Monsieur Chariot

Monsieur Chariot
That Dazzling and Luminous California Metropolis known as The City Of The Angels, USA
June 08
Offering Discreet Tutelage in the Metropolitan Arts to Inquiring Gentlepersons of Variously Misguided Social Persuasions


Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 18, 2008 12:49PM

Rudeness On The Train

Rate: 7 Flag

TM_M.Chariot_train.jpg If there is one thing Monsieur Chariot cannot abide, it is sloppy pronunciation. And thus I flew into a rage on the Metro today, when the conductor announced "Los Angeles Convention Center, next stop. Staples Center, next stop."

And yet he pronounced "Center" as if he were saying sinner. Even, actually, in a more monosyllabic form: sinre. Staple-sinre. Clearly something needed to be said. Are the stop announcements to be incomprehensible? One is a paying passenger after all!

Angrily packing up my things many miles in advance of my destination, I risked marching out of the railcar and pushed through the throng of departing passengers on the platform, making my way to the locomotive, where I furiously tap-tap-tap-tapped in staccato on the conductor's window with my monocle. I could see my face reflected in the glass, grim with phonetic indignation.

The window rolled down slowly, and a very big, very bored-looking black man looked up at me, where I stood exasperated on the platform, my hands trembling at my sides.

"May I help you?" he enquired.

"Allow me to suggest, sir..." I opened, introducing my corrections with a flourish, when I heard the whistle shrill and the doors close. The conductor leaned toward the window, still looking up as if listening, the whites of his eyes showing, like an ocular expression frozen at the zenith of a roll. The train was pulling away.

Stunned, I lurched forward, mouth still open, my movements jerky and stick-like, ineffectually grasping with my hands at the sleek train exterior as if to stop it. Thanks to my strict commitment to grammar, to correct pronunciation, I was an hour late for a client meeting, where I was to present a new ad campaign to The Hummel Figurine Company. But if M. Chariot fails to take a stand when it comes to language and protocol, who will? You'll thank me next time you know where to get off!

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hahahahaha. monocle. lol.
My dear Mlle LeCastor: Didn't anyone ever tell you that peevish snickering is very unbecoming in young ladies?
A most delightful post, especially the grammar/punctuality debate at its core.
Monsieur Chariot: didn't you hear the rumor that I'm actually a gay man trapped in a woman's body? :-)
My dears Monsieur Danonymous et Mademoiselle LeCastor: Thank you both for your kind and utterly incomprehensible commentaries.
Incomprehensible? I beg your pardon, sir. I would submit to you this thread, http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=1626, wherein, among other things, whether I was a gay man trapped in a woman's body was debated.
My dearest Mademoiselle LeCastor: Having read the entire discussion as directed, I must tell you that yes I do find your commentary bold, intelligent, direct and most confrontational. However, having been married (and divorced) thrice, I have learned that efforts to arrange personality characteristics according to gender is a bootless enterprise.
"efforts to arrange personality characteristics according to gender is a bootless enterprise"

Sing it from the rooftops, friend.
Having been the origin of the confusion about your gender, I protest your "spreading it around", as it were. It was mildly embarrassing and I really do apologize sincerely.

I cannot now make that mistake with "Miss-yur Shar-ee-o", assuming that is how you would pronounce our current blog hosts monicker, as you have drawn out his propensity to marry a lot. Not that that really indicates much these days...

Thing is, gay men have been my most fun friends ever. They get my sense of outrage and audacity.

And the open cursing is just divine.

I think this blog in particular is one of the very most funny on Open. And funny has very high value for me.

His blog brings to mind "All About Eve" and the character Addison Dewitt. That's the voice Iuse to read his posts in my head.
ePriddy, with all due respect, you are so wrong. M. Chariot writes in the tradition of Archy and Mehitabel. He is the Don Marquis of the new century.

But he is funny. You are right about that. You can be wrong about everything else you opine on and be right about that.
ePriddy, it's hard for me to put a finger on why it bothered me so much that you said i was a gay man trapped in a woman's body. I have a best gay, I know many gays, I live in a city of communist homosexual pornographers. That is not the issue.

I think there's some underlying sexism here, and that's what bothers me. Saying that my confrontational, definitive style made you think I'm a gay man seems only to show that you think that it's uncharacteristic of women to be confrontational, bold and opinionated.

I dunno...
My dears Mademoiselle LeCastor et Mademoiselle Priddy: Thank you for your witty and charming submissions — I adore intelligent and opinionated ladies. Especially blondes (though not a critical requirement)!
Ah! And my dear Mme Green. Always un rafraîchissement! One does hope the three of you don't mind being counted among the Monsieur's new "friends"?
Perhaps it would help you to understand that I also am
bold, confrontational, and opionionated.

The only folks I talk to these days are proper southern women. They don't communicate like that. I miss my gays.

To think that you might be one to befriend was a sweet delusion. Instead I find that you are way more complicated and interesting. So it is all for the best.

It is not sexist to say that women's conversational styles differ from men's. Not every little thing is a thing.

A woman speaking with a woman's sensibility but the conversational style of a man would sound like...a gay man, possibly a slightly effete gay man? That doesn't make it better, though does it.

Let's just go with a straight up, up right broad who is a lawyer who means business.

I like you. Can't it just be that simple?
I, for one, am a natural golden blonde.

My little icon is a sketch made froma photograph for a
pottery show card on 'Mermaids'.
Pretty accurate actually.

I am unfamiliar with this Archibald and have no idea how it would sound.
'A natural golden blonde.' Enchanté, Mademoiselle!
All right then, let's, as they say, "hug it out," mesdames et messieurs.
hmm, I'm late to this conversational party but nevertheless feel compelled to add .02. I have to agree with LeCastor,

To ascribe the qualities of being bold, opinionated and confrontational to masculinity does indeed seem sexist. And what is a woman speaking with a woman's sensibility? Many women, it is true, speak with unfortunate equivolcal, indefinite locutions forced on them/taught to them by the culture. but this is not a product of biology - it's just a product of a sexist culture.

I speak directly, succinctly, and am opinionated without fear of debate ( though I hope not confrontational). I see these as positive qualities that have nothing at all to do with gender but rather are a product of my eductation, intelligence, and desire to change the modes of communication directly and indirectly foisted on me for most of my life.

To call out 'directness' or 'being opinionated' or 'forceful' as male qualities is incorrect. They are not inherently masculine qualities, they are qualities of people who resist cultural pressures to be/act weak, passive, compliant, agreeable 'nice' and 'sweet'. As men are rarely pressured or rewarded for being agreeable, compliant and 'sweet', they tend to display the qualities of being forthright, definite, opinionated and direct more often than women. But it's simply unfair to women to call these qualities 'masculine'.
I have both classicly attributed masculine and feminine qualities. Depending on the time of day, who I am dealing with, how many things I am juggling, and my general disposition on waking, I could display any feminine or masculine behavior at any time.

So can we all.

If you live in the south, the rural south, you tend to see much more specifically delineated masc/fem behavior from everyone. Maybe that is cultural.

But certain other behaviors, like coddling, gentle soothing voices, high pitched voices of excitement, and other such feminine behaviors and speech characteristics have a definite feminine sensibility due to their association with the care of infants. It is the infants forcing this behavior, not the women. They do not like loud bellicose noises and they need a lot of soothing all the time. The world is harsh when you first get out and experience it, and so the primary care givers of infants resond accordingly and in doing do develop habits. If more men cared for infants, their behavior might evilve to be more feminine overall. If you are waiting for that, you have way more time on your hands than I do. Until then, those behaviors will remain "feminine".

A lot of women display these traits more than men in general, and so in general, they are treated as feminine traits. Their linguistic corollaries would in turn, be feminine as well. Such as : qualifying statements to avoid reproach or argument, complimenting at the same time as criticizing in order to avoid seeming harsh, using less bellicose language in general, softer criticism to engender empathetic behavior in foes.

The world needs both feminine and masculine sensibilities to be in balance, as all opposites should be honored as part of the natural way of things.

What I would love to know is why some women deny their femininity in what I feel is a misguided attempt to stay on the same playing field as men. They can learn as well as us.

I think we should move the field.
My dears Mlle Miller, Mlle Priddy and Mlle LeCastor ~ I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed our little colloquium on gender and its discontents. Thankfully, M. Chariot has always displayed that robust and indisputable virility which makes one so popular with the ladies!
Monsieur Chariot, I, for one, sense your power.
Woman's intuition, I think it's called, eh, Sandra?
All is love in fair and war, Mlle.

Gender and its discontents indeed. It appears you've drawn a discontented blonde flush.

Now, I have no intent to invoke your Marquess of Queensberry dialectic, but I must presume. I am aghast that you would so sorely abuse a fine lens. Why did you not command your man to summon the conductor?
My dear Monsieur Mason: Thank you most kindly for your thoughtful excogitations with regard to my dilemma on the train!
M.Chariot, I realize that I'm carrying being "Fashionably late" well beyond fashion, but suggest that if you wish to avoid pronunciational discomfiture, you avoid Boston's MBTA at all costs.
My dear Monsieur Léonard ~

The gentleman who carries a chilled bottle of cidre normand is never late!