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Unlikeability master.   Leave a comment

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Was just reading people’s opinions of Michael Gove and his slappable face, about which someone who understands Dutch explains “This particular time of face would be classed ’bouten billig’ which refers to the face cheeks having an unsettling ‘buttock-like’ quality.” Someone else quotes this poem, which I hadn’t seen before.

How Beastly the Bourgeois Is
By D.H. Lawrence

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species–

Presentable, eminently presentable–
shall I make you a present of him?

Isn’t he handsome? Isn’t he healthy? Isn’t he a fine specimen?
Doesn’t he look the fresh clean Englishman, outside?
Isn’t it God’s own image? tramping his thirty miles a day
after partridges, or a little rubber ball?
wouldn’t you like to be like that, well off, and quite the thing?

Oh, but wait!
Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another
man’s need,
let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life face him with a new
demand on his understanding
and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.
Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.
Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new demand on his
intelligence,
a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species–

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable–
and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life than his own.

And even so, he’s stale, he’s been there too long.
Touch him, and you’ll find he’s all gone inside
just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow
under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings
rather nasty–
How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp England
what a pity they can’t all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England.

Ironically, there’s something about Gove’s expression that shrieks of being disliked as a child.