…ugh, so corny. But here:
If we have not style, then we have nothing. –Lord Grantham.
If you can think of a more awkward way to start a post than a syntactically outdated Lord Grantham quote, holler@me. Nevertheless, he hit me with his best shot he did, the Lord Grantham in sayin’ this! exit hunched beggar with cloth-sack-on-a-stick.
Wait so… what? I liked this quote. Notable Quoteable. A year and a half out of college and my English degree has already been reduced to notable quoteables. Ugh. Whatever. I liked it because I have a style complex, as of late, but Lord Grantham may have cured it. CURED ME(at). I started thinking about style—the polycephalus monster that haunts New York with sequined claws and a Anna Wintour bob (or wait, that’s just Anna Wintour. Read: sole defense against evil fashion legend is poorly executed analogy to her being a mythical serpent). And then I realized that style isn’t the oppressive other, it’s more than fashion, more than money… it’s a mode of being that keeps me (and all y’all!) afloat. And not to get too washy (but I will!)… style makes us human, and gives us purpose. By PLAYING THE GAME, floppin’ in the fake and fancy, we assure ourselves that we are more than p**ping bipeds. Lord G wasn’t just talking about style as in cufflinks and cerulean knits— he was heralding Downton as a beacon of English decorum. Humans need turtle soup, monocles, perambulators, opiates, canary prints—Catherine Earnshaw’s loverlorn whimpers echoing o’er the bluffs— to mask our cruel existential struggle. We need to create an alternate reality in which we are purposeful, mighty beings that can capture things (canaries!) and put them in cages! Scientifically speaking, here’s the logic: turtle soup = plain old atoms, but in the context of cultural norms (monocles, opiates, etc.), turtle soup = atoms = SO MUCH MORE. That is to say, our lusterless atomic colonies are nothing without creating hierarchies for them. The Creation of Adam! The sound and the fury! The malaise!
That’s the credo of Downton. The frilly vestiges of Victorian society are more than just artifice— they serve a vital purpose in maintaining order in the chaos of post-war, atheistic world. Much like the role of God in the Middle Ages… the Dowager Countess is a pillar (if saggy) of truth.
This post makes no sense.
On the topic of saggy pillars!… I wanted to address the fact that there needs to be a word, which is NOT zeitgeist though I have tried to make it so, that = déjà vu + availability bias + zeitgeist. It would explain how ideas or objects suddenly appear everywhere after you’ve mentioned them once. Not that I haven’t mentioned salt before, but last weekend my mom read my blog for the first time (we all did weird things out of #desperation #Sandy), and that night, while walking Dash, happened upon the Northern Lights of NaCl! This is the picture she texted me, no explanation, just a spectre described by the word which has not yet been made…