Friendship & celebrity
June is learning confidence. Chloe assures her – New York teaches mankind that it doesn’t matter what you do, just how you do it. This goes together with another of her opinions – boring is the worst thing anyone can call you. Chloe assures June, there’s nothing like her in Indiana. This is supposed to be an advantage.
Chloe’s school of confidence is equal parts acting entitled & looking beautiful. Confidence is the road to immortality, let’s say. This assumes, mankind are agreed that the beautiful & the bold deserve all good things. In fact, mankind may learn what things are good from these brilliant few. With them, life is wine. There is a further assumption: There is not enough for everyone; acquiring the good things is necessarily unjust. But mankind consent to be trampled by the brilliant, because they yearn to be touched by greatness.
June proclaims her victory over her Midwest friends by saying she goes out to nightclubs where men & women go to the same toilet. She also has a trans-gender friend, she says. In this new world, husbands consent enthusiastically to their wives’ infidelity on their wedding day – men who make themselves attractive to women exercise a kind of right of preeminence. This all comes down to lording it over conventional people; it implies that they yearn to feel the yoke of conventions. They are slaves in their own fantasies.
But James wants to attend this wedding, because the Midwesterners are his greatest admirers. They yearn to see that beautiful men are good-hearted. In short, that they make good husbands. Therefore the triumph of June is being publicly adored by James. She has achieved what all desire. This comes back to Chloe’s school of confidence: A young woman should act like she is George Clooney’s mistress.
June receives a wedding invitation which reminds her of all the plans she had made & how they came to nothing. She was deceived – used ill – by her fiancé. This may be why Chloe’s education regarding deception finds June an eager student. Indeed, soon enough June declares she is now her own master. When June threatens to steal James from Chloe, Chloe arranges a surprise meeting between June & her former fiancé.
This is the problem with immorality. If people became immoral, social collapse would be inevitable. June quickly learns she finds that guy just as disgusting as previously – in fact, being less moralistic, she is even more aware of his depravity. Morality may have protected her from seeing all the ugliness by not putting her in a position to confront ugliness. But it was not enough to protect her from falling prey. Idealism undermines judgment. But idealism is necessary.