". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, February 9, 2013

All We Ladies Prefer A Pros-ti-tute! To You! Hoo Hoo!

Ny-ah Lord Grantham, you fool.

Fool he is, but he's so frackin' entitled he's not embarrassed he's a fool. Rather he is outraged that certain person might think being a fool is a negative characteristic of his lordly grand self.This is the only episode in all the seasons that contains actual content, by golly.

We are speaking of Downton Abbey, episode 5 of season 3. I'd seen the earlier episodes this fall over there, and what else is there to do in a blizzard trapped with a Pitifullness From Sickness el V, who though very sick is not in the least quiet? (Thank goodness for Scandal, though, which, for sheer entertaining preposterousity cannot be beat!)

Ha-ha Grantham, we point and laugh at you. It was grand that none of the women would obey either Robert the Lord or Carson the Butler in shunning Ethel the Former Pros-ti-toot-toot.

It's the men who are morally outraged by Ethel's period as a sex worker, who insist she cannot be re-enter 'decent' society even though she's no longer a sex worker. Pray, tell, who do these men think are the customers who demand pros-ti-tutes as part of the free market?  Those customers certainly are not Mrs. Hudson or Mrs. Patmore, though surely at least one footman (not Thomas, of course) avail themselves of such services. Let us not forget how poor Ethel got herself in the family way in the the first place, and who was responsible, and forcing her then into becoming a pros-ti-toot.  Gads, they prolong the enunciation of the word prostitute, and repeat the word, in every other utterance. It comes to mind that this is, in it's own context, quite like QT's childish delight in having his characters scream, shout, drawl, order, etc. the n-word in every godayemed sentence.

So the content of this episode dramatizes the long known facts that men expect and utilize women to keep women in line with what men have decreed is women's acceptable behavior.  If the women of the community do not condemn a 'bad' woman, what ever shall men do to keep all the rest of the women from rebelling about -- well, everything? While, of course, continuing to have -- and even create themselves -- the constant supply of 'bad women' to service their constant market demand. But then, as already proven, Robert the Lord is too stupid to understand the market or finances or economics or anything else -- and, further, Robert Our Lord is proud of his stupidity, considering it a signalling virtue of his class superiority and his gender supremacy.

Stupid Robert the Lord has been a financial investment fool, an estate management fool, a medical childbirth fool, a father fool (this business about Edith not being allowed to write for the papers), a religious bigot fool (my God, baptize my granddaughter a Catholic -- this shall never be allowed because, and we quote, "... Catholics all have something of the foreign johnny about them")  He's offended every single woman of his family and everyone else with his asshatness. So this was a satisfying episode additionally because finally we see the actress playing Lady Cora do something other than smirk, "Oh, Robert!"  I'm sorry Cora reconciled so soon with Our Lord.  It's implausible, as implausible as Matthew being paralyzed and then he wasn't any more.

But it was such a joy to see every woman he's offended, and even his mother, who he hasn't offended, ignore his commandments about Ethel the Pros-ti-toot. Ha hah hah.

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