Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
“Life is a game. To understand this is to understand why the human world can be so maddening, angry and irrational. The behaviour of racists, transphobes, conspiracy theorists, cult members, religious fundamentalists and online mobbers becomes much more explicable when you realise that humans are programmed by evolution to be obsessively interested in status, and that this obsession is powerful enough to overcome the will to achieve equality, truth or the sense of generous compassion for our rivals.”
Full text here.
In case any of you missed this article in The Guardian, it’s really excellent and announces the launch of The Status Game, by Will Storr, published by William Collins and out now.
In many ways this is the book I’ve been waiting for because someone has finally put words and method the concept that is essentially what makes the wheels of humanity turn. Even before we understand this rationally, we are already being trained by our families and schoolmates in the competition game. Often a completely artificial competition game where who wins isn’t the fastest or smartest, but the one who cried cooties first. The one who can manipulate the tribe into believing they are valuable, even if true value is determined by something else entirely. Or is it?
In other news, to celebrate our 20th year together, I got a ring. 2 carats, emerald cut, something I can leave on all the time – in part for the purposes of status games (did I say that out loud?). I love it. It’s now one of my absolutely favourite things.
Work has been absolutely fabulous. Not unlike the status game, since I began dealing each sale has led to something a little bit better — and so now we’ve reached a point where practically everything I decide to take on is a small (or large) wonder. The latest are these Louis XV fauteuils covered in Aubusson tapestry which are massive and simply gorgeous.
And in other beautiful things we sold a little masterpiece of a sculpture a few weeks ago. An Our Lady of Peace with a really magnificent face. So life-like one can imagine her just suddenly walking away.