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Two Roberts, Gentlemen And Refinement

Robert Archambeau’s “Why You Are Not A Gentleman” is already in itself an erudite and highly engaging piece, but its impact was further reinforced by my having just started reading The Triumph Of Vulgarity: Rock Music In The Mirror Of Romanticism by Robert Pattison (no, not who you’re thinking of).

I’ve just started reading the latter but have already had several exciting encounters with the insight with which Pattison talks about, for instance, the vulgar or pantheism. Here’s one of my favorite passages, so far:

Refinement, the mode in which favor and grace have apprehended the world, has always made a point of filling the imagined vacuum of vulgarity with reasoned civilization. The Romantic revolution proclaims that the apparent emptiness is in fact infinite energy that needs no refined tinkering. 

It’s a simple thought, but whatever the logical validity of this argument, it certainly feels right to me, as I think about my thesis.

(And if we’re talking about gentlemen and vulgarity, I just can’t resist embedding the video to a song released the year I graduated from high school, a song I loved then and still love now, though it’s been years since I listened to the band:

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