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Saturday, February 14, 2004

In Vino Sapiens

Latest word from Taki: comme toujours, defiant and inspiring.
"Wonderful evening among the nicest people and lotsa nostalgia for the Britain I first came to love and no longer give a damn about. Not a single hideous oik in sight, no grotesque Michael Jackson-worshipping morons, no cheap celebrities or It girls.

Needless to say, I drink too much firewater and join up with three crazy Russians, a viola player, a photographer and a writer at Annabel’s ... two nights later, back to Annabel’s ... party in honour of Jemima Khan — my Beatrice — celebrating her 30th birthday. But before I go on about the party, a few words about beauty, desire and unrequited love.

My love for Jemima is indeed unrequited, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring her beauty and sexiness. Love, unrequited or not, is ontological, being in its most vivid state, the faint whisper of hope, a promise forever elusive. Stendhal said that ‘beauty is the promise of happiness’. Well, not in my case. A recent book on beauty by John Armstrong claims: ‘The love of beauty involves a yearning which is not — and perhaps cannot be — fulfilled.’ That’s more like it. One thing’s for sure. Trying to define love in every tedious aspect, psychologically, physiologically, whatever, is an exercise American female academics indulge in while trying not to look into the mirror too much in case they throw up. Which reminds me.

The reason I was so sad when Jemima’s party ended was because there was not an unpleasant person in sight. Everyone was so young and good-looking, so full of life and fun. There were at least ten tens there, an unheard of achievement, and again, no oiks, no hacks, no publicity-seeking It tarts.

Looking back, the ancient Greeks had it right: Beauty may be granted by the Almighty, but it sure helps with the manners. Show me a very ugly creature and more often than not they’re pretty ugly inside too. Won't name names, but some of the hacks who relish attacking people who cannot answer back are among the ugliest looking. I’m thinking of the late A- and the awful things people have written about him. Perhaps if those hacks ever got laid, they might not be as envious of Alan. Not that there were any hacks at Jemima’s. A few celebrities like Hugh Grant and Rosario of Bulgaria (best-looking man of his generation), Zac Goldsmith, and lotsa beautiful young men and women."

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