I'll come up with something in a minute.

Nostalgia in book form.

I got a couple of books by Alan G. Barbour from my father last week, Days Of Thrills And Adventures and The Thrill Of It All.

Both of these are basically the same kind of book, pictorial histories about b-movies from the 50s and earlier. One is about serials, the other is about westerns. What gets me that looking through is you could probably get more information on both these subjects poking around the wikipedia entries I linked in my last sentence as jumping off points than you could from these books. Finding the photos might take a little more time, because there are a lot of photos, but I’m going to guess that it wouldn’t take much work.

They’re still good books, with charm and fun, but I can’t feel that the internet has supplanted these books that I remember from my youth. That makes me a little sad in a way.

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July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yuppie Swords

I was just sitting in the living room, leafing through a book about swords, when it occurred to me that the rapier is really just a yuppie sword. Think about it, you’ve got a sword, which is a military weapon, but you’ve changed and adapted it until it has virtually no use on the battlefield. A burgeoning middle class was beginning to look toward some of the styles and symbols of the upper classes. What you had was a trend for people who had never been able to carry or use such a thing before to start showing off how much power and affluence they had attained. Previously you had to be a knight or otherwise engaged in the military classes to carry these important weapons which were both a tool and a symbol of office. But now, because of various factors, citizens can start openly carrying swords without being military men of any kind.

The rapier developed into a slim blade whose only offensive ability was the thrusting point, which made it useless as a battle weapon. The trend of demilitarizing the weapons would continue into the small sword which was even more of a little needle for girls and wimpy yuppies to poke each other with. Yes, yes, some military men used small swords, but only the rich ones who could get daddy to buy them one from Europe and served in The Guards while the real men did real fighting.

So what you have, in the rapier, is the 16th century equivalent of the Hummer. It started out looking like the military version, but was slimmed down for civilian use until it looked like a pathetic penis extension for insecure men. Also, little known fact, rapiers used more gas than daggers and falchions.

While the artists, poets, and the sons of rich men were having sissy slap stab fights with each other, the basket hilt (a far more robust slashing blade) was pretty much standard on the battlefield. That evolved into the saber which was used by everyone until the end of the whole sword “thing” when people started to notice that guns were not only available but actually worked pretty well.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Golden Fish?

This almost went into my Sadko review, which you should all read if you haven’t because it’s pretty funny. I made the macro and then decided that I should just present the review without it and now I think that it’s a shame you didn’t see this…

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There was a second one I was toying with as well,

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Not as funny out of context, but might have worked in the review better.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment