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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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princessbonbon
princessbonbon
8 years ago

Which of us has read 2000 year old Aramaic texts dealing with this topic?

*bzzt*

That would be neither person. What have I won?

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@CassandraSays

Lol, what could be toxic about a worldview that writes off roughly 1/4 of all human beings who have ever lived?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Diogynes : Well, OK, maybe, but that was in China so what does that have to do with European people like us?

Me : (Eyebrows go right up into the hairline)

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Haha it’s not like Chinese material culture ever impacted the way the rest of the world lives! It’s so great how paper was invented in continental Europe so we could have toilet paper.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Of all the cultures to try to handwave away as irrelevant to the rest of the world, China? Really?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

PS I’m drinking tea right now. Totally invented in the late 19th Century by a nice English gentleman.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

The Conquistadores, with their guns, folded steel armour, compasses, and lateen sails really showed the superioirity of Western inventions.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

What is it with trolls and admitting they got things wrong? It’s not a big deal. Everybody gets things wrong now and then. Take your lumps and learn from it,

For example: the Chinese (and also, IIRC the Egyptians) had Pythagoras’ Theorem (square on the hypotenuse, etc), not Pythagorean Theory which is a different kettle of fish altogether: (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism ) If you want to play the philosopher, precise terminology matters.

Also, “we’re talking about Victorian Europe so China doesn’t count, but ancient Aramaic texts are totally relevant”? Come on, now. And be honest, when you say you read a 200 year old Aramaic text, you mean you read it in translation, don’t you?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

BTW totally random fact that I ran across – one of the oldest types of tea (and one of my favorites), Dragonwell/Lonjjing, is from the same area in Zhejiang Province that gave us West Lake soup.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

(By oldest type I mean oldest type to be officially recognized by an Emperor. The actual history goes back much further than that.)

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@Bodsworth, Well, most 2000 year old Aramaic texts are part of the Hebrew Bible, which, as we all know, is the foundation of the Protestant Work Ethic that made the modern world possible, so of course they are vastly more relevant than the most populated region in the entire world.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@Cassandra

I’ve totally been to Longjing Village. I didn’t know until then that it was possible to get sick from caffeine overdose, but it apparently is.

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

Nepenthe, I guess that makes you a uniforn.

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

Cassandra, he offered the information to us.

And I know I’m Eurocentric. But unlike others, I admit it. I was born in Asia, and grew up on 3 continents, and it sometimes does frustrate me that a few guys in Saville Row set the standard for how men dress worldwide for instance, but that just is the way it is. The reality of our situation is that the way we think is shaped by the culture we grew up in, and that culture in my case was predominantly Western.

Its not that China is irrelevent, its that what happened to China is viewed from a western viewpoint. I can illustrate this with a pretty simple question. What affects the way you live your life today the most? The Fall of the Han Dynasty, The Sassanid Empire, or the Fall of Rome?

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

All of the above?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@ Ugh

I’m so jealous. I think if I got to visit one of the regions that produces my favorite teas I’d end up like Tweak from South Park. I love Chinese black teas too, which just makes it even more dangerous.

The reality of our situation is that the way we think is shaped by the culture we grew up in

This is the internet. Don’t ever assume that just because you’re having a conversation with someone in English that means that they grew up in a Eurocentric culture.

(The rest of your little Eurocentric lament is too pathetic to be worth engaging with.)

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

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.

Cassandra, I’m not European.
And papyrus was an Egyptian thing too.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@Diogenes

Lol, history does not work that way.

Maybe if Rome hadn’t fallen apart then it would have fallen apart in the 1800s and given rise to the same colonial nation states that exist today. Maybe if the Han Dynasty had stayed together it would have had an even more significant trade imbalance, causing the collapse and eventual colonization of Europe. Maybe the Sassanids would have ended up conquering Europe and we’d all speak Persian derivatives. Who knows? Human history is not composed of isolated chains of causality (from Rome to Middle Ages to now). For all we know the Bantu migration was the world’s most significant shaping event.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Ugh, people who do it today do so because of the influence of Mohammed.

Citation needed. I’m pretty sure people do it today because they like to have clean asses.

Haha yeah, try wiping your ass with (or writing on) papyrus and see the benefit of Chinese material culture for yourself.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

Papyrus is not the same as paper. There perform a similar function, and they’re certainly etymologically similar, but they aren’t the same thing.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Its not that China is irrelevent, its that what happened to China is viewed from a western viewpoint.

Well, except for the 6-7 billion people who do not have an exclusively Western viewpoint. Not them, but who cares, amirite?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Lol, history does not work that way.

Religion doesn’t either.

(Points up at latest Diogynes brain droppings.)

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

Sir Bodsworth

If I were a troll, I would be the worst one ever. I’m fairly polite, honest, and before I began posting regularly, I sent an email to Futrelle telling him that I do intend to follow the rules of the board.

And, no, I didn’t read a translation. They have them, and I use them, but I can get along with a single dialect of Aramaic from a specific era if its written in a script I know how to read already.

katz
8 years ago

Well, I know I’ve read the classic Aramaic treatise “How to Wipe your Ass.”

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m curious about what you’re attempting to accomplish here, Diogynes, since so far all you’ve really managed to do is convince everyone here that you’re kind of an idiot.

katz
8 years ago

lol, he doesn’t even read transcriptions! He reads the actual original text, presumably straight off the stone tablet.

Diogenes, do any of these ancient Aramaic manuscripts have names or anything, or could you point us to pictures of them?

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@katz

I’m pretty sure it’s in the noted Hebrew holy book of “Trivia that Might Interest Weird People in the Future”

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@Cassandra The whole area around Hangzhou is awesome, and kind of off the foreign tourist track. I’d really recommend it.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

There’s such a long list of places I want to visit in China that I don’t know where to start, honestly. I recently added Harbin to the list, which seems fitting given my own childhood travels. My Dad absolutely loves Shanghai.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

That’s cool- why Harbin? I’ve always kind fo thought of it as a cold industrial city. I’ve been to Shanghai once, it was pretty cool, I mostly just went to bars and drank though to be honest.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

If I were a troll, I would be the worst one ever

No comment.

I can get along with a single dialect of Aramaic from a specific era if its written in a script I know how to read already.

Still have my doubts, but whatever. And the difference between a theorem and a theory? The reason that this one Aramaic text tells us everything about bum wiping until the invention of toilet paper?

Did you know, for example, that the Romans used sponges, which they washed with vinegar? Wild, huh? Also public toilets. The Vikings, on the other hand, didn’t have private toilet areas, they’d just drop trou and go wherever. The earliest flushing toilet was invented by Queen Elizabeth I’s godson. Louis XIV took two long shits a day, and courtiers would pay for the privilege of attending on him when he was in the can because, hey, one-on-one time with the king.

To put it another way, toilet habits – even looking purely within the context of ‘the West’ – they were highly variable over the at least the last two thousand years. No single primary text is going to tell you all about it. Yes, even if it is Aramaic.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

To be fair to Dio, I think’s he’s geniuinely a casualty of the extremely shitty way we teach history. Even in undergraduate world history programs it’s usually like “We’re teaching the entire history of the world, from ancient Greece to The Western Front! If we have time at the end, we’ll do one lecture on how China and the Middle East responded to the West.”

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

It’s Harbin’s position as a crossroads that interests me, gateway to other regions and all that. Also it has a really cool ice sculpture festival – I want to go in the middle of winter (though I’m not great with cold weather, so I’d have to be bundled up like I was going skiing).

I’m not really all that interested in visiting the Great Wall and stuff like that, I’m far more interested in visiting cities and just hanging out for a while. And following the trail of tea (my favorites is Yunnan).

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

Katz, the rule is that the older editions of anything are always more authoritative.

http://www.dailygemara.com/Default.asp?DayInCycle=143

Always try to learn from original sources.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

It’s not Dio’s ignorance that grates, it’s the combination of ignorance and arrogance. The ignorance isn’t really his fault, but the arrogance is.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

,

Katz, the rule is that the older editions of anything are always more authoritative.

So you’d agree that the Zend Avesta is a good authority on when the left hand/right hand rule developed?

katz
8 years ago

So…which bit of that document is the ass-wiping part?

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

So would you say that a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica is better than a current edition?

Because we’ve already got a troll that thinks like you, and he is pig-ignorant.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Cassandra, when you call him “Dio,” I think of the dearly departed heavy metal midget, not the mental midget we have here.

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

Ugh, absoutely!

Remember what I said above though. Mohammed wasn’t above viewing the world from the culture he grew up in either, which is why bits and pieces of Judaism, Christianity, and paganism ended up in the Koran.

Ask a modern Muslim about the left hand/ right hand though and they wont mention the Zend Avesta. They’ll say its because Mohammed said so.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Yeah, as convenient as it is to shorten the name it really isn’t fair to Dio as in Ronnie James.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Ask a modern Muslim about the left hand/ right hand though and they wont mention the Zend Avesta. They’ll say its because Mohammed said so.

I’m still waiting on the citation on that.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

And now we have a new piece of stupidity! If a group of people aren’t aware of the historical context that their current traditions came from, it means that that context doesn’t matter and isn’t important.

Dude, seriously, just stop. Your constant attempts to make yourself look clever and avoid admitting that you were wrong are embarrassing to watch.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Ask a modern Muslim about the left hand/ right hand though and they wont mention the Zend Avesta. They’ll say its because Mohammed said so.

I’m still waiting on the citation there.

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

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

Diogenes The Cynic
Diogenes The Cynic
8 years ago

Here’s a place to start since you seem to be curious. I’m sure there’s an Imam that will enlighten you.

http://islamqa.info/en/cat/262

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Yep, and there are rules of codes of conduct in a lot of holy books. However, your assertion was that you could ask any Muslim and they would say it was because of Hadith. So, unless you have a survey of 1 billion plus people, I don’t really know where you’re going with it.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Me: Question whether religious authority is the sole or primary cause of a hygiene practice.
You: Note that religious authorities support that practice.
Me: Confused.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Because all Muslims think and act according to the opinions of a given imam, amirite?

princessbonbon
princessbonbon
8 years ago

I would be pretty impressed if Diogenes had surveyed a billion people.

Because that would take a long time and while Diogenes was doing that, we would not have to listen to the nattering of this nabob.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

The Diogenes Great Toilet Survey Findings

“A majority of Muslims responded to the question ‘why and how do you wipe yourself’ with regional variants of ‘Fuck you.'”