Monday, February 5, 2007
The Chap Manifesto
"Society is withering, like the fruit on some diseased vine. We have become the playthings of corporations intent on converting our world into a gargantuan shopping precinct. Pleasantness and civility are being discarded as the worthless ephemera of a bygone age - an age when men doffed their hats at the ladies, and small children could be counted upon to mind one's Jack Russell while one took a mild and bitter in the local hostelry.
Instead, we live in a world where children are huge, inelegant hooded creatures lurking on street corners; the local hostelry has been taken over by a chain and serves chemically-laced lager which aggravates the nervous system. Needless to say, the Jack Russell is no longer there upon one's return.
The Chap proposes to take a stand against this culture of vulgarity. By turning ancient rituals of courtesy and dress into revolutionary acts, the immaculately attired Anarcho-Dandyist can use the razor-sharp crease in his trousers to press home his advantage. Once presented with the dazzling sight of rakishly angled trilbies, gleaming brogues and exquisitely mixed dry martinis, hoi polloi's long-cherished nylon sportswear and strawberry milkshakes will suddenly lose their appeal.
It is time for Chaps and Chapettes from every walk of life to stand up and be counted. Naturally unsuited to all forms of exertion, we propose a Charmed Uprising based on excessive languor and delivering pleasantries such as "How do you do?" and "A very good day to you, madam!" with revolutionary zeal. Our methods will be stealth, civility and charm, our targets the behemoths of corporate blandification. We urge sympathisers to assist our cause by engaging in the following revolutionary acts:
Enter the purveyors of ‘fast food’ and request a table for two with “a pleasant view,” then order a breakfast of devilled kidneys, kedgeree and eggs Benedict.
In a high-street coffee chain which offers tea on its menu, ask for a pot of Lapsang souchong, a cup and saucer and some toast with Gentleman’s Relish.
In the premises of Mr Nike, ask to be measured for a suit by the head cutter.
In the type of high street hostelry that has a bouncer on the door, order a Pousse Café (the yolk of one fresh egg, 1/6 gill of yellow Chartreuse, 1/6 gill of Eau de Vie de Danzig, or Danziger Goldwasser).
Enter an ophthalmic optician and ask to see the monocle selection.
Enter an establishment offering “Internet chat rooms” and try to engage someone in conversation.
Offer “gentlemen of the road” (hobos) not money – which they might spend on food – but a nip of cognac from your hip flask."
Posted by s.a.