Archive for the ‘Fine Feathers’ Category

Monks And Anoraks

As we have seen, grooming is hardwired into animals. It is a necessity of survival (grooming and hygiene usually go together), the motor of the mating game and in some species the social lubricant. The scruffy animal is signalling that it is inferior or sick or has lost the will to live. Much of human […]

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 11:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 4 Comments
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

Whence Comes The Denial?

I knew a man who couldn’t get a girlfriend, and the woman he was unilaterally in love with – who, following standard operating procedure, treated him as a handy confidante for her own active sex life – tried to convince him that he would find True Love if only he replaced his practical checked flannel […]

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 11:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

Reasons For Going Naked

According to Wikipedia, the philosophy of naturism [nudism to Americans] is that: ‘Many people believe that the naked human body is to be accepted, respected, cherished, and enjoyed. They believe it is not inherently shameful, corrupting, degrading, or dangerous…. They reject views that being naked with other people is morally wrong, indecent, sexual per se… […]

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 11:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 5 Comments
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

The Sour-Looking Fashion Models

In Vienna with a friend once, I claimed that models for luxury goods always looked unhappy, whereas those for non-fashion goods like woollens were cheerful. We tested this by inspecting all the shop windows on and around Kärntnerstrasse and I won my case. “Unhappy” here includes contemptuous and hostile, so her thesis was that the […]

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 07:39 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

In The Shoe Shop

Bill Bryson does not understand feminine shoe-shopping: “Hours and hours of making some poor guy in a cheap suit fetch endless boxes of more or less identical footwear and then deciding not to have anything.” He seems surprised by the irrationality of this behaviour, but it is only irrational if you make the fatal assumption […]

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 11:59 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

Auf Der Alm Dudeln

The “national drink of Austria”, of which I am myself very fond, is a mildly fizzy lemonade made of herbal extracts. Called Almdudler, literally meadow-yodeller, it plays on Heimat sensibility, or national-romanticism as we call it in Norway. The logo features a young farmer and his lady-friend clinking steins in front of Alpine peaks. What […]

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 21:22 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

Urban Space, East And West

People writing about Western cities always mention the public squares, thinking of them as places of political activity, like Roman Forum, and recreation, meeting people and just hanging. A lot of architectural effort is expended on making them beautiful. In Japan I have yet to see anything remotely resembling a square, grand place or plaza […]

Posted on May 19, 2011 at 09:59 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

The Legs Paradox

Probably all hetero men like to look at women’s legs. Many use the feminine shapeliness of the legs as an important criterion of whom they will seriously try for. Contrariwise, for many men, thick legs are a major turn-off in themselves, even if the woman is not notably overweight in the usual other places. So […]

Posted on May 20, 2011 at 10:37 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

“Stuck A Feather In His Cap And Called It Macaroni”

You can still come across the word “fop” and its variants in books. I asked a linguist friend whether it was part of the vocabulary of modern youngsters, and he said not. Now, there are two ways in which a term can disappear: when the concept disappears (who knows what a frankpledge used to be?) […]

Posted on May 21, 2011 at 10:45 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers

Why The Waltz?

One of the earworms from which I suffer from time to time is the Radetsky March by Strauss Senior. If the Blue Danube (by his son) can be regarded as an unofficial Austrian national anthem, so too can this. Meeting Viennese popular music again in Claudio Magris’ travelogue of the Danube inspired me to research […]

Posted on May 22, 2011 at 17:51 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Fine Feathers