Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vain Verisimilitude 7/14/09

What is called good society is usually nothing but a mosaic of polished caricatures.

Friedrich Von Schlegel
Leave your pistols at the door.
One of the advantages or hindrances, depending on your point of view, of being an actor is a developed sensitivity to honest behavior. A good actor can spot phoniness within minutes. At that point the actor has to decide whether or not he is going to play the game. Since I really dislike phoniness I'm neither comfortable nor acceptable in what's known as "polite society" simply because I don't want to join in the masquerade of verisimilitude and "polished caricature."

It has caused a lot of criticism to float my way on the gossamer wings of patronizing dismissal. "He just doesn't fit in, poor fellow." Good. I don't want to "fit in." I'd rather be alone than to be a phoney. I guess that's why I'm a vagabond.

Then there's the self-appointed couturier "My dear, you should never wear that shirt with those pants." As if the devil is going drag me down to hell if I don't appear in the latest fashion. Let him try it.

I was once attending a reception for a couple who were getting married. After trying to mix in with the other people around the cocktail lounge and not doing it very well, we were invited into the dining room. There was a string quartet playing in the corner and all the waiters were in full livery. When I went to the table assigned to me and found there was no seat for me I said silently "Oh, thank you." I left, bought a hot dog and a can of beer, went back to my apartment and dined royally. Social graces are not my forte. Bill can attest to that.

I did a recording session one day in New York for a client I had been working for for several years. On this day there was a new director. She came on strong with hardness and an insulting manner with everyone. There is a protocol for working in a recording studio which is in place because it allows the work to be done efficiently and up to the best quality. Anyone who works in the business knows that. It soon became obvious to me that this woman didn't know what she was doing. But instead of leaving it up to those who did she barked nasty at everyone, trying to indicate her superiority. She didn't fool any of us. After she left we all agreed not to take up that contract again.

Phoniness is by no means confined to the upper classes. It exists on the street, though in different forms. The guy who shakes your hand and calls you "bro" might be reaching for your wallet.

Watch out for the politician, the pastor, the salesman, the lawyer and the teacher. The best thing to do is to develop a sense of the phoney, be alert to caricature instead of character, check for it in others and yourself and don't be fooled.

DB - The Vagabond
Pick a happy thing and think about it.


This is not a contest.

A young man out west just took home 88 million dollars from the lottery.

Whether you play the lottery or not, if you suddenly had 88 million dollars, or the equivalent of whatever your currency is, what are the first three things you would do with it?

You have all summer to answer if you wish.

12 responses so far.



krissy knox said...

I wondered how you got 11 responses so far, LOL.

This is a real tough one. A real tough one.

Okay, off the top of my head:

1. start a business
2. buy a house
3. give a little money to family and charities

I guess I would have some left over, but that's where I'd start, I'd imagine.

If I could have said more, I'd visit some people around the country, like you, DB. I'd also go to some conferences and schooling I've wanted to attend! Oh, the things I would do! But then with money sometimes comes trouble... Everybody wants something from you, and your life becomes complicated! So I guess I'll make my money the old-fashioned way, and not have so much of it perhaps...

Thanks for a great question,

krissy knox :)
check out my twitter:

Just Bill said...

DB, "...Social graces are not my forte. Bill can attest to that.,,"
The only things I can attest to is that you are a gentleman and a scholar, good company and an enjoyable lunch or dinner companion.
We will o that again. Bill

Beth said...

An ability to sense phoniness is a definite plus. I wish I'd had it in my younger days...it might have saved me some heartache. Having experienced the phony, though, it's an even greater pleasure to experience the authentic and genuine. Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Good advice as always - be real :o)

Linda S. Socha said...

I am not Bill. But I can attest. You are a gentleman, a scholar and a realistic but romantic at heart philosopher...Only my fantasy and impression I know but I appreciate my opinion....and you DB.

Linda S. Socha said...

To the issue at hand...if I wond 88 million dollars
1) Attend to the taxes so it could not be taken away ...
2)Set up self, and family and certain friends with essentials and means for .....needs and some wants
3)Fund certain health related research and implementation and
3b)Fund starving artists

Anne said...

Social graces were never taught to me. Having to attend many events in my life, I just listened, watched and learned. Whenever I give a party, my goal is to make everybody feel special and comfortable. That is so very important to me to do so.
Years ago, I had to address a large group of people in a small town. The wife of the president of the University and another wife of the newspaper owner were in attendance. I mispronouned a word when I was speaking. I realized I did it, but I went to as I was about to end. One of these women stood up and pronounded it the correct way.....in front of ALL of these people. I didn't skip a beat and told her it was the "southern" pronunciation and laughed. I can't imagine doing that to anybody.
You would be great company D.B. Anne