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The Thinking Housewife: In the wake of Sandy, why are New Yorkers dressed so drably?

Now THESE gals are dressed for a hurricane.

The single strangest reaction I’ve seen thus far to the devastation of Sandy comes from Laura Wood, the genteel bigot and feminism-hater who blogs as The Thinking Housewife. After looking through a gallery of photos on the Daily Mail showing some of the damage in New York city, Wood suggested that the real problem is that New Yorkers aren’t wearing cheerful enough clothing:

THESE Daily Mail photos of New York City after the hurricane remind me of just how ugly the streets of Manhattan are, with almost everyone dressed in drab, uninteresting clothes that rival the uniforms of Maoist China for their homogeneity and lifelessness. America is one of the most aesthetically impoverished nations in history. I wonder how many thousands of people are on medication because they are depressed by their own clothes and their ugly, hostile environments, surrounded as they are by impersonal denim, sneakers with tire treads, plastic-covered down jackets, billboards with oppressive smiles, and the austere, chilling cliffs of modern skyscrapers. This is the environment of a people that idolizes equality and sameness. The only way to survive amid such poverty is to possess an interior castle, a place of tapestries and mahogany where denim and sweat jackets are nowhere to be seen.

Just make sure this castle of yours isn’t reduced to rubble by 85 mile-an-hour winds and flying debris.

Speaking of New York, here’s an interesting (if a bit shaky) video of a walk through that city’s dark streets after the hurricane hit.

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CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I’ve actually lived in the Middle East (Saudi, Libya, visited lots of other places), and the way it was explained to me was “it’s a hygiene thing” (when I asked about why we were only meant to reach into the communal dish with the one hand).

princessbonbon
7 years ago

In just as irrelevant as Diogenes obsession with butt wiping, I just finished reading a book on a day in the life of 115 CE Rome. It was very interesting and much more informative then Diogenes.

And now I am trying to decide between finishing up Sex and Punishment by Eric Berkowitz or The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick.

Or just vegging out with some TV.

Decisions Decisions…

Ugh
Ugh
7 years ago

Hellkell, I bet the coverage of then-contemporary events in Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 would actually be pretty damn good.

Look up any colonized country and see how accurate it is.

Ugh
Ugh
7 years ago

It actually says something extremely sad about humanity that we actually have to argue, “You know, that sweeping generalization about over a billion living and billions of now-dead people might not be 100% accurate.”

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The ass-wiping habits of people I don’t even know, now and throughout history, are the hill on which I will die, dammit! Because blah blah old Aramaic text and also you called my idea about rose petals up the nose stupid you meanies.

katz
7 years ago

Elizabeth, I love Rome! What book was it?

princessbonbon
7 years ago

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6505103-a-day-in-the-life-of-ancient-rome This one.

Quite good and I now want to get a book of Roman recipes.

katz
7 years ago

Of course we only know about the bathroom hygiene of certain cultures because, for others, all records have been wiped out.

katz
7 years ago

I’ve cooked out of this book. It is mostly from Apicius but updated with modern measurements and available ingredients.

princessbonbon
7 years ago

I am looking at my list o’books on Goodreads and I have so many to still enter.

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
7 years ago

Its like posting on a messege board where everyone but yourself is a troll.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
7 years ago

@ CassandraSays – I know. He was called out on about a dozen different mistakes, but he has this idea that if he keeps shifting the goalposts on the ass wiping thing then he won’t have to admit that he’s wrong.

Ugh
Ugh
7 years ago

Its like posting on a messege board where everyone but yourself is a troll.

Haha yes because saying that generalizations about billions of living and historical people are probably wrong is EXACTLY what trolls do.

Calling out racism and ethnocentrism: the favorite passtime of internet trolls since 1995!

princessbonbon
7 years ago

Probably because he is one of the few ones we still have recipes for since they were written down…eventually.

Ugh
Ugh
7 years ago

Also, looks like we’ve reached the point in the conversation where Diogenes is tired of having his arguments torn apart, chalks up our disagreement with his racism and sexism as “orthodoxy,” and goes away for a week.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I don’t actually want to eat one, but I always did wonder (after years of Latin classes) what a cooked doormouse would taste like.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ Ugh

He’s so funny when he pouts and goes off in a huff.

Ugh
Ugh
7 years ago

@CassandraSays

Well, it’s probably better for his self-esteem to go back to Reddit where people can tell him how his racism is super logical and how his interest in philosophy makes him so much smarter than the average person.

katz
7 years ago

Dormice were fattened, so it would be a little foie gras-like, wouldn’t it? Except with more crunchy little bones *shudder*

princessbonbon
7 years ago

Screw it, I am going to read The Verneys instead.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1018847.The_Verneys

cloudiah
7 years ago

According to the Akkadian tablets I have on my mantelpiece, passed down through the generations, people used to wipe their asses with tin foil before we realized how useful foil is for warding off alien mind probes and baking potatoes. Now we use a firehose. Tickles something awful.

lowquacks
lowquacks
7 years ago

Anyone got historical perspectives on scrunching vs folding?

EEB
EEB
7 years ago

Oh my god, I give in to the need for sleep and go away for a few hours, and come back to this. I honestly don’t know if I should be amused or horrified. I almost can’t blame Diogenes; I mean, I love history, it was my best subject in school, but I still left with a very narrow, eurocentric understanding of the subject, and with a lot of myths and anecdotes that I accepted (and repeated, god how embarassing) as fact. The differance is, when I realized how narrow (and often just plain wrong) my knowledge was, I was embarassed to have been spouting off incorrect information like I knew it all, I thanked the people who pointed out my errors, and then I went off and fucking read the books/websites/sources/whatever that people were kind enough to recommend to me so that I could, you know, learn (which was my main goal) and also not show my ass in public again.

But, you know, whatever floats your boat.

pecunium
7 years ago

Diogenes the Naïf : @pecunium

Our college econ professor was the one who told us about the rose petals in the noses. I dunno, take it up with him if you don’t believe me.

It’s not that I don’t, “believe” you. It’s that you are wrong. That you believed him is one of the reasons I call you naïf. But if you don’t believe me, try sticking rose petals up your nose and breathing.

And the whole left,right hand thing is post-Moammedian. What do you think they did before Mohammed?

Citation needed. Show me a sura which says, “wipe your ass with your hand and some water. It’s a cultural behavior, and while it’s possible it’s post 600s, I find it more likely that it predates; esp. as, done well (i.e. using a deep squat), it’s a lot easier to get your ass really clean than using something to try and scrape the shit off.

Ugh, people who do it today do so because of the influence of Mohammed. No doubt Mohammed himself was influenced by the culture of his day, but if you want to attribute reasons, it would be to him.

Again, citation needed. Show me the sura, or find a way to explain that Mohammed wasn’t just doing what was culturally normal, and it remained culturally normal.

And really, I think you may have found yourself מֵאַרְעָא

Ugh, then call it by its Chinese name. That did come first.

That wasn’t the point, fool. The point was you said the Chinese called it the Pythagorean Theorem. About which, as with so many things, you have been shown to be wrong.

What affects the way you live your life today the most?

Hurricane Sandy.

Now, as to the other three, one could argue the Fall of the Han Dynasty, because it was one of the reasons the Chinese gave up paper money for long enough that when the conquistadores were in Panama they were shipping ca 90 percent of the silver they exported to China, where it was needed as money; since the ability to float a currency had been lost, and no one had yet figured out the problems of inflationary value (which caused them to collapse; in much the same way Spain did, because both gov’ts were collecting taxes by weight, not by value, but I digress).

The fall of the Sassasinids matters less than their rise, as they were the bulwark which Rome couldn’t deal with, and Rome was too rigid to adapt her military technology to cope with their inability to deal with horse-archers. We also have them to thank for the widespread sense of a dualism in the Ancient Near East, which suffused the region.

The Fall of Rome… only matter to me tangentially, in that it was the largest single polity to ever exist, and it’s duration was such that it actually lives on still, and it’s dissolution (which was slow and lingering) shaped the polities that came after it; in part because the persistence of it; and it’s mix of cultural tolerance, and institutional bulldozing, made it something many people remembered, and tried to emulate; see the Merovingians, the Visigoths, etc.). The piece you left out (what a shock) is the only reason we still have a mythic view of Rome is that the Church maintained latin as it’s language of ritual, so that when the Renaissance came to be, there was a wealth of text which didn’t want for people who could read it.

All in all, I’d have to say the Sassanids; because the Christian religion was clearly shaped by its contacts to Zoroastrianism, which was part of its appeal to the vast body of slaves in Rome; as well as to peoples outside of Rome, which is why it became as large as it did, and so maintained the linguistic existence of Latin, as semi-living language, and so made Rome’s legacy what it seems to be today.

None of which supports your, moronic, contention that what happened to China “is viewed from a western viewpoint”, by anyone but blinkered idiots.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Our not-so-cynical friend here’s lack of intellectual sophistication is particularly odd in that he appears to be a Third Culture kid. I’m one too, and thinking back on the kids I grew up with I can only identify a small handful who have the kind of tunnel vision that Diogynes seems to have. Normally an upbringing like that tends to knock the narrow focus out of people and produces folks who’re pretty good at seeing just how widely perspectives on the world vary. It’s sad that it completely failed to do so in this case.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
7 years ago

No eating dormice! No! .

katz
7 years ago

I mean, I love history, it was my best subject in school, but I still left with a very narrow, eurocentric understanding of the subject, and with a lot of myths and anecdotes that I accepted (and repeated, god how embarassing) as fact.

I was taught that Marco Polo invented ravioli and that “fuck” is an acronym.

magpie
7 years ago

snoring dormouse 4eva!!!!!!!!!!

pecunium
7 years ago

Princess BonBon: I have a very good translation of Apicius, done by a Swiss latin scholar, who was also a cook; ca 1920s. If you can’t cook already, it’s hard to use, as it’s more cheats and reminders than recipes.

pecunium
7 years ago

By cook I mean he was a professionally trained chef.

Amused
7 years ago

So, The “Thinking” Housewife hates New York? Quelle fucking surprise. I’m gonna look out the window and check if Manhattan has fallen into the sea yet from her lack of approval.

Also, I shudder to imagine what ThinkingHousewife’s conception of “good taste” is. In the fundamentalist circles, the ideal appearance for a woman is an outfit suitable for a funeral director, accompanied by a frozen smile and hair that looks like a plastic helmet — a professional overconscientious enough to try to look like the prepped cadavers in her care. No thanks. I don’t want to look like that until my own funeral.

princessbonbon
7 years ago

that “fuck” is an acronym.

You mean it does not mean for unlawful carnal knowledge? My childhood is ruined!

katz
7 years ago

As far as goofy fictional acronym etymologies for swear words go, “shit” has a way better one anyway.

Falconer
7 years ago

@princessbonbon: No, as I understand it, fuck is from the Dutch.

pecunium
7 years ago

Where it enters English is an interesting question. It was well established by not later than the 1780s. Holland is not bad, though there are other Germanic places from whence it might have come. It may even be native, coming out of the underlying roots of English in the Anglo-Saxon dialects, or the “Danish” overlaps.

pecunium
7 years ago

I also learned it was appended to marriage documents, as a license to “Fornicate Under Consent of the King”

Falconer
7 years ago

As far as goofy fictional acronym etymologies for swear words go, “shit” has a way better one anyway.

No one ever cared enough to miseducate me about what shit stood for. ::sniff:: ;__;