Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax
{don't you know who we think we are?
a guide to etiquette and the art of snobbery

the donnybrook writing academy
(formerly known as elitist hipster snobs)

The country is a teeming mass of walking lies: boob jobs, hair dye, fast cars, bling bling. Commoners hungrily lap up corporate dictums, which coerce them to waste their entire paychecks on convincing us they're worthy. But they could be spending that money on things like food, rent, or even booze! Little do they know, lying about your own fake superiority can be free in the social realm.

We at the Donnybrook Writing Academy were bequested to write an essay on etiquette, and as always, we've raised the bar: is it enough to behave passingly in public? I daresay, one must behave better, behave like the best. In this guide you’ll learn how to behave at the movies, in the bedroom, in the workplace and at parties. Lap it up, little doggies.

Sincerity and quiet disdain from overseas,
Angora Holly Polo

Etiquette Lesson for Cinema
Fritz Godard

Professional Filmmaker/-watcher, Part-Time Genius Extraordinaire
Donnybrook Writing Academy

1.) Never arrive late for a film. Looking foolish is secondary; the primary concern should be missing the opportunity to mock the third executive producer and their lack of creative input on the project.

2.) On the other side of the coin, it is equally unacceptable to be more than five minutes early to a film. Being early is like admitting you have nothing better to do than get an inside look at Season Two of The Closer coming this fall to TNT.

3.) At least 15% of the movies in a person’s collection should be black and white films.

4.) You don’t watch a movie when it has a sequel, an accompanying video or promotional show on MTV, or stars Ashton Kutcher. You watch a film when it has subtitles, emotionally charged nudity, or is directed by Woody Allen.

5.) If you choose to watch a film by the star of the film, you’re a fan of film. If you choose a film based on the director, you’re a movie buff. If you watch a film based on the cinematographer, you’re a cinephile.

6.) When seeing a film at a mega-plex, expect the back of the seat to be kicked, teenagers to talk through the whole movie, and to pay eight dollars for a hot dog. To complain about these things is passé. If you can’t stand this, wait for the movie on Netflix or get better taste in movies.

Sexual Etiquette from Ivyy Goldberg, Esq.
Sexual and Legal Expert (Selexpert)
Donnybrook Writing Academy (est. 2007)

Sex is a biological necessity, but that doesn't mean it has to be uncouth. Just the simplest of rules can make even the most boorish person come across as suave and sophisticated in the bedroom.

1.) Say please and thank you, wash your hands, brush your teeth.

2.) Instead of a safety word for S&M play, why not try a line from a Walt Whitman poem? Poetry brings a certain j'est ne c’est quoi to the proceedings, making plain old bondage sex turn into a real high-class (Donnybrookesque, if you will) experience.

3.) If all else fails, perhaps try a simple white lie, also known as a compliment. "You're more beautiful than Helen of Troy,” or "Your cock is so big I'm a little scared" are two very effective and classy white lies that give one the air of sexual correctness.

The Art of Snobbery from Angora Holly Polo
Doctor of Culture and Cool
The Donnybrook Writing Academy

1.) In speaking about your career:

We, we, we.

Bosses talk about projects in the plural: We're working on a new deal. Employees speak singularly: I have to finish these TPS reports by noon.

Notice the second introductory paragraph of this essay: because of my use of the plural, it might lead you to believe that there is now a writer's forum being held, with a servant-scribe a-scribbling, instead of me in my Capitol Hill apartment, searching the cabinets for Chef Boyardee or cat food.

Contraindications: If overly used, you appear delusional or even worse - a reality star.

2.) In commingling with musicians, artists, or writers:

In the artistic community, all societal norms are turned upside-down, so fight all of those social survival urges meant to protect your reputation. For example, there’s a tendency for a new guest to be shy and reserved, for fear they might say something weird.

But in the artistic community, one must constantly strive to speak the dirtiest, most uncouth morsel of line-crossing commentary of the evening. Dress for the evening in the dark, drunk, and with reckless abandon. Don’t study New York magazines to see what’s “hip” to choose an outfit; in fact, don’t choose at all. Instead channel your childhood for fashion inspiration, the way you paired three pairs of tights with a snowsuit and headband with cat ears. One must be as eccentric as possible, so as not to be ignored and left behind in the stampede of larger-than-life, narcissistic parodies of human beings.

Contraindications: If followed precisely, the resulting sense of freedom might result in urges to join a commune or become a rock star, and might make the landing back into everyday society a little rocky.

3.) In learning an instrument:

Here’s a little shortcut that will make you the life of the party. Let’s say you’d like to learn the piano. Instead of wasting your time gaining a widespread basis of general piano knowledge, why not put all of your time and focus into learning one song that does aural backflips past all the others, like, Debussy’s “Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune”? With enough practice and repetition, you can display your talents and appear to a crowd to be a virtuoso. When they ask for you to play more, simply shake your head as though you’re bashful, and wouldn’t want to outshine the others at the party. The ability to turn beet red on command also comes in handy here.

Contraindications: Come prepared with a fake musical background, with existing music teachers and even schools outlined. Despite being located in the most putrid town on earth, UNC in Greeley is a regional school that’s good for music composition majors, or try NYU or Berklee.

4.) In your love life:

We are what we eat, drink, or snort. So a good way to meet that man or woman of your dreams is to adopt their chosen vice. If this seems like a difficult task (i.e. your coveted one is a heroin addict or worse – a long-distance running addict), try to choose someone with more accessible vices, like caffeine. Start small. You’ll find the pressure taken off of you and your ego, because let’s face it: the chance for overt rejection is minimalized when you’re politely offering a coke addict cocaine.

Contraindications: Avoid cocaine. And heroin. And all vices.

5.) Party etiquette:

Do not get intoxicated when you're the host of the party.

Contraindications: Do as I say, not as I do.

For more ruminations on society, visit www.GoDonnybrook.com.