To say that for a priest, Tutor is a bit macho, in a 1540's kind of way, is putting it mildly. His true calling was Dungeon Master to the Stars in Wealth Bondage; the priest gig was just because in his day, under primogeniture, the career choices for a younger son were not many. The army, the church, or the law. The priests were the biggest drunkards, gluttons, and whoremongers at Oxford so he went with them for his Masters of Divinity. In our times, he would have been an attorney.
Today, I was talking to him about prose style, the style of our Noble Trade, as Wisdom Consultants to the World's Wealthiest. I was asking him what he thought the right style should be for writing about dynastic families and to help them flourish, from our position as spiritual guides and trusted underlings. I asked if it seemed to him that the prevailing style was more masculine than not, even from the pens of the women. "You mean the virile plain-style?, Phil?," he asked. "Yes," I said. "You mean the prose of the honest man?" "Yes, I said. "You mean the prose that descends to us from insiders in the courts of Emperors and kings, like Horace, Seneca, and Dryden?" "Yes," I said. "You mean the prose of the Courtiers to Louis The Sun King, as it descends from...." "Well, yes, Tutor," I said. "You mean the prose of the coffee house, the prose of the earliest English magazines, like those of Dr. Johnson, Addison, and Steele?" "Yes, Tutor," I said. "And all these highly educated, highly professional women write it. Even when writing about family, and surely that is when we ought to be speaking female. And if they did we could all learn from them." "You mean," said Tutor, "that these females you mention, who do family governance and dynamics, write the prose of Strunk and White, at best the urbane prose of those New Yorker Talk of the Town pieces that E.B. White did, in imitation of Horace, the occasional essay?" "Yes," I said. "The best women in the field sometimes say that the field is male dominated, but they have internalized those very conventions, and don't need to be dominated, because they now quite handily dominate themselves in favor of dynastic, hegemonic, mostly patriarchal power and its prose." "Well," said Tutor, "domination is certainly an interesting topic. Which females do you have in mind?" But we were interrupted.
Audrey hobbled over to Tutor, like a pintsized miscreant in foot manacles. The shoelaces of her faded red Keds, were tied together. "Audrey," said Tutor, "what are you doing, kid?" Says Audrey, "I tied my shoelaces for fun, and now they are all knotted up and I can't get them apart!" At that she almost toppled over. Tutor picked her up and put her on his lap, working the knots with his deft fingers until they loosened.
Now, Audrey has called Rex her "mascot," and is doing her cheerleader routine for some World Class team in her own imagination. The crowd is roaring. The best of her moves is the cartwheel, from one end of her room to the other.
Now, where were we?