I’m going back through MW videos because I saw a TRS interview and did a doubletake. He’s been on a posting binge and I missed a lot, he’s doing a HUGE Rotherham series which should be epic. Like, 100 videos. Hope not Hate will lose their minds.
I had been meaning to cover this topic, Victorian romanticism I suppose, with my own 2 shiny copper pennies but life intervened. I know it appears somewhat random when I reference the time period with more warmth than this one and sadly I am not a time traveler. I do believe an explanation is required of me and a few of you have asked me about it.
Now is good. General content warning, semi-coherent rant incoming:–
It could easily seem naive and nostalgic to contemplate the romance of a previous era and attribute to it higher virtues than one’s own time period. In any other time period, where there were some virtues, I could agree with this. If you want a really explicit take on the premise with a SFF twist, watch Midnight in Paris. It’s highly quotable.
It’s so pretentious and knowingly so that it rolls back around full circle into being sincere. ANY-WAY.
When you ask a person certain questions, it clues you into their values system and their learned status.
It’s kinda like asking someone who they’d want to have dinner with or who they think they were in a past life. Our notions of glamour betray a private sense of luxury above the common cloth. There are many myths about the Victorians and I can assure you I fall for none of them. I’m so well-read I have to hide my power level (or I get responses like “omg why did you read about cotton mills wtf”) It is a simple matter of comparison and concluding that, on the whole, those were the best of times. The quality of writing and the many nascent scientific fields seal the deal for me. It was the start of something special, the potential West. I’m overjoyed how many books from the time are available for free on PG.
I don’t refer to the Ripper fetishists. I don’t refer to the poverty pornographers salivating over the privations of the working poor. Intriguing as those may be. I refer to a golden mindset we have lost. It built an Empire and forged new trading routes and without getting too detailed, most of our “modern” belief sets are implicitly founded in this time period.
You could think of the Industrial Revolution as the time man awoke to his mechanical potential or K-shifted or grew its C temperament (biohistory). To this day, nobody is 100% sure how it happened.
What I find curious is the bookend to it as well. You have the r-selection of whorish 18th century women for the first time, the demure Regency then this boom in education and quality of life thanks to outsourcing to really simple, rugged robotics. Both sexes worked together and girls were given a chance to prove themselves and everyone benefited. This is how a First World Society should work. Certain attitudes were crucial to keeping everyone in line away from the opium before the decadence of the latter period kicked in with Wilde (pre-dated by wildcard Byron’s limited effect on upper class totty). On the other side, the death of the Empire with Vicky, Georgian/Edwardian drama as the digital age gains ground with normal people and two World Wars in quick succession won by innovative fluke and suddenly we have computers, flying literally everywhere and we’re up to approximately… now. It’s amazing. This is all magic.
I know how simple that sounded. Give me a time machine and I’d show them these things. The celebrity of the tabloids, the technics of the Great Exhibition and a patriotic fire which led them to stamp their signature on everything.
There is no proper means to distill this topic without losing something essential. I can’t do it justice. Just read around from the time and you’ll begin to feel it. They have a wonderful sense of imagination, you can see this with science fiction. Their hopes for the future are radical, and the best part is, that it is matched by their tireless work ethic. Scotland, for example, had a steady stream of innovators compared to the present, where they appear to be lackadaisical lushes on the Statist teat. Their curiosity was insatiable, I really respect it.
Quick fire round to provide an overview.
They had new forms of transportation – we have slightly tweaked iphone designs.
They had children who respected their parents and worked hard – need I, really?
They prized virtue and believed good people existed – now nobody is good and nobody can judge anything and vice is pushed for advertising money.
They had classics coming out on a regular basis, books people still read – we have pulp fictions which are entirely time-imprisoned. In 5 years, they’ll be cheap and dated and they follow the same tired scripts.
They had a concentration of geniuses which made it a Renaissance of science, with the Enlightenment values of the Scientific Method. We think feelings trump facts and there’s such a thing as subjective reality. Really? OK. Quit believing in gravity and go jump off a cliff.
They prized the innovators, the smart people, and rewarded those who took risks. We’re…. practically the reverse. We commend the bravery of people who make stupid decisions.
They understood there is a deserving poor and an undeserving poor and only helped the latter. We think everyone is the same, damn the varying potential thing we learn as soon as the grades roll in at school.
Their architecture was the perfect blend of form and function, harmony and detail. We use…. too much glass. Twisted metals for twisted morals. The buildings actually look menacing and we think this is a good thing. Massive phallic symbols for massive dicks.
Their art depicted something real. Real feeling. They showed the poor and the rich and the common and the divine. We show random objet and the term art in this time period has lost its meaning. Everything is art, which means nothing is.
They allowed you to earn respect. We don’t know how to show respect anymore.
They valued the family unit, who cared for them when they were sick. We value Nanny State, who’ll kill us by euthanasia when they’ve drained us dry and wasted our one life.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…
They had standards.
If only we had some standards, I would like this time period. I agree with Tesla when he said he worked for future generations. I don’t like this generation, the living one, but I don’t want to screw over Future Person who doesn’t deserve it. There is hope for them. It’s also the reason I write, so maybe they’ll find it and think hmm, they weren’t all bad. Some people saw it. Some people worked hard to correct it.