Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Friday, 18 August 2017
Without reputation a man is nothing- yet how are we to gain a reputation when the world moves to fast to form personal relationships? Are we to resort to hysterical hyping on social media (like everyone else) or should we return to older methods?
What we say about ourselves means little. The company we keep means far more.
In London there exist a plethora of institutions to allow us to promote our better qualities by deeds rather than words.
First we have London Clubland. A club amounts to a personal reference by proxy. This is the Royal and Overseas League, my personal favorite. Many clubs will only accept new members who are personally introduced by an existing member. This means that membership of a club proves that one is respected within a particular field. Clubs may be artistic, business or scientific and membership advertises to the world our values.
We also have the learned societies. These are dedicated to a particular area of research or social improvement. Many do a great deal of good work. In return for financial support the members are entitled to letters after their name which will silently advertise the members achievements..
While writing this article I joined a professional society which has has some of the characteristics of a learned society- the International Professional Security Association. This group has gone some way to turn what used to be a rather Micky Mouse industry into an honest profession. It lacks the royal patronage that learned societies generally have and also lacks the rather posh London clubhouse that the better known learned societies also tend to own. Nevertheless it entitles me to some letters after the name (MIPSA) and a degree of kudos within the industry even if it is little recognized outside.
We also have Freemen of the City. Nothing demonstrates self sacrifice a public spirit more this.
We should spend some time in introspection before doing and of the above. Who are we? What are our values? How do we wish to be perceived?
Sunday, 13 August 2017
The season was a way for aristocrats to marry off their daughters and be seen in the right places. According to Debretts (the guide to all things blue blooded) it runs between Easter and August 12 (the glorious twelfth) when aristocrats would retire to their estates to kill small animals. A number of specifically English social events evolved to fill this gap. These now fulfill the original purpose of the season but on a global rather than a national scale. Furthermore- the snobbery has (mostly) gone. Everyone is welcome.
There are multiple seasons at multiple locations that once ran in parallel to one another. The most famous are probably the London Season, popularized by BBC costume dramas and the Bath Season popularised by Jane Austin.
With the benefit of modern transport we may hop between the two taking the best of both.
I am not much concerned with this dead world of aristocrats for its own sake but it may be fun to explore this world for ourselves. Season events have gone one of two ways. Some of them have become networking events for hedge fund managers and Russian Oligarchs. They make a virtue of being expensive so that the plebs (us) can never attend. Most have thank fully taken the opposite route and are now cheap or free.
A romantic adventure too.
Friday, 11 August 2017
In the U.K freedom of speech is protected by tradition rather than constitutional right. The impression of eccentricity should be built up over weeks or months before it is needed. Do not over do it! A working class person could easily end up in a mental hospital for behavior that would be charming and engaging in a toff. Once we have earned a reputation for outrage we can begin to tell the truth on political matters. As long as their is humor mixed in with it we can be un-PC and get away with it.
The correct way to be eccentric is to be oneself- but more so.