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Re: The velvet coffin culture

Posted by Platypus on December 01, 2004

In Reply to: The velvet coffin culture posted by Lee on December 01, 2004

: They were busy trying to dismantle the dead, "velvet coffin" culture he helped build.

: = It must be an euphemistic or rather sarcastic expression, but what exactly does 'velvet coffin' mean? Is this an Americanism? What sort of corporate culture is this referring to? A rather bureaucratic, tall and inflexible + non-agile dinosaur-like organisation as in the sense of 'making elephants dance'? Is this expression used only to indicate a corporate culture? Any other possible usage?

I've heard "the velvet coffin" used to describe a loveless marriage to a wealthy man. The woman, either a younger, gold-digger type or a wide-eyed innocent, is surounded with luxury and opulance, but her need for love and romance is unfulfilled.
Also, "the velvet coffin" has been used to describe prison for the well connected. I suspect this is mainly a product of fiction, but lots of ganster movies portray the higher-ups of the Cosa Nostra wearing silk pajamas, drinking wine and cooking their own food in a specially equipted cell with a refrigerator, stove, TV, et.al.