Narcissus' Echo

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Clarification (and an edification)



All right, enough with the taunts.

Here's a free module in English 101:


ad·mi·ra·tion

n.
1 A feeling of pleasure, wonder, and approval. See Synonyms at regard.
2 An object of wonder and esteem; a marvel.
3 Archaic. Wonder.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.



admiration

n.
1: a feeling of delighted approval and liking [syn: esteem]
2: the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising [syn: wonder, wonderment]
3: a favorable judgment; "a small token in admiration of your works" [syn: appreciation]

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


in·fat·u·a·tion

n.
1 A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction. See Synonyms at love.
2 An object of extravagant, short-lived passion.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company



infatuation

n.
1: foolish and usually extravagant passion or love or admiration 2: temporary love of an adolescent [syn: puppy love, calf love, crush]
3: an object of extravagant short-lived passion

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


I.e. admiration IS NOT A SYNONYM OF infatuation.

Hence, when I express admiration for certain people,... say, Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond, a certain soprano, a certain female mountain biker, etc., it does NOT mean I am infatuated with them, actively pursuing them, or even considered pursuing any sort of relationship with them.

I admire from afar. And I am content with that.

This is the way I personally look at it:

I admire the Ferrari 575M Maranello and Modena.
Does that mean that I am going to put them on my credit card?
Does that mean that I will purchase them outright even if I have the cash?

No.

Why?

I won't because I know ahead of time that I will not have the resources to support it at this point in time in my life. A US$6000 brake job every 8000 miles? A secure, covered garage to park it in? Bringing it in for detailing every month? Come on!

It's the same thing with females right now. I am not willing to spare or commit resources for a relationship right now. I am perfectly content being selfish in this regard. If I want to relocate out of state, or out of the country, or even the continent, there is only one person to consider, consult and negotiate with--me. If I want to stop what I am doing right now and spend a couple of years with the Hari Krishnas, I can just do it. If I want to renounce all my worldly possessions, turn celibate and become a Jesuit, I can just do it (actually considered it and have not ruled it out yet). If I want to take 2 months off during summer and cycle from the West Coast to the East Coast, the only considerations are if I am fit enough and if I have enough money. If I want to watch hentai all weekend... Lets not go there, eh?

There is no one else to consider or seek permission from. And I love it that way.

And so, I admire from afar. Nothing more.
I won't even accept it if it was handed to me as a gift, for all gifts incur obligations, said or unsaid.

I am also not interested in the drama and illogic that are staple in many relationships today. Fluctuating hormone levels must be a bitch, eh? (Oops! Pardon the pun! I said something politically incorrect. Politically incorrect but true). A diabetic must adhere to a regiment of medication to control her fluctuating blood sugar level. Why can't the same be said of certain individuals who turn into a hurricane or a typhoon once every month? Why must the guy "put up with it" and "accept it"?

That, and the utter crap that's force-fed to couples these days:

From a jewelry company:

MALE VOICE TRYING TO SOUND ALL AUTHORITATIVE: Gentlemen, do you know what's the most important single purchase in your life? It's not your car. It's not even your house. It's your engagement ring. A properly chosen engagement ring lasts forever. blah blah blah.


OK, some points:

Firstly, 48% of marriages end in divorce. Now, while it may be claimed that your engagement / wedding ring will last forever, your marriage won't: you part at death, and for many, much sooner.

Secondly, get your hands on a copy of a National Geographic magazine focusing on the diamond trade. You will be surprised just how common that rock on your finger is. The perceived scarcity is the result of a 100-year advertisement campaign to brainwash consumers into thinking that diamonds are a symbol of love and scarcity.

Thirdly, try and get your diamond appraised. Seriously. Go ahead. What do you have to lose? Ethically, an appraiser may not offer to buy the object he is appraising. It is a conflict of interest. So, go ahead. Check it out just how much your diamond is truly worth. Now think about the profit De Beers is making off your schmuck of a husband.

Check out the following excerpt (that summarizes in part, a March 2002 National Geographic article on the diamond trade):


Despite its elite status, the diamond, which can be found in abundance from southern Africa to Australia to northern Canada, is not the rarest of gems. With no intrinsic value, all a gem-quality diamond has to offer is the perception of its preciousness. As a symbol of eternal love, the tradition of the diamond engagement ring has become so pervasive that it's hard to believe that this is a fairly recent phenomenon. And an extremely calculated one -- the result of a marketing campaign developed at a time when the demand for diamonds had sunk to an all-time low and an increasing supply threatened the precious (as opposed to semiprecious) nature of the stones.

In 1938, nine years after seizing control of De Beers, in the wake of the Depression and with Europe bracing for another world war, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer found himself with no place to market his wares. Rather than risk a plunge in the status and price of diamonds, he sent 29-year-old Harry from Johannesburg, South Africa, to New York to meet with the N.W. Ayer advertising agency. The plan was to transform America's taste for small, low-quality stones into a true luxury market that would absorb the excess production of higher-quality gems no longer selling in Europe.

As Edward Jay Epstein outlined in his 1982 book "The Rise and Fall of Diamonds," N.W. Ayer saw the challenge as one rooted in mass psychology, meticulously researching the attitudes of American men and women about romance and gift giving. From this research, the slogan "A Diamond Is Forever" was born, launching one of the most brilliant, sophisticated and enduring marketing campaigns of all time. Without ever mentioning the name De Beers, the campaign set out to seduce every man, woman and child in America with the notion that no romance is complete without a rock -- and the bigger the rock, the better the romance. That men also now had a way to show the world how much money they made was an added bonus.

[ . . . ]

The slogan "A Diamond Is Forever" was also designed to convince the purchaser that although a diamond is a good investment, for sentimental reasons no rock should ever be resold. Given the continuous mining of new stones -- not to mention the half-billion or so carats that will never rust, break or wear out walking around on the hands, necks, ears and lapels of hundreds of millions of women -- the last thing De Beers wants is to have previously sold stones coming back onto the market.

De Beers has enough problems dealing with the oversupply of new diamonds. In the mid-1950s De Beers was overwhelmed by a flood of small diamonds pouring out of recently discovered mines in the Soviet Union. After nearly a decade and a half of convincing America of the importance of larger stones, suddenly the company needed to create a virtue out of the previously disparaged small diamonds. To accomplish this, De Beers invented the "eternity ring," a single, unbroken band of up to 25 evenly matched small stones. The ring was introduced in the early '60s as the best way to renew vows in the home stretch of a long marriage and the best way to wear diamonds without the ostentation of big stones. Today, the United States absorbs 50 percent of the world's diamonds, with an estimated 70 percent of American women owning at least one rock.

As it turns out, this ideal of perpetual ownership is a healthy delusion for the owners of all but the rarest and most expensive diamonds. Despite the illusion that it retains its value, a diamond can only be sold for less than its wholesale price, not what one would consider a good return on investment. (Source)


These are but some of the reasons I refuse to play this game. The most important purchases in your life are the money you spend on your education and your medical insurance.

If you want to taunt, at least observe some degree of accuracy in your word choice and grasp of simple concepts.

There, now you have successfully passed a module in English 101.
Go print out a "Certificate of Achievement" for yourself.

While you are at it, you might as well print out this instruction sheet--you might just need it someday (e.g. to stop the nagging and mind games).




5 Comments:

Anonymous vicky said...

you're the classic case of someone who thinks and analyzes too much. you are going to die a lonely old man. why can't you just do what everyone else is doing? what makes you so special? i hope you're are happy.

7:31 AM  
Blogger crufty said...

Nice!

Here's the Atlantic Monthly article written in 1982 that exposes the dirt on the diamond industry.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

You are what we call in our circles "a class A asshole"

7:21 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Best put on your abestos suit. You are so going to get flamed by the females for this one!

btw there is a step missing in the instructions.
Step 2a: Take safety off.

8:12 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Vicky,

Better lonely than trapped.

Happiness cannot exist without freedom.

You must have read "The Grand Inquisitor" section of Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov one too many times. I suggest you read the rest of the novel.


Crufty,

Great link! Thanks!
Here's another that summarizes the March 2002 National Geographic article:

http://tinyurl.com/rceep


Michelle,

You are what we call in our circles "a class A asshole"


Once again, another female revalidates the old adage, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Have heart, Michelle, one fine day you will score your victim... err, husband. After all, the odds are stacked in your favor: half of the population is on the other side of the Bell Curve. Happy hunting!

8:13 PM  

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