Like, Neologism, Daddy-O

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:10 pm

We had a nice little dinner party last weekend, and at some point the subject of conversation turned briefly to the burlesque acts that have been gaining popularity in the Seattle area as of late. I expressed my fervent lack of interest in what seemed to me to be a totally outmoded and unappealing form of adult entertainment. But two good friends of ours—a married couple—sought to correct my misconception, explaining that they have gone to a number of the shows and found them very entertaining, more acrobatic than erotic. I remained unconvinced, thinking that it sounded like a combination of a gymnastics meet and a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue; two things I don’t habitually pursue individually, let alone glommed together.

“Yeah,” the male of the couple said sarcastically, “attractive women performing amazing acrobatics, what could possibly be interesting about that?”

If I’d had the wherewithal to come up with it at the time, I would have replied that there are certain activities—certain art forms, hobbies and passtimes that make up part of the Puget Sound experience—that seem to attract two separate, distinct yet almost totally indistinguishable demographics. The first group consists of people who genuinely, organically appreciate these things, be they burlesque, dive bars, roller derby or The Ramones. The second is made up of people who convince themselves that they appreciate these things, because to do so fulfills their embedded image of themselves as hip, artsy, cutting-edge Puget Sound kind of people.

I would have also hastened to add that, while I would never stoop to making any assumptions about which group our various contemporaries who pursue such activities fit into, I know damn well which one I would belong to were I to do so.

I can only speak for myself here, but I am very much over being “gritty”. I did gritty in my teens, with hardcore Punk, substance abuse, violence and mayhem. By the time I graduated college I had worked out all of my gritty. Now I’m more or less about comfort and personal gratification, a term that has been more or less ruined by its popular perceptual linking to the act of masturbation. Personal gratification takes many forms with me, from video games to charity work. Personal gratification may certainly involve forms of culture that might seem a bit “out there”; it might involve unusual venues or enigmatic activities. But just as often (oh Hell, let’s be honest and call it “more often”), it does not.

And what it almost never includes is, say, sitting in a grimy, poorly-lit downtown tavern drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon or Jack and ginger ale, listening to the wisdom of the street as blearily pronounced through pitted, Parliament-stained teeth.

Once again, though, that’s just me. It most assuredly does not mean that other folks don’t find pure, unalloyed fulfillment in just this sort of environment.

On the other hand, it also doesn’t mean that a good percentage of the people who profess to finding their bliss in such tableaux might not just be blowing Lucky Strike smoke up their own ass. From hereafter, such individuals will be known as fauxhemians.

6 Responses to “Like, Neologism, Daddy-O”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wait a minute ‘Drew! Your argument remains invalid, at least until you have gone with your friends to the burlesque show. Give the evening a whirl and then report back on the results. Sounds like a fun evening to me.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Pfui on that. Just about everyone has a basic sense of what does and does not appeal to them and can use it as a template for shaping their behavior. To quote Samuel L. Jackson, “Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I’ll never know because I won’t eat the filthy motherfucker”. :-p

  3. Mike Says:

    I dunno, this looks pretty cool.. 8)

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Actually, the only thing you could possibly do to make burlesque less appealing to me would be to combine it with goddamn fucking Harry Potter. 👿

  5. fisherbear Says:

    OK, I grant the possibility that self-knowledge can be reasonable grounds for inference, so you may well be correct that watching burlesque would not be your cup of tea. But PBR? That’s just rank prejudice, man. I don’t know what you’re projecting, but it can’t be coming from a good place. 😯

    (For what it’s worth, several of the creative circles I know intersect with the burlesque scene around the edges, and I’ve met a few of the performers. As far as I can tell, the Seattle scene seems to be composed almost entirely of funny, arts-and-craftsy nerds. Acrobatics are definitely optional. If I were less of a shut-in I’d probably spend more time at their shows.)

  6. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Funny, because of everything I listed there, I think the Pabst is the least offensive to my sensibilities. 😛

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