Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two for HA - 22 August

I was worried that starting Bicentric July would throw off Homocentric August, and it appears I was right. At any rate, I have similar takes on two of the Prudecutor's letters, leaving out the cancer and the sex toy.

Dear LW2: You have made an error of the deepest dye in this case. You are clearly dealing with one of those great many gay men who modeled their behaviour along lines recommended for young women in the middle of the previous century (if not a good deal earlier, for it is a truth that ought to be universally acknowledged that the vast majority of those ideally suited to be typecast as, say, Mary Crawford, are gay males). It may be hard to believe, but, even in these modern times, there are other gay men who adhere so strictly to outdated feminine lines of conduct that every sentence he ever came to speak to you could have been full of subtext inviting you to Take Him. Right There. Right Then. and yet the last thing he would ever have done had he lived to be nine hundred and two would have been to ask you for a date. You seem open to doing the asking yourself, although you do not state this specifically. Perhaps, in these modern times, it would never have occurred to you that people still behaved in such a manner. A pity, as you had, in many ways, the ideal co-worker. He'd have done anything for you, all the while restricting himself to nothing more than a few longing sighs and some possibly uncomfortable moments. But these moments would be far less creepy than those that originated in those who had given themselves a male line of conduct. Pardon me for a bit of heterocentricity, but it is well established that the ration of women finding men creepy to men finding women creepy is at least 9:1, if not a good deal more.

Unfortunately, the boat has sailed. You have offended a Princess, and such a course of conduct is never forgiven. Had I been in time to advise you, I'd have advised you to take as a model the conduct of one of the best-known gay men in history (and undoubtedly the most successful female impersonator) - Elizabeth I, or, rather, the half-brother to that young Princess who was put forward to impersonate her after her untimely death as an adolescent, long before she seemed at all likely to become Queen. Our Bess managed marriage negotiations with three brothers when he never had the slightest intention of wedding any of them. Had Francois II not already been married to Mary Stuart, there might have been a go at him as well. As it was, QE1 had to make do first with Charles IX as a suitor, then Henri III when he was still le duc d'Anjou and finally poor Hercule, le duc d'Alencon who moved up to Anjou after Charles died and who had shown considerable promise as a child before a bad case of smallpox did much to insure that the majority of his early potential was never fulfilled. A study of his methods would have enabled you to keep CW2 dreaming of you at night for years, if not decades. But now, it is far too late. He will never forgive you; all you can do is either find new employment elsewhere or convince an old flame of yours to hire him away from your current company.


Regarding L3, I shall first address the Prudecutor, who really ought to know better by now. Prudecutor, despite your best efforts to bring about such a state, the world is not populated entirely by happy little corporate drones. And here is a nice little piece of information for you, which you might even use if your envious disposition and your corporate overlords would permit you to do so - geniuses and corporations don't mix well. Now, it might be a bit of a stretch to call BF3 a genius, but, if he is, that's largely the answer. Geniuses tend to have interests and passions that are capable of escaping the narrow mind that is practically Requirement Number 1 in the Good Corporate Drone. Being an excellent example of the type, dear Prudecutor, you could hardly be expected to recognize that you are not the exception to the rule that your corporate overlords told you you were. But you might know by now that geniuses often don't mix well with people who cannot recite whole chapters out of great literature at apposite moments or other such accomplishments that are not only undervalued but which seem to raise resentment among the general population of Good Little Corporate Drones. As for what BF3 has been doing, you fell into LW3's trap. Never having held a full-time job = video games and unproven slurs on his character allegating bisexuality? The Prudecution has forgotten to ask the vital question, and the Defence can now claim in its Final Statement that BF3 has written an untold number of unpublished novels, work far more demanding than writing a second-rate (I know, I flatter it) advice column.

Now for those commantating: Members of the Commentariat, as it is you and you alone who will be adjudicating this case, I bring to your attention the fact that many gay men have modeled their conduct on those women who, in the previous century, attended university solely for the purpose of attaining what to them was the most valuable degree of all - the MRS. BF3 could well have been molding his character into something that will make him an ideal helpmate - not that this necessarily means that the couple is a good match. Many of you have fallen into the MRA trap of double-standarding by gender. Some of you have caught on to the possibility that his non-corporate character likely comprises far more of the attraction than LW3 realizes. If LW3 dumps BF3, he may well come to regret the decision when the Good Corporate Drones he partners afterwards turn out to bore him to tears, even if they do pay half the bills.

To LW3: We have one or two points to clear up. Were your opening compliments the usual blather or were they genuine? BF3 clearly does not seem so "perfect" for you if you have to be giving him ultimata about turning himself into a Good Little Corporate Drone. But I have two ways I could go here. I shall follow the path indicated by your response to the question of whether BF3 is smarter than you are. If you reply that he is, there is a chance the two of you could make quite a good couple. He might not be quite Terry Miller (although one could suspect that part of the attraction is that that the two might be similar with regard to appearance), but then you're not quite Dan Savage. And for the both of you, I'll add a hopeful yet. There are many happy partnerships between a practical grind and an idealistic dreamer. However, if you do not hold BF3 to be your intellectual superiour, then do him a favour and dump yourself already.

Moral: "In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman; the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Quick and Serious to Start HA

The Thursday letters are too dull, but I shall begin the month by addressing the Tuesday writer who wondered about seating same-sexers together at her wedding.

First, I wish the LW had been specific. We do not know anything about these guests other than that they are same-sexers. The letter appears to read as if they are all of the same gender and there could be a little side matchmaking going on, but that's just a guess. We don't know if these are desired guests or obligatory guests. One can usually base a table assignment for one's long-time best friend, even from years ago, on knowledge a good deal more intimate than one can for a cousin one has seen three or four times and with whom the exchanges have never gone beyond a few sentences. We don't know the overall tone of the room. All we can do is guess from what the editors allowed to appear of the LW's question. As the LW did not specify an opposite-sex wedding, I am going to guess that the LW is one of those people who takes pride in being a little more completely gay-accepting than is actually the case, or at least is not quite so affirmatively same-sexer-positive as might be desired by the same-sexer guests who aren't saying so.

The Prudecutor reacts in horror at the thought of gay people being allowed to sit together. Typically for someone who likes to pretend at being same-sexer-positive, she takes the LW's "gay table" as THE ONLY POSSIBLE OPTION TO CONSIDER and accordingly advises that each of the same-sexer singles and couples be carefully separated in the supposed name of orientation-blindness, which seems to be the latest fashionable accessory among people with unattractive minds (spurred on, I admit, by many of the leading Overassimilationists.

While creating an Obviously Gay Table will appear to be something rather less warmhearted than it apparently is, assuming good will on the LW's part, it seems safe to provide a small rule that, unless it's someone one knows really well and can rest assured that (s)he will be happy with the placement, never to maroon a single same-sexer at a table with no other same-sexers. One can get away fairly often with marooning a couple, as they at least show up with some built-in bulwark against being at a mismatched table, and couples often have more bond-producing similarities in lifestyle with other couples than with other same-sexers. If possible, I'd advise the LW to make the most fun tables about an even mix of same-sexers and the most fun and progressive of the heterosexuals.

After all, it wouldn't be Homocentric August without its going without saying that the same-sexer guests will be right at the top of the Fun Guests List.