^ ah, the eternal British love for the French. :P
You misjudge me, i’ve had Francophile tendencies, but just don’t mention Alain Rolland.
“Yeah, see, it has to do with the bourgeois-est of bourgeois things: social status”
It’s not just a trifle, though. It’s a problem of self-definition for the most recently emerged class. The middle defines itself through a series of deferentials from the higher and lower extremes.
“Or even in the case of Godard, he criticizes monogamy in Weekend. Since when is there something wrong with being loyal to a certain partner.”
If Godard was from say Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua or Bulgaria (ok, the content wouldn’t be the same) would he be taken so seriously? France has produced Diderot, Voltaire and others but there may be a tendency to lap up as pearls of wisdom the intellectual musings of the French more than many other nationalities.
Oh and French food is completely overrated.
“I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612.
This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope. That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909.
On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration. But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said.
Grown-ups are like that . . .
Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume. So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance. And this time everybody accepted his report."
St Exupéry, The Little Prince, Chapter 4. Now there’s French wisdom!
Just out of curiosity, why do you dislike writers groups?
“in the world of fashion, in front of Bourgeois snobs and they will prefer to buy the more expensive one. All part of the shallow values that cause so many problems worldwide.”
This I agree with entirely, so I think we’re on the same page, but my goal wasn’t to extol products of French culture above all others. Those are simply the things that came to mind, That they were all French was coincidence. I don’t see the point of trying to downplay French wine. Can’t we just acknowledge great wine comes from France, Italy, California, Argentina, or wherever? I could have just as easily replaced Bourgogne with Chianti or Sonoma County. My point was the notion of being interested in wine seems to be associated with the bourgeois lifestyle, perhaps in some cases unfairly, but that may be because bourgeois types as they’re discussed in this thread tend to use wine as a status symbol.
Ha, no i assumed it wasn’t intentional that the items were French, but it did get me thinking behind such a trio there must be something to do with longstanding assumptions of national qualities. Like the bit in Black Adder 3 in which the French revolutionary guard points out the foolishness of the English in assuming the French are great lovers when he’s hung like a baby carrot.
Yeah, there is definitely a long-hoverring presumption of a high/low distinction between French culture and Anglo -Saxon culture. As I’ve said before, I suspect this has it’s origins back in the days of the Norman conquest when French culture held a lot of currency (for obvious reasons) among the elite of British society.
I guess one of my gripes is certain truisms/stereotypes have developed regarding bourgeois values that are simply unfair. For example, the notion that people go into medicine, finance, law, academia as a way to keep up appearances and put on airs of respectability to be accepted into society. People certainly do enter such fields to put on airs, but some people go so far as to conclude the only reason someone would go into law or medicine is to keep up appearances, as though it were unthinkable someone could be passionate enough to enter such a field, due to a genuine interest in law or medicine. This notion that one is only leading a full life and being true to one self if they have a profession that goes against the norm, such as a career in the arts or in athletics, is a bit excessive. Is it too much to assume a brain surgeon could have just as much passion for what he does as a painter or a writer? Any in any case, there are certainly people in more unconventional field who keep up appearances as well. It’s not only in the fields of law, medicine et al. that people do things to put on airs.
Well, yeah, I think what Robert’s post was getting at is that there are generally bourgeois values on both sides of the equation, so to speak.
True, but I don’t think people like Bunuel, Rohmer, and Antonioni are afraid to appear bourgeois. Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is partially Bunuel laughing at himself I think. Godard may be afraid to seem bourgeois, but not the others.
Doctors should be an honourable profession and are generally respected- i wouldn’t make generalisations about them. There are many incompetent and greedy ones, others who are obviously caring and not in it simply for the money and prestige.
Bunuel’s wit is a fore-runner of Monty Python, but he came to prominence soon after this:
George Grosz: Pillars of Society
Grosz was the Nazis’ cultural public enemy, hits the nail on the head with his targets. For all its enjoyable wit, Bunuel’s L’Age d’Or really got up right wing noses too- they rioted in cinemas apparently. So there was some bite too
But I guess you don’t believe law and academia to be respectable fields? Speaking of greedy, incompetent doctors, have you seen Vincent, Francois, Paul, et les Autres? Not the greatest film, but certainly watchable.
An amusing thread.
The only time I consider “bourgeois” to be legitimately used is if you’re from the working class or even lower down the economic ladder. Or perhaps, wherever they are left, by aristocrats.
Anyone else using that term is themselves bourgeois — i.e. people who work for a living but aspire, out loud or in private, to not work for a living, like aristrocrats.
It’s crass materialism, really, with e verneer of “culture” to make it all look pretty.
BTW, Godard did not come from the working class nor any classes below that. He had quite a lot of money growing up and culture too.
There is too much concern about class. From both ends of the spectrum and all points in between.
Could it be that in actuality people are more than their social status? This is something I learned around Jr. High, when I started forming a concept of social status.
^ Yup. People are a LOT more than their social status.
The problem with the OP is, that you’re only referring to the materialistic and consumeristic values of the middle class and the upper class.
Didn’t Antonioni, Bunuel and a lot of other filmmakers also criticize the bourgeoisie’s incapability of having real and functional relationships or having intimate connections with others, self-involvement in our own pursuits and interests, inability to believe in anything at all, upholding of superficial values, our moral decadence, our hypocrisy in expecting high moral and social standards in others that we don’t hold up to in ourselves, our disenchantment in the lifestyles we have and the society we live in, our alienation in capitalist, urbanized society, and our indecisiveness on what to do with the excessive wealth and material things we have? Or do all of these don’t come into factor at all when thinking about the upper and middle class people? Or are these some things that are too hard to take in and to realize in ourselves?
criticize the bourgeoisie’s incapability of having real and functional relationships or having intimate connections with others, self-involvement in our own pursuits and interests, inability to believe in anything at all, upholding of superficial values, our moral decadence, our hypocrisy in expecting high moral and social standards in others that we don’t hold up to in ourselves, our disenchantment in the lifestyles we have and the society we live in, our alienation in capitalist, urbanized society, and our indecisiveness on what to do with the excessive wealth and material things we have?
If you don’t have a job, you have vices. If you do have a job, you have vices.
Vice and poor character is not limited to the so-called bourgeoise. And there is nothing noble about poverty.
And hmmm, if you can afford to become an artist full-time, particularly a filmmaker (where films are not cheap to produce), then em, shouldn’t you be pointing the finger of privilege in your own direction too?
Although fiction, Jude the Obscure seems to me to show the real deal when it comes to artistic (in this case literary/scholarly) aspirations of the working man — they can’t afford to indulge them!
“But I guess you don’t believe law and academia to be respectable fields”
The law supports an unjust wieghted system but of course there are decent helpful and enlightened lawyers as well as bad. Academia too can be a force for good or bad; it is often disparaged by greedy materialists.
“Speaking of greedy, incompetent doctors, have you seen Vincent, Francois, Paul, et les Autres? Not the greatest film, but certainly watchable.”
No, i haven’t but thanks for mentioning it, as i don’t think it’s on my Doctors and Nurses list. I’ve had a lot of experience of doctors and the amount of incompetence has shocked me. But also there have been plenty of very good ones
Bunuel, Rohmer and Antonioni were much more subtle than Godard and Eisenstein, both given to stridency. That isn’t to say i disapprove of overt political messages. Rohmer was hardly a leftist but did depict characters with rather arrogant Bourgeois assumptions, manners and intellectual conversations, sometimes undermined by reality we are more aware of than they- their dialogue less intelligent than Rohmer’s scripts, for sure.
Could it be that in actuality people are more than their social status?
Not to society. The drive/recognition for social status is common to ALL cultures.
Could it be that things changed from junior high to high school?
Could it be that things changed from kindergarten to adulthood?… (observation of the work world in general)
I think high school is where social status got amped up – especially around sports.
Grades below high school don’t have the social structures – kid are just kids.
Obviously, the drive for social status exists. My point is that we focus on it too much. Class consciousness is a plague that seems to have infected almost everyone, even those who don’t have a drive to rise in social status.
What I learned in Jr. High was that the drive for social status (through sports, grades, cloths, whatever) was meaningless, because it tended to obfuscate the fact that people are so much more than the cloths they wear or the house they live in. I knew this inherently because I knew that I was more than the sum of my grades, athletic abilities, or horrible fashion sense.
I think I had moved on to the reality that kindergarteners come out in adults in the workplace. Related, but yes not the main point.
Perhaps to play devil’s advocate here, how would people respond if I were to propose that certain concerns are reasonable, regardless of whether or not they’re criticized for being middle class concerns, such as needing to pay your bills and feed yourself and needing good grades, so that you can succeed in life, and are not on the street, etc…
For example, it’s true an individual is more than his or her grades, but the hard truth is poor grades will set one back in life. If you performed poorly in college, you’ll inevitably have a hard time being accepted into medical school or finding suitable employment. That’s just the way it is. In that regard, I think it’s perfectly normal for humans to be concerned by things such as school grades, even if we can label it a flaw of human nature.
Oh dear RAR, it’s been a long time since I was in school. But I have to say the less I focused on grades and the more I focused on learning and enjoying what I was learning, the less stressful it was and I did equally well. In fact, I never discussed grades in college and I ended up in Phi Beta Kappa, which honestly, I had no clue about when I got the notice I was “in.” This surprised my grade-conscious fellow students, but you know what, so what? It’s a nice thing to put on your resume so people know you work hard and are intelligent, but to me personally, it has nothing to do with who I am or what I am interested in or how “good” I am — I mean, it’s an award, I didn’t give it to myself to define myself.
Now on the other hand if you are pre-med or pre-law, the rat race forces you to be concerned about beating out the competition. I was a liberal arts major and boy was I glad about that.
“I would but I have a class”
“Call me when you have no class”
Back to School 1985
oh yes oh my. I believe that if you eat feces you should expect sickness in the future.
I suspect this is why I have such a hard time with Godard. His bloody superiority is so frickin’ off-putting.