Sunday, March 11, 2007

I didn't know those homes were there . . .

I'm glad the following quote came with attribution, although there is probably more attribution due to the researcher who accidentally dug it up for me.

I somehow came up with a string of quotations on sentimentality after having sent an email to my friend Roger (You may as well have this introduction, I find it hard to speak of any serious subject without including him, seeing as we have discussed everything that exists and some things whose existence simply can't be proven).

In the message that I sent Roger, I was replying to his answer on a sentimentality quote from Oscar Wilde; Oscar, tending to be a little hard-shelled at times, didn't appeal to Roger. So in order to show Roger the difference between rank sentimentality and true sentiment, I gathered a number of quotations, of which this was one. OK, spotlight off Roger and Oscar, they are shrinking from the attention.

What follows comments on something that I find particularly revolting, which may explain my reluctance to involve myself in many wonderful real-estate investments.

My feeling when I hear a realtor speak of "finding a home" for me, is parallel to that of Hamlet while thinking of the decaying jester Horatio who doted on him in his youth -- "My gorge rises at't."

While there may be some influence from another euphemism referring to what could happen to me if I express some of my views publically as I do here, I don't suppose I am as worried about someone "sending me to a home" after the finding of it as I am about people who thing certain things can be acquired without the "sweat equity" of emotional investment.

There is the most revolting Realty Agency promotion that shows on my local (Washington, DC) television stations frequently, wherein some fellow says "I didn't even know those homes were there." Unless he is talking about institutions to remove those who are unappreciated from our sight, I doubt that those homes were there. In that spirit, I would add to the list below, the expression "halfway homes" instead of "halfway houses" used to reintroduce some of the socially disadvantaged once again into what is perceived to be the society of "mainstream culture."

. . . Those whose goal it is to sell domestic dwellings hope to persuade their patsies that a house and a home are identical, and thus advertise "a lovely quarter-of-a-million-dollar home." But since a housewrecker differs significantly from a homewrecker, the inference is clear that house and home mean different things, although the new gentility and sentimentality, issuing in the new euphemism, labor constantly to efface the difference. The Philadelphia Inquirer has spoken recently of boarding homes, and it will probably not be long before we hear of whorehomes, homes of prostitution, and bawdy homes. ATTRIBUTION: Paul Fussell (b. 1924), U.S. historian, critic, educator. "Travel, Tourism, Etc.," Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays, Ballantine (1989).

Ernest Clayton Cordell, Jr.
E-mail: ernie.cordell@highstream.net
Yahoo/Geocities Site: http://www.geocities.com/ecordell
Web page redirect at: http://come.to/ernie

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