21 August 2007

God Bless The Decadence of Finance

Below is the first thing that came up searching "Rubenesque" on Google. It's from some dating service:

"Today when most people think of an attractive woman in the fashion sense, they usually imagine a boney-hipped waif with hollow cheeks, narrow shoulders, and a rather unremarkable bustline. This is what commerce has brainwashed modern society into believing is the ideal woman.

It is a lie, propagated by marketing forces and fashion designers who use the obsession with a slender female form as a means to earn millions of dollars selling weight-loss products and other health routines.

But some of us know better.

There is another female form that has been idealised for centuries. She is the familiar hourglass shaped woman of wide hips, an ample bust, plump cheeks, soft-full lips, and a generally healthy profile of alluring curves.

She is the Rubenesque Woman. Elegant. Cultured. Educated and Beautiful. In fact, the very word "rubenesque" originates from the adorable plump women so frequently put to canvas by Renaissance Master Peter Paul Rubens.

Rubens paintings were so treasured because he painted the lovely women that he saw around him. In Ruben's time, what are today called full-figured were considered very attractive, if not the most sought after of all women.

A firm heavy bust, complimented by shapely hips were physical features that women of Ruben's day could be proud of.

In fact, the fashion of those times exaggerated these very features. Even slender women struggled into agonizingly tight-fitting corsets and brassiers that held the mammaries upright so as to enhance their lord-given curves."

Anyway, I didn't come here to write about "ample busts", I was just attempting to make the correlation betwixt money and decadence; being fat and being rich; disposable income and not giving a fuck.

There's a reason they have suit specially tailored as "the executive cut". Its basically the "portly" cut; for the fun loving Bentley pushing exec with the giant gut and the little chicken legs. (Think Greg Luzinski - Phillies/White Sox)

There is certainly decadence in finance. Whether its the frivolity of fast red sports cars, exorbitantly expensive watches, summer houses, condos, etc.... it comes with the territory.

Back in the day being "well-fed" meant you were rich; you had the money for excess; it was like a trophy.

"Fat Cat" is a term which describes a rich, greedy person who, due to ownership of large amounts of capital, is able to "live easy" off the work of others.

A high roller, is often referred to as a "whale" in the casino industry. A whale is a gambler who wagers large amounts of money and because of potential windfall these high sums can bring to the casinos, high rollers often receive increasingly lavish perks from casinos to lure them onto their gambling floors, such as free private jet transfers, limousine use and be allowed to stay in the casinos best suite.

Obesity was uncommon back in the day, and considered a ‘rich man’s disease’, and illustrations of the well-off showed the men with obvious paunches, and the women with well fed curves.

The rich paunch was a marker of idle ease, of having servants to do the grunt work, while the rich person sat behind a desk or lounged on the sofa giving orders.

The phrase ‘living high off the hog’ dates back to those days, where the more expensive (and fatter) cuts of pork (and beef) were eaten by the ones who could afford it, and the leaner, tougher and mostly fat cuts of the animal were eaten by the more thrifty people.

The majority of the populace was fairly thin, or at least ‘normal’ by today’s standards. The lower on the social scale you were, the thinner you tended to be.

The desirability of women was linked to her curves: the curvier the woman, the more desirable she was. Perhaps they instinctively understood that a malnourished and skinny female would be either infertile or incapable of nourishing a growing child.


This really has nothing to do with anything, save for I went to a meeting earlier today and the amount of food in this room was actually blinding; it was obscene! Maybe it was a show of force, to say our firm is doing just fine despite what the papers are saying... for look at this giant meal we've summoned for a late August meeting. It was very biblical. I felt bad for the caterers. They must've been cooking all goddamn night.

There was food, everywhere. I mean, E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.

Every flat surface, besides for the chairs, had some sort of food on it. I'm not exaggerating. I think there were a few strands of tossed spaghetti hanging from the lighting fixtures.

It was like that scene in National Lampoon's European Vacation when Audrey has the nightmare and they keep bringing her giant platters of food...

On the conference table there were 10 giant tin trays with the Sterno's going; they had baked ziti, some other pasta with mushrooms, roasted potatoes, some sort of stuffed chicken Florentine I think?, and some other roast beef situation. Then there were sandwiches lining the walls, mini-bagels with lox, some Chinese noodles, couscous, some cold pasta salads, then they had trays upon trays of dessert, wedding cookies, a chocolate layer cake with the name of the firm on it!!!!!!!!!!, some giant fruit display with fruit kebabs in a vase like a bouquet of flowers. It's fucking INSANE. Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah's Arc, the Seventh Seal, cats and dogs living together in harmony... it was like the Last Supper. This thing was catered better than a mobsters daughters wedding at the Oriental Manor.

Anyway, my point was...

I stood there with a plate, exfoliating my pores with 4 or 5 steaming ziti's for about an hour as some of the big dogs in the firm spoke candidly about this or that. I just stood there, listening. Holding a plate. It was Kafka meets Kids In The Hall; it was Kafka In The Hall. Everyone was doing it. No one wanted to eat. Everyone would just nod. And when some ham and egger would ask a question, you could feel the silent collective sigh of exasperation like "Will this asshole just sit down so I can eat my Kobe Roast Beef kebob and my chocolate fudge explosion!?"

Meanwhile the room was hot as hell with all these Sterno's blazing away, six trays of roast beef fogging up the mirrors; it was nuts. It was like temptation and patience and the Garden of Eden and the snakes and the apple and the tree of baked ziti and original sin and the whole thing was just very bizarre and biblical, as most corporate meetings tend to be. And of course everyone eats like a bird at these things, everyones shy, etc. Me included. I literally had 4 or 5 pieces of macaroni in my plate.

By the time all the big dogs were done speaking, I had to leave. I ate my 4 ziti's, took a last look at Las Vegas on Lexington, grabbed a bottle of Poland Spring and left.

If they'd had one of those fondue fountains, I'd still be there, having a seizure.

Here are some photos from the meeting: I was waiting for a DJ to come in and hand out those blow-up guitars and make us do a conga line or sing "Sweet Caroline" or some shit.


Unknown said...

yo is that brookes cat that live din my closet?

Gotham City Insider said...

hahaha! i miss that. i miss you coming home to that and even better, i miss B. barking at you for no reason while u watch HBall. classic.

Gotham City Insider said...

P.S. - Remember when we were moving shit out of your room and there was that Mexican way, way up in the rafters by the roof? hahaha