Thursday, July 5, 2007

Greatest Obituary Ever, or, Why I Do Not Understand the Europeans

I take great delight in reading the obituaries of wealthy Europeans. They are filled with all manner of innuendo and intrigue, and offer glimpses into a decadent class of people that we can only dream of emulating here in the States. Today's Telegraph does not disappoint, offering up the obituary of one Gottfried Alexander Leopold Graf von Bismarck-Schonhausen. The entire piece is classic, but here's an especially noteworthy passage

When not clad in the lederhosen of his homeland, he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women's clothes, set off by lipstick and fishnet stockings. This aura of dangerous "glamour" charmed a large circle of friends and acquaintances drawn from the jeunesse dorée of the age; many of them knew him at Oxford, where he made friends such as Darius Guppy and Viscount Althorp and became an enthusiastic, rubber-clad member of the Piers Gaveston Society and the drink-fuelled Bullingdon and Loders clubs.
Really, you have to admire anyone who casually uses the phrase "jeunesse dorée of the age" in conversation.