I contributed my wisdom (?) to this book by Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley. As a famous idiot once said (and as referred to on page 9 of the book itself!), there are known unknowns and there are unknown unknowns, and I think many artists reading this book will realise how many unknown unknowns they've … Continue reading What They Didn’t Teach You in Art School
Regular readers will know that I love old books on etiquette for their combination of timeless, rock-solid advice and things that have turned into baffling absurdities with the passage of decades or centuries. The passages quoted here are from The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness by Cecil B. Hartley, 1860. Its publication in Boston shows how, at the time and right through into the twentieth century, upper class English manners were held up as the ideal to which all others should aspire if they were to be thought of as cultured and civilised.
The “hideous Newgate frill” he writes of at one point (see below) is a beard grown only under the jaw line, with shaved chin, cheeks, and upper lip. It was and is indeed hideous. He’s also correct to say that “the moustache should be kept within limits.”
Another thing worthy of note is a…
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???est posts of 2014
Otherwise known as the now traditional lazy retrospective listicle
We all know by now don’t we my little blackguards my pretty roadside fartflowers of the friggingfields my dearest filthy fuckbirds yes we know yes yes yes oh yes that the top pages on the site are invariably James Joyce’s paeans to using the tradesman’s entrance and the translation of Hokusai’s tentacle hentai. Tens of thousands of you, constantly, from all over the world, day and night. You must have massive right arms by now (if you’re right handed).
But there is so much more to explore, and some of it doesn’t even involve sexual fetishes. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
“What a shocking bad hat”, and other stupid 19th century memes.
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Milking 2013 posts one last time
Apart from my regulars and subscribers (hello, and thanks) most of this blog’s visitors in 2013 were a strange– and strangely consistent– rainbow of people from Reddit, Something Awful, Buzzfeed, Open Culture, Facebook and Twitter. It’s like the bridge of the Enterprise in here, or a Communist propaganda poster from the 1960s. I may cry.
As seen in the slideshow below, the top posts of the year were mainly to do with bumhole activities chez Joyce, Japanese women making arguably ill-advised forays into putting odd things in various orifices, weird old engravings, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, medieval moralising, gay animals, and squirrels on drugs. Just relax. All these things are normal, here. And if you ever meet me in real life, try not to be too scared. Honestly I don’t even know how somebody as incredibly square as I am ended up with a…
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Eric Gill, sans consentement
“‘Bath and slept with Gladys,’ runs one entry in the diary. Such Gill family intimacies seem routine, a habit. A few weeks later there are more surprising entries; ‘Expt. [experiment] with dog in eve’ [the rest has been obliterated]. Then, five days later, ‘Bath. Continued experiment with dog after and discovered that a dog will … Continue reading Eric Gill, sans consentement
The “cut direct”
Etiquette: Rules and Usages of the Best Society was published in Australia in 1885 for the benefit of “the better sort” among our colonial cousins. Not the crims, in other words. Some of the advice is very wise, some of it is surreal, while some of it– such as the recommended homemade treatments for acne or grey hair– is liable to end with a trip to the accident and emergency room.
THE “CUT DIRECT”
The “cut direct,” which is given by a prolonged stare at a person, if justified at all, can only be in case of extraordinary and notoriously bad conduct on the part of the individual “cut,” and is very seldom called for. If any one wishes to avoid a bowing acquaintance with another, it can be done by looking aside or dropping the eyes. It is an invariable rule of good society that a gentleman cannot “cut”…
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