A costume continuum of sorts

I guess there’s a costume continuum of sorts. There’s the folk costume and textile thing which can be modernised in many ways. It can even be worn for daily wear as it is with some tribes, individuals and communities like it has been in the past. Then there’s the sort of costume people wear whenever they perform sports. These are mostly utilitarian and it shows even if it can be customised to be more fashionable especially among some athletes and people.

In fact, they’re even worn to more casual times which some historians have already noted especially in the development of American fashion. It’s even occurring to this day. Then there are costumes that can only be worn on special occasions moreso than folk and sports costume. It’s not even just fancy dress where ordinary everyday clothes can be appropriated for fancy dress (and cosplay) looks if coordinated differently enough.

Something more flamboyant than that and it’s something that has no real analogue to folk, everyday, historical and sports/dance fashion. Now that’s the stuff that mostly exists in fancy dress and cosplay.


Old money and new money

There’s been some discussion between what’s old money and new money. New money people predictably get rich through effort and tend to flaunt it. That isn’t to say that old money don’t flaunt their wealth and if they did, it would’ve been different. They didn’t just flaunt wealth in having the nicest outfits and better education but also how much land they owned and power they have over their communities.

I suspect that though this isn’t always the case, people born into old money families tend to have well-documented family histories and a profound air of responsibility. The differences would be more profound in places where royalty and nobility are still part of the main government like in Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. In places that are now presidential republics, if chieftaincy and aristocracy still exist chieftains are now glorified mayors.

In European republics, some aristocrats maintain their riches through becoming businesspeople themselves but that’s due to them becoming very low key as their new money counterparts do everything to emulate the trappings of nobility. A good number of them simply live as humble upper-middle class families but arguably richer, they just don’t flaunt their wealth much so.

Some film predictions

Nigeria, China and India might surpass America in film-making quality and animation:

Given their economies are growing, it’s inevitable that their own film-making industries are going to grow proportionally too. I hardly ever watched any of those films but I get the feeling that they could have a big advantage over their American counterparts in some things, especially ethnic representation.

There’s a growing push for black representation in American media, especially non-stereotypical ones at that. Nigeria would have a big advantage over there, having the world’s largest black population followed by Brazil (could be misremembering). If it does improve a lot, I could see Nigeria partnering or helping with every other African production being the continent’s largest economy.

Logically, Chinese and Indian film industries do the same for Asian representation. To be fair, we already have had Chinese productions aired in the Philippines whether dubbed or accessed through cable channels (I know this from experience). I also get the feeling that both India and China could end up becoming big players in the animation industry.

It’s already happening with countries like Malaysia, China and India already having successful animated productions aired on television and in the theatres. China especially would take over Japan as Asia-Pacific’s leading animation hub, easily taking advantage of its substantial anime fandom and that both China and India have 1 billion people each.

But the same can be said of Nigeria and there are anime fans not just in Asia and Europe (Europe should count as part of Asia, geographically speaking) but also Africa. I even predicted before that the next Naruto phenomenon would actually be African assuming if an African nation were to take advantage of its folklore.

Some African productions are already doing this, but I suspect this is going to be the biggest one not just in Africa but also the entire planet.

Fandom and Organised Religion

I think there’s already an interesting correlation between the decline of organised religion and the rise of fandom. Virtually any fandom but it’s parsimonious that the earliest fiction fandom (that is people dressing up as a fictional character and making fan-made stories and items out of it as well as merchandise capitalising on that community) occurred during the Age of Enlightenment.

That was when secularisation happened en masse in Europe, especially with the strengthening of the sciences and stuff. Europe had been Christian for several centuries and few centuries of paganism. Secularism is apparently the third stage in European development whilst the same would’ve been accelerated and truncated in places like Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda.

This still isn’t always the case and it can be argued that idol worship (including celebrities) exists side by side with organised religion (especially Christianity and Islam). But I suspect the nerdier ones tend to occur more often in secular countries, especially if their economies are big and stable enough to encourage that scene.

Not always the case but often is so.



Uncertain around dogs

There was a study stating that people love dogs more than any other animal though I suspect that would’ve been based on a limited sample and might not be applicable to every other place or community. Though this might not always exactly be the case, there are instances, attitudes and beliefs that determine the degree of attachment.

If dogs were often meant for more practical purposes and allowed to stay outside longer, it should be generally inevitable that one would have to be less attached to dogs especially if certain situations arise. There was a study in Botoku, Ghana about hunters who were attached to dogs had to let them go and they did.

I do recall a Ugandan account of people who make their dogs hunt by starving them and similar things happened in the Beng community in Cote d’Ivoire. Then you have religious beliefs that control this. Like I said, it’s not just Muslims that are uncertain around dogs but also Christians and Jews.

In fact, the Catholic Church banned nuns from owning animals (save for cats at least in England) and they banned them from owning dogs in 18th century Naples. The Armenian church at some point abhorred both dogs and donkeys as well as Armenian beliefs of the Devil appearing as a dog (very common in Western Eurasia especially in tandem with witch dogs).

The belief in demonic and witch-dogs is still around in Pentecostal or African Initiated churches in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo. I remember a document where it mentions dogs being associated with hatred, prostitution and witchcraft.

Could be wrong though but there’s another document in that country where children accused of witchcraft were assumed to turn into dogs, alleged former witch-doctors using dogs and bewitching dogs biting people at least in Matadi. Similar beliefs occur in Cameroon and Ghana to whatever degree.

In that context, it makes sense why eighteenth century people were uncomfortable with owners who get too affectionate with their dogs, especially if they’re (made) useless almost as if the only real use for them at all is sexual. There’s the old stereotype of the old maid and her lapdog, probably best known to Hispanophones as Dona Clotilde from El Chavo del Ocho.

(There’s an earlier version of the stereotype where women are accused of witchcraft if they have sex with dogs, presumed to be demonic guises, at all.)

Keep in mind that in those days that even if dogs’ positive qualities were recognised, these were also equally undercut by beliefs in dogs being witches, demons or the Devil in disguise based on two French documents I’ve read. Dogs, like cats, arouse polarising attitudes in Abrahamic faiths best exemplified by that both clergy and witches own them.

Like I said, secularism has something to do with weakening negative attitudes to dogs. After all, European churches used to have the habit of driving away dogs by force and dogs are still forbidden in Orthodox churches. There’s an account where dogs are driven away in Pentecostal Ghanaian churches for fear that they’ll be demonically possessed.

Again this isn’t always the case depending on the individual itself but when taken as a whole there are glaring differences between how communities treat and view dogs. Christianity, like Islam, is rather ambivalent around dogs noting their positive qualities but still suspecting them of witchcraft and being in alliance with the Devil.


Ladies and their lapdogs

Via Google Books:

God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination, …

Claude Julien Rawson – 2001 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
Lapdogs had already been equated with husbands in an earlier line (III. 158), but part of the suggestion is that to these ladies lapdogs may be sexier than husbands, as well as more important than humans. Monkeys are analogues of both humans and pets, and the status of pets as in some ways humanoid providers of sexual satisfactions extends a fortiori to monkeys. The idea of slaves as similarly ‘the sport of Women’ is a throwback to the old conceit of the lover enslaved by his …

Homeless Dogs & Melancholy Apes: Humans and Other Animals in the …

Laura Brown – 2010 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Women and especially female sexuality are familiar topics of critique for the Augustans. But the idea of affection for an imaginary animal, emanating from the historical rise of pet keeping, adds a distinctive problematic to the structures of inversion that express this critique. The figure of the lady and the lapdog reconceives the Augustan and Juvenalian attack on female sexuality as an inter-species experiment — an experiment that introduces a new and different realm of potential …
A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and …

Gordon Williams – 2001 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Aelian VII.19 notes that ‘hounds are said to have assaulted women, and indeed it is reported that a woman in Rome was accused by her husband of adultery, and the adulterer in the case was stated to be a hound’. Such testimony in the ancient writers boosted … A titbit of Royalist propaganda concerns sexual relations between a dog and an elder’s maid. The best-known account is Berkenhead’s … ballad, Looking-glass for Wanton Women. But lap-dogs form the most extensive group.
Humans and Other Animals in Eighteenth-century British Culture: …

Frank Palmeri – 2006 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Specifically, popular critiques of fashionable women found regular expression in the convenient synecdoche of the lapdog, an animal defined by its lack of practical utility.13 In satire ranging from poetry to periodical essays to prints, the figure of the lapdog signified women’s excessive and thoughtless consumption of exotic luxury goods, their vanity and superficiality, their lack of genuine human feeling, the precariousness of their sexual virtue, and the connections between any and all …
Refiguring the Coquette: Essays on Culture and Coquetry – Page 60

Shelley King, ‎Yaël Rachel Schlick – 2008 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Much of what I say here about representations of lapdogs is also true of depictions of other ornamental pets (the monkey, squirrel, and parrot are common examples), but I focus on the lapdog as both the most frequently cited pet and the one that most clearly demonstrates the connections between female sexuality and consumerism. The description of the pet as an animate commodity raises obvious connections to slavery; for a discussion of the ways lapdog discourse evokes ideas …
Pets and Domesticity in Victorian Literature and Culture: Animality, …

Monica Flegel – 2015 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Rather than showing everything that is “kind and free” tothe husband, a woman’s kindness and freedom are spent upon the animal and herself, leaving theman, itwould seem, out inthe cold. Laura Brown identifies the “lady and the lapdog” as“astaple tropeof the antifemale verse satire of thefirst halfof the eighteenth century,” a trope that relied on“a setof allied images offemale sexuality: the woman’s bed,the breast, thenap, the lap, sometimes thegaze, and especially the kiss”(71).

The brink of all we hate: English satires on women, 1660-1750

Felicity Nussbaum – 1984 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
English satires on women, 1660-1750 Felicity Nussbaum. discourages bold displays of learning or wit. Neither poem arouses much sympathy for the deposed and thwarted male sex, while both argue vigorously for the value of generous good humor and good sense. Neither of the … 40, 47, and 121, and Farquhar’s Sir Harry Wildair.7 I have already cited the lines in Robert Gould’s Love Given O’re which suggest that lapdogs may parallel more artificial means to satisfy women’s lust.

DOG LOVE – Page 143

Marjorie Garber – 1997 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
ported that “hounds are said to have assaulted women, and indeed it is reported that a woman in Rome was accused by her husband of adultery, and the adulterer in the case was stated to be a hound”) and “such testimony in the ancient writers,” one commentator reports, “boosted similar tales … The most frequently described canine sexual partners, however, were not mastiffs but lapdogs, whose name described not only their privileged place, but sometimes their imagined function.
Studies in Eighteenth-century Culture – Volume 39 – Page 124

2010 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
5° Thomas O’B1ien McMahon singled out lapdogs for special contempt, in a screed against both women and dogs remarkable for its length and emotion. The lapdog, according to MacMahon, was characterized by “meanness, petulance, sloth, adulation, and cowardice,” but its vicious behavior toward most people combined with its fawning upon its mistress endeared it to her. MacMahon was convinced that such dogs sewed primarily as sexual substitutes for women who could not find …

Budapest Review of Books – Volumes 5-6 – Page 30

1995 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
It seems that the proliferation of love and sexual ties explains why, for instance, one-third of all thieves are women. But they also take their fair share — 20 percent — of larceny, blackmail and fraud. And, despite their weakness, they also appear among robbers. Yes, indeed. The lapdog gone wild can become a wolf. The solution is to continue to handle a woman as a domesticated animal; after all, by her very nature, she is predestined for this role. A woman must stay down, must …
Sexual Harassment: Theory, Research, and Treatment – Page 35

William T. O’Donohue – 1997 – ‎Snippet view
But, on the other hand, Superson’s conception of sexual harassment relies heavily on the untestable assumption that sexual harassers intend their behavior to send a message to all women. Consider the following … We can easily conceive of a man who makes a catcall to an unknown tall, blonde- haired woman carrying a lap dog simply because he holds the unusual, false belief that tall, blonde-haired women carrying lap dogs enjoy being the objects of catcalls. The man may have …

Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle

2001 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
By representing female singers and admirers of opera in sexually subversive activities, the epistles amplify the sexual danger of Italian opera. … Richard Ames, The Folly of Love (1691), warn men of woman’s true nature — her ‘Folly, Falshood, Lux’ry, Lust and Pride’ (Gould)— and argue men should foreswear love or marriage.6 Above all, woman is portrayed as possessing an insatiable lust and deviant carnal desire that is satisfied by resorting to adultery, bestiality, lap-dogs, dildoes, …
Research Chronicle – Volumes 33-34 – Page 30

Royal Musical Association – 2002 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
By representing female singers and admirers of opera in sexually subversive activities, the epistles amplify the sexual danger of Italian opera. … Richard Ames, The Folly of Love (1691), warn men of woman’s true nature — her ‘Folly, Falshood, Lux’ry, Lust and Pride’ (Gould)— and argue men should foreswear love or marriage.6 Above all, woman is portrayed as possessing an insatiable lust and deviant carnal desire that is satisfied by resorting to adultery, bestiality, lap-dogs, dildoes, …

The Polemical Force of Chekhov’s Comedies: A Rhetorical Analysis

John McKellor Reid – 2007 – ‎Snippet view
… touch since a few years earlier Anton had remonstrated fiercely with Alexander for his drunken chauvinistic behaviour in the presence of his sister and mother. But young Dr Chekhov anticipates holistic medical approaches, I think, through divining links between his brother’s complacent literary attitudes and his complacent presumption of ‘sexual authority’. The advice was not taken. 16 A. Chekhov, Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories, trans. D. Magarshack (Harmondsworth: Penguin …
Eighteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology – Page 127

David Fairer, ‎Christine Gerrard – 2014 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Yet if Pope seems to invigorate misogynistclichés (on women’s vanity, superficiality and sexual provocation) he also subjects them to authorial irony, and the language of the poem has a restless electric power that challenges obvious or … Sol thro’ white curtains shot a tim’rous ray, l And op’d those eyes that must eclipse the day; Now lapdogs give themselves the rowsing shake, 15 And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock’d the ground, And the …
Heavenly love?: lesbian images in twentieth-century women’s writing

Gabriele Griffin – 1993 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
lesbian images in twentieth-century women’s writing Gabriele Griffin. (e.g. pp. 42, 55, 66, 81, … Such is the plea of the persona in Maureen Duffy’s sequence of poems entitled ‘Carmine Veneriana’ which invokes the desire for sexual love in old age. Maureen Duffy is … It has previously been made clear that the lapdog is the (sexual) servant of its mistress, sometimes ‘called to see her right’ in the form of laying ‘your head between her soft thighs/lap and lap until she comes’. But who will …
Venice in the Age of Canaletto – Page 115

Alexandra Libby, ‎Marina Pacini, ‎Stanton Thomas – 2009 – ‎Snippet view
This canvas is one of six distinct genre scenes by the artist that bear the very same title, all of which portray women receiving music lessons. … of the eighteenth century, lapdogs often symbolized the amorous attentions of men toward women; in this instance, the dog’s demeanor is probably meant to underscore the pianist’s desires. … With its combination of sexuality and music making, the painting echoes the Longhi Music Lesson in the collection of the Walters Art Museum (cat. 26).

The ephemeral history of perfume: scent and sense in early modern …

Holly E. Dugan – 2005 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
The visual versimilitude between pessaries and dildos suggest that perfume may have played a larger role in the history of sexuality than we suspect. Perfumed pessaries functioned as both medicinal and sexual aids. Numerous … Spaniels, the quintessential seventeenth- century English lapdog, were known for their keen sense of smell and their “metonymic association with women, wealth, and outlandishness.”115 This spaniel’s scent, however, permeates the room, linking his stinky …

Out of Bounds: Male Writers and Gender(ed) Criticism – Page 92

Laura P. Claridge, ‎Elizabeth Langland – 1990 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Paradoxically, that is, accession to eighteenth -century male society will “virginalize” her, the female equivalent in this poem to the castration that Pope fears to be the potential of the art-full female. Such a dangerous creature explodes beyond the law, beyond the word, and she embodies a jouissance capable of taking its pleasures in a lapdog or a husband — the differences notwithstanding. Popean, or conservative, fear suggests the male Augustan writer’s tendency to bring the …