06 December 2012

Monogram Memories: A Christmas, Um, Thing. [Greatest Hits]

This time,some years ago,your humble correspondent was working at the Louis Vuitton Flagship Store. Here are some notes from that time: my Last Days Of Retail.
If you are a store, and you're French (which I'm going to assume you, dear reader, are not), here is how you assert your Frenchness during the Christmas retail season:

1) Leave your front doors open when it's 22 degrees out, ensuring that people shopping for $1600 handbags can see their own breath as they utter the words "I'll t-t-t-take it".
Expecting to be warm indoors during a luxury shopping experience is simply not chic. One must suffer for beauty. Also? We don't like you. Or care. And your hair is funny.

2) Refuse to play Christmas music. Instead, play depressing emo girls wailing about how their lovers have left them and it's probably their own fault, but if said lover doesn't return to make thm miserable again, they will probably either take pills or continue wailing. Or both. "Rudolph the RedNose Reindeer" is a bourgouis construct, and has been denounced by LeviStrauss in his famous tract "The Deconstruction of Rudolf de la Nez Rouge"., in which reindeer are proven to be a failed neo-Marxist syllogism.Parce-que: Christmas music at Christmas is so...predictable.

3) Refuse to have sales. Sneer openly at those customers who ask. Sneer openly at customers who don't ask, for their lack of courage. Sneer openly at anyone who happens to be walking by and within sneering distance. Nous sneerairons.

4) We spit on the concept of Christmas decorations. Instead, we have a conceptual artist who walks around the store before it's open and murmurs the single word "holly". So spare. So simple. So chic.

5) Your hair is funny and your shoes are a laughable relic of the former life you have now outgrown. Your children are sad and your wife has a lover. Do not ask me what is the price of this purse. You can not purchase back the strayed affection of your spouse, who is sleeping with a german art student who moonlights as a garbage man in order to impress his marxist, much younger other girlfriend, with a $420 beach towel. Do not try, either to do the first thing I suggested or to understand the structure of this sentence. Pah- I spit on conventional sentence structure.

There ya go. If you ever want to be a huge, French, luxury retail store at Christmas, you now know everything you ned to be a huge success with people who would not want to belong to any club that would have them as a member. I.e., all of humanity.

04 December 2012

What Is The Journey But Our View

 (Note: The 18th Century Russian Empress Catherine The Great, wanted to take a tour of Russia.  In order to keep her happily assured that everything in Russia was absolutely FINE- which it most assuredly was NOT--her lover and prime minister, Potemkin, erected an astonishing series of village facades , for Catherine to ride past. She was happily fooled, and Potemkin kept his power. The villages were burned as soon as she passed.)

What Is The Journey But Our View  (lyrics)            Peri Lyons   c 2012 ASCAP

There was a Russian Empress
Who said she had to see
What was going on
With her Russian Peasantry
So: She rode out in state for a year and a day

And her minister Potemkin rode ahead.

Potemkin rode ahead... to build
The fronts of houses -but not the houses
The fronts of villages -but no villages
He hired handsome peasants to stand outside
and Catherine
Was satisfied

When Catherine the Great looked at the view
She saw what Potemkin intended her to
No trouble, no starvation and no poverty
Potemkin Villages as far as she could see

Potemkin rode ahead to build
The fronts of houses but not the houses
The fronts of villages but no villages
He hired handsome peasants to stand outside
and Catherine
Was satisfied

And Catherine’s sleep was untroubled
And Catherine’s mind was untroubled
 I fear we are too untroubled
in our complacency
Potemkin Villages are all that we will see

when Catherine the Great rode past and on her way
Potemkin Villages were burned down the same day
That lying architecture, had to go away
No one could make a home there anyway

Potemkin rode behind to burn
The fronts of houses- burned like houses
The fronts of village-s burned like villages
The handsome peasants had already moved on
And Catherine
was long gone

I sing this song to say the burning hurts the same
The fake and the real all burn, with just as hot a flame
But this complacency is turning into shame
I did not see
The Potemkin Villages you put up just for me

My darling, you rode ahead to build
The fronts of houses but not our house
The fronts of villages but not our village
And everywhere you lied
and I
Was satisfied

And yes my sleep was untroubled
And yes my mind was untroubled
 I fear we’re all too untroubled
in our complacency
Potemkin Villages are all that we will see:

That heedless wreckage ,is our legacy.