Sunday, 1 July 2018

Moral Resolve and Wishful Thinking: A Stiff Upper Lip, A Sturdy Coat Hook, Hair Conditioner, A Cup of Tea

As our hero Bertie Wooster so wisely notes, the ability to keep one's lip stiff and upper in challenging times can mean the difference between hope and despair. This is not easy when, to paraphrase ourselves, a shitstorm of racism, sexism, and every kind of -ism you can think of, including nazism, has been unleashed upon the world. Still, we keep aiming for facial rigidity.

We have already mentioned P. G. Wodehouse's searingly intelligent sarcasm on the topic of fascist dictators, and shall not go off on that tangent again just now. Instead, let us remember Bertie Wooster's musings on labial elevation which, if we haven't got this completely arse-backwards, are as follows:
It has been well said of Bertram Wooster by those who enjoy his close acquaintance that if there is one quality more than another that distinguishes him, it is his ability to keep the lip stiff and upper and make the best of things. Though crushed to earth, as the expression is, he rises again - not absolutely in mid-season form, perhaps, but perkier than you would expect and with an eye alert for silver linings.
(Wodehouse, P. G. Joy in the Morning. London: Penguin, 1999)
Another person who promotes the idea of hope is of course Rebecca Solnit. We exhort you to read her writings at every opportunity, and to continue fighting fascism. At the Privy Counsel, we are stiff in our resolve to keep our lip stiff and upper (and mercifully free of the frighteningly unflattering Hitler moustache), possibly aided by a stiff gin and tonic or four.

We reckon we could all do with some encouragement in our lip-stiffening and general hardening the fuck up, which is why we are delighted to have many spiffing pictures to show you today!

First of all we have this excellent coat hook, photographed by Shewee Fiend Friend at LaGuardia Airport. It is sturdy and reassuring, offering strength and solidity without showing a trace of megalomaniac or homicidal tendencies. This is what we all crave - reliability and a steadfast adherence to principles. This coat hook is not shiny and golden; it doesn't sparkle alluringly, play golf, or make empty boasts on Twitter. It is prudent, tactful and considerate. It offers support, not judgement. It is, simply, a decent coat hook.

 Continuing the coat hook theme, here is another one which we're pretty sure is from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. When visiting Amsterdam recently, we were impressed not just by the quality of the plumbing, but by the friendly, welcoming atmosphere and helpful locals. The city is of course also home to the Anne Frank Museum, and if that is not a chilling reminder of the result of fascism, we don't know what it is a chilling reminder of.

Like the coat hook above, this one isn't flashy, but functional. It keeps its promises. It wouldn't dream of inveigling and insinuating, but speaks clearly, keeping its facts straight and its moral compass aligned with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (This is really not hard, people.)

Remember when we almost started a competition between everyone's favourite toilet-posing piece of hunka-hunka-burning-love, Jonny, and Shewee Fiend Friend? This exciting drama was played out in three fiercely flippant bog blog updates in 2016 and 2017, entitled Oh, Jonny - Losing Our Hearts to a Loose Cannon; In Which the Privy Counsel Goes Ballistic  (don't worry, we don't charge anything for the clever puns - they are completely free!); and Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees

We hereby have the honour of presenting yet another contribution to what must probably henceforth be known as the Privy Counsel Cannon Babe Parade! This cannon stands outside the lighthouse Långe Jan, on the southern tip of the island Öland, off the coast of Sweden. The lighthouse was erected during the reign of King Gustav III, who incidentally granted freedom of religion, enabling Jews to live in Sweden without converting, in the 1770s. Parts of the Privy Counsel can boast Jewish ancestry thanks to this festive and reasonably enlightened monarch - hurrah!

Staying on Öland, we found a refuge in the shape of a very safe and comforting toilet at Hotel Skansen, a favourite haunt of ours in the summer. Note the beautiful floor tiles, sensible hygiene arrangements and thoughtful décor.

The excitement does not end there! Our room at the above-mentioned hotel had not only soap and shampoo but hand lotion and actual, bona fide conditioner! We have been complaining about the lack of hair conditioner in hotels since at least 2012, and find the provision of it a boon!

The shower: Shampoo and conditioner!
The sink: Soap and hand lotion!
Last but definitely not least, let us feast our eyes on this toilet at the friendly Persian restaurant Khatoon, in Lund, Sweden! The name, according to the menu blurb, means "queen" or similar, and is representative of the historically strong position of women in north-western Iran. Isn't that an encouraging factoid!

The best of both worlds: combining beauty and hygiene!
A hefty and helpful coat hook
Paper towels and a decorative door
Today's Festive Video is a song that's been playing rather a lot at the Privy Counsel of late. We heartily wish all our readers the kind of love that makes a cup of tea.

Festive Video: Gretchen Peters, Love That Makes a Cup of Tea

Related Reading

All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend
All posts featuring Jonny

Previous posts in what we must now probably refer to as the Privy Counsel Cannon Babe Parade:
Oh, Jonny - Losing Our Hearts to a Loose Cannon
In Which the Privy Counsel Goes Ballistic 
Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees

Another of the many posts in which we rant about Nazis: 2016 in Summary: Holding on to Hope, or, We're Really Cunting Angry, or, Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

The earliest recorded instance of us complaining about the lack of hair conditioner in hotels: Villa Ingrid: Toilet Paper and Loveliness 

Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark is available as a free e-book

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is available online or as a PDF, and has been translated into over 500 languages

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...