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!


Albuquerque, NM said...

A gorgeous meditation on what it means to be enemies . . . and the Gore Vidal quote only goes to show that those who hurl insults are bound, sooner rather than later, to be impaled on their own dull blades.

cindy said...

This photo must short-circuit a man's brain! A beautiful combination of sweet and sultry.
Sharp blades are always preferable to dull ones. You quoted something before, too: Freedom fighters might not always win, but they are always right. Mottos to live by.
Cindy Cobb

Bonnie said...


Cindy's got that right. Nice! And nothing like a good cat fight among drama queens: brings to mind Anthony and Stanford, hee. Happy Independence Day, babe (saluting)
meow meow kiss kiss

JR's Thumbprints said...

I prefer Gore Vidal over Truman Capote hands down. Myra & Myron Breckinridge are hilarious. And don't forget Vidal's debut novel at the age of 19: "The City and the Pillar." Furthermore, Vidal is a brilliant essayist. Truman's just as much into himself, as Vidal is. Have a quiet Fourth.

luma said...

Michelle, the enemy greater of the man if finds inside of it. Debtor for the moral support back in the "Luz de Luma". Beijus

Sheila said...

Wow look at you! haha must drive angela crazy! ;o) i loved the post today. I still can't believe that Capote sounded the way he did. Such a high voice for a man!

Anonymous said...

Woodstock was the party of the century. Freedom. Freedom. I love your noir moods. You are so freaky. No wonder you are such a big freak magnet.

Anonymous said...

All of our thoughts are connected, Michelle. That is the true world wide web. It's called universality.

Anonymous said...

Today's "Quote of the Day": A one night stand could be a lust or a bust, depending on your feelings toward the woman, your emotional condition, your state of mind, and your period of heat.--paraphrase of Timothy Leary

Anonymous said...

Today's 2nd "Quote of the Day": Saving all my love for youuuuuuu--WH

Anonymous said...

She's super freaky.

Anonymous said...

Today's 3rd "Quote of the Day": Please, please, don't eat the daisies--as sung by Doris Day

Anonymous said...

Today's 4th "Quote of the Day": You did it to Froggy, and now it's your turn, babycakes.

Anonymous said...

Capote was a nothing burger without Harper Lee. Vidal's syntax was/is one big Ambien.

Anonymous said...

Wallace's trash talking caught up with him. The real championship class is Daytwa has always been #19, Stevie. Class all the way. We'll miss him.

R's Musings said...

Hey M,
Love the quote! Being the Gemini I am, I can't help but see it all; black & white are just two sides of the same coin to me.:) Cheers! R