Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Truman Capote's Black and White Ball
People seldom speak of enemies anymore -- the idea is as antiquated as mimeographing a big old bunch of papers to hand out to your class. It's my contention that language has changed to rule out this idea -- people are misunderstood, passive-aggressive, unkind, manipulative, hurtful, victims, victimizers, toxic, and so on. No one is just an Evil Pants. The last brilliant discourse on enemies came in the form of a lifelong feud between Truman Capote (one of my favorite writers) and Gore Vidal (not one of my favorite writers, but he has a cool name and says cool things). In his memoir, Gore points out that having the right enemy is as important and defining as having the right friend. He states that he and Truman worked as enemies because in large part they had a psychic connection -- their mothers shared a name (Nina), they did the same type of work, and they both had a biting sense of humor.
I suppose it's indicative of our lonely times that we no longer see things in black and white. For the most part, I think this is a good thing, this desire to give everybody a second chance, even ourselves. Like Bill Hurt says in Broadcast News about the moral line he won't cross -- that sucker just keeps moving. But maybe we've lost something too. When Truman Capote had his Black and White Ball, the party of the century, he spent nearly a year adding names and marking them off the invitation list. I'm guessing Gore Vidal's name never once made the page, but he most certainly was there in spirit, as we like to say about places we can never be but are through the power of our thoughts alone.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are." Gore Vidal
Black and White
1 part vodka
1 part chamboard
1 part apple juice
Serve chilled in a martini glass.
Benedictions and Maledictions
In Memoriam -- Fear the Fro!
I heard last night that Big Ben (Ben Wallace) has left the Detroit Pistons for the Chicago Bulls. Big Ben is my all-time favorite player on the Pistons (and lucky number 3!) so this is a very sad time for me, and I will be spending this Independence Day in a state of mourning, not leaving the house or doing any wholesome activities like having a picnic that generally take place on the holiday. Ben seldom smiled, a quality I really like in any athlete (note my preference for Nadia Comaneci over Mary Lou Retton) and played the best defense ever. He changed his hair between conrows and an afro depending on the game-- I always knew the Pistons were at their best when he was rocking the 'fro! Ben, you will be missed!