Ah….men. They are what they are. At least this is what we tell ourselves more often than not.
We form our understanding of ourselves and others experientially. We learn behavior, manners and values from our families before venturing out into the world. We make friends and occasionally bring a few home. Some are more curious than others. When all variables are considered and tallied, we may or may not decide on keeping a friend permanently and creating a family of our own. Thus comes the tale of Oedipus, tragedy and black faced comedy.
For some, comedy often involves romance and neatly folds misadventures into tidy packages of reconciliation. For others, comedy is less benign.
What looks like a comedy of errors from one angle is actually the mystery of randomness it appears to be. No hidden connecting threads or secret messages in locked drawers. Just chance.
I was thinking of former ex’s and friends recently when a blog reader and I had a conversation about money and tipping. This refreshed my mind about style and gender and how often decadence is taken forgranted, overlooked or simply used as an excuse or alternatively, lampooned as the butt of a bad joke.
Look at this meme for an example:
Or this one
Here’s yet another:
Lest this post seem overly weighted with gender bias and hence offend some readers sense of aesthetics here are a few more.
And finally, with bias and a drum roll: The money shot.
I would call these “cult” classics, but that might offend someone.
Decadence from one angle or abundance from another. From yet another angle it’s subjective and contextual, still decadent because it’s about feelings rather than facts. Or is it?
What do we call facts? Is it the number of little heads at the dinner table or in the classroom?
Are facts the number of lovers we remember or that others count in our name?
What about art and history and politics? Where do they stop and start when gender is the topic?
When the subject of tipping was brought to me a few month ago, I was shocked to find the process called undemocratic as early as the late 1800’s. This variable alone was reason for me to both cackle and pause to research.
I replied to the question cryptically. I mentioned that I planned to read Eric Vogelins essays on political Gnosticism but have not yet, for the same reason I have yet to read Peter Gay’s historical commentaries.
This is often where religion creeps into the social fabric and emerges as gender roles, memes and social scripts about what makes us who and what we are. Men are traditionally told to be achievers and that they will become what they do. Women are also told the same. Socialization in a nut shell. Common beliefs about education encourage this view. When discussing women’s traditional roles, the metaphor above is often weighted with religious and cultural reflexivity and many women reject it outright as a matter of course.
I’ve eschewed comedy since I entered my twenties. I will be 40 in less than 60 days. It wasn’t a thought out choice or a religious one. I just stopped watching them. Occasionally I do. Death and a Funeral in all it’s serials, were funny. What people laugh at says something and I wonder why I stopped laughing at other jokes.
An ex of mine threatened to rape me with a steak knife a few years ago. Because it was a crisis situation, I let it go and reminded myself of who he used to be, who I used to be and who we are now and almost smiled. The fact I did smile after some time had passed may or may not be what it seems.