mean."

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