The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
 ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION

Dateline: 22 November 1951 Quirinelle time

Visual Jingles

Golly, pettes, the only way I know to get the Ajax jingle out of one's mind is to replace it with another. So who can ever forget When It Rains, It Pours, from the Morton Salt ad? Not the slogan, sillies, the sweet little girl with the umbrella, trailing salt. I think she's adorable. Here she is in a Kadorian rainshower.

 MEHITABELLE


Squirrels, Lambs and other Blonde Talk

Hello, Mina! This is Ellhedrine! I've just come over to your seat because some one said you wanted to know about my squirrel coat - about how it is made, I mean. I say, you look quite brunette to me, but it might just be the light. Rather a definite pette, you seem, which always makes me go a tiny bit weak at the knees. But that isn't what I came to say, is it?

 My squirrel. Well here is what I know. I am not a furierette, so I might be wrong; but as I understand it, Aristasian squirrels' coats grow thicker and bushier all through the winter, and then, when the warm weather starts to come back, they loosen, and eventually they are able to wiggle out of them, and underneath is a sleek new spring coat. So the trick is to find the discarded winter coats, which isn't very hard with squirrels, but with some things, like mink is very hard, because they leave them in all sorts of terribly difficult places in the mountainous regions where they live. And then you need to find such a lot of them, which is why mink is so expensive.

 And some one said I should tell you about meat and where that comes from. Well, it comes from eggs, of course. Take lambs, for instance. The blonde ones lay their eggs all over the fields, mostly near hedges or trees. They can't lay eggs unless there are brunette lambs there too, so they are just left in their fields to kiss (or whatever lambs do) and lay eggs - great big eggs with soft shells, not a bit like hens' eggs - but you must have seen them. Well, about nine tenths of these eggs are sterile and can never turn into dear little woolly lambs, and those ones can be cooked in all sorts of ways, and they make the most lovely, tender lamb-meat. Of course, no one ever cooks the fertile eggs because they are relatively rare and much needed for making new fluffy lambs.

 Well, I think most animals lay eggs, don't they? I think even people do, except our eggs are more like pretty bubbles that float. That is what I've heard, anyway, but of course I don't know because a blonde is never told things like that until she is married. Even my aunt, who is twenty-eight and unmarried has to go out of the room if the married blondes are talking about that sort of thing (which they don't very often). Brunettes, even youngish ones pretend they know all about it but won't tell us. But I'm quite sure they don't really. Who would tell them? Their brunette mummies? Is it likely?

 It is topping to find somepette here of my own age. You see, I am not nineteen yet either. In fact, I'm not even - but I'd better stop in case I get escorted out.

 Perhaps you are blonde. I wish I could tell! But listen, I must be fair and warn you that even if you are brunette (and I think you are a lovely brunette if you are), I am not eligible and no one must kiss me. You see, I am in love with Miss Barbara. Now, for goodness' sake don't mention it to any one, because I've told her a teeny little fib and said I'm not. But you see, she is a scholar like me, and of course she can't take me seriously just now, but when I've been to Milchers, I shall be coming back, and she will ask me to marry her. She is going to write lots of wonderful books and I am going to be her research assistant and right hand.

 Well, perhaps one or two brunettes can kiss me before then, because a girl ought to know a little of life, oughtn't she? But when I am married I shall never even look at a brunette. When I meet them I shall cast my eyes down like this. Doesn't that look frightfully demure? Is it effective? Of course it will drive brunettes wild to be near a blonde so terribly attractive and so utterly, utterly unattainable. Oh, Mina, isn't that the naughtiest thing to think? And really, it isn't true, because I don't think I've got it at all. Isn't that sad? Should I walk with more of a blonde wiggle, do you think? Or wear more lip-rouge?

 Golliwogs, Mina, I think perhaps you are a blonde. I don't think I could talk to a brunette like this! What a pity! I was going to let you buy me a Golden Dragon. They do look delightful. Can I smell yours? Ooh! just the scent makes me quite squiffy. And gosh, they're three shillings! Imagine a drink being three shillings! I suppose that is because it comes all the way from Rayapurh or somewhere.

 By the way, if you want to say my name in the proper Eastern way you should pronounce the "h" - but almost nobody does. I wish they would, though. It is much more romantic. When I first went to school, my form mistress called out my name "Elledrine", and I said, "O, revered mistress, may I humbly submit that my name is not Elledrine, but Ellhedrine", and I said it with a lovely Eastern "r" sound and a sweet, clipped "i", and all the girls laughed like anything - barbarians! And the mistress just said "Very amusing Elledrine" as though she was doing me a favour not putting me in detention. And that was that. Quirinelle is like that, I'm afraid. I am glad Milchers is in Trent.

 ELLHEDRINE


Thank you for this most enlightening exposition, which we do not think counts as re-opening the forbidden subject. And of course, dear Mina, it will be in order for you to respond if you wish.

Ajax

Dears,

 Someone save me from this jingle that keeps running through my head!

 Use Ajax, (boom boom)
The foaming cleanser (bababababababum)
flush the dirt right down the drain.

 Even with up-to-date commercials a jingle that haunts you can be so annoying!

 I 'spose that was naughty of me, because now all of you pettes won't be able to get it out of your pretty little heads.

 Love and Sorry,

AMY de CULVER


They may be annoying, but they're so racinating. Remember that while they're irritating you, they're also flushing that bongo psychic poisoning right down the drain!

Chansons

As long as we are all quoting poetry and song lyrics that we love, here are some things that I hold dear to my heart.

Cantique a l'Epouse (Song of the Wife)

Spouse with the radiant face,
Now the evening is descending
And reflecting into your eyes
Rays the colour of blood.
The magical twilight
Envelops you in a rosy glow.
Come and sing me a canticle,
Lovely as a dark rose;
Or better still, do not sing,
Come to rest on my bosom.
Let me kiss your arms,
Pale as the blooming dawn;
The darkness of your eyes draws me to you,
Trembling darkness, mysterious,
Sweet like your smile,
Happy and sad.
And suddenly the depth
Of the devoted past
The mystery and grandeur
Of our true love
Unfolds in the center of your thoughts,
Like a vast valley
Where the lonely woods
Dream in profound silence.

 The poem is by Alberta Jounet (in French originally, of course), and has been set to a lovely melody by a Frenchwoman named Chausson.

 The next thing is a scrap of a poem that has become my mantra, so to speak (those Vintessians--is that right? anyway, those girls in Vintesse--taught me that word; they love all things Eastern!); the poem is by E. Pound.

 What thou lovest well
is thy true heritage
What thou lovest well
Shall not be reft from thee.

 I have embroidered that onto a piece of silk and framed it; it is hung in my house, so that those words are the first one sees when entering my home.

 Love,
DIANA


Cocktail Conversion

I shan't mention the three letter f-word again, promise! However I cannot help but express my thanks to the learned Editrix for her charming, considered reply. I feel that we are in blissful agreement and there is nothing about which I would dream of quibbling. (I especially liked that "trying to prevent deaths from the common cold in the middle of a typhoid epidemic" simile - how true.) In fact I am so flattered that some scribbling by little me would receive such gentle consideration, I fear I am blushing as rosily as if I had been "caught without them". My! What polite pettes there are to be found here - I've never before encountered such feminine grace. One last thing: the sagette mentions veganism. Yes, I am one (a vegan, that is), but haven't brought it up - in order to avoid personalising too much - and so as not to give the impression that the Aphrodite had fallen victim to invasion by a rampaging Hindu Cultural Society...

 But on to more serious matters. For as the other pettes savour the decadence of fleeming, I have decided that unless otherwise informed, there is no such thing as an allergy to alcohol in Aristasia. Oh, it's not that the non-alcy Blonde Bombshell is so unpalatable, really. I suppose it could get a bit sickly, but I find it is greatly improved by being taken in little sips from a coffee spoon, like cod liver oil. I have been getting some funny looks though... (Well. There is another silly blonde habit which one ought to set about banishing before one's 19th birthday, I suppose...)

 Oh and talking of fleeming; I had this very day the pleasure of purchasing a delightful, ducky 'Britannia and Eve' maggie from 1952. And amongst it's manifold charms was a cookery feature on "The Bland Diet." But curiously enough, I could find not one reference to Ariadne - nor to any other member of the Bland household, for that matter. How very odd!

 Now about the drink. Perhaps I ought to have something really dramatic - to celebrate my shocking conversion to Vice (after all, I do sometimes worry that I'm a bit too much of a good girl). I wonder; can the Cocktail Bar furnish that mysterious, exotic beverage of legend, the Golden Dragon?


It has just occurred to me that I have very probably been a dizzy little fool and left my unhallowed name off of the last thing I sent ("I shan't mention..." or something is the first line.) First I'm saying veal is made out of sheep, and now this. Gosh, and I haven't even started drinking yet! Anyway it's Mina, and I shall just have to put it all down to overwork or an excess of decorating...

 MISS MINA KUMARI


But, Miss Mina, how could we not have recognised you? And we are pleased beyond pleasure by your grace and charm. But from sugar and cream to a Golden Dragon? Do you not, as they say in Miralene, climb the mountain with a single step? Do drink it carefully, I beg you, for I have heard they are no light matter. Nor will you find ours so perfect as those from Rayapurh, but Miss Ithelia is kind enough to tell us that they are, which means, I dare to hope that they are not so very bad.

 Dear bar-blonde, a Golden Dragon for Miss Mina, and in the proper goblet.

 Oh, and since you are a Hindu, may we take the liberty of recommending to your attention (if by chance you are not already familiar with them) the writings of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy, who expresses very learnedly the perennial philosophy that lies at the heart of all tradition; not least that of Aristasia.


Dateline: 21 November 1951 Quirinelle time

Blonde and Brunette Schools

Sweetie-pettes! Do you ever read up-to-date schoolgirl books? Of course you do! They are really the only books where the entire story takes place exclusively among girls. And some of them are so romantic. Well, I am reading a delightful one at present called A Disgrace to the Fourth by Christine Chaundler. And guess what? I have just noticed something I never quite realised before. It is so obvious when you think about it. There are two quite definite kinds of up-to-date schoolgirl books. Namely and viz., those set in brunette schools and those set in blonde schools. A Disgrace to the Fourth, for example, is clearly set in a brunette school. The girls are always "ragging", crying or being afraid is a disgrace. Form rivalries and practical jokes abound. The central character is a delicate, sensitive, timid girl, but she stands out from the others just because of that. She is obviously one of those sensitive brunettes we all love.

 In other books - very notably those by the gorgeous Angela Brazil, the stories are clearly set in blonde schools. The girls are terribly sensitive and sentimental, always trying to be good, never playing pranks, adoring their mistresses and dreadfully upset by the mildest disapproval.

 I must say I like blonde books best, but I love brunette ones too.

 ALICE


Fleeming News

We have just found something at a fleem we were wanting most awfy. Nothing dreadfully expensive. In fact, quite the reverse. Christmas wrapping paper, cheap Christmas wrapping paper. Because Aristasians may have expensive tastes in many things, but we like our Christmas paper cheap. We hate this heavy, practically-glossy five-bob-a-sheet grooshy Pit-stuff. Real wrapping paper is thin and crinkly and printed in bright unsophisticated colours, and is sold on street corners in Real London, along with hot chestnuts. Do you know the stuff I mean? It it the same in Culveria? Well, anyway, we haven't been able to get real wrapping paper for about two years, but this week at a fleem, we saw a supply of it and bought the whole lot (it was only threepence-halfpenny for ten sheets - thats six shillings bongo-money). It is so important to get these little things right.

Oh, and on Barbi's question of not being able to afford a Real fridge. Well here is a picture of ours. We weren't lucky enough to get it free, but we did get it for only 15/- (that's pronounced fifteen shillings, for those that don't know the Empress's Aristasian) which is about 15 Pit-pounds or 22-ish Pit-dollars. I guess we could have recouped the cost by selling our old fridge if we'd had one. We got it by advertising in the Pit-local paper. It took a while, but it was worth it. I touched up the gold lettering with gold paint, and the interior is a lovely blue with more gold lettering.

 Remember, if you want the very best, you have to be prepared to pay a little less!

 ANNALINDE


Thank You

Just a little note to thank Ellhedrine for the lovely Ithelia passage she posted. I have never seen any classic Aristasian literature before and it quite thrilled me. How lucky to be studying such magical verse in school every day (even if you do have to wear a green uniform). Do post some more.

 JANET


Golden Vanity

Dear Hearts All,

 Here I've lived in my sweet little Trentish home for over a month and I haven't told you a thing about it! So, I will right now. But I can't tell you everything at once, so I'll just tell you about one little thing. My vanity. I don't mean my personal vanity, you know, the kind that a girl might have that causes her to think that She Knows Best, better than her superiors or even Dea Herself. No, I mean my sweet little vanity, where I primp and preen in the mornings. It's quite glorious really, and it makes a girl feel so feminine to sit down and apply her makeup and perfect her coif. I have sitting on the dresser, in front of the mirror, several up-to-date jars of cosmetics that I keep filled. Real make up jars are quite lovely and delicate and sweet. And right next to the makeup is a picture of Our Lady to remind me where loveliness truly comes from. More later, darlings.

MISS BARBARA


More on Furs

Honeys, I hope you won't be offended and give me an awful wigging - but I am also guilty of being an ethical vegetarian - pained all through to my very soul by all forms of cruelty, including that of vulgarly slaughtering animals for fur. I'm sure we all know about the extraordinary number of animals that are subjected to the masculine enforcement of violent death in order to make just one little mink coat. This happens instead, that is, of employing the great Feminine skill of artifice - to fashion beautifully seamstressed garments of mock fur.

 The sagette speaks of symbolism; well perhaps symbolism could be put to no nobler occupation than that of celebrating racinated Feminine style and culture without the foul contamination of masculine bloodlust. Aristasia seems capable of so many fantastical things - is it not capable of producing a fabulous sort of fur which is femme-made and yet Real?

 The poison of the Pit and that of the masculinism that led up to it I find to be endemic in the animal products industries - and I feel the poison assaulting me from those industries as much as from any other Pit-institution. (After all, I certainly don't believe the veal pens in which lambs are tortured and fed chemicals to be a happy relic of elegant feminine culinary/aristo- logical expertise.)

 In the sagette's reply to Amy de Culver, there is a reference to Hitler Youth which confuses me slightly. Was the sagette making a broad reference to all masculinising forces of the Pit - or was she indicating that all anti-fur campaigners in particular are Nazi-like? Humbly, I hope it was the former. Because I am sure that at least a good number of active campaigners against fur are also vegetarians and ones opposed to all forms of grievous cruelty to sentient beings. And while I take all points about Pit ideas of 'acceptability' being guided by masculinist notions of 'necessity' - it does seem clear that those I refer to above would have some justification in arguing that it is more about economic class. I.e. they feel, wrongly or not, that they have more right to criticise those with the money to spend on furs (and those persons, I must add, could be spending that money in the gracious Feminine virtue of Charity) than they do to criticize people who may have just enough to spend on food - and could not buy furs if they spent the money for their children's education on it. Indeed, to be seen to be attacking such people for consuming products of the meat industry is quite a good way of bringing the damnation of the Pit mass-media down upon oneself.

 Also humbly, I think it very likely that the great majority of anti-fur persons are quite uneducated and misled about the element of masculinisation in the "Left" in general and are ergo pretty unaware of the convenient 'easy target' status of those things regarded as being in-the-feminine-domain.

 Of course, any fur-opposers who are hypocritical (in their condemnation of some forms of animal cruelty and indifference to others) fill me with the very utmost disgust. And I find no fault in a girl wearing fur that was made pre-Eclipse. In fact, I would wear it myself if it appealed to me aesthetically, (and if I were not that kind of amazonian) for like Barbi I see no morality in waste.

 And at last, one can never forget the religious/traditional aspect of distaste about fur. If, for instance (and to keep things in an Aristasian context), someone came to the heralded Land of the Rule of Blondes and planted a fur factory there - and the citizennes protested - well, no one would compare them to the Hitler Youth, one hopes...

 MISS MINA KUMARI
Truly apologetically soliloquising away again...


Darling! How could we be cross with you when you are so obviously sincere and genuinely compassionate?

 Actually I do not think we are in much real disagreement here. First of all, as far as all real-life Aristasians are concerned, we only wear furs made before the Eclipse. There may or may not be ethical reasons for this in each individual case, but in any case we all do it for the same reason that all our other clothes are pre-Eclipse.

 Vegetarianism is a personal decision and we have never criticised it. We have criticised people who accept meat-eating but have the temerity to tell other people not to wear furs; and we particularly criticise the fact that this stance has become the standard pseudo-morality of the Pit. We are saying that in this case, concern for animals has nothing to do with the question. The Pit uses the arguments and campaigns of those who may indeed be consistent in themselves for its own ends, which we repeat, have nothing whatever to do with concern for animals and everything to do with the attack on femininity and superiority.

 The whole effect of the Pit anti-fur campaign has been to make women afraid of wearing furs, but not of eating meat, and to make many people believe that wearing furs is a "sin" and eating meat is not. You will agree that this position is wholly illogical, not to say hypocritical, and while it may not be the aim of all anti-fur campaigners, it is the aim of the Pit which uses them (by selective publicisation) for its own ends; ends which, we reiterate once again, have nothing whatever to do with concern with animals and everything to do with the suppression of feminine superiority.

 Certainly the Pit mass-media would savage those who attacked meat-eaters rather than fur-wearers. Its whole aim is to manipulate campaigners into serving its ends. Nevertheless, either killing animals is wrong or it isn't. If it is then meat eating is wrong, and the economic class argument is very flimsy (only a small proportion of meat eaters are really poor and even they could probably live more cheaply by not eating meat). Hundreds of thousands of times more animals are killed for meat than for fur. If "saving animals" were really in question one would have to concentrate on meat. In terms of numbers, campaigning against fur "to save animals" is like trying to prevent deaths from the common cold in the middle of a typhoid epidemic. From any point of view, fur is only a symbolic* issue, and it is an easy target precisely because attacking it serves the real symbolic aims of the Pit, while attacking meat does not. Attack fur and you have the Monster on your side. But believe me, the Monster is using you, not the other way around.

 You may also be interested to know that many Aristasians who are meat-eaters, do try to avoid animal products prepared in unnecessarily cruel ways - such as veal. Many of us try to buy real free-range eggs and chickens that were decently reared on open smallholdings and homesteads, but bongo "health regulations" have made that increasingly difficult. By the way, isn't veal calves, not lambs?

 Your idea about femme-made fur that is real but not animal is a very interesting one and it may be perfectly correct. You see, we know very little about the real Aristasia (I mean the one where there really are no em-ee-en) we aren't even sure about what they call the Facts of Life, so gosh, young Ellhedrine's squirrel coat may really have nothing to do with actually skinning a squirrel. We could try asking her, but often they don't quite understand the question.

 I confess, I have grave doubts about vegetarianism in this fallen world and in the Kali Yuga (you realise, don't you, that unless you are a strict vegan your diet still involves the slaughter of animals?). But it does seem to me that in a more ideal world based wholly on the feminine principle, killing of any sort might be neither necessary nor serve any purpose. It is a question we have thought about many times.

 With love and respect.


* "Only symbolic" please do not think that we are thus denying the importance of symbolism and symbolic actions. In truth they have far more power - for good and evil - than the supposed "hard practicalities" of the world. That is why the Pit is so concerned with symbolic issues like fur.

And More

Darlings All

 Just one more itsy bitsy thing to say about furs. Well, it's not really about fur, it's about how some of you might feel about fur; actually, it's not really about how you might feel about fur, it's about how you might feel about anything.

 Do you remember the seminar paper on Substance and Essence from the Feminine Academy? As that paper so insightfully stated, everything -- from people to books, from ideas to toasters, from friendships to cultures -- is a manifestation of substance and essence, everything including strongly-held opinions on matters such as wearing fur. What is essential is what we call our True Selves, and it is by nature what could have been manifested in us during the historical 1950s, if we had lived then, or during ancient matriarchal times if we had lived then, for essence is an eternal force. Anything about a girl that would have been manifested in the real world is part of her essential self. Anything about her that could only have been true because she lived after the Eclipse of Civilization, is, quite simply, the substantial manifestation of her personality; put even more bluntly, no matter how deeply she believes a certain opinion to be part of her True Self, if that opinion is a popular one in the Pit and is unheard of in the Real World, she is simply acting as a good puppet for the Pit-puppeteers. She has merely repeated it, having learned it from the moment in time in which she had the misfortune to exist.

 As we move closer and closer to our True Selves, as we learn how to look, act, move, and think as real girls from the real world, we are snipping away at those puppet strings, and perhaps for the first time in our lives learning how to think for ourselves rather than allowing the Pit to do our thinking for us.

 I do hope I haven't been too, too school marmy today. Ariadne! How delightful to have you back; Ellhedrine said it best when she said the Cocktail Bar simply isn't the jolly old place it should be without Our Own Ariadne. Do you usually win at Monopoly, darling? I can't imagine it, except there is the fact that you play with other blondes, but they surely can't be blonder than you! And Ramona, lovely to see you again. Barbi, keep being astonished, darling, as long as you keep warming the place with your presence. Barmaid, something warm please, anything for sipping.

 Love to all,

MISS BARBARA 


Hypocrisy

I could not agree more about the hypocrisy of Pit anti-fur-ism. Recently some friends and I were walking in the dreadful Pit. when some ghastly little bongo bee-oh-whys of about fifteen started shouting "murderers" at us for wearing our up-to-date furs. They were just ordinary truly apologetically soliloquising away again...-yobbos, undoubtedly about to go home and eat chickens bred in broiler-units or hamburgers or such. Of course, their "opinions" were simply those fed to them by the Pit mass-media who simply use this issue to attack feminine superiority.

 Not, I should add, that I mind in the least. If it weren't for these types we should never be able to buy our real furs so cheaply. And far from being worried about the reaction of Pit-oiks, I have found a lovely little teeny over-the-shoulder fur that doesn't keep me warm at all. What is the good of that, you may ask. Well, it means that even on the hottest day I do not have to go into the Pit without showing some fur. I regard it as a little badge to show the bongos that I am the enemy of their small, ugly world and all it stands for.

 JULIA



The Cocktail Bar management wishes to thank all those who have written about fur recently (including our redoubtable Editrix) and wishes humbly to submit that this topic is perhaps becoming a little intense for Cocktail Bar conversation. Let one side bear in mind that over half the girls here are wearing furs, but they are all pre-Eclipse furs, so there is no need to worry about them. Let the other side bear in mind that, whatever may be the case elsewhere, our unfurry friends here are firm opponents of the Pit and not Enemy collaborators; and let us lay the subject to rest for now
 ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION


Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.
NEXT ARCHIVE
PREVIOUS ARCHIVE

BACK TO BELLADONNA