Yesterday during a party at a friend's house I managed for a moment to get the conversation around the the Renaissance for approximately a millisecond by framing it as a rhetorical analogue to current times, times which are being changed to radically due to the introduction of a new technology: the internet. But it was basically hopeless. By the time we had finished with beers and had moved onto wine the conversation had reverted to cars, local club football, and bands. There was no hope for a dreamer such as I. I hoped that someone would want to talk about the new Joaqn Didion biography I was reading - with its lively impressions of the 60s in California - or else Jane Austen - a big interest of mine which can sometimes be a hit with women, as she is such a favourite among the fairer sex - but noone indulged me and I sat a bit glum for the last few hours nursing a glass of warm viognier.
It's sometimes like this. At gatherings you have to fit in with the predominating tenor of conversation. You might occasionally strike it lucky and find someone who wants to talk about utraquism - the early Renaissance Bohemian belief that you should share the wine with the congregation and not just with the clergy - but for the most part you get to groan about taxes or the government, or whinge about driving on Saturdays, or something equally dull and wasteful of time.
Scintillating conversations are rare but even so you should make yourself as good a conversationalist as you can possible manage. You never know when you'll come across that true gem of a party-goer: the one for whom deep and meaningfuls about the analogues between ISIS and northern-European protestants are something to savour forever. Or at least until next Christmas. Seasons greetings all.