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Saturday, December 29, 2007
9:45 AM

Did Borges ever imagine a library in which we could know which volumes users were thinking about consulting?

[Hat-tip to Alan in Chicago.]

Thursday, December 27, 2007
7:05 AM

Sad day, reading Pakistani metblogs.

New camera. Neon in the beauty salon, last night, opposite our extra-good sushi place.

Monday, December 24, 2007
10:50 PM
Whether you've been naughty or nice, here's a link to my favorite new blog, The Edge of the American West .

History can save your ass.

Friday, December 21, 2007
7:27 AM

Sunday, December 16, 2007
8:37 PM
Further, in the course of the eighteenth century, the peculiar fashion of false stomachs, 'pads' or 'paddies', was revived. These were used for a time at the end 'fifties, and were seen again in the 'nineties. Archenholtz says: 'This was the most senseless invention, against all decency and delicacy, and disfiguring the female body; it caused a deformity which is only seen in the female sex during pregnancy. These decorations were called pads, and the smaller ones paddies; they were usually made of tin, and were therefore called "tin pinafores". These artificial stomachs were in great favour, particularly with unmarried women, which caused the wits to say that a revolution had taken place amongst the signs of the Zodiac, and the Twins had come too near Virgo. But above all, these pads were the butt of jokers, who used them unmercifully, and their use soon had to be discontinued. Such a fashion was in too bad taste to last long. It was in existence in London in February 1793, but by the end of the spring it was over in England and went to Dublin, where it was welcomed by the women. During the migration which took place as a result of the French war, it was taken to Germany by refugee English women, but was not copied there.'

--Ivan Bloch, Sexual Life in England, 1903

1:47 PM
I must admit that no age ever produced anything so perverse as the clothing of the men of the present time who call themselves "pretty fellows". Their coiffures require nothing more than a row of hairpins to make them look completely feminine. It is easily realised why they always take great care to be as "pretty" as possible when they meet their companions, and all manliness is diametrically opposed to this unnatural behavior. Consequently they try their best to imitate the mannerisms and dress of the opposite sex. By reason of all this our young gentlemen's dress at the present time is most vulgar and in very bad taste. It is very difficult nowadays to tell a gentleman from a servant. Their shoes, with low heels, are the emblems of their low minds, and the large buckles on them equal the extent of their affectation. The waistcoat, made of silver cloth, abundantly trimmed with lace, worn with a common blue jacket resembling a livery, has something so miserably perverse about it that it revolts me. I feel ashamed when I see them aping the servants about, carrying a big oaken stick, more suitable for an usher than for a gentleman. But the most intolerable thing is their hair, brushed high above the forehead and drawn together behind with a large comb as if it were a regular coiffure. I am told that some of our tip-top "beaus" wear frilled bonnets to give them a more womanly appearance, so that Master Molly has nothing to do but put on his frilly little bonnet and he will pass for a lady, except for his deplorable face. But even this can be remedied by means of powder and paint, which last is as much used by our men as by the French women. There is nothing more amusing than their new "joke" hats of the latest fashion, which are ridiculously dandyish. But to see them at balls or in evening dress -- in silk jackets of many colours, revolts me beyond all measure. They had much better put on real women's dresses and petticoats instead of doing things by halves.

--Satan's Harvest Home, or the present state of Whorecraft, Adultery, Fornication, Procuring, Sodomy, and the Game of Flatts, and other Satanic works, daily propagated in this good Protestant Kingdom. Collected from the memoirs of an intimate comrade of the Hon. Jack . n . r etc. London, 1749.