Era Immersion Living

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Gingerella72, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Having killed some time reading much of the Chrismans' blog, I think one thing that might help Sarah, especially, is to simply develop a sense of humor about it all. She approaches the whole thing with the absolute zeal of the convert, but learning how to kid around with the curiosity-seekers and annoying "what are you dressed up for?" types would do much to defuse the tension she seems to keep experiencing.

    I'm speaking from long experience here -- she's been doing her thing for five years, but I've been doing mine for most of my life -- and trust me, if she doesn't learn to defuse the hostile reactions thru humor, she's going to have a very difficult time of it. When someone asks me what I'm dressed up for and I simply look around in an exaggerated way as if to see who they're talking to because it couldn't possibly be me, that always makes the questioner laugh and is far better than any kind of supercilious reply or hostile response could ever be. There's a time to be tough, and there's a time to just laugh things off and just go on about your business.
     
  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    This is great advice in general. A lot of times, and for whatever reason, people are annoyed by other people and a little sense of humor, a little just letting it go, a little "even though this person is wrong, I'll give them a little space to be wrong in before escalating it" can help.

    I rarely return things, but most of the time it is fine - the store clerk checks the item / receipt and gives the refund. But once in awhile, the clerk gets a bit defensive right off the bat - "do you have a receipt [even if it is in my hand], did you use the product the right way, etc. [I know how to use cheese, but not with mold on it - I think to myself]."

    I could respond in kind - after all, the store has a return policy and I'm following it, but I normally do something to defuse it by saying - in a friendly voice - things like, "you must get a lot of people trying to pull stuff over on you," or even, "I completely understand if I'm not eligible for refund [even though I am and can always argue the point later]." Almost every time, this changes the entire tone and tenor of the conversation. My guess is the clerk probably had a couple of aggressive customers before me or was just having a bad day and I was bearing the brunt of it. Once they see you are not a jerk, all is good.

    Is it fair that I have to do this - maybe not, but give a little first and most of the time it works out. My example is not a great analogy to Lizzie's point, but, I think, in the same spirit: even if the other person is initially wrong, sometimes, a little gesture, a little un-called-for decency can make it all work out and the person who was being a jerk becomes pretty nice. Not always, but a lot of the time it works - and is always, IMHO, worth the shot at first.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  3. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion Call Me a Cab

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    A sense of humor is essential and it even makes the passion for the past more fun.

    Nothing like stopping for a bite in a restaurant after a Civil War reenactment and having someone ask, "Why are you dressed like that?" I usually reply, "Our religion requires that we dress this way. We're Militant Amish."

    One of my friends does an excellent Abraham Lincoln impression. The plate on his minivan reads, "IM ABE." One morning about 5:45 he pulled up to the window at Micky D's to pay for his breakfast. He handed the young lady a five and remarked, "That's me on the bill. " Half asleep, she looks up...and her eyes became saucers as she looked at him in his frockcoat, stovepipe hat in the passenger seat. Then he remarked, "I live in Illinois... although I have a Gettysburg address..."
     
  4. blakegriplingph

    blakegriplingph New in Town

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    @LizzieMaine/@ChiTownScion - This, pretty much this. I'd say they should definitely develop a tongue-in-cheek approach to things rather than view their life as serious business all the time. Even a method actor has to break character at times, if you get my drift.
     
  5. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Q: What goes "Cloppity-clop, bang-bang; cloppity clop, bang-bang"?

    A: An Amish drive-by shooting.
     
  6. ingineer

    ingineer One Too Many

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    No matter how we dress, we all have to go to market
    [​IMG]
     
  7. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I think that has been a large part of the criticism/snark lobbed at this couple - that they take it so seriously. And I agree that having a sense of humor about it all would help them a great deal.
     
  8. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    And, indeed, a sense of humor is very authentically Victorian -- they had everyone from Artemus Ward to Charles Dickens to Mark Twain to Gilbert and Sullivan to Oscar Wilde. Victorians liked to laugh, and did so at every opportunity.
     
  10. blakegriplingph

    blakegriplingph New in Town

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    Indeed. Mixing a bit of anachronistic humour shouldn't hurt if they do so on occasion. ;)
     
  11. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    That reminds me of the lady who a few years back, showed up for jury duty wearing a Star Fleet uniform. The judge was mad, but she pointed out, she always dressed like that! Can't remember if she was dismissed or not?
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    True... my Great-grandfather, the only great-grandparent of mine who lived into my lifetime, was born in 1889, and died in 1986. It's hard to comprehend the level of change he experienced as an adult.

    This certainly bears out in my experience. I think in part it's got to do with the fact that there just isn't the level of surviving vintage and repro available for men that there is for women. There are decent repro places for the ladies where you can buy a capsule wardrobe for half the price of one suit for a man. That's not all of it, though. There is something about the male psyche that does fixate on detail for detail's sake. Anyone who has observed male and female record collectors will have seenv all the differences.

    The basic philophy behind The Chap has a lot to be said for it - "modernity in moderaion", or , as founder Gustav Temple once put it: "It's about keeping what was good about the past, without the bloodsports and the bigotry". Absolutely nothing wrong at all with retaining the good and shucking out the bad - on the proviso, I think, that we're realistic that that's what we're doing. TBH, though, I've never been offended/i] by folks with a rosy view of the past, born of naivity. Rather them than the type who specifically mourn the less savoury elements of the past - "I wish I lived in the forties before women and ethnics got uppity". There's an element of the latter in the 'vintage scene' in the UK, though thankfully they are very much a minority.

    Yes indeed. It never ceases to amaze me how many folks these days are all too ready to overlook such hard-fought battles.

    And definitely - too many people too readily make the assumption that everyone in a given era went with the mainstream, or loved things as they were. It's amazing, for instance, how many people in a UK context are wholly ignorant of the level and significance of opposition to the monarchy, and don't realise that republicans actually existed between Cromwell and the Sex Pistols. Just one of very many examples.

    Where I struggle with "vintage lifestylers" is when they think they have to buy in, wholesale, to a perceived norm - so they become obsessively monarchist, or swing to a particular political extreme, adopt a very socially conservative outlook, or whatever it is that they perceive to have been "the norm" in their chosen era, as they perceive that to be more authentic than what they otherwise may have done. I've seen it also happen in some cases where folks give up things they really enjoy in order to be more authentic, which seems crazy to me. The real joy of living now is that I can be selective about what I choose to retain of former eras, with the benefit of the more recent should I choose to have that.

    One of the most interesting cases I've heard of was a guy in Scotland who was into the Sixties. He decided he would compromise and have internet in the house, but deliberately chose (this was a few years ago - I don't know if it's available as a service any more) to have only dial-up internet. It was slower and not much cheaper than broadband, but he felt it was somehow more authentic, or less of a texhnological intrusion on his sixties lifestyle. Fair enough, personal choice and all that. I just find it facinating, though, hat he was prepared to allow a level of modernity in like that, but not the whole hog, given that what he did want wasn't exactly era-correct (though it woul be interesting to compare it to arpanet connections of that era).

    Yes. My experience over the years is that many people will say things that grate (my pet hate is cowboy comments with the fedora), but the vast majority don't mean any ill; they just don't have the same field of reference for wahtever. Usually, even if it's garbled, they are trying to compliment. As to those who do want to insult, the best response is usually to smile and show indifference.

    I'd be very surprised if she wasn't dismisssed. She was clearly either a loon if she thought that was appropriate, or faking it to get out of jury duty. Much as I'd love to punish everyone who tries to get out of it by some illegitimate means by keeping them on for a long jury trial, it would hardly be fair on the defendant...
     
  13. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Oh god yes. MALE RECORD COLLECTOR: "Oh wow! An Oakland pressing of Victor 24835! On Z-shellac! And it's the rare second take! Do you realize they only pressed 500 copies of this, and even Frank Driggs didn't have a copy, so they never officially released it on LP, although it did appear on a bootleg Pelican reissue in 1967, catalog number PC-44521, released by mail order only in an exclusive numbered release of 1500 copies, of which I have number 135! FEMALE RECORD COLLECTOR: Nice tune.

    Those who deny that there are differences in the male and female brains need only spend half an hour talking to record collectors for proof to the contrary.

    A lot of Americans think only of the thirties and forties via a seventies-eighties filter -- most what they know of the period was strained thru a specifically revisionist socio-political agenda during that time. I call that the "Waltons Filter," the idea that Americans of the period suffered passively and nobly thru the Depression. That image completely leached out the radicalism of the decade -- the real-life Waltons would have been more likely to join with their fellow townspeople and take up their rifles against the sherrif and the bank to prevent foreclosure on a neighbor's farm than to invite the sherrif in for a slice of pie and a glass of The Recipe.

    If I remember that affair right, it was a Starfleet standard-duty uniform, which was clearly inappropriate. Dress uniform is specified for occasions of state.
     
  14. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    We have a National Trust that buy up, or are bequeathed, everything from stately homes and castles, to humble homes with history. When you make that trip you might, or might not, be interested in, for example, the humble origins of: The Beatles Childhood Homes.
     
  15. The Reno Kid

    The Reno Kid A-List Customer

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    I like what this couple is doing. Good on 'em. I am somewhat dismayed by the viciousness of some of the attacks on them, however. In my experience, the crowd shouting loudest about tolerance, or diversity, or whatever are the first with the pitchforks when someone fails to hew to the current party line (whatever it is). The Chrismans are pursuing a lifestyle that is obviously very rewarding to them and it's not hurting anyone else. They seem to be willing to put up with the minor harassment one might expect. Sadly, this is just not good enough for the professionally offended among us. I can envision a scene from the cutting room floor of Monty Python or Brazil. Some outraged government bureaucrat shows up at their door and cites them for "failing to accurately portray a 19th-century lifestyle." The judge bangs his gavel and sentences them to a 6-month course of tuberculosis. "Now don't do it again!"

    Yeesh!

    ----------------
    Huh? This is internally contradictory. I agree with most of your comments on this thread but this one struck me as odd. It's not okay for others to pick and choose the features they like most about their chosen lifestyle but for you, that same ability to pick and choose represents "the real joy of living now"? Maybe I missed something. Why wouldn't the hypothetical "vintage lifestylers" buy into their own perceptions? Admittedly, these things can be carried to ridiculous extremes but again, if they are enjoying themselves and hurting nobody...

    By nature, I'm not especially libertarian in my views, but I think the Chrismans deserve a break, particularly from us. There are a lot of things I like about the '30s. But when ordering up my lifestyle, I think I'll pass on the side orders of polio, bigotry, and poverty.

    *end of rant*
     
  16. Gingerella72

    Gingerella72 A-List Customer

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    Watch any commercial today for smart phones/tablets/watches and you'll see lots of people. People flocking around a phone to look at photos, laughing, having a bonding experience together....it's almost like the companies are trying to show how this technology brings people together instead of promoting isolation. And I think for the most part that is true (if not as bright and shiny-happy as the commercials).
     
  17. Burma Schave

    Burma Schave One of the Regulars

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    Bigotry is as '30s as apple pie. Stop revising.
     
  18. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I find far too many "radical" types these days downright oblivious to just how courageous the labor/civil rights/gay rights/etc. organizers and activists of generations past truly were. It's no exaggeration to note that openly advocating for such things could get a person killed. It often cost people their jobs, their housing, their social standing. It was in no way a fashion statement, as so much "activism" is these days.
     

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