Plutocratic Magnates

It’s not that there weren’t any non-aristocrat/non-chieftain/non-royalty magnates before (business magnates did in fact exist in medieval Florence). But it’s parsimonious to think that if/when royalty/nobility/chieftainship/land ownership are practically diminished or marginalised in power, prestige and affluence that business would take its place. It’s not that chieftains, aristocrats and landowners have stopped existing.

But they’re nowhere as powerful as they were before now that they’re practically competing with more powerful businesspeople. To survive they either have to sell some land, still act as mayors and landowners of sorts and even dabble in business. Conversely speaking, there are businesspeople (as well as celebrities) who own land themselves whether as landowners proper or farmers.

There are still small scale businesses around, especially in fishing villages and farms (hence farmers’ market) and to some substantial extent, local businesses of any kind. But the bigger ones have aped royalty so well that they even bypass territories. If kingdoms incorporate different countries, logically conglomerates incorporate different businesses.

That’s how scarily powerful plutocracy’s become, not only have plutocrats aped aristocrats they also become aristocrats themselves. Look no further than the Rothschilds and Medici. Some plutocrats actually own land themselves. That’s how far plutocracy’s come these days.

The Medici Family’s Rise to Power

The Medici family came from the Mugello region, north of Florence. Quite likely their family moved there for job opportunities and through sheer persistence and willpower ascended very well. Some of them got ennobled before the main line did. The main line did have aspirations to nobility and it took time for one of their relatives to finally get ennobled by the Holy Roman Emperor to become (Grand) Dukes of Tuscany.

(Like I said elsewhere, Italy’s historic tie to the Holy Roman Empire may’ve been analogous to what the semi-autonomous republics within Russia or what Macau and Hong Kong are to China.)

They also begat a woman named Catherine de Medecis who was accused of witchcraft by jealous folks. (She wasn’t infertile as she did beget children with her husband, if likely it’s her husband who’s got problems.) That and a pope challenged by Martin Luther who eventually created his own church instead. The Medici declined in power with one incompetent aristocrat.

However they still have descendants to this day, dealing with family history and stuff.

Ancient and Modern Familiar Quotations from the Greek, Latin, and Modern … (Google Books)

Brusquerie. Fr.—” Bluntncss, abruptness, sharpness, gruffn iss, roughness.”

Brusquerie republicaine. Fr.—A “republican display of bluntness, roughness, republican rough procedure.”

Brutum fulmen. Lat.—”A harmless, insignificant, thunderbolt, a mere bugbear.” A loud but ineffectual menace, threat. A law which is neither respected norobeyed. “Hisdiscourse was a mere brutum fulmen; it was ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'”

Buccae noscenda est mensura tuae, spectandaque rebus in summis, minimis. Lat. Juvenal.—”Oue must know one’s own measure, and keep it in view, in the greatest and in the most trifling matters.” “Yes, Know Thyself, in great concerns, in small, Be this thy care; for this, my friend, is all.”

Budha.—The founder of the religion of the Singhalese, Burmese, &c.

Buey viejo sulco derecho. Span. prov.—”An old ox makes a straight furrow.”

Bukshish, or Buxis.—A term used to denote presents of money. The practice of making presents, either as a matter of compliment or in requital of service, is so very common in India and the East generally, that the natives lose no opportunity of asking for bukshish. In Egypt, perhaps more than anywhere else, the usage is a perfect nuisance, llalfnaked Arabs, donkey-boys, boatmen, 4e., if left alone with an Englishman, or getting near enough to him not to be heard by his fellows, will invariably whisper “bukshish!” whether he has or has not rendered any service. The word “boxes,” as applied to our Christmas gifts, has probably taken its origin in the Oriental term.

Bulbul.—The nightingale of the East, often alluded to in the poems of Hafiz. The Oriental bulbul has prettier plumage than the Philomel of European groves, but does not boast so sweet a melody.

Bungalows.—Indian houses or villas of a single floor. They are either thatched or tiled.

Bureau. Fr.—An “office, public office.” The plural is bureaux.

Bureau de conciliation. Fr.—The “Conciliation committee, or committee for making up matters, or settling disputes.”

Bureau de la guerre. Fr.—The “War office, office ef war.”

Bureaucratic Fr.—-” Bureaucracy, clerkocracy, clerk-section, clerical section of the people, or community.” N.B. This new word is seldom employed except in conversation, in order to express the undue influence of the clerks m the administration.

Burnoose.—Part of a Turk’s or Arab’s clothing, a cloak.

Caaba.—The temple or mosque [place of religious adoration among the Mohammedans] at Mecca, towards which all good Mussulmans turn their faces at the time of prayer.

Cabala, or rather Cabbala.—A mysterious doctrine among the Jews, received by oral tradition from their fathers, and not committed to writing, but at last compiled into a body, called their Talmud: these two wivrds are of Hebrew origin.

[graphic]
Caballero. Span.—A “gentleman.”

Cacoethes. Lat. from the Gr.—Literally, an evil habit, custom. It is never quoted alone, but always in combination with some other word, as in the two following instances.

Cacoethes loquendi. Lat.—” A rage, itch, propensity, for speaking.” An anxiety to speak in public.

Cacoethes scribendi. Lat.—Prom Juvenal, whose expression is, “Scribendi cacoethes.” “A rage, itch, propensity, for writing.” “He has the Cacoethes scribendi.” He is an arrant scribbler.

Cada gallo canta en su muladar. Span. prov.—” Every cock is proud on his own dunghill.” The French proverb is, Chien sur son fumier est hardi. “A dog is bold on his own dunghill.”

Cada hum em sua casa e rey. Port. prov.—”Every one is a king in his own house.” A man’s house is his castle.

Cada hum folga com o seu igual. Port. prov.—”Every Jack must have his Jill.”

Cada ovelha com sua parelha. Port. prov.—” Like will to like,” as the scabbed squire said to the mangy knight, when Ctiey both met over a dish of buttered fish. The French proverb is, Chacun cherche son semblable.

Cada uno en su casa, y Dios en la de todas. Span. prov.— “Every one in his own house, and GOD in all of them.” Every man for himself, and GOD for us all.

Cada uno sabe adonde la aprieta el capito. Span. prov.— “The wearer best knows where the shoe wrings, pinches, him.”

Cader dalla padella nelle bragie. ltal. prov.—”Out of the frying-pan into the fire.”

Cadit quaestio.’Lat.—”The question, case, matter, falls, drops, to the ground.” “If matters be as stated, cadet quaestio; the point at issue will not admit of further discussion.”

Caeca invidia est, nec quidquam aliud scit quam detrectare virtutes. Lat. Livy.—”Envy is blind, and she has no other quality than that of detracting from virtue.”

Caftan.—A quilted or thick outer cloak, worn by the Turks, Persians, and Arab Sheikhs.

Cahier des charges. Fr.—A schedule of the clauses and conditions on which any public work is to be contracted for.

Caisse d’amortissement. Fr.—The “sinking fund.”

Calamitosus est animus futuri anxius. Lat. Seneca.—”Dreadful is the state of that mind which is deeply concerned for the future.” “Incessant fears the anxious mind molest.”

Callida junctura. Lat. Horace.—” Skillful or judicious arrangement [of words in literary compositions].” “Junctura,” observes Hurd, “as employed by Horace, is a word of large and general import, and the same in expression as order or disposition in a subject. The poet would say: Instead of framing new words, I recommend to you any kind of artful management, by which you may be able to give a new air and cast to old ones.”

Calumuiare fortiter, etallquid adhaerebit. Lat.prov.—”Slander stoutly, and some injury, damage, to the slandered is sure to result.” Throw plenty of mud, and some of it will be sure to stick. Slandet leaves a score behind it.

Calumniari si quis voluerit,

Quod arbores loquantur, non tantum ferae,
Fictis jocari nos meminerit fabulis. Lat. Phaedrus.—

“Let those, whom folly prompts to sneer,
Be told wo sport with fable here;
Be told that brutes can morals teach,
And trees like soundest casuists preach.”

Cambridge.—From the common appearance of this word, it seems to be derived from a bridge built over the Cam, as is currently believed; but, if we attend to the derivation of Cleland, we shall find an etymology far more consonant to the institution of that place of learning as a University; he says then that ” Cambridge is only a contraction of Cantalbureich; cant signifies head; al, a school, or college; and bureich, or reich, a borough, or bury; the head precinct of a college, or principal college-borough: there are many reasons,” adds he, “to believe that Cantalbury, Cambray, or Cambridge, existed in the state of a head collegiate borough for ages before the Roman invasion.”

Camerlingue. Fr.—”Camerlingo,” Ital. One of the highest officers of the Roman Court, who is always a cardinal: he is perpetual president of the Apostolic chambers, and administers the civil government when the see [of Rome, the Papacy] is vacant.

Can scottato d’acqua calda ha paura, poi della fredda. Ital. prov.—”The scalded dog fears hot water, and afterwards cold.” The burnt child dreads the fire.

Canada.—” The name of Canada has been long a matter of dispute among the etymologists. It has been supposed to have arisen from an exclamation of some of the early Portuguese navigators, who, observing the desolation of the country, either cried out, or wrote on their maps, Aca-Nada, aca-Nada, ‘there is nothing here:’ [nothing worth mentioning]. It iias also been supposed to have taken its name from the Spanish Canada, a canal, from the shape of the country, forming the blank banks of the St. Lawrence; but the more received explanation is the Indian one, Canata, a collection of huts.”

Canaille. Fr.—”Rabble, mob, mobility, rascality, scum of the earth, snobocracy.” “Mr. G. Dundas defended the conduct of the police in driving back the canaille from the carriage-way, and suggested the use of a six-pounder on the next occasion of a similar demonstration.” While on this subject of “canaille” [a word so often in the mouths of those who ought to know better], the following anecdote may not be uninteresting: “Francjois de Clermont Tonnerre, Bishop of Noyon, under Lewis the Fourteenth, a prelate so often mentioned by Madame de Sevigne, La Bruyere, and other contemporary writers, carried the vanity nf birth to such an excess as to become the object of universal ridicule and sarcasm, even in that age. An epigram describes this meek and lowly successor of the apostles as disdaining to associate with the ignoble inmates of heaven; it ends thus:—

‘On dit qu’entrant en paradis
II fut requ vaille que vaille,
Et qu’il en sortit par mepris,
N’y trouvant que de la Canaille.'”
Candida pax homines, trux decet ira feras. Lat. Ovid.—”Fair,
honorable, peace becomes men, ferocious anger should belong to beasts.”
Candida perpetuo reside, Concordia, lecto,

Tamque pari semper sit Venus aequa jugo.
Diligat illa senem quondam, sed et ipsa marito,
Tunc quoque cum fuerit, non videatur, anus.

Lat. Martial.—

“Perpetual harmony their bed attend, And Venus still the well-matched pair befriend! May 6he, when time has sunk him into years, Love her old man, and cherish his white hairs: Nor he perceive her charms through age decay, But think each happy sun his bridal day!” Candor dat viribus alas. Lat.—”Truth gives wings to strength.” Cane, che abbaia, non morde. Ital. prov.—”The dog that barks does not bite.” The greatest barkers bite not sorest. Dogs that bark at a distance bite not at hand.

Cane vecchio non baia indarno. Ital. prov.—”If the old dog barks, he gives counsel.”

Canes timidi vehementius latrant. Lat. prov.—”Timid dogs bark the loudest.”

Canis in praesepi. Lat. prov.—”The dog in the manger.” To play the dog in the manger,—not eat yourself, nor let any one else. N.B. “Manger”is a French word, signifying “to eat;” hence, that part of a stable from which horses feed.

Cantabile. Ital.—”Something to be sung.” A term applied to movements intended to be performed in a graceful, elegant, and melodious style.

Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator. Lati Juvenal.—”The empty traveler will sing before the robber.” The traveler with empty pockets will sing e’en in the robber’s face:—

“Now, void of care, the beggar trips along, And, in the spoiler’s presence, trolls his song.” If poverty has its inconveniences, it has also its independence and security. Compare Ovid:—

“Sic timet insidias qui scit se ferre viator Cur timeat: tutum carpit inanis iter:” that is, “Thus does the rich traveler fear a surprise, an attack, while the one with empty pockets, the one who has naught to lose, pursues his journey in perfect safety.” Compare also Seneca: “Nudum latro transmittit,” that is, “The robber passes by the man whose appearance bespeaks poverty.”

Cantaro que muchas vezes va a la fuente alguna vez se ha de quebrar. Span. prov.—”The pitcher doth not go so often to the water but it comes home broken at last.”

Capias. Law Lat.—” You may take.” A writ to authorize the capture or takmg of the defendant. It is divided into two sorts, namely: —

Capias ad respondendum.—”You take to answer.” A writ issuing to take the defendant for the purpose of making him answerable to the plaintiff; and

Capias ad satisfaciendum.—”You take to satisfy.” A writ of execution after judgment, empowering the officer to take and detain the body of the defendant until satisfaction be made to the plaintiff. “To act DonoraMy is for an imprisoned and impoverished debtor out of the question; dishonesty is forced on him. He is compelled, when he should work, to remain utterly supine and inert, and to consume uselessly in prison the time and money which are the property of his creditors. By the Roman law a debtor was brought to his creditor bound in chains to work like a slave: by the wise English law he is entombed alive and debarred all power of exertion. The writ directs ‘capias ad satisfaciendum,’ or, in the bailiffs very sensible translation, ‘take him for your satisfaction;’ and this being done, no other satisfaction is by law required or expected. In colloquial phrase, he may ‘snap his fingers’ at all pecuniary demands, except those incurred within his prison-walls, and for the rest of his life sit with his arms crossed. As to professional income, he may have beer, in receipt of £500 or £5000 per annum, and the proceedings of any one exasperated or malevolent creditor wiil cut it off irretrievably, for it is not by petitioning the Insolvency Court that he can be restored to his former station. With regard to estates and resources, beyond mere goods, chattels, and equipages, the present law, as we have seen, affords no power whatever. The conduct of those debtors, who possess means of payment, is quite optional. [Written in 1837.]”

Capiat, qui capere possit. Lat.—” Let him take it [the property] who can.”

Capidgi. Persian and Turkish.—A porter or door-keeper; a chamberlain. The Capidgi-Bashee are a higher class of officers, and are exclusively employed to use the bowstring.

Capitan Pasha.—The Turkish High Admiral.

Captum te nidore suae putat ille culinae. Lat. Juvenal.—”He thinks that you are taken with the smell of his kitchen; he looks upon you as one caught by the savor, savory smell, of his kitchen.” He is mclined to regard you as a parasite [one who flatters another in order to live at his expense].

Caput mortuum. Lat.—”The dead head.” In chemistry, “the ashes remaining in the crucible.” Figuratively, “the worthless remains, rubbish, useless details.”

Caput scabere. Lat. Horace.—”To scratch ones nead.” A sportive mode of conveying the idea that one intends to bestow the greatest care and attention on one’s literary compositions.

Car tel est notre plaisir. Fr.—”For such is our pleasure.” This was anciently the form of a regal ordinance, under the Norman line. It is now happily used only in an ironical sense to mark some act of despotic authority.

Mainstream but never cultish

It’s like the weird thing about nerd fandoms and even popstar fandoms, they’re very visible and also have loud, dedicated cult followings. That’s not to say sports fandoms aren’t cultish, they certainly are to a degree. And there are technically other fandoms that are really mainstream but aren’t that cultish to that same extent.

I’m talking about crime fiction and romance novel readerships. Admittedly, the vibe I get from those isn’t that they ignore esoteric knowledge. But that they really don’t have much of a big dedicated following the way nerdier franchises do, at least not to the same extent. In the sense that romance novels actually outsell science fiction, horror and fantasy combined.

But there isn’t really much of a big Star Wars level fandom within romance novels that aren’t Jane Austen stories or in crime fiction, Sherlock Holmes at least to my knowledge. (Though to be fair, there are cultish fandoms around crime programmes like NCIS and Starsky and Hutch.) Though I think I get the impression that sci-fi/speculative fans are really spoilt in comparison.

They complain about certain flaws and then have Hollywood cater to their every whim. It’s not that romance novels aren’t adapted at all but that there hasn’t been much of an equivalent to Star Trek outside of Jane Austen when you think about it. To make matters worse, it’s actually not uncommon for some spec fans to work at Hollywood.

Many Hollywood studios have had done speculative fiction adaptations with varying degrees of success, perhaps helped by their newfound connection to information technology and that it’s also not uncommon for both IT and Hollywood to be just as involved in the American comics industry. (A similar situation exists for Japanese animation and comics and maybe anywhere else.)

Again, Hollywood adaptations of crime and romance novels aren’t nonexistent. The only recent romance novel adaptation known to the public today is 50 Shades, though there might be many more romance novel adaptations out there. It’s not so much that romance and crime novels aren’t niche. If anything, they’re practically mainstream.

But there’s also an odd quality to them that even if they do spawn porny fanart to some extent, it’s nowhere near where the stereotypically nerdier ones get. It’s not that romance novels are any less obsessive but the odd fact that Hollywood and geekdom are actually far more close-knit.

The State of Nerd Fandom

It does feel tempting to think that geekery thrives on the pretense of having and sharing esoteric knowledge and anything that seems mainstream is too corporate. I used to have that sentiment before but keep in mind that ironically a lot of geek fandoms are based on forms of brand loyalty, though the same can be said of any subculture. Whilst this might not be unique to sports and music fandoms, a lot of geek fandoms revolve around bankable franchises though some moreso than others.

There are geek fandoms that apparently aren’t that too corporate (Dune but also most especially the furries). Dune did sell a lot of copies in its heyday but do so a lot of crime and romance novels but most of them don’t attract that big of a dedicated cult following. Most romance novels are far more popular and widely read than any Star Wars tie-in novel. It’s just that Star Wars has a louder, vocal following to boot. Things like those make you wonder if geek fandom is the ultimate form of brand loyalty.

Maybe not exactly but one that practically puts most other fandoms to shame. Conversely speaking, there are already a lot of mainstream normies who aren’t too beholden to geek fandom but because they’re never pretentious about how obscure it is at least from personal experience to begin with. Not necessarily entirely uncorporate but that’s because they never truly cared about it to start with.

Shakespeare’s Wife (Excerpt)

There is no evidence that Dante’s wife, Gemma Donati, who was better
connected than he, made his life miserable; it is simply assumed that
he would have been happier with his muse, Bice Portinari–as if it were
the job of a muse to run a household and produce children. Gemma
bore Dante at least four children; we should not be surprised to find
that neither she nor they inspired a single line of poetry. When Dante
was exiled in 1302, his wife of seventeen years chose to remain with
her children in Florence.

Been dying ever since

If you believe some readers, Vertigo was already dying in the 2000s. In the sense that not only did it already peak in the 1990s and early 2000s but that it’s got serious competition in Image Comics and the like. Very early on in Image Comics’s heyday, it was mostly generic superhero comics but eventually it moved on from that and even republished former Vertigo Comics like Prince of Cats.

Among other things like the editor of chief (Karen Berger) moved on, which makes it harder to keep it afloat. This was already happening before Vertigo will be shut down by next year. Especially when the New 52 arrived it began including a lot of Vertigo characters. DC’s very own Black Label also makes it nearly redundant.

These factors alone explain why Vertigo has had a tough time ever since.