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Lady Aquila

Mar 10, 05 - 10:08 AM
The Hourglass Effect

No - it isn't a missive about corsetry!

Aristasians are constantly chatting and throwing up new theories and ideas. One of them was recently put forward over an extremely delightful lunch by a rather clever brunette. I wish she would visit the Club as it is her idea and she would explain it far better than I, but she is rather busy and never seems to come here.

Well, we were chatting about New Aristasians and my brunette friend said there were, a while ago, fewer new Aristasians, and the reason was, in her view, that there were fewer and fewer girls with even the smallest notion of sound ideas or instincts.

As she put it (I quote from memory) "With every passing year, a young girl has been to a worse school, watched more degenerate television, had younger and more bongo parents and generally had less vestiges of a Real World in her upbringing than a girl a year younger. We have a generation to which every sort of normality is not even a distant memory. To such people Aristasia seems strange and alien."

"That seems rather defeatist," I suggested.

"Not at all," said my brunette friend. "After a certain point, the Pit becomes so degenerate and barren that a sensitive minority becomes desperate to find an alternative. A few people start thinking 'There must be a more civilised way of life than this'. At first only a few, but as the Pit becomes more and more a desert of the soul, that minority will increase. It is like an hourglass. At the narrowest point, no one has anything real in her upbringing and her desire for something more nourishing is still not very conscious. Then, as the Pit moves further and further into the badlands of total aridity, that minority grows and its yearning becomes more and more intense.

"In my view, We passed that narrowest point a few years ago and, very slowly, we are starting to see the expansion."

An interesting theory. What do the rest of you think?

And it would seem slightly piquant if the narrowest point came around the time of the turn of the millennium.
Miss Juliana

Mar 10th, 2005 - 5:04 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

What clever brunette friends you must have!

It does seem possible that this theory might just be worth discussing a bit. Is there any historical precedent for it? Could one say, for example, that the more restrained Trentish attitude to youthful folly is, in part, a reaction against the excessive jinky decadence of Vintesse?

I suppose counter-reformations tend to follow reformations too.

I suppose one ought to ask, too, whether a pyramid once inverted, can ever be put back to the upright.

Has a superior blonde brain any deep and revelatory light to shed?

Miss Jx
Lady Aquila

Mar 11th, 2005 - 10:43 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

It was a very clever brunette - and one you may know.

Action and reaction (as in the Vintese/Trent reaction you cite) is not uncommon. There was also (for example) a reaction in the early 18th century after the licentiousness of the Restoration period in the late 17th. However there are two points of difference.

1) We are not talking about a mere reaction to a social fluctuation here, but about the total and systematic destruction of normal civilised values, to the point where the soul is completely starved and begins, rather blindly, to flounder toward something more nourishing.

2) Unlike the case of a fluctuation, the whole of the mass-media and education system is governed by hard-line ideologues who are deeply committed to perpetuating and increasing the degeneracy, so an ordinary fluctuation (like that of the 1930s) is no longer possible. Things are not floating in a normal, relatively loose manner, but are locked down tightly by cliques who permit no one of differing views to come to prominence in the mind-shaping industries.

So it seems unlikely that this "hourglass effect" could bring about any change in the Pit at large (can you imagine any movement toward people dressing better or speaking better, for example?) It only brings about vague and scarcely expressible longings for something finer and more more nourishing among a few sensitive souls.

They are vague and scarcely expressible precisely because the mass-media and education systems that have shaped their image-sphere from birth give them no concrete image of anything better and no means of expressing their instinctive revulsion against the Brave New World.

So we are not talking about "social change" in Telluria, but only about a small group of souls who, when presented with the vision of Aristasia, will see an oasis in the desert wherin they have thirsted since birth.
Miss Huntingdon

Mar 11th, 2005 - 11:21 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

In fact, one might say that if society had been moving normally, rather than being heavily steered by the mind-shapers, there would have been a natural reaction in the 1970s, or at least by the 1980s against the excesses of the 1960s/70s.

In many ways the 1960s (in their healthier manifestations) are rather analogous to the 1920s and in the normal course of things a 1930s-style reaction would have followed. But other things were happening by then, and there is a big difference between a natural phase of decadence and a deliberately induced degeneracy - a poison injected into the social system, and not injected once, but continualy maintained, like a toxic drip-feed.

Wasn't it the realisation by Oxford Feminine-Essentialists in the 1970s that the aberration of the 1960s was not going to correct itself naturally (as would have been the normal course of things) that led to the beginnings of Aristasia-in-Telluria?
Sushuri Novaryana

Mar 11th, 2005 - 3:19 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

In practice, the "experiment" that the Pit is conducting upon Western society as a whole, and on every soul born into it, concerns the question of whether, by creating a blanket abnormal world, one can eliminate the very concept of normality from birth onwards.

Studies with very young chilren in classrooms throw an interesting light on this question. When they are shown various pictures of bongo couples in bongo clothes that also include one or more respectably dressed Quirinelle-style couples, and are asked to say which is the "mummy and daddy", they will almost invariably pick a Quirrie-style couple regardless of what their own parents are like, and of the images fed to them in bongo picture-books and on television.

This tells us two interesting things. First that the archetypes of true parents as respectable, grown-up beings cannot be eliminated by experience and conditioning; and secondly that the late-Rajasic styles of clothing and presentation that prevailed until the Eclipse, however "modern" they might be, were still directly enough connected to the thread of tradition that a small child instantly recognises them, and knows that this is what parents should be.

The Archetype of the Mother, is the most fundamental of all images. It is the very centre and fulcrum of the image-sphere, representing Dea Herself. To have this most central and sacred of all images represented to a child by (say) a person in torn jeans wearing a tea-shirt adverising a soft drink is probably the most devastating attack on the psyche that could be devised.

The duty of faithfully representing Archetypes in our own persons was in traditional times seen as one of the primary responsibilities of the human being. In the more rationalistic and individualistic Rajasic era, this duty became less well understood and in many cases was neglected altogether, but such fundamental archetypes as femininity, and above all motherhood, were still regarded as sacred up until the Eclipse.

The attempted - and often successful - destruction of the reflections of these Archetypes in the image-sphere has done immeasurable and continually increasing psychic damage to the last two or three generations in Telluria; yet the archetypes cannot truly be extirpated even from the heart of the smallest child, because a new-born child is not, as the rationalist believes, a tabula rasa ready to be imprinted by whatever the image-shapers choose to project, but contains the true Archetypes as the very hub of her soul.

It is for these Archetypes that the starved soul in the Pit yearns more and more strongly as she is denied them more and more completely. The job of the Pit is to confuse and misdirect these yearnings: to replace the true bread with various kinds of stone. Our job is to unveil the truth and to provide the true bread.
Miss Belleanne

Mar 11th, 2005 - 8:15 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Representing an archetype faithfully can be a very satisfying thing -- a pleasure as well as a duty. I'm going to naughtily quote without permission from a letter sent me recently by a very sane, intelligent lady.

"I look like a mother. And that gives me such pleasure - I like that I look like what I am. I like having a role and filling it well. Yet the Pit does such a good job of convincing people that they should resist being what they are with all their might, and never for a second consider that happiness might be found, in the words of the Book of Common Prayer, in doing their duty in the station of life to which it has pleased God to call them."
Princess Mushroom

Mar 12th, 2005 - 12:41 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

This might seem a bit baby, but I truly believe that another instance of the persistence of Archetypes in the hearts of the very young is the overwhelming popularity of the Disney Princess line of products among young girls.

Despite a surrounding culture that provides almost no support for such things, girls flock to these images of femininity, regality, poise and dignity and wish to emulate them. Last Christmas, Disney Princess products were the best-seling line of toys among all children, and since they were nearly all bought for younger girls that tells something about their huge popularity among that group.

Of course these ideals are quickly knocked out of them as they get a little older and the hateful Pit educaton system closes in on their hearts and throws its black shadow over their souls: but it is clear that with amost no cultural support, they flourish in the hearts of small girls, who flock to any product that seems to support their inner yearnings.

They are also rather delightful things for Aristasian blondes!
Sushuri Novaryana

Mar 12th, 2005 - 1:12 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

You are so right, little Highness.

These poor little girls are dressed in ugly, scruffy bongo clothes. Their mothers are dressed in ugly, scruffy bongo clothes. Their grandmothers (for shame!) are dressed in ugly, scruffy bongo clothes. Every female authority-figure they ever see, from schoolmistresses to television announcers to cabinet ministers are brash, proletarianised, sub-Cockney working wimmin.

And yet, in their private fantasy worlds, the ideals that these girls cherish to their hearts are elegant princesses in glorious dresses with gentle, courtly and dignified ways.

Of course, these ideals are rapidly suppressed, but do they ever really go away? Is it not in this huge undertow of longing for the real and the beautiful amid the desert of the Pit that the Hourglass Effect really lies?
Miss Belleanne

Mar 12th, 2005 - 4:10 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

This is going to sound rather vain of me, but--!

Like most Aristasian girls, I suspect, I am often complimented on my clothes by utter strangers -- often effeminate men or older women, but sometimes even the worst sort of scruffy bongo has a kind word or two for an elegant ensemble. I have sometimes had long discussions with bongo women who have noticed my seamed stockings and think they are the bees' knees and want to know all about them. I look on it as missionary work.

Lately I have been wearing my new fur stole rather a lot, usually accompanied by a tweed suit, pearls, red or black leather gloves, and very red lipstick, and the compliments have become rather uniform. Almost every time I go anywhere, someone says I look like "a movie star". One waitress even told me I looked like "a heroine".

It seems the archetype of the up-to-date movie queen has survived, even in a world where no bongo film star would be seen dead in modest but chic tweed and glorious, politically incorrect fur!

Mar 12th, 2005 - 2:05 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect (peer pressure, practicality and The Pit)

My previous girlfriend (a gauleiter brunette of a redhead) declined to wear anything feminine if the day's tasks demanded "practicality" (i.e. the temperature outside was below 36 degrees Fahrenheit, or the house/garden needed maintenance). Now my daughter chooses raggedy jeans in preference to a pretty skirt, blaming peer pressure and sometimes cold weather (or wears jeans under a skirt, a very strange apparition in my view).

While I concede that for some tasks one has to dress sensibly I prefer to avoid jeans or slacks. It is time we demonstrated to the (Pit) world that being feminine does not equate with being feeble and being assertive does not mean being ill-mannered. In fact I have to say that there are times when my daughter's conduct absolutely shames me. I can hope for nothing higher than that she should discover, and aspire to the standards upheld in Aristasia.
Brenda Reynardine

Mar 12th, 2005 - 7:39 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Dear Ladies,

Hello. My name is Brenda, and I have been coming to the Club for some little time, but sitting alone over there in the corner. Do you delightful pettes mind if I join in?

Although I do agree, most emphatically, with Myscha that one must always aspire to transcend the Pit-fashions which are pushed on one, I have found that daintiness and femininity need not be sacrificed to practicality. What could be more wholesome and girlish than Quirrie pedal-pushers and saddle shoes with a pretty twin set and perhaps a pert ribbon or kerchief in the hair? Even the most feminine Pre-Eclipse women had to accommodate the demands of more physical occupations on their wardrobes, and they certainly did not find it wrong to wear trousers at the times when trousers were appropriate. Take, for example, Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn. Who can question for one minute that they were anything but perfectly dressed when they wore trousers? And who can call them one bit less feminine for it?

I am not speaking of more formal occasions, of course, but one must not ever trade safety and freedom of movement when they are necessary, such as times when one needs to climb ladders and do heavier garden chores, which we country pettes sometimes find unavoidable. Speaking as a very active brunette, I have found it quite simple to combine modesty and practicality with up-to-date and good-looking work clothes. Even the most demanding tasks may be done in confidence of oneÕs essential rightness, provided one puts a little bit of extra effort into her wardrobe (and wears the right lipstick!).

Brenda Reynardine
Princess Mushroom

Mar 12th, 2005 - 8:39 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

How nice to hear from you, Miss Reynardine - and what a charming name!

The question of Bifurcated Garments is one that has been batted about for years with people having rather definite views on both sides - but as you say, the right lipstick is of paramount importance whichever path one favours!

And as you say, they bifurcs are not for formal aor even semi formal wear. The trouble with the Pit is that people tend to dress down a stage or two from wherever they ought to be, For example, one goes into a local restaurant and sees people in shabby casual clothes many of which no one should wear at all and a few of which would be acceptable for gardening or something. If one dines at the Savoy one sees men in suits and ties, which would be perfectly acceptable in the local restaurant; but at the Savoy they should be in evening dress.
Umm Jack

Mar 12th, 2005 - 11:40 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Yes, your Highness, I find that when I dress my children in what I consider appropriate play clothes people assume we are "dressed up."

Mar 13th, 2005 - 9:53 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Yes. I have just been reading a Quirrie book about America, in preppers for the Great Aristasian Invasion thereof, and there was a passage about the rise of the drive-in kinema, enumerating its various advantages. One of those advantages was that manual labourers tired after a day's work, could attend such a kinema without changing clothes, since they would not leave their own cars.

The idea that one could attend a normal kinema in work-clothes, however tired and discinclined to change one might be, was clearly out of the question even for the roughest working-girl.

There is, after all, such a thing as self-respect. Or in the Pit, perhaps one should make that "was".
Brenda Reynardine

Mar 14th, 2005 - 4:35 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Are you moving to America? Tell us more! When are you going? Aristasian influence is sorely needed there, I must say.
Miss Belleanne

Mar 14th, 2005 - 5:47 AM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

I believe there was talk of the Aristasian Invasion in another thread; it is only the Embassy girls going on holiday, not a complete takeover of the continent (although wouldn't it be lovely!).

The schedule for the trip is still in a state of flux, but I know Las Vegas is on the itinerary and they'll be with me in Georgia in early April. I'm counting the days!

Mar 14th, 2005 - 12:25 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

State of flux is just about it! For various reasons beyond even brunette control the trip's shape has shifted several times and I am sad to say that Las Vegas and points west are now off the old itinner (annoying as one wished to visit the mater on the West Coast - and also the delightful Umm Jack).

As things stand at present our furthest points west will be in Louisiana and Arkansas, though we may just tip into Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. We shall also be going through Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi (I can spell that if I remember when to stop!) though not necessers in that order.

No, we shall not be staying, as at present our work seems to lie more in Europe. One day, perhaps.

The indomitable Tiggrs will be driving our party to the airport and have offered to put us up at a hotel for the night in order to avoid getting up early the next morning to take us. Ah! - such dedication to the Bohemian spirit!

We shall be driving them to the airport next week for yet another of their forays into India. At present Blonde Tiggr is negotiating with Brunette Tiggr over her need to take six pairs of stillettos to Delhi.

If any of y'all are in the deep south, perhaps we could meet on up.

Mar 15th, 2005 - 1:07 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Quoth she: "I am sad to say that Las Vegas and points west are now off the old itinner"

A good thing possibly. My dentist refers to it as "Lost Wages" ;-D

Have lots of fun anyway. We are hoping to take the tribe to Miami in June if we can find somebody easily duped into looking after the menagerie.

Mar 15th, 2005 - 3:06 PM
Re: The Hourglass Effect

Fortunately we are no great gamblers! We went to the casino at Monte Carlo a few years ago, and I confess we dropped several hundred - but that was francs (remember francs from before the occupation?) so we didn't exactly break the bank.

We did have enormous fun, though, talking in loud, tones about the fortunes we'd won and whatever we were going to do with it all, while hailing a taxi back to our hotel.

We stayed in the great Trentish Art-Neo Beach Hotel which was marvellous fun; and actually, my main interest in Las Vegas was staying in a hotel that looks just like a fairytale castle.

I hope we have better luck with the weather in America, I remember that night at the Beach Hotel I kept dreaming the hotel was in danger of flying away in the storm. When I awoke to lovely sunshine I thought my dreams must have exaggerated the storm, but no - when we saw the Monaco morning paper (we only look at papers in foreign parts) we discovered that that had been the night Marseilles was flooded by freak storms!