Saturday, March 14, 2009

Being of a Victorian sort of temperament myself, prone to myriad spells and nervous disturbances, I long for a society that slaps such souls not with clunky, unendearing labels like "PTSD case" and "multiple personality disorder", but the less pathologizing and more picturesque "highly-strung", "fragile constitution", "susceptible to vapors", etc. I need a fainting couch, not a prescription drug regimen. But unlike many other fetishists and Anglophiles, I'm without affection for the actual historical era. For one thing, I find the literature unreadable, the only such period in British writing for me from the 16th century right up through Spring 2009. Were it not for the Emily one inspiring Kate Bush's goddamn unbelievable song "Wuthering Heights"*, I'd say bugger the Brontes all three at a time, e.g. Reading Tennyson's like eating white sugar out of the bag, with a nearly unusably overwrought spoon. Dickens? It's almost like that shit was written for cliff-hanging serial publication in middlebrow publications. OH, THAT'S RIGHT, 'TWAS!

*terrible, anemic guitar solo excepted

But you know what I'd love to see today? The hour of the promenade. Everyone would gussy up in their featheriest finery, and pretty much walk around a large scenic circle to appraise every else's finery and choose whom to snub and whom to compliment backhandedly. I've realized that staring and judging are pretty much the only interactions I desire with strangers and acquaintances, and I seem unable to lose my love of assembling a distinctive and just-batshit-enough ensemble. I don't want to talk, but I do want to look, and I do enjoy nonverbal but eloquent exchanges. Eyefucking, for example. At the moment, in modern-day, sans-promenade Oakland, I have to make do with the Whole Foods, and my fellow shoppers, mostly being cowards afraid of glamour, seem uninclined to appreciate my distinctive color sense and bold new ideas in layering. No one has yet said "I like that sensibility" as I look over the root vegetables in an elegantly contorted fashion on account of my overly tight shorts and competing shirt-straps.


Blogger Flo Fflach said...

thank heavens I'm not the only one who has trouble with the victorian lot - oh Dickens...studied Great expectations at A'level - 16-18 years old. We were supposed to have read itthrough at least once before we even started, not sure I only read it the once before I finished. We could have done Jane Austen's Emma, not my favourite but ok, but there was a boy or maybe 2 in the
and yes the Promenade; I have noticed in some european places (warmer climes) it still seems to exist. Not quite the same as the "boy racers" who snort and rumble through our local town in their silly cars, round and round at sort of 7 ish.
Um I could be over stepping the mark here but...if you are looking for glamour I think a shop with the name Whole Foods isn't really quite the place to start...yes root veg and all that.

8:57 AM  

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