Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Episcopal Arachne

Ruth Gledhill's blog had a neat little tidbit about The Madwoman of Second Avenue:
Incidentally, a source tells me that at one of these recent committee meetings at St Andrew's House, one KJS whiled away the boring hours by doing her needle-point. I stand willing and hopeful of being corrected on this, because the thought that this source might just have been telling the truth is almost beyond bearing.
No correction has been posted so far. This rumour led to a flurry of evocations of Mme Defarge, the villainess of "A Tale of Two Cities". But Mme Defarge was a knitter, not an embroideress. Instead, I immediately thought of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was famous for her embroidery. It was said that she used to embroider during meetings with her council or cabinet. And she was also a woman who seemed to ricochet from disaster to disaster and botched every job she tried.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Oh what a tangled web she weaves . . .”

Ellie M.

12:16 pm  
Anonymous Antique said...

I was sort of thinking Shelob, myself, given the title of your article.

9:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our priest encountered the Bishop of Nevada at a meeting. She did indeed sit knitting or doing needlepoint throughout the discussion. At one point, though, she put her work down and addressed the point at hand -- with flair.

I know trial lawyer who likewise use their personal idiosyncracies to disarm the opposition. One fellow in particular takes testimony from high-level corporate types in jeans and boots. Shall we say, this creates cognitive dissonance.

The PB's stunts may seem oetre, but she is no less dangerous -- indeed, a lot more -- for all that.

9:34 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

True, she's still dangerous - and maybe the needlework serves a positive purpose, if it occasionally engrosses her so much that she loses track of the business at hand. It reminds me of a story I read once, about an ancient tyrant confronting a holy man, and challenging him to say something positive about him (maybe it wasn't a challenge - maybe it was an order). The holy man replied that he thanked God that the tyrant slept well at night, for that was just so many hours in the day that he could not oppress the people.

To me, it's more a matter of manners, and knowing how to behave in company. Women like Schori make a big deal about "breaking the stained-glass ceiling", and then they act like boors when they're admitted to the long-sought-after company of bishops. I suspect there's some playing of "the little woman" there, too, taking advantage of a double-standard. Would people be accommodating if a male bishop played video games during meetings? Even if he could still follow what was going on? On the other hand, considering the sort of stuff that emanates from these meetings, maybe engaging in trifling amusements is the best commentary on their importance.

12:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't object to her weaving as much as her spinning. . .

Ellie M.

8:17 am  

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