(2014) 'The meretriciousness
of meritocracy', Political Quarterly 85 (1): 37-42.
There are, however, some contemporary artists who truculently hold out against the meretriciousness
and vulgarity of what I have called the "post-medium condition." Tacita Dean, with her refusal to accept the obsolescence of celluloid film as a living medium, is clearly one of them.
It is devoid of meretriciousness
and of any suspicion of seeking after virility; it is so sincere, so true to the underlying thought, that it seems to me to have an unusual chance of interesting attention and stirring emotions increasingly with the years." (Hughes, 438)
Because of her sound values, Nomsa sees through Chester's glamour, exposing its meretriciousness
. But for Mantwa, Chester's baseness holds allure: if he is "rotten", she "must have a bite" (episode one), and this comment links up with her literally taking a bite out of Chester's apple later on (episode six).
But it was her very meretriciousness
that had made Mara the most successful panderess on the West Coast, expert in arranging the copulations of giant corporations for which she was rewarded with obscene amounts of money which she proceded to spend in equally obscene ways.
He might be seen as one who had outlived the idealisms of chivalry and faith but found nothing to fill the vacuum that they left; who exposed the meretriciousness
of institutionalized religion, but retreated into its most inflexible dogma when his humanity was exhausted; who recognized no central social value in law and other forms of contract, but saw only what was hollow and saleable; who made many generous gestures towards women, but returned generally to a conventional misogyny; who viewed life in a spirit of pessimism interspersed with irrepressible hilarity" (Pearsall, Life 7-8).
The striver may wind up with the bigger house, better car, and nicer vacations, but the very meretriciousness
of these aspirations confirms the liberal arts major's belief in the striver's inferior taste and barren inner life.