August 26, 2013

"How to cleans the sweatie and sluttish Complexion..."

"Take thirty Snails prepared, a quart of Goats milk, hogs suet three ounces, camfre poudred two drams, beat them together, and distil them in an Alembick."

Advice from 1665, from the blog Ask the Past, which was linked today at Metafilter.

Let's try one more. This is "How to Tell Jokes, 1558":
"Where your pleasantries are not rewarded with the laughter of listeners, cease and desist from telling jokes in the future. The defect is in you, not in your listeners... For these are movements of the mind, and if they are pleasant and lively, they are an indication and a testimonial of the nimble mind and the good habits of the speaker-- this is particularly liked by other men and endears us to them. But if they are without grace and charm, they have the contrary effect, so it appears a jackass is joking, or that someone very fat with an enormous butt is dancing and hopping about in a tight-fitting vest."
Someone... with an enormous butt is dancing and hopping about... which is actually all we do these days, in case you want to Ask Last Night at the VMAs (go to 1:45).

11 comments:

Carol said...

That reminds me how I hate it when people tell jokes. I mean long story jokes. Truly funny people do not need to tell story jokes.

Tibore said...

Oh, damn, I thought Sir Archy was back at first. :(

betamax3000 said...

On My First Quick Scan of the Headline I Mis-Read as "How to cleans the sweatie and sluttish Constitution..."

Of Course, with the VMA Subject it Shows There is Indeed First Amendment Protection for Sweatie and Sluttish Expression.





YoungHegelian said...

...or that someone very fat with an enormous butt is dancing and hopping about in a tight-fitting vest.

I'm sorry, but I'd really like to see the original Italian for that line.

That line just sounds out of place in this setting. Out of Rebelais, or the Decameron, sure. But in a text on comportment in a high-class social setting. Sorry, ain't buying it without the ur-text.

sojerofgod said...

I you-tubed the VMA video and watched it through with the sound down. a few observations:
1. The kid can't dance.
2. I don't care whether she can sing.
3. I can't decide if they fired the choreographer before the show or afterwards.
4. It was so bad it was almost funny.
5. I don't think psychiatric help will matter too much to the poor thing.
6. Hollywood destroys people. Here is the poster child for underage actress abuse.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I don't see how what I look like dancing has anything to do with how my jokes are received. Sheesh.

Marc said...

'Ask the Past' commented, and supplied the original Italian for the 'very fat with an enormous butt': forte grasso e naticuto

William said...

I have found another solution to the problem he posits. Tell your jokes in the blogosphere.

D. Luthor said...

I guess Madonna and Gaga can get away with it, but Miley Cyrus cannot.

If Cyrus had done the exact same thing, and gotten this exact same high level of criticism, but had been African-American instead, a certain sector of the media would be laying blame for the criticism entirely on racism.

Bob Ellison said...

Carol said "That reminds me how I hate it when people tell jokes. I mean long story jokes. Truly funny people do not need to tell story jokes."

Take my wife, please!

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans went to a motel in Oklahoma, and Roy left his his brand-new boots out on the porch overnight. Turns out a mountain lion was lurking around and liked the taste of leather, so she stole his boots. Bad idea, though; she died of indigestion. The next morning, Dale was packing up the horses, and she saw the dead cat on the porch. She said, "Pardon me, Roy: is the cat who ate your new shoes?"

Bob Ellison said...

Uh, "Is that cat who chewed your new shoes?".

Carol was right.