from Part II of The New House of Fame–by Paul Burgess
Some days you’ll feel the bar is set too high,
For Fame requires such grueling daily steps:
…mascara put by pros above each eye…
…reclining while a stylist gently preps
Your hair. And who’d not rather ail or die
Than talk to teams of image-shaping reps?
To these, I’d add the pain of staying fit—
A torture even if you’re paid for it.
“In ways, it’s best to be among the poor,”
It’s said by stars who envy woes they* lack,
Along with, “Who critiques the clothes they wore Or how they decorate a humble shack? They have some peace when walking through the door. But it’s reported when I eat a snack. They also have such painless, easy jobs And liberty to always look like slobs.
*The poor. [Poetic license is my poor excuse for ambiguity;]
II. Oh, double-edged and schizophrenic Fate, You mixed up mess I call both “charm” and “curse”! This house contains so many things I hate, Yet, well I know I’d rather have the hearse— If not a deathly catatonic state— Than leave behind my plat’num-plated purse. Sometimes I wish I’d not been born Or that I’d never leaked my private porn. *”
“Decadent” While I grant that common usage can change words’ meanings, I object to using a word that means “in a state of decay” to signify richness of flavor. It seems that people at some point associated rich food with the extravagant, wasteful spending that ruined some empires. Perhaps people read about the decadence of the Roman Empire, for example, and associated “luxurious food” with the luxuries owned by the wealthy.
Examples of misuse: 1.This chocolate is rich anddecadent.
2. Oh, how I enjoy decadent sweets!
Many people seem to think that “downfall”—a term best reserved for the literal or figurative destruction of powerful nations and people—has replaced all the words meaning “trivial flaw,” “slight misfortune,” and “minor weakness”. Examples of misuse:1.He is a nice person, but he is sometimes late . Tardiness is his only downfall.
2. Although he is lactose intolerant, he could not resist drinking milk. One day he drank some and had an upset stomach. His love of dairy products was his downfall.
[Ambition led to the downfall of Julius Caesar. To be assassinated at the peak of one’s powers is to experience a downfall. The milk-drinking protagonist of “Example 2”, on the other hand, will most likely enjoy a long, healthy life after recovering from his minor bout of gastrointestinal discomfort]
Two words still in use combined to form this originally xenophobic term. Like the Ancient Greeks, who considered all non-Greeks “barbarians,” the Early Modern Brits thought of all outsiders as enemies and referred to other kingdoms as places where the “foe reigns”. [Pronunciation of the first syllable has changed gradually from “foe” to “for”].
The earliest recorded use of the term appears in Gilliam Tremblestaff’s tragedy Spamlet: “As long as Philip wears the crown in Spain, That land I’ll loathe and always call ‘foe-reign'”.