off topic open thread

Happy Damn New Year!


Happy New Year! I’ve spent the day so far lazing around, eating leftover pizza and listening to music. And that’s about all I’m going to do, I think.

I’ll be back at work blogging tomorrow.

In the meantime, does anyone have any especially fond memories of Tom Martin and/or Steele from the past year?

Oh, and here’s a video from an Old School New Wave band called Polyphonic Size. It was 1983.  They were from Belgium.

482 replies on “Happy Damn New Year!”

Whoops, I misunderstood what I read about cognac! Not to mention missing your pun ::slaps self on forehead::

The courtiers on the right are Spanish. French and Spanish fashions had diverged sharply by about the 1620s, and this is in 1660.

*joins kitteh in the corner of creepy shame*

And yeah, panniers look down right painful. Or I guess, those things that became panniers, not sure what they were called in the 17th century.

“It was Philippe who did the Highand fling at our place the other night, btw.”

Not in those shoes I hope! That seems downright dangerous!

Spaniards definitely lost the plot on shoes then, though the plainer/more natural hair is nice. I assumed the possibly the contingent on the right were poorer or of lower status, hence a less dressed-up appearance, or they’d just arrived and were in riding/outdoors gear rather than court gear.

Yeah, that woman’s shoe from the 1760s is more what I’d think of as a Louis heel, much more exaggerated in its curve. Did you get the pic from the Wiki page? It says there that the heel’s shape developed over that century.

It looks like the exaggerated height came in with stepson’s reign, too. Certainly boots and shoes had lower (though not low) and very chunky heels earlier, as here:

LOL no, he didn’t try it in those shoes!

I think they still called those types of frames farthingales, then, in English, anyway. The French could hardly help tittering at the Spanish fashions; they were like a throwback to the sort of thing their grandparents wore. The English court had the same reaction when Catherine of Braganza arrived from Portugal a couple of years later. I wonder what they’d have all thought if they could look ahead to see what their own granddaughters and great-granddaughters would be wearing? For all its beautiful materials and workmanship, this court mantua is possibly one of the ugliest historical fashion items I’ve ever seen. I call it the sofa dress.

Yeah, that’s from the wiki page. Young Mr Kitteh has a definite glam-frontier-cowboy vibe going on in that picture – crop it just below the armour and just above the Latin and you could definitely mistake that for an Old West scene! Love that even plate armour gets little lacey bits too, though I scarcely imagine that suit was commissioned for actual combat.

And that angel demonstrates my point about dresses of the time being of a neckline and sleeve design uniquely prone to malfunction!

Lol’d at the mantua. Loved reading about Mme. Leconte – dad’s side of my family were probably a little less rich than that but were Huguenots who left France at around the same time and ended up mostly in lace-making and other arts and crafts in the Midlands.

if that sort of embroidery’s in my blood somewhere it could explain my loud shirts/Liberty of London obsession.

“…I call it the sofa dress.”

What is that abomination?!

And thank goodness about the shoes, I can walk in 4″+ stilettos but I wouldn’t try dancing in them! (Gender neutral heels really would make me happy, I’m short!)

ROFL about the Victory and her dress malfunction! I always like the fact that Louis is looking away from her. Of course he needs to be looking at the viewer, but he got really squicky about low-cut dresses in general.

Love glam-frontier-cowboy. That’s not a phrase I’ll forget in a hurry.

Yeah, I would imagine the armour he’s actually wear in battle would have been a bit plainer, though I’m not sure how often he’d have needed to wear 3/4 armour at all. He was only in one battlefield-type battle, to the best of my knowledge; mostly the fighting in France was siege warfare, and I’d imagine he was in a pot-and-back over a buffcoat for the most part. Now that’s one sexy lot of fighting gear.

I’ve got the coolest video that the Royal Armouries put out in the 1980s, called How a Man Schall Be Armyd. It shows the process of putting on 16th century full plate armour – a reproduction, I presume – and also just how flexible and easy to wear it was for a man trained to it from youth. It also shows what a load of twaddle the ideas that a man in armour couldn’t get up if knocked down, or mount his own horse, or that his horse was like a Clydesdale, were. The horse they used for this was a heavy hunter type.

The thing I really like about that video (well, another thing) is that it shows not only how easy it was to put armour on someone, but how easy it was to take it off … 😉

What’s a pot-and-back? Everything I can find seems to be about smoking weed to relieve back pain, adding quotes just gets a bunch of out-of-context stuff, and adding “armour” after just narrows that down to far fewer irrelevant results.

I know I would’ve loved that at age 8, and know quite a few other people who would’ve! Probably not as exciting if you know you’ll have to wear the real thing and be in danger of actual warfare eventually.

Oh, he was champing at the bit to go a-soldiering. He was learning to use guns from early childhood and was the first major gun collector – his collection’s scattered but still identifiable. He’d been brought up in the expectation of being a soldier like his father, and didn’t change once he experienced it; he loved being on campaign and kept to it even at the end of his earthly life when his health had almost collapsed. There was one time when he was about twelvish, I think, when one of his half-brothers started a rebellion (total fizzer as most of ’em were) and Louis fought a losing battle with the people in his household – doctor, tutors and the like – to be allowed to sleep with his helmet on.


Oh great, the cat’s investigating my 55 gallon tank whil the fish have breakfast, this is about to get interesting >.<

Not acceptance of of such shoes, created by/for men.

Cognac isn’t fortified wine,it’s distilled: whisk(e)y/brandy are the same drink, one from beer, the other from wine.

It was invented in Holland, ca, 1300s, so it was extant by the time of Louis XVIII.

“Not acceptance of of such shoes, created by/for men.” — I’m short! I want to wear heels without in being a statement of gender, just fashion!

Not sure where Louis XVIII came into this, did you combine my idiocy with VIII and the proper XIII? (Though, technically, VIII + XIII = XXI)

Gah…. I am still ear-plugged. I meant XIII.

Louis XVIII was the last of a long line (the Capetians were the longest unbroken royal line in Europe… 900 years, or so, one has a lot to keep track of).

Mea culpa.

RE: Argenti

Yeah, that person was pretty interesting to talk to. Then again, he whole thing was that multiplicity didn’t exist, and ergo I didn’t exist, and therefore to accept my existence was to DISRESPECT ME, no matter how pissy I got about her misgendering me and constantly telling me I was a “personality.”

Also DEAR GOD that’s what a mantua is! I knew those kind of dresses, but never knew the name for them. Fucking HIDEOUS. (Then again, one of my random sadnesses is that due to my complete disinterest in fashion, my medieval Jewish story, when it eventually becomes a comic, will be completely uninteresting to fashion mavens. If only I were more of a clotheshorse.)

LBT — sounds “fun” alright! Next time you get called a personality you could just retort with how you at least have a personality, seems like thee assholes could stand to grow one!

I am plugged because my a eustachian tube is inflamed/clogged.

I did the peroxide and hot water pressure wash. My ears are clear of wax (though I have narrow ear canals, and pretty heavy cerum, so I have to be careful with things like earplugs).

“LBT — sounds “fun” alright! Next time you get called a personality you could just retort with how you at least have a personality, seems like thee assholes could stand to grow one!”

Seconding that!

Pecunium – that’s a total bummer about that ear inflammation. 🙁 Thanks for the info on cognac, I did a minimal search yesterday and was under the impression it was only coming about in the early 1600s in the Netherlands. Certainly time for Louis to have known it either way.

LBT – mantuas actually started as much more comfortable garments, essentially like a very long kimono or dressing gown, in Louis XIV’s reign. Court dress for women had a rigid bodice, low cut all around so very restricting on arm movement, and the mantua was an informal garment for private wear – you’d still have a corset on but it was still much more comfortable. It took off as a fashion item and the shape just changed along with whatever shapes the skirt was taking – dome-shaped or flattened hoops during the 18th century. Full formal court dress tended to fossilise fashion rather than lead it, by then, especially if the monarch(s) weren’t much into fashion. Probably the daftest example is late in George III’s reign, when fashions were of the Empire style – the very high-waisted, narrow dresses (think Jane Austen). Queen Charlotte insisted that hoops still had to be worn for formal occasions, so you’ll see pictures of women in hoops that spread out from right under the breast, because that’s where the fashionable waistline was. Reeeally bad look.

Kitteh’s: With the discovery of distillation (probably Arabic, but perhaps parallel), in the 1100-1200s, most of the basic distilled drinks (whisk(e)y, cognac, grappa, arack) were discovered in short order.

The increased variety (rum, cachaça Cynar, pai-chu {one of the harsher drinks of widespread fame… we called it, “Essence of Burning Village” before we learned its name} tequila, potato vodka, et al), is just people taking expertise to see what else could be fermented.

As a rule, of it can be fermented (somehow) someone will distill it.

Somethings shouldn’t be fermented, much less distilled (my list of those things includes artichokes and blue agave), but each persons list of those things will be different.

So, the flood I was talking about, was the infilling of the Black Sea. When it took off the shoreline moved about three miles a day, and it took at least a month to stabilise on the southern side (one of the other things which came of that flood was probably the arrival of Indo-European to the area which is now Ukraine.

I’ve read about that one too. There was also an interesting article recently about the loss of what they call Doggerland, in what’s now the North Sea (the area is named after the present-day Dogger Bank). There was far more land there during the Ice Age, a bigger area than the UK and Ireland combined, stretching up to Norway. The land was slowly inundated as the climate changed, and about 8200 years ago, a huge release of water from a North American glacial lake, and a tsunami from a submarine landslide off Norway flooded what was left of it.

Why people insist on thinking our ancestors were dummies, I’ll never know.

I mean, it seems pretty justifiable in Spinoza’s case, given that he was writing commentary on things that literally do not make sense, like that whole bit with the sun standing still. There are parts of the Bible that are just entirely inexplicable except in the context of misunderstanding.

But it’s definitely true that people underestimate how advanced our understanding of things was even thousands of years ago.

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