10th February 2010, 10:44
A recent article on CNN.com spotlights the lifestyles of people who seek to infuse their lives with the grace and elegance of times past. Aficionados of Victoriana, steampunks, lovers of old Hollywood glamour, and other "timewarpians" explain why they prefer past eras to today.
"There is certainly no sense of any kind of community anymore," [one gentleman] said. "People are purely self-centered, only in it for what they can get out of themselves...I think it's just a lot of people saying 'I don't like what I see anymore, so let's create our own reality.' "
"The first thing I ask [members of the Web site] is what they would like to bring from the past. Many of them say they would like to see the return of good manners and morals," she said. "They like the values of respect for women, respect for others. Now with the society we live in, anything goes."
"I was the middle child and kind of like the dreamer, and for some strange reason I always dreamed of living not in America, but England," she explained. "I imagined having tea with the queen and touring the castle and that was my dream as a little girl."
The article includes a small gallery of these "timewarpians." How lovely to see people who long for a gentler, more leisurely, and elegant time simply making it so, making a world to their liking, in defiance of today's high-stress, high-pressure, utilitarian culture.
How lovely to see people who long for a gentler, more leisurely, and elegant time simply making it so, making a world to their liking, in defiance of today's high-stress, high-pressure, utilitarian culture.
Maureen identifies the true significance of this "time-warp" movement, which is about something much more consequential than mere dress-up. Behind these individuals' efforts to garb themselves in the apparel of another time there is a real effort, on their part, to recover and revive the superior ideals and values of the past.
When one of the "time-warp" participants mentions that as she was growing up, she <i>"imagined having tea with the queen and touring the castle,"</I> she is expressing more than just nostalgia for proper etiquette and for elegant architecture. She is enthusing about aristocracy itself, about the more beautiful society that the hierarchical Old World system created and cultivated. She is longing for a return of the noble culture that existed before the hyper-democratism of the 20th century's most pernicious ideologies destroyed that culture and mindlessly levelled a magnificent, organic system that had developed in the West over millennia.
Like many people today, the "time-warp" enthusiasts have recognized the shallowness and vulgarity of the modern world. They look back at the culturally richer, socially superior world of the past, and recognize what the West has lost. Yet the "time-warp" participants are not merely impotently nostalgic, but make an active effort to bring back that glorious, rich heritage in the present day.
Likewise, when female "time-warp" aficionados dress in a traditional manner, they do not merely express a preference for ladylike fashions. They embrace ladylike behaviour as well, and attempt to comport themselves in a more feminine way. Note the article's appreciative reference to the <i>"respect for women"</i> that was prevalent in the Victorian era--a respect that modern feminist culture has obliterated. The "time-warp" enthusasts recognize that when women dressed in a prettier, more delicate manner, and when they behaved in ways that were more genteel, they were treated with greater reverence and regard. By contrast, feminism has made a false virtue of being rude and belligerent, and of dressing in a crass, lewd, style, so how is it any wonder that respect for women has been obliterated as a consequence?
Who wants to live in such an ugly culture--ugly in dress, ugly in behaviour? The "time-warp" aficionados' desire to return to the healthier, more noble traditions of the past is understandable and commendable, and their success in achieving a return of those values, even on a small scale, is to be applauded.
Think of how much these small "time-warp" societies achieve, given their circumscribed reach. Their efforts should be an inspiration to every son and daughter of the Old World, however many generations removed they may be from their ancestral homeland. The past is <i>not</I> gone forever, and the social traditions of yore have <i>not</I> been extinguished by post-modernism. Even in the midst of this modern world, in which women have been brainwashed into renouncing their femininity, and in which the public has been taught to wallow in crudeness and vulgarity, and to resent any notion of class and decency, hope still remains of a cultural renewal.
The worse that the world gets, the more people will look around themselves and say, with the time-warp socities, <i>"I don't like what I see anymore, so let's create our own reality."</I> And with enough efforts of this kind, <i>"our own realities"</i> will become <i>the</I> realities, and this "alternative culture" will become the <i>dominant</I> culture, just as it once was.
The world was eroded into its present degenerate form by people who saw beauty all around them and dreamed of destroying it. But now this process can be reversed. In a world where ugliness is all around us, we can dream of a world of beauty, such as once existed, and in so dreaming we can bring that world back.
Pictured here is the soft fullness of Lillian Russell. Observe her delicate raiment, which speaks of her needy vulnerability and soft femininity, and observe also her plump fleshiness, which testifies to her lavishly self-indulgent nature. When this was the ideal of female beauty, society was marked by "respect for women" (just as the time-warp enthusiasts attest), for no man could fail to respect a goddess as beautiful as this and treat her with the reverence and worship that she deserved, cherishing her and protecting her, working long hours so that she could sit at her elegant ease and enjoy a pampered lifestyle, with all of her wants provided for, all of her needs met.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/lillian/lil96.jpg"></center><p>We can yet bring back the world of Lillian Russell, and transform the androgyny-worshipping, levelled dystopia in which we live into the more beautiful, aristocratic world of yore.
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