Re: Hot Pursuit

1

I know, I know, I've mentioned this here before.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 9:56 PM
horizontal rule
2

Indeed, when you mentioned it before it was to criticize her for speaking positively about him and to suggest that not saying anything would be better.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
3

But maybe the paper could say something.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
4

Silly neb, paper can't talk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
5

Maybe chasing down a virus like a dissident is just her channeling a family proclivity into something positive.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 12:36 AM
horizontal rule
6

No, it's not worth a mention at all. The article is from the Science section and mentions literally nothing about Sabeti that isn't directly related to her current work. Where was she born? Where did she get her doctorate? How old is she? Where did she work before the Broad Institute? Not known. But you think they should have sneaked in a casual "Dr Sarbeti, WHO IS IRANIAN, AND WHOSE FATHER WAS IN CHARGE OF TORTURING DISSIDENTS IN IRAN BEFORE HE RETIRED AND MOVED TO FLORIDA, was far from the first to investigate Lassa"?



Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 4:56 AM
horizontal rule
7

"Internet Sippenhaft" would be a good title for a David Brooks column, but I bet Theodore Dalrymple has already wrung his grubby little hands in that direction.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
8

I think you mean "Theodore Dalrymple, WHOSE COMMUNIST FATHER SYMPATHISED WITH STALIN DURING THE BRUTAL PURGES OF THE 1930S".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
9

Sippenhaft is that rare thing, a German word which actually sounds considerably less creepy than the concept which it signifies. It sounds like it should be some sort of aperitif.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
10

I'm inclined to agree with 6. If it were a profile piece, then it would be remiss to gloss over something like that, but if it's not focused on her as a person (as opposed to mentioning her in a piece about her work), then it would be tendentious.

Now, maybe tendentiousness is called for when dealing with close relations of bad people, but we, as a society, seem to have decided that the Holocaust is sui generis, and so the fanatical hunting of even fairly minor Nazis* is treated as normal or SOP, yet #1 baddies in other atrocities retire in splendor, or at worst genteel dotage.

Point being, as long as Kissinger walks around a free man (let alone an honored one), it's hard to complain about the children of 2nd or 3rd rank bad guys getting some sort of pass.

*this isn't Brunner, obvs., but I'm thinking of camp guards


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
11

Not that ogged shouldn't use his platform to point it out - without marginal voices* talking about Kissinger's evil, no Americans would know about it at all - but that's distinct from a reasonable expectation that Sabeti fille will be treated as a pariah by blood.

*covering everyone from David Rees to Hitchens and Chomsky here


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:12 AM
horizontal rule
12

Now, maybe tendentiousness is called for when dealing with close relations of bad people

"His blood be on us, and on our children" is not actually a great basis for a system of criminal justice.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
13

Pilot didn't even make them sign anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
14

I don't mean worth a mention in an unrelated article, but it would be nice to see a Times story on fugitives like the elder Sabeti who are safely in the US.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
15

14: or, occasionally, not safely in the US.
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/28/nyregion/woman-with-link-to-shah-slain-in-her-yard.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
16

There was at least one other case like that, way back in the day. There's probably a considered response that deplores extra-judicial revenge killings like this one and what the Mossad has done with Nazis, but in those cases, I'm not much inclined to deplore.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
17

My wife and I got around to watching The Lives of Others the other night. There's a scene near the end, where the writer is unable to stay in the theater while a revival of a play of his is being performed, and he goes into a sitting room and finds the former Minister, whose lust and jealousy set the whole train in motion, has been there because, a free man himself, he too can't bear to watch it.

There's a shock in realizing that that could be so, that that's how these things end now, and the encounter is a necessary step in resolving the plot, but the effect is intentionally unsettling.

In the case of Iranians, it's obvious but necessary to mention the sponsoring relationship the US had with the former regime, and the hostile relations it's always had with the current regime.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:53 AM
horizontal rule
18

16. The woman who was killed was about 15 when the shah was overthrown. I can find plenty of inclination to deplore killing her. I'd feel the same way about Mossad killing children of Nazis.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
19

You'll never acquire a rabid Internet following of fedora'd neckbeards, bloatee'd mall ninjas and bitter harridans with that attitude, Dave.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
20

18: You haven't read The Holcroft Covenant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
21

I really liked the 2000 English language film about Googoosh, Iran's Daughter. She's touring the US, I think I managed to again miss the performance in my city.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
22

From the Wikipedia entry on Sippenhaft: "Israel practices a policy similar to Sippenhaft, but only applies it to Palestinians by destroying or bulldozing a family's house." So, just similar. Not really the same thing at all.

I suppose this is a good a thread as any for mentioning that the gf's mom is in Farsi class with one of the lead actresses in the new Persian vampire flick. She showed me the trailer and related stuff and holy crap do I want to see that movie.


Posted by: President Kind of Being Internet-Stalked by Former GF | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
23

19. The following I have is just fine with me, thanks.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
24

22.2: I was excited about it too and will still see it when it gets to Netflix, but early reviews have not been promising. Still, though!

And I'm sorry about the stalker ex-GF. That sucks.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
25

Interesting fact, one of the Pashas responsible for the Armenian genocide was murdered in Berlin by a young Armenian man, who shot him point blank. The man's trial was where the details of the Armenian genocide was first really made public. The completely shocked German jury acquitted the murderer in around an hour. I find it interesting that something that could cause total public outrage would then be carried out by that very same country about 20 years later, but there you have it.*

*ORFTITIHMHB Fridtjof Nansen's assistant during his work to help to stateless war and genocide refugees in SE Europe (inc. attempting to establish an Armenian state for genocide survivors) was Vidkun Quisling. It really makes you wonder about situational morality.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
26

22

Apologies for being nosy, but I'm curious as to how you know you're being internet-stalked? Is the former GF actively harassing you or just monitoring you online?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
27

22

Regardless, I'm sorry you're in that situation.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
28

26: She has an alert set for my pseud. It's nothing threatening, just privacy-cramping.


Posted by: President KoBISbFGF | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
29

The lives of the children of deplorable political functionaries are usually just banally privileged, unless they are being groomed to take up the parental legacy.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
30

Fridtjof Nansen's assistant during his work to help to stateless war and genocide refugees in SE Europe (inc. attempting to establish an Armenian state for genocide survivors) was Vidkun Quisling

I did not know that. Without being able to read more now, my hypothesis would be that the link tying together Nansen—his whole career—the work in the Balkans & ME after WWI, and Vidkun Quisling both in this work and later, would be what I'll call "Small State Nationalism/National Self-Determination."

If Quisling's fascism dated from the 20s, analogous to the career of Oswald Moseley in GB, when the early idea of Mussolini was the prevailing influence, then that would be what I would expect.

The only non-American I ever met who was enthusiastic about the 1991 Gulf War was an elderly Norwegian, who thought of it in terms of the International Order intervening to protect the right of small states, like Kuwait, to exist.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
31

When I worked in a restaurant in Ann Arbor, the Lebanese chef told me never to go to Stefan's (I think it was a sort of convenience store) across the street, because Stefan had been a secret policeman for the Shah, and a torturer. It was easy to believe; when he looked at you he always seemed to be deciding where to plant the electrodes.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
32

relevant:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/us/laying-out-a-case-for-deporting-human-rights-abusers.html?_r=0


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
33

18: The article is from 1992, so she would have been 38 in 1979.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
34

The other weird Armenian genocide fact is that a lot of the killing was carried out by Kurds, which is why the Iraqi Christian refugees are not very comforted by the idea of safe havens in Kurdistan.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
35

Don't delve too deeply lest like the Balrog we awaken Serdar Argic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
36

I think we're the dwarves, not the Balrog.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
37

Yes, poorly phrased per usual.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
38

I was reading recently about this guy, who was only a Nazi SS member who helped to develop Generalplan Ost, helped encourage the massacre or starvation of millions, and was hoping to kill at least 30 million more in order to implement his awesome plan of "let's literally kill or enslave absolutely everyone in this huge section of Eastern Europe so that German farmers can have a big old empty great prairie to call their own." NBD, am I right?

After the war, he did about two years in prison, got out, and then spent years as a tenured agronomy professor at a respected West German university (wonder what these classes were like), before dying peacefully in 1973. It doesn't look like his kids went on to be well known scientists, but maybe they did.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
39

And let's not even get into the evils perpetrated by fascists' grandchildren:

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/fascist_groove_thang_mussolinis_granddaughter


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
40

33. So it is. My bad. Still, unless she also worked for Savak, I deplore killing her.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
41

Back in college I knew this one kid who's dad had been in the Shah's police force. He was actually Swedish, having moved there as a kid.

Most of what I remember was that his girlfriend was a slamming hot - even by Swedish standards - and that he treated her like shit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
42

I'm reminded of some sitcom where family naming conventions (something like grandmother's maiden name plus grandfather's middle name) required that an imminent offspring be named Benito Mussolini.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:05 PM
horizontal rule
43

I know a Spanish girl named Maria who is upset she has a boring name. Her parents really wanted her to be a boy, so didn't bother to choose a name until she was born and then picked the most common Spanish girl's name. She told me her 3 older brothers all had much better names, like Benito. I suppose if you grow up in a family where 3 boys are not enough, you also think Benito is a much better name than Maria.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
44

"How do you solve a problem like Benito?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
45

Benito is a Spanish name. Mussolini was named after Juarez. (Not that this has anything in particular to do with 43 or anything else in the thread. I just think it's a fascinating factoid.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:40 PM
horizontal rule
46

25.1 is blowing my mind. I have no idea how I missed hearing about that.

Zafer Senocak tried his hand at a four-way German-Jewish-Turkish-Armenian novel of identity and cultural memory, but despite honest intentions it didn't work so well. I don't remember if they all get together and argue about the literary virtues of The Forty Days of Musa Dagh or what. I think not.

THE DISSERTATION IS DONE* AND I CAN READ BOOKS AGAIN OMG.

*once I fix these five citations


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
47

Now 45 is also blowing my mind. I never knew that either. Keep these coming!


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
48

It's the Spanish version of Benedict. I think the Italian version is Benedetto.

I wonder if there's a formula to work out if you can reuse a name. It would involve two factors, terribleness of dictator + distinctiveness of name. Adolf no, because Adolf is somewhat distinctive (even though a not uncommon name in N. Europe back then) + Hitler was really awful. Joseph is fine, because even though Stalin was awful, Joseph is not very distinct. I suppose Benito is still popular because there's pretty varying attitudes in how terrible Mussolini was, plus Catholicism.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
49

46, 47: Congrats on the dissertation, and happy to oblige!

48: Not so many American Benedicts since Arnold, either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:05 PM
horizontal rule
50

Not many American Arnolds since Green Acres.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
51

46

I learned about it from watching a recent-ish German documentary on the Armenian genocide. Google tells me it's called "Aghet -- Ein Volkermörd."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
52

Jim Croce was going to be named Gianbattista Croce, after Vico in homage to Benedetto Croce's philosophy, but then it turned out I made that all up based on glancing at some wikipedia articles.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:21 PM
horizontal rule
53

52: hey thanks, only four citations to go!


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:34 PM
horizontal rule
54

How do you solve a problem like Benito?
How do you make the trains run on time?
How do you find a name that's not Benito?
A dictatorygibbet! A will-to-the-power! A war crime!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
55

Accent, F. (2014). How do you solve a problem like Benito? Unfogged 11: 1763812.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:49 PM
horizontal rule
56

The song Leisl should have sung to Rolf would have had the line:

"You are fascist going on Nazi..."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 11:57 PM
horizontal rule
57

Interesting fact, one of the Pashas responsible for the Armenian genocide was murdered in Berlin by a young Armenian man, who shot him point blank.

Of the three pashas responsible - the triumvirate who ran Turkey during the War - two were in fact killed by members of the Armenian revenge organisation "Nemesis" after the war. Talaat Pasha was shot in Berlin in 1921 (this is the chap Buttercup is talking about) and Djemal Pasha in Tbilisi in 1922.
Enver Pasha died a far more interesting death - postwar he decided that a good thing to do would be to set up his own Pan-Turkic Muslim empire in the former Russian territories in central Asia, and was blown to shreds while charging a Red Army machine gun on horseback outside Dushanbe in 1922.

Peter Hopkirk is, as usual, very readable on this sort of thing. You want "On Secret Service East of Constantinople".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:56 AM
horizontal rule
58

48: there hasn't been a King John of England (or Britain) since the 13th century King John, because he was such a horrible king.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:01 AM
horizontal rule
59

57

Interesting. I didn't know that about the other Pashas. Time for the 'land war in Asia' jokes. There does seem to be something morally just in their untimely deaths, vs. the apparently 100s of high level Nazis who seem to live to be in their late 90s.

John is interesting, because it's such a common name. I guess King John really was terrible enough to outweigh the ordinariness of 'John.' The formula probably has to be tweaked a bit for kings and popes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:53 AM
horizontal rule
60

Enver Pasha's wikipedia article could be buzzfeedised as "These 11 appalling disasters will make you glad you didn't as much as stand near the guy": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enver_Pasha


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:53 AM
horizontal rule
61

German Wikipedia's Nazi biographies are just pure gold. This guy might have got away with it: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Brunner_%28Kriegsverbrecher%29

but his lorry broke down as he fled from Prague ahead of furious Czech resistants, the Russians, and the US Army! and did his brothers in the black corps of the SS stop to help him? no they did not! and as a result, he was put on trial in Austria before the initial horror wore off, so rather than hushing him up, they hanged him from the highest tree they could find! you see the importance of thorough maintenance!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:58 AM
horizontal rule
62

I guess King John really was terrible enough to outweigh the ordinariness of 'John.

Also he was the first of his name - you couldn't say "well, John IV was a complete disaster, but John III was OK, and John I was terrific".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:04 AM
horizontal rule
63

I suspect the thing about John is a myth. They didn't make much effort to avoid it. Edward II's second son was John, so if his first had not survived (and Edward was his own father's fourth son, so it was quite likely) he would have succeeded. Likewise if the Black Prince had died childless there would have been a John II (of Gaunt). And that's just in the 14th century.

The real game changer would have been if Edward I's third son had survived to become King Alphonso: lots of little high mediaeval English Alphonsos.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:54 AM
horizontal rule
64

But would he have reigned as John II of England, I wonder, rather than, say, Edward III? Wikipedia has this on the situation north of the border, citing Magnus Magnusson:

"When John, Earl of Carrick ascended the Scottish throne in 1390, it was deemed imprudent for him to take the regnal name of "John II", as recent kings named John had turned out badly in England as well as in Scotland. Furthermore, royal propaganda of the time held that John Balliol had not been a legitimate king of Scotland, making the new king's regnal number also a tricky issue. To avoid these problems, John took the regnal name of Robert III, honouring his father and great-grandfather.[3]"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:21 AM
horizontal rule
65

As for game changers, IIRC Henry VII's eldest son (the elder brother of Henry VIII and first husband of Catherine of Aragon) was Arthur. King Arthur II!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:26 AM
horizontal rule
66

I'll buy the Scottish situation on account of the disputed regnal number, but I'd still question it in England. I just can't see them being that bothered. If John of Eltham had succeeded and wanted a different name he probably wouldn't have picked Edward because i. it would have been the name of his dead brother, ii. his father, Edward II was disgraced, and iii. English kings didn't do regnal numbers until the historical Edward III, who adopted the practice because two successive Edward fitz Edwards would have confused the archivists.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:44 AM
horizontal rule
67

English kings didn't do regnal numbers until the historical Edward III, who adopted the practice because two successive Edward fitz Edwards would have confused the archivists.

Very considerate of him. (See Ataturk's Surname Law, brought in because Turkish bureaucracy, never in the best shape, was suffering from an excess of Mehmet bin Ahmets and Ahmet bin Mehmets.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
68

Didn't know that was what lay behind the Turkish surname thing - I'd supposed it was just part of Ataturk's "If it moves, Westernise it" thing.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
69

That too, I would imagine. But there were good practical reasons for wanting surnames as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
70

IIRC the Mongolians recently (and I mean in the last 20 years) passed a similar Surname Law but it backfired because about 80% of the population picked "Borjigin", which is the surname, or rather the clan name, of local boy made good Genghis Khan, and so it didn't have as much of a disambiguating effect as they were hoping for.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
71

I'm kind of amazed that the current Prince of Wales is named Charles, after what happened to Charles I, and Charles II being a barely-closeted papist.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
72

71: but he's going to reign as George VII.

But, yes, bad name to pick just on general principles.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
73

72: Yeah, I'd heard that he wasn't going to take the name Charles. I kind of wonder whether he'll ever be king. I could see his mother outliving him--if only by a month.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:59 AM
horizontal rule
74

George VII? WTF? Why didn't his mom just name him George?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:06 AM
horizontal rule
75

74. She did, among other things. He has four given names, three fewer than his great uncle, the late unlamented Duke of Windsor.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:10 AM
horizontal rule
76

75: Philip wouldn't be bad either.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
77

King Philip is not really a great name for a king of England.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
78

||
Oh good grief Terry Crews. Save some awesome for everyone else.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
79

If Charles reigns as George, what will George reign as? (Or William, for that matter?) Do they have to pick one of the names they were christened with, or can they randomly pick a name they like?

70

That's funny. In China in the 60s & 70s it was popular to give kids a one character name, which meant that there were suddenly orders of magnitudes more people with the same name. (I heard somewhere that for the most popular name combo, there were 70,000 men in the Beijing area with the same name, but don't quote me on that). In the 80s(?) the govt ran a "give your kid a 2 character name" campaign, but it backfired from a bureaucratic simplification perspective, because parents rushed to find the most obscure characters possible, meaning many of the characters are not included in computerized typing systems, since they tend to "only" have about 10,000 characters.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
80

It's lovely seeing someone who's likeable on screen remain pleasantly sensible offscreen, isn't it? (Brooklyn 99 generally -- I have a low taste for formulaic sitcoms, but that's really a nice one. Stupidly funny but also surprisingly kind to its characters.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
81

Does she wear makeup?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
82

George is the most likely and Arthur the best.. Huh. I doubt he would, but it'd be convenient if he keeps Charles since we all know he's going to fuck it up. Maybe he should just go as John.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
83

(Not to denigrate the legacy of Charles II. He seems to have been a good king, bringing a period of stability to a turbulent time.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
84

The goodness of Charles II is open to debate. He had a finely honed instinct for survival and obviously compared to his brother he was wisdom incarnate, but even if you go along with the restoration being desirable or unavoidable there was much he could have done better.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
85

Royalist.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
86

If we judge kings by who they picked as mistresses, and I don't see why we don't, Charles II comes out pretty high on the scale.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
87

Possibly, he just knew better artists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
88

James II sets an easy curve. Looking into it, the Second Anglo-Dutch War occurred on his watch, and that sure was an embarrassment.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
89

...the late unlamented Duke of Windsor.

Ahem. Some of us can look past those pesky fascist dalliances and continue to revere his leadership in the menswear space.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
90

Obviously, the French do rather well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
91

I'm finding it tricky to think of another royal mistress offhand. George I had Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenberg who looked like the back end of a bus but may well have had inner beauty. George II and III were remarkably faithful, George IV had Mrs Fitzherbert and I have no idea what she looked like.

Oh, wait, Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn was supposed to be quite something.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
92

Real talk: full Windsors are kind of ugly. Or I can't tie them right.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
93

There's a whole Wikipedia page that lists them out nicely.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
94

full Windsors are kind of ugly

Yes, but if you're royal plenty of women will overlook that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
95

Wait. Necktie knots. Never mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
96

||

I just typed this in an email to a client:

That rear entry is really crappy right now.
|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
97

78: I had seen a link to it but didn't get a chance to read it for a few hours later. I wasn't prepared for just how great it would be. And he was very funny on "Wait, Wait...".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
98

91. George II was chiefly faithful to the Countess of Suffolk. Henry I set the standard back in the 11th century with six or seven mistresses a couple of dozen illegitimate kids (mostly called Matilda). Charles was the only one who matched that.

I have to admit that I find the mid 17th century standard of beauty unappealing in either sex, but maybe he made the best of a bad lot.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
99

79.2: my girlfriend goes by a name different from the one her parents gave her because of something like that. The story never quite made sense to me but goes something like: when she was signing up for some standardized test (the GRE, maybe?), she couldn't find the character for her name so she entered two characters that together made up that character, but which are pronounced differently, and somehow decided it was easier to go with the new name than try to deal with the bureaucracy of having her test scores count under her actual name.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
100

99: Maybe the gaokao?

I support the use of two character, sensible names, especially since Chinese has such a long tradition of arbitrary names. Choose something cool for your kids.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
101

No, I'm pretty sure it was after she had already started college.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
102

Necktie knots should be understood in context.

My dad's practice went back to the 40s, a wide tie period, so he used the simplest and smallest, the four-in-hand. In the early 60s my brother and I went to the half-Windsor, because it filled the space framed by the collars of the time on the then-extremely-narrow ties. My dad never got the hang of it and would leave his tied, maddeningly.

At first, half, or single Windsor worked with the huge ties and collar of the 70s, because everything was supposed to big and excessive. But by about 1980, ties and hair were still larger than the historical mean but the trend was slimmer, and I reverted to the four-in-hand.

Much depends on the collars and tie widths, in general fashion and what you're trying to make work in particular.

I sometimes use a knot called a "Shelby," as wide as a full Windsor but flatter and neater, to fill a large space between collars. I knew a haberdasher who knew that knot but under a different name I've forgotten.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
103

According to wikipedia Henry II's mistress Rosamund was very beautiful. Eleanor of Aquitaine was also supposedly beautiful, so Henry was doing well on all fronts. Maybe Charles should go with Henry.
Also, Eleanor's grandmother was named Dangereuse. That's a name that needs to be brought back into circulation. She also had a daughter named Alix, which I totally thought was a romance novel name. Maybe I am underestimating romance novel writer's deep knowledge of medieval France.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
104

the mid 17th century standard of beauty

There's a great description of Lady Castlemaine's sex appeal in Pepy's Diary.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
105

102: You're absolutely right. I think the Duke of Windsor actually wore unusually large ties and the knot was developed to emulate his style with non-bespoke ties. I just don't like the look of fat ties (although I get that there was a fashion context for them).

103: Dangereuse is amazing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
106

Henry was doing well on all fronts

Except possibly the fronts on which he was fighting various of his children who had been incited to rebellion by the beautiful Eleanor. Not just a pretty face.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
107

I gotta say Bertie might be the winner on that account although the unavailability of glamor photos of Jane Seymour makes this sort of thing trickier.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
108

Except possibly the fronts on which he was fighting various of his children who had been incited to rebellion by the beautiful Eleanor.

What family doesn't have its ups and downs?


Posted by: Opinionated Eleanor of Aquitaine | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
109

107. Alice Keppel was also something of a looker by early 20th century standards. More so, I would judge, than her great-granddaughter.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
110

Also, the internet is full of glamour photos of Jane Seymour, if that's what you want. Just not that one.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
111

110: Young Hans was an amazing painter, but he seems to have been a lot more interested in painting fabric than flesh.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
112

What I have learned from this thread is that Hans Holbein liked double chins.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
113

111. I agree. I was going to say that it was weird how the face looked quite lifelike, but everything below the neck looked like a mannequin with some clothes on it. And then it occurred to me that if you were painting a queen in the 16th century, you probably got a couple of hours to sketch her head and then you were thrown a gown and some costume jewelry and told to get on with it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
114

Contemporary descriptions of Anne Boleyn seem to be that she wasn't anything special, but had great hair.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
115

I'm remembering (but refuse to check whether my memory is accurate) six fingers on one hand and three nipples for Anne, which might not have been attractive in either case, but surely qualifies as something special.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
116

Six nipples and three fingers would be even more distinctive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
117

115. You're sure you're not confusing her with Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple breasted whore of Eroticon 6?

My impression of Anne Boleyn is that she seems to be chewing a lemon in all her portraits, Not alluring. Katherine of Aragon was actually the most attractive of Henry's wives.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
118

116 - Possibly an order at the bar on spring break.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
119

My European history teacher in high school told us that Henry VIII was said to have "cute knees". This is probably the only thing most of the students remembered from this class.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
120

If your chemistry teacher mentioned it in class, it would be even more memorable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
121

120: No, my chemistry teacher is remembered for his fits of rage. He was a soft-spoken calm pleasant man, but one or twice a year, something would set him off, and he would start screaming yelling at the class, sometimes even throwing things. The next day he would apologize, and everything would go back to normal.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:12 AM
horizontal rule
122

115 The six finger thing was spread by her enemies.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
123

The stone truth is that, just as society progresses, people are getting hotter and this reveals itself in the hottness of mistresses. It's one of the few areas where a whiggish historical narrative is totally right. Most 18th century and previous beauties are just not that hott and I think the trend goes through at least 1900, slow progress before then but after that a hotness breakthrough.

Look at portraits of the mistresses of Louis XV, the number one go to guy for European royalty for having hott mistresses -- they're kind of OK looking, but nothing special, and he's a weird looking rotund blob. Yeah, some of it is tastes changing but I think this is overrated -- hypothetical 18th century Megan Fox takes out Madame de Pompadour in a head to head mistress-off, even accounting for changing tastes, much less some pock-marked 5'5 noblelady from 1250. Showtime's "The Tudors" were at least 800% hotter than the real Tudors.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
124

123.2 is just wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
125

People romanticize historical sex and hotness, but the truth is it was mostly ugly people, lice, scratchy clothing and uncomfortable sheets.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
126

Except for the lice, I don't see the difference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
127

Speaking of history, I just ran into a old friend of mine. We shared an office for a couple of years but have not seen each other in about ten years. I recognized him but he didn't recognize me. I think that means he won aging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
128

He won physical, you won mental?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
129

That's cheering. Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
130

People romanticize historical office mates, but the truth is it was mostly ugly people, lice, scratchy clothing and uncomfortable desk chairs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
131

125: Don't forget the body odor.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
132

113: My impression from making & dancing in a few of these clothes is that 'mannequin hung with brocade' was the desired effect in person. It's hard to distinguish cultural choices from technical possibility, but (a) lower-class Tudor clothes are often closer to the modern preferred female shape (b) dance manuals are all about stylized grace. THO of course Elizabeth danced the vuelta.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
133

hypothetical 18th century Megan Fox takes out Madame de Pompadour in a head to head mistress-off, even accounting for changing tastes

Absent photographs, I don't understand how you can make this claim at all. I didn't know what Madame de Pompadour looked like so I just image googled her, and all of the paintings have that particular stylization of females where everything tapers off into wispy points-- fingertips, chin, nose. In one portrait by Boucher, her eyes even look a bit like anime eyes. I don't have that clear a sense of what she would have looked like in real life.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
134

People romanticize historical sex and hotness, but the truth is it was mostly ugly people, lice, scratchy clothing and uncomfortable sheets.

Also, rank body odor (in Europe, anyway).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
135

131 -> 130


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
136

Damn you, Eggplant.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
137

Why does everybody think of only the downside to rank body odor and not the obvious benefit that nobody could complain about how you smelled?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
138

The six finger thing was spread by her enemies.

So she really did have three tits?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
139

128. It's a little rude to call Moby mental.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
140

137: I remember reading that some French king and his wife hated each other's perfume. I assume they each continued to wear the perfume that the other hated, because they didn't like each other much anyway.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
141

139: Have you read his comments?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
142

I don't even read the long ones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
143

The really rank body odour was basically in a time frame between 1400 and 1750. Before that people in towns bathed in hummums if they could afford it and people in the country, i.e. most people, bathed in rivers, so they were at least making an effort. The church disapproved of immorality in bath houses - what's new? - but the killer was that the medical profession decided that getting wet was unhealthy around the end of the middle ages. So the Tudors would have been a lot filthier than people a couple of hundred years before them. By the middle of the eighteenth century at least the elite had started washing again.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
144

bathed in hummums

I could see how the olive oil might help, but I don't see what the chickpeas would do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
145

Granting the stench & lice, but heavy linen sheets warmed beforehand, softened by a few launderings, can hardly be beat for sleeping on. Better than silk, I find.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
146

138. ... and a giant mole on her chin, and protruding teeth, and sallow skin and ... nonetheless, "handsome." Makes you wonder about the competition.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
147

It's hard to think of exactly how to do the comparisons in historical comparative mistress hottology, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Even in extreme cases, I think the present just dominates the past. For example, and while I can't really prove this, I'll bet that if you straight up compared the harem of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient to the lineup at a second-tier strip club in Tampa, second-tier strip club in Tampa wins hands down. That's the power of changes in mass culture, diet, exercise, and skin and body care.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
148

147: We have to choose a panel of judges for this contest.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
149

I assume 148 is an oblique way of saying that you're already in a second-tier strip club in Tampa.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
150

I like that the thread has come back around so that the post title is on topic again.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
151

That's the power of changes in mass culture, diet, exercise,

I'd actually expect diet and exercise to favor the past, if we're looking at peak attractiveness. People in the (gesturing madly at all of history) past were more likely to be malnourished, but if you were getting enough food, and had consistently gotten enough food during crucial developmental stages, what you were getting was low sugar whole foods, something that would probably look like a fad health-food diet from a modern point of view. And the odds that you were getting lots of hard exercise, just living a day-to-day premodern life, were much better than they are now.

Probably eighty percent of the population (by which I actually mean 'most, I don't know how many') were malnourished, affected by childhood illness, maimed, scarred, whatever. But the remaining twenty percent seem to me like they were plausibly better off for being in peak animal health and therefore beauty than we are now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
152

149: Because those third tier Tampa clubs are just intolerably skanky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
153

151: Maybe you should argue that humans reached peak attractiveness before the demon wheat was cultivated.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
154

I'll bet that if you straight up compared the harem of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient to the lineup at a second-tier strip club in Tampa, second-tier strip club in Tampa wins hands down.

This I doubt. Suleiman would have had his pick of the four-sigma outliers of an empire of 15 million people / ~7.5 million females. I further conjecture that the diet, exercise, and body care habits of the 16th Century middle classes in the Eastern Mediterranean were at least as healthy as those of a midmarket Tampa stripper.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
155


Or what LB said.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
156

I further conjecture that the diet, exercise, and body care habits of the 16th Century middle classes in the Eastern Mediterranean were at least as healthy as those of a midmarket Tampa stripper.

Less access to cosmetic surgery, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
157

Thanks Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
158

I wager Roxelana could have gotten work at even the finest strip clubs of Tampa.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
159

Not an expert, but I'm somehow certain that Suleiman's preference in women tended toward plumper than contemporary mainstream tastes.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
160

Don't make me link to a Meghan Trainor video.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
161

The element of truth in Glenn's theory is this: people before the middle of the 19th century at the earliest had hard, hard lives. Even if you were an aristocrat, if anything went wrong with your health you couldn't do much about it; you were too cold, or too hot most of the time; your diet was not necessarily fresh to the point that it would pass as fit for human consumption today. And if you were poor your bread was adulterated with all kinds of shit and you had no cooking facilities most of the time; the water was bad; if you were a sexually active woman you were probably pregnant every 18 months or so for the rest of your life (because you'd only have a fifty fifty chance of living to menopause). The crime rate was insane, even by the standards of the worst western cities today.

We tend to overcompensate for the appalling life expectancy figures by discounting infant mortality, but people in their 50s and 60s regarded themselves as old, and they were because they were physically worn out. In those conditions, with the best genes imaginable you'd be genuinely pretty for two or three years, tops.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
162

Also, IIRC the Ottoman sultans were fond of stocking their harems with Bulgarian women, and Bulgarians are in any reasonable judgment one of the most attractive peoples on earth.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
163

"arms everywhere circular in cross-section" is a common beauty standard for women well into 19th c USA. Much of the 18th & 19th c put European girls into backboards so they would have narrow backs and slope shoulders as women. I'm pretty sure "dimpled knees and thighs" praises plump legs, if not cellulite.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
164

Teeth, people, teeth.

Anyway, the only way to compare is to match media: compare paintings of famous beauties.

So who's prettier, A or B?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
165

162 is right on both counts, although Circassians were regarded at the time as more beautiful. I've never consciously met a Circassian, so I can't comment.

(Circassian chicken is to die for,)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
166

(Circassian chicken is to die for,)

It just sounds so ... weird.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
167

I think 164 is a trick question.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
168

Circassians were regarded at the time as more beautiful.

Like every other topic under the sun, this has been discussed at length in TFA.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:20 PM
horizontal rule
169

Chris Y I think has the most important point, but there's another one as well. It's true that Suleiman had access to millions of women given empire size, but the Tampa area strip club also has access to international migration flows on a scale inconceivable to the 16th century. Roxelana was an undeniably attractive on-the-make Ukranian beauty, but my thesis is that in the contemporary world even the fourth level of undeniably attractive Ukranian beauties (i.e. those who may end up in Tampa-area strip clubs) are playing at roughly the same level as world-beating Ottoman Sultaness Roxelana. Note: I've actually never been to a Tampa-area strip club but I'm assuming that there are some pretty attractive Ukranians on the scene, maybe an incorrect assumption.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
170

No really, it's great. Having said which, I've never used that recipe, which I linked at random; I use Claudia Roden, whose version is a little bit fussier and uses celery instead of carrots. I guess there's no one right way, but my god it tastes good.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
171

170 > 166.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
172

I use Claudia Roden

Not cool, Chris Y. We're only talking hypothetically about Turkish slave girls and contemporary international stripper flows in the Tampa area.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
173

"arms everywhere circular in cross-section" is a common beauty standard for women well into 19th c USA

Boy, you'd be really hot if I hadn't just cut off part of your arm.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
174

I have enthesophytes, which is something Henry VIII seems like the kind of guy to get.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:02 PM
horizontal rule
175

At least I'm medically advised to be less chunky.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
176

I was not medically advised to drink less because I lied about how much I drank. That solves all kinds of problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
177

Lying, like drinking, is both the cause of and solution to all of our problems.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
178

158. I don't think you can base your judgement on Google Image search for Hürrem Sultan. Some of those are modern actresses who would grace any strip club in Tampa or the civilized world.

But I do truly agree with the teeth thing about modern versus old-timey hotness.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
179

In the postapocalyptic future, medieval beauty will be back in style. Our descendants will hate us for our ugliness in addition to our other failures.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:56 PM
horizontal rule
180

If we're going to talk about Tudor beauty, here's an interesting excerpt from the Anne of Cleves wiki entry: Henry confided to Cromwell that he had not consummated the marriage, saying, "I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse." He described her as having unpleasant body odor and sagging breasts, among other complaints.

How bad would you have to smell for Henry VIII to complain about your body odor?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
181

How hard-up for friends would you have to be to tell your sex life to Cromwell?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
182

Also, how saggy were her breasts, really? Tudor portraiture portrays women as either boobless or with boobs as little spherical things basically attached to their necks, so if that reflects the beauty standard of the time 'normal' breasts might look saggy. She was 25 at the time of the marriage so I suppose she had some time for gravity to take effect.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
183

181: see Mantel, Hilary.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
184

Thanks. I've never heard of her and probably would never have unless she decided, as more people are, to write dinosaur porn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
185

I know I've said this before, but even accounting for a certain amount of Photoshopping avant la lettre* by Romney, Lady Hamilton was mad hot.

* I am -- how do you say? ah, yes -- the classy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
186

But I do truly agree with the teeth thing about modern versus old-timey hotness.

I've certainly told the tale of the Brazilian hottie in Brasilia who came on to me. She was by far the prettiest woman I saw in Brazil*, but it was a little hard to ignore her teeth, which weren't awful, but weren't great either.

The solution, of course, was to hide her teeth with my mouth.

*the Brazilian standard of big butts and flat chests wasn't and isn't my thing. And they suffered in comparison to Buenos Aires, where I had just come from.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
187

SO I Google Lady Hamilton, and Google suggests I look at Romney, and one of this hits is this. Please note the web address. Will the circle be unbroken, indeed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:22 PM
horizontal rule
188

She was 25 at the time of the marriage so I suppose she had some time for gravity to take effect.

I met my SO when she was 31, and her breasts were already awfully saggy. As were those of my previous SO when I first saw hers unencumbered when she was 20.


Posted by: Bill Clinton | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
189

Let's all....

No. That would be awful for several reasons. Goodnight internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
190

187: Rowr.

188: This would be an opportunity, were one inclined to ungallantry, to recall the late Harry Crews' immortal line "There was titty everywhere."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:31 PM
horizontal rule
191

How hard-up for friends would you have to be to tell your sex life to Cromwell?

Thomas, not Oliver.

I think there are probably several factors here:
standards changing over time (hell, even now they differ radically over space, as Buttercup was explaining the other day with the still startling fact that apparently most Chinese men would, if offered a chance with Zhang Ziyi, make whatever the Chinese noise is for "meh").
general health care and, in particular, skin care: heavy, obvious make up was a thing back then for a reason; also, working out of doors. We mock the ancients for regarding a tan as unattractive and pale skin as a sign of beauty, but we are exactly the same; what happens to your skin if you spend every day working out of doors is not a "tan" in the sense we understand it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 2:55 AM
horizontal rule
192

We mock the ancients for regarding a tan as unattractive and pale skin as a sign of beauty

Tanning as attractive originated with Coco Chanel, less than 100 years ago.

The thing about Zhang Ziyi is that she looks about as western as you can while still clearly looking Chinese. And the whole "admire exotic beauty" thing is very rare in most cultures, including ours until recently.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 3:11 AM
horizontal rule
193

the whole "admire exotic beauty" thing is very rare in most cultures

I am not sure about this. Wasn't it a thing for harems (for example) to be highly diverse workplaces?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 3:14 AM
horizontal rule
194

Tanning as attractive originated with Coco Chanel, less than 100 years ago.

Tanning, therefore, is objectively pro-SS?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 3:15 AM
horizontal rule
195

194. Wouldn't tan/no tan be a class thing? Before industrialization the lower classes worked outside and got tan, the upper classes lounged about in drawing rooms and stayed melanin-free. After industrialization the lower classes worked indoors in factories and the middle class in offices and stayed pale, but the upper classes, ever mindful of distinguishing themselves from everyone else, had the free time to get a tan.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 5:47 AM
horizontal rule
196

As mentioned in 191, what happens when you work outside isn't exactly a tan-tan. People call it a "farmer tan" where I'm from. Even if you worked without a shirt to avoid the fetching line between the sun-baked and shaded parts of your arm, you'd still not get the same type of tan as somebody who went to the beach.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
197

I'm not generally on-board with the whole 'people were teh ugly in the past' argument. If you look at mid-19th century photographs, or 20th century photographs of people living in pre-modern societies, you don't see people that look significantly different from ordinary modern Westerns. Some slight variation maybe, when you are thinking about the ideal body type favoured by the upper and middle-classes, but the differences aren't really that great.

But Moby's right about the tan. The one thing you notice, both in older photographs and in photographs of people [even now] who work outdoors for a living, is that people's skin looks much more 'aged' than the comparable modern Westerner would be.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
198

I'd believe city people were systematically malnourished horrible little stunted gnome-like things -- you get literary descriptions of the superior beauty of healthy country people. But there were always a fair number of healthy country people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
199

There are occasional 19th c. letters and fiction that praise a lightly tanned complexion. Mostly this marks someone rural and innocent of big-city pallor and artifice, or someone who has visited the classical world or Holy Land (religious, scholarly, innocent of big-city etc.). Also, in the first half of that century, it's not universally unappealing to have an aristocratic grandmother from Northern India or maybe even the Middle East -- race only absolutely trumps class later. (Or the races are defined differently.) I should take up annotating my Gutenberg trawls again.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
200

"Caucasian" in the 19th century actually encompassed a wider variety of people than it does today. Europe, N. India/Nepal, the Middle East, and N/NE Africa. (i.e. speakers of Indo-European, Semitic, and "Hamitic" languages). The only current white people who weren't Caucasian are the Finns, Hungarians, and Basques. Caucasian != white as we use it today, but there's a pedantic if accurate argument to make the case that actually fewer people are considered 'Caucasian' than used to be, but the category had much less salience back then than did other racial categories.

Jane Austen has a line in PP where Darcy compliments Elizabeth on her brown skin, implying that she has a healthy tan from getting fresh air and exercise.

In China, past age 20 you can usually tell if someone is rural because they look about 10-15 years older than a city person of the same age, and it's definitely that people's skin just looks more worn. It's also much browner. People in China have a wide range of natural skin tones, from very light to quite dark, but there's an almost uniformly browner skin tone to rural people that doesn't correlate to base skin tone. (Hopefully this makes sense. Like, separate from actual skin tone, rural people tend to have much darker and worn-looking skin, or, they have skin that is dark in a very different way than a city person who just happens to have dark skin.)


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:37 PM
horizontal rule