Mellowing Out

One definition of a dork or social incompetent is surely somebody who does not fall in with the agreed pretences about what is actually going on. Let us take as an example the scene in Annie Hall with Paul Simon as a major player in California. He purrs about going somewhere with the Woody Allen and Diana Keaton characters to get “mellow”. The deal is obviously the casting couch, possibly with Woody as an audience, the arrangement is not entirely clear on that point. Now, Woody does not want Paul to fuck his girlfriend, nor yet to watch him doing it, although under the rules of the game he cannot quite say so. He therefore has to blether on about how “mellow” does not suit him. Diane expresses annoyance that she is being deprived of her big break, again under the rules of the game pretending that it was about people being “nice” to her, and about that “mellow” thing again. Of course, if Woody had carried her to the casting couch and spread her out for Paul, then she could have “gotten” him for that as well, at some later date when it served a tactical need – “You don’t love me!” she will say. That it was a lose-lose situation for him was one of the things that everyone knew but that nobody was admitting. And still people associate this kind of doublethink with the poor old Victorian period!

Now, a question with which I come away is this: Woody’s rather inelegant escape is regarded as part of his essential unattractive dorkishness, but how exactly should the modern gentleman handle the situation of a powerful patron who wishes to confer benefits in return for fucking his partner in front of him? Clearly we need a new Emily Post. If only the original had written a few extra chapters, we might not need to.

Posted on October 14, 2010 at 22:32 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Love Among The Uglies

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