The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
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Dateline: 13 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

A Brunette Epiphany

My dears, I truly appreciate the recent conversation which has been going on in the Cocktail Bar. For I must confess, as a newcomer to Elektraspace, I have harbored some confusion about whether I was, in fact, a blonde or a brunette. For as you all can see, I am physically a brunette, but I was under some misapprehension about whether I was spiritually a blonde. But I believe that I am, in my deepest nature and nurture, a brunette. For while I do occasionally harbor silliness, I most often see myself in the role of protector, teacher, instructress. I am, in fact, a music teacher, and if you are looking for a profession in which school-marm qualities are highly valued, well, look no further. As a rule, we brunette sopranos are fussy and tender-hearted, and although we will tell you (and very strictly indeed) to sit up straight, we also find our greatest joy in bringing out the gifts and beauties of others. And although I may every little once in a while wish to throw my baton across the room at the rows of cheerfully misbehaving little girls, be assured that, when I do, they giggle even louder, and even more important, my baton weighs less than my pinky finger.

 I am so cheered by this epiphany that I believe I shall have to go out and find myself a new outfit--in a shade of daring red, perhaps! For as you know, while blondes may just want to have jinks, brunettes get to have some, too!

 A much more cheerful

 DIANA


Yes, you sound like a brunette to us, and we do need another one!

The Food of Love

Dear Darlings,

 I thought of something to add to Miss Barbara's fine list of ways we can protect ourselves and each other from the dreadfulness of the Pit. She spoke of movies, magazines, and television as either poisonous or nourishing, depending on if they come from the Pit or from the real world, but the darling brunette forgot the most important one: music. Perhaps you've noticed that pettes in these parts like to quote from their favorite ditties. It's not just having a jolly good time, you know, it's also building protection for each other. When I have to leave the sanctuary of my home and venture down into the Pit, I hum a little up-to-date song and the sound of the song helps me feel safe from the vulgarities of the Pit. By the way, perhaps I should have said this part first, but here it is nevertheless: creating a real hestia, a true sanctuary from the Pit is the most important way we can give ourselves protection. The sweet sagette was quite right to say that of course we each must protect ourselves in as much as we are able, but I imagine that not many of us know how to do that without being taught first. I promise to stop by more often and let you girls know how I am building my hestia for my brunette and for my baby and, of course, for me too, the blondie of the family.

 Lots of sisterly love to you all, and especially to you, dear Barbi,

AMY de CULVER


Dateline: 12 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

To Darling Barbi

Darlings, And especially you, Darling Barbi,

 When a girl begins to understand some things about her essential nature, about eternal things, about the Truth of femininity, about the delicateness of vulnerability and tenderness, and about the superiority of the feminine essence, and when such a girl is still living in the Pit, there is bound to be some confusion and difficulty, for she begins to know of True things while still surrounded by un-true things. Another way of saying this is that when a girl begins to have more health, she notices the Pit more and is more ill-ish feeling because of it. This reaction is fairly common, I believe, and, please kind sagette, correct me if I am mistaken, is often a sign that the girl is being a very good girl and is beginning to have a kind of health unknown to her before.

 I remember when I first began coming to the Cocktail Bar. I was so miserable because everything here is so lovely and civil and everything there, where I lived, in the Pit, seemed to grow more and more crass and ugly and unbearable. Of course, the Pit was just as ugly as it had been before I found Elektraspace, but I began to see it where before I hadn't. How did I find my way out of this misery? Well, I didn't do it on my own! A kind, generous, wise, strong, and beautiful brunette took me by the hand and lifted me out of it, showing me more and more of the lovely truths upon which this world is built. See, this is the true Aristasian meaning of the connection between brunette and blonde. It is not only kisses and passion and romance. It is also protection and instruction and guidance. It is maternal and school-mistressly. It is about the loving bond formed between a maid and her mistress, a mother and her daughter, a teacher and her pupil. It is about giving to each other what we need more than anything: loving protection from a cruel age, a cursed time in history when all things noble and virtuous are replaced by the ugly and banal.

 But what of the practicals? For Barbi and for any of the pettes reading who feel the need of protection? I think that you, Barbi, have already taken the first step of reading and learning much from the wise sagette who cares for us all. I can see that you are a very good girl, if in need of some correction and guidance. I know you are a good girl because of how sweet and soft you become when either our sagette or I gently correct you. That is the test of a real blonde! The yieldiness and sweetness that comes out after even a mild correction.

 But the next practical I think is to avoid the poison as much as possible by refusing to take it. And then to replace the poison with images from the real world. Magazines, television programs, and movies from before the Eclipse nourish your psyche as much as those things from the decades of darkness poison it. And finally, I offer you this: That I reach my arms out and wrap them around you, dear Barbi, and that I keep you in my thoughts and in my prayers, when I kneel before Dea, and that I protect you in as much as I am able; oh yes, I will serve you in this way, for there is no greater balm to my soul than to extend protection to a blonde who needs it in order that she might blossom and grow into her essential nature. With great affection, tenderness, and protective thoughts, I am, Your servant,

MISS BARBARA


Barbi's Confusion

A somewhat humbled and completely confused Sweetipops, here, my contemplative coquettes! I feel so vulnerable and frail when my usual confidence is shattered, but it's thoughtful commentaries like those of my sweet sagette and the beautiful Miss Barbara that so unsettle my little blonde head and heart and remind me, all too certainly, that, just when I was beginning to feel otherwise, I am a recovering Pit-maiden, and most definitely not the Aristasian blonde that I want so badly, so painfully, and sometimes, it seems, so impossibly to be! Do blondes just want to have jinks? Is it the brunette side of me that cries out for a deeper understanding of the beauty, sorority and love that Aristasia has offered me? I wish that I could resolve even so apparently simple an issue as this! Sometimes, like now, the dissonance between this feminine paradise and the Pit, my so called real life, is so apparent that it hurts and I just want to curl up and cry.

 How can girly, feminine pettes, hopelessly enchanted by other girly, feminine pettes, and not by those other creatures with whom we must share our waking lives (I don't hate them...I really don't...I just don't want them to want me), realize their dreams in this world? In my own admittedly uninformed and somewhat stumbling way, I have tried to put Aristasian sensibility into my life within the limitations imposed by, for lack of a better phrase, my other-than-virtual world: a world which, for better and worse, involves real life commitments and a large measure of love. The result has been a gratifying voyage of self-discovery in many ways, but in many other ways, it has caused nothing but grief.

 While a girly girl gets a lot of pleasant and fruitful attention, she also gets a lot...a lot...of unwanted, unavoidable attention, some of it from the very same pettes that you would expect the most support from, as I am sure that many of you must know. I can tolerate a lot...well...we all have to, don't we?...but at the price of an inescapable reversion to a masculinized self (e-man-cipated, as a serene sagette somewhere said!), a learned lack of trust, an acquired feeling of alienation, and a reflexive self-defense mechanism that takes the form of protecting myself from the darkness that surrounds me. If I don't do my own protecting, who will? I don't know how to put my protection into someone else's hands. I really don't. Maybe my babies, if I ever have any, will have a better chance because their mother will be able to give them the confidence in their essential feminine gifts that I can only dream about.

 La! Such dark, serious thoughts! My goodness, and I do mean goodness, forgive me, my precious pettes! I have to shake myself free from this.

 Barpette! Over here, darling! Yes...a little martini, please...you know...straight up...no olive...and a little something for Miss Violet, and our new black page boy doll who still hasn't introduced herself (babblers tend to be blondes, my charming belle...even if their hair color is brunette!), and Inger, who seems to be gazing off into space...and...don't forget Michelle...yes...the redhead over there...I really can afford it, my marvelous maid, and...what is filthy lucre for if you don't spend it, anyway?

 My darling Diana (whose most recent contribution to the Feminine Academy is very interesting and thoughtful), I have heard of elastic! It's the secret of my self-gartered, thigh high stockings, my seductive sweetheart, which I am sure that you have already seen. Didn't I show them to everyone? Of course, I did! But, if you haven't seen them, my brunette beauty, I would be delighted to show them again! As for the pin-ups' panty problem (aren't they simply gorgeous, especially Eathelynne?), it appears as though the curious gravitational effect on a blonde's underpinnings must be some physical phenomenon peculiar to Aristasia that only Alberta Einstein can understand. Now, since I brought up the subject...I must be honest, after all...what I said earlier about not being able to keep my panties on?...well...I just want you to know that mine actually stay on almost all of the time! However, it seems to me, after a careful scientific study, done with only the softest, silkiest, lace trimmed, French cut styles, that while they don't seem to be removed by gravitational forces, they are occasionally susceptible to brunettic forces!

 Oh! La!...sometimes...it's so wonderful to be a blonde! We can be so silly and carefree and actually be loved and respected for it! Here, at least.

 Somewhat relieved, I remain
Your Sweetipops,
BARBI


Gosh, Sweetipops, I wish I had answers to your more soul-searching questions. They really are the things that trouble us all to some degree or other, though I must confess that, being a full-time Aristasian, they don't trouble me the way they trouble you, which means I find it hard to know the answers. Maybe the wise and wonderful Miss Barbara will be able to help us.

 But of course I did not mean that you should not try to protect yourself when you have to and when there is no one else to protect you. I only meant that we - none of us - should pretend that we don't need protection, because we all do. Even brunettes do. Actually, Sweeti, you really knew that all along, so you mustn't think too badly of yourself. Did you? Yes. Let me quote exactly what you said:
 
 

A censor is indeed needed, not to protect me, for I can do that myself, but to keep the Cocktail Bar unpolluted by the gratuitous, obvious, uncouth, passionless, Pit inspired and promoted ugliness that explicitly vulgarizes feminine desire for a masculinized, deracinated, atomized audience.
Now, leaving aside the little conditioned reflex ("not to protect me, for I can do that myself") what were you actually saying? You were saying that you wanted a censor to protect you from all that ugliness, grossness and masculinisation. Literally, you were saying "I want a censor not to protect me, but to protect me", and since the "not to protect" me part was only a conditioned reflex, we needn't worry about that, need we? Or perhaps it is fairer to say that you were saying "I want a censor not to protect me, but to protect us all". Now what could be more Aristasian than that? Of course, protecting us all includes protecting you.

 But to return to your earlier questions (without leaving this one!); what we all need is a wider earthly community, so that Elektraspace is not our only place of solace. We need a wider world where we can meet pettes and receive the support and protection and love and laughter that we all need. That is the real answer. It is simple, but not easy. We are working toward it, though.


Dateline: November 11, 1951, New Quirinelle Time

Protection

Oh I couldn't agree more with the lovely sagette about protection. It is one of the Pit's favorite poisons to give to girls. One eternally essential feminine quality is the deep need for protection, for only by being very protected can a girl grow into the divinely feminine creature Dea means for her to be. When a girl goes about believing that she can protect herself, she builds layer after layer of false protection that looks an awful lot like masculine manners, movements, and morals. This kind of "protection" takes her farther and farther from her true essence. It is part of the brainwashing, isn't it? Just as another time the Pit tells Maid that her essence (femininity) is trivial and that the essence of em-ee-en (masculinity) is standard, neutral, and normal. In an essentially-based civilization, that is in the real world, daily chivalry and good manners and respectful reverence for Woman create the protection girls need so that they can be girls.

That's why those of us who understand about the importance of femininity protect each other. I can't even think about how awful my life would be if I didn't have a protecting Mistress and so many friends who protect me from the ugliness of the Pit. The Aristasians who come to the Cocktail Bar, the ones who serve us, the ones I may never meet, the ones who helped begin this world, all surround me each day. They are a regiment of finely-dressed feminine warriors, encircling me and protecting me from all that is terrible. And they do the same for you as well, and for you and for you too, darling. See how very much we all need each other? With eternal love,

MISS BARBARA


Elastic

Perhaps this is a silly question, but haven't any of these dear blondes heard of a wonderful invention called elastic?
DIANA
Dateline: 11 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

Where Else but Elektraspace?

An introspective Sweetipops, here, my dazzling, delightful darlings! So many questions whirl around in my poor little blonde head, and so much gratitude fills my heart. I feel like the the most fortunate blonde in all of...well....where...? Where else might anyone experience, and share, rapturous, romantic, ravishing preludes to love, without explicit pornographic expression, than here at Aphrodite? Where else but in Elektraspace might a spirited pette like myself find, like your own scintillating self, such superior, sophisticated company: an appreciative, indulgent, and, I think, mostly enthusiastic audience capable of exploring, expressing, and experiencing the finer, more elevated heights of that which the Pit has relegated to the dark and fearful corners of our minds and subsequently characterized with unfair, unearned epithets of evil: seductive feminine sensuality? Where else might she reveal the very essence of her erotic nature, unabashedly and forthrightly, than to all of the precious, perceptive, and pretty pettes here at the Cocktail Bar? Could anyplace else be more appropriate for a pette to disclose the beauty, intensity, and passion of her attraction for another pette; the tantalizing tension, the passionate preliminaries, the romantic rapture, the fiery femininity that underlies every innocent girlish glance...aren't these feelings the very essence of a pette's most perceptive poetry and percipient prose?

 No one here, myself especially, would ever step over that boundary (though some of us might, playfully, tease at it!) because we know that what we have here is too special to trivialize and corrupt in any way. My beautiful, sensible, well-spoken Miss Barbara, I couldn't agree with you more. A censor is indeed needed, not to protect me, for I can do that myself, but to keep the Cocktail Bar unpolluted by the gratuitous, obvious, uncouth, passionless, Pit inspired and promoted ugliness that explicitly vulgarizes feminine desire for a masculinized, deracinated, atomized audience.

 And thank goodness for the delightful pin-ups! Here I thought that I was the only blonde who couldn't keep her panties on!

 Whew!

 Breathless...I remain,
Your Sweetipops,
BARBI


We agree with you in every particular but one. Nobody can really protect herself. That we "need no protection" and are "big enough to look out for ourselves" is one of the fallacies the Pit so loves to foster. Because it makes it so much easier to poison people. It is rather like saying "I'm tough enough not to need a bullet-proof vest". But, Sweeti, no-one, however tough, is bullet-proof without one. And the slogan. "I'm tough enough not to need a bullet-proof vest" was coined and is promoted by no one else but the moral gunmen of the Pit, precisely because they want to keep their victims defenceless by appealing to their vanity.

 I need protection. You need protection. We all need protection. We cannot be exposed to psychic poisoning without being poisoned, any more than knowing what arsenic is prevents it from affecting us when we ingest it. Even when we have cut off the bongo television from our homes, cancelled our subscriptions to Pit-newspapers, filled our homes with real magazines and so forth, we are still poisoned every time we leave the Hestia by lewd advertising posters, grotesque clothes and all the other visual propaganda of the Pit and its unpaid sandwich-men. I should be extremely grateful for a lot more protection than I am getting.

 All we can do at present is strive to make Elektraspace, like our own homes, one small protected place.


Dateline: 10 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

Pin-Ups for Blondes

I just knew it! This Cocktail Bar is going from bad to worse. I agree with Miss Barbara: where, indeed, has innocence gone? Dea knows, the language has become lurid enough, now we have pictures as well! Why are the only feminine archetypes displayed on these pages half-dressed blondes? Take Eathelynne, for instance: a blonde in a revealing laced corset, black stockings and a little velvet collar round her neck, like a lap dog. A hapless blonde in an elevator, groceries in arms, panties about her ankles, no where to hide or turn. That poor blonde at the side of the road, jack handle in hand, panties also at quarter-staff. Or the upskirt view of the wallpapering blonde on the ladder. [Pop here to see what Mehitabelle is talking about!]

 Blondes, blondes, blondes, that's all you brunettes have on your minds, blondes at their most defenseless and embarrassing moments! Oh, I know, (a brunette told me once), these pin-up pictures Miss Alice Lucy is plugging will most likely end up being pasted on barracks walls, inside dressing room lockers at hospitals, on the walls of brunette break rooms at department stores, (perhaps with the telephone numbers of available blondes of a certain reputation scrawled in lipstick directly beneath).

 Did it ever occur to you that there are other feminine archetypes to display, besides voluptuous blondes? Do you brunettes ever wonder just what pictures we blondes might keep in our photo albums? Well, wouldn't you like to know! As a good blonde myself, I hate disappointing brunettes, so I'll tell you! It's surprisingly pedestrian, really, no brunettes en deshabilée, for example. We blondes like our brunettes strong, clear-eyed, competent and smartly dressed. Brunettes with a mission, brunettes a girl can count on. My favorite pin-up is a photo of Miss Cherry Ames, do you know her? You probably are thinking of the heroine of the Quirrie girls' romance and adventure books, but I mean the real Cherry Ames, on whom the character is based. Here she is in 1941. She is the kind of brunette every blonde dreams of!

 MEHITABELLE, Blonde

 P.S.: If you're nice, I show you some more of my pin-up collection.


Me, a Dish?

Miss Joyce Ballantyne said nothing about my becoming a pin-up when she asked me the other evening if she could snap a few photos of me cleaning out my new picture album, but I guess I don't really mind, as cheesecake has always been one of my favorite treats and so I can't say I mind too terribly much having brunettes think me a dish. I had gone fleeming just before Miss Ballantyne dropped by, and had found this absolutely perfect Kadorian album, covered in maroon Morocco leather, but it was filled with the previous owner's picture collection. She must have been a make-up artist for a movie studio, judging from the unusual countenances - fantastic, real science-fiction stuff! But I consigned them all to the circular file, so now I have room for my own.

 EATHELYNNE, Blonde

 P. S.: I can't imagine why the management makes fun of telephone directories. Reading the Manhattan phone book is always quite elevating, (I'm reading it for the third time - up to "F" at the mome), a girl comes across some of the finest names and addresses in literature!


Dateline: 8 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

Girls who do Girly Art

Darling Pettes

 Who says its only em-ee-en that appreciate girly art? Who says it's only em-ee-en that paint it?

 We've just found some wonderful girl girly artists and we're longing to share them with you pettes. So here just to start is a delightful picture by Miss Joyce Ballantyne. But there are others, like Laurette and Irene Patten (who work together), and Mabel Rollins Harris.

 We found them in an absolutely wonderful book called The Great American Pin-Up which has over nine hundred of these glorious images in full colour, and you can get it from our sponsorettes (well, they aren't really our sponsorettes) New Lady Nylons.

 A plug? You bet! There aren't many books like this in the world, and we don't know any that are so gorgeous and such good value.

 This book embodies eroticism that is still innocent, and therefore still erotic. And that is what Aphrodite is all about. Well, don't just sit there! Go and see more!

 ALICE LUCY


Please Continue the Protection

Darlings,

 I for one am so very grateful to our lovely Cocktail Bar sagette for her censorship of the tellings of romance and courtship. I am Miss Barbara, you know, Miss, Miss, Miss, Miss; and that means, like other Aristasian Misses, I wish, wish, wish, to remain innocent of such things, until my own magical wedding day, when I will be a blushing bride. Who wants to start blushing too soon? If a girl uses up all her blushes in the local speakeasy, she might be as pale as her wedding gown on that most important of all days.

 But in all sobriety, there are very few places I can go and feel safe, and the Cocktail Bar is one of them, precisely because our kind sagette is willing to protect me from references to the Pit, from any kind of fleshy talk, and from various bongo vulgarities. Of course, I don't mean that you, Barbi, or you, Manuela or even the newlyweds over there in the corner (you two, stop it right now! Even married pettes shouldn't pet in public. Didn't your Brunette Mommies teach you better?!) , or that any of us would write such awful things; I was only defending the nobility and the virtue of censorship, which wasn't even under attack. But sometimes you just can't keep a good brunette from being chivalric even when it's not necessary!

 Oh, one more thing, my darling Sagette, I wouldn't mind even if you did think me a prude. I am rather fond of the purse-lipped Arcadian Miss, aren't you? Barmaid, please give our sweet censor another of whatever she's having and put it on my tab.

 Love and proper Arcadian kisses,

MISS BARBARA


Dateline: 6 November 1951 Quirinelle Time

Gamin Fascination

A distressed Sweetipops here, my dazzling darlings! First things first: my incandescent Inger, please convey this letter to my marvelous Manuela, at your earliest convenience, would you? Let me read it to you so there will be no mistakes, all right?

 "Manuela, my apprehensive angel, I do hope that your little sister, Marie-Louise, is quite all right. I sincerely hope that the time that we spent together the night her illness commenced in no way compromised her health, and that the news is most salutary. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you at this difficult time. As always, my marvelous mistress, I am at your complete disposal.

 On a lighter note, that you had the opportunity, in more ways than one, to enjoy my slip of the tongue, sometimes an embarrassment, at other times a distinct pleasure, is reward enough for me. The expression was boldly accepted in an earlier conversation, permitting me, so I thought, to flirt with the management policy once again, but, alas, with not nearly as much success. Your own clever conceit, a source of complete delight, my seductive sweetheart, displayed the wry wit, so charmingly characteristic of you, that I have sincerely come to love. I do hope that the management doesn't expect us to behave like little children. After all, they serve alcoholic beverages at Aphrodite, don't they? And...isn't bending the rules just a little bit all that we can be accused of?

 Penultimately, I am certain that your lovely secretary's reference to whatever you said about Popper was taken by the management for harsher criticism than you intended, if, indeed, you intended any at all. Perhaps you can elaborate when you are more able.

 Lastly, my adorable, amusing, amazing Manuela: I seriously understated your capabilities when I called you multifaceted; however, at the time, I didn't realize how magically metamorphic you really were. You are my gift from enchanting Elektraspace and I am genuinely grateful for every moment that I am able to spend with you, or, as the present circumstance illustrates, your surrogates, such as the iridescent Inger, a charming, young pette with a most remarkable curl to her lips when she smiles...

 All my love and kisses to you and yours in this time of crisis, hoping that nothing tragic is immanent and looking forward to seeing you again, soon,

 I remain,
your dedicated, etc."

 Now, my precious pette, last things last. You've done your duty, just like the good girl that you are. You know, it's odd, but I find myself, surprisingly, a little jealous that you are in such close company with my dearest darling, even if it is a strictly professional relationship...perhaps a little something left over from the Pit, but, then, after all, we each claim her as our mistress, don't we, and a mistress can't serve two...oh, well...something like that...and, at the same time, mysteriously, I am somewhat attracted to you because...well...there's something about you...that fragrance you're wearing, for example...and that gamin glow in your eye...it's so like my magical Manuela! La! Some more silly blonde thoughts...but, you know all about those, don't you? Here...let me get you a little something to calm you down after your hasty trip here before you deliver my message...barpette!...if you please! A glass of bubbly, perhaps?

 Fascinated, I remain,
Your Sweetipops,
BARBI


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