Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shallow Beauty

I want to cut my hair in a bob and get myself a diaphanous dress. That's what I get for reading Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil. Set in the 1920s among British colonials off doing their job in Hong Kong, Veil tells the story of Kitty Fane, who marries in haste, then takes comfort in the arms of a dashing colonial officer.

Midway through the story, Kitty risks becoming a decent person. This slim tale, told in a spare and serious tone, is actually more fun when Kitty is shallow.

No cow patties, which is amazing, given the subject.

And speaking of shallow things, I know people pay tribute to true beauty and deep beauty but, face it, shallow beauty makes for much better stories. And let's not blame our culture for shallow beauty's grip on our eyes. Nope, it is bred right into our genes. A certain little boy I know possessed an eye for beauty long before he tasted his first solid food. He could pick out the prettiest girl in the room and flash her his biggest smile. If his studio-shot pictures came back with a particularly happy face, I knew the photographer must have been quite a looker.

And speaking of the shallow versus the deep and the true, we feature a dessert that tastes like a granola bar, except that it's redeemed by a whole lot of chocolate.

In fact, in the last granola bar commercial I saw, the voice-over preached the bars' virtues--the fiber, the nutrients--while the camera came in close on its vices--thick scoops of peanut butter, slow-mo shots of a stream of dripping chocolate. This, my friends, was food porn.

Those granola bars couldn't be much worse than Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I suppose any candy bar will do. I'd better make them again soon, with Butterfingers, just to make sure. :-)

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