Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Frivol, Frivol, Little Czar

( with Links!)

After all the political and moral issues I've been belaboring the last few days (with the brief intermission to discuss my looks), I feel like I ought to write about something unspeakably frivolous. Unfortunately, I have been too busy the last couple of days to really set my mind to it. Who knew that frivolity requires so much time? I guess that's why only people of leisure are really good at being frivolous.

Take Czarist Russia for an example. Only in a place where the blood and sweat of a vast peasantry was spilled for the benefit of a tiny and oblivious ruling class could such exquisite nonsense as Fabergé objets d'art be created. Or the Ancien Régime, for another example: only in a place like the France of the Louix, where the monarchy and aristrocracy overtaxed the people whenever they felt a little cramped and needed a new palace, could such delightful fripperies as Fragonard paintings and Sévres porcelains reach full flower.

And we Americans who live in an age of freedom and plenty, the best frivolity we can come up with is television. Kind of makes you think, huh? I don't know what it makes you think about, but it should certainly make you think.

Oh, yes, let's not forget our other grand frivolity: fashion photography! Like this lovely old Versace number...what exactly is being advertised here? Are we supposed to buy the armoire or the shirt? I guess it doesn't really matter. One probably came from Baker, the other from International Male, and nothing Versace was involved. We're supposed to be buying some unattainable Versacean idea. What could be more frivolous than that?

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