Monday, June 16, 2008


Cow has been reading "The Making of Revolutionary Paris" by the Australian researcher David Garrioch. Excerpts:

"Limited leisure time was spent with neighbors...the narrow streets were shared spaces where groups of men played bowls and skittles; women sat with their sewing, children ran free. On Sundays and evenings couples and families strolled the streets of their quarter.

It was a neighborhood obligation to exchange greetings each day, to observe rules of politeness that created a pretence of equality between people of different conditions and levels of affluence. The poor widow, living in a fifth floor attic room, the journeyman; the servant girl: all merited the polite greeting of "Monsieur" or "Madame."

Above all, local reputation and honor was a source of self-esteem. The respect of the neighborhood made life tolerable, despite its uncertainties, despite abject dependence and often grinding poverty."

Thoughts: in only fifty years, this entire life rhythm has been changed by television. Going 'out' for all entertainment is no longer required.

As for local reputation and honor...perhaps the internet has stepped in to provide feedback on others, at least on a national level. But it is a poor substitute for neighborhood knowledge of local businessmen and neighbors.



Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Starting a neighbourhood choir might be the answer. You'll get a reputation, either good or bad, depending on how you sing.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Watercolor said...

Very true.

6:27 PM  
Blogger scones with jam and cream said...

Dear Topiary, but don't you think that people visiting each other's blogs and leaving friendly comments is rather similar? Friendliness, sense of honour, regular visits to the same people etc? And it has NOTHING to do with TV as well.Love from scones x

6:15 AM  
Blogger From the Doghouse said...

It has some similarities, but it's not the same as the front porch of old.

6:56 AM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

GB: You are preaching to the choir. Heh.

Scones: Possibly. Hmmm. But lacking in the human touch, verily.

Doghouse: Agree. Cow would like to hang out on a front porch but it would have to be screened. Swat!


1:32 PM  
Blogger Mrs Pouncer said...

Here in the glorious rustic reaches of the Thames Valley, the sheer volume of fetes, fayres, garden parties, regattas, tennis tournaments, donkey derbies, whist evenings, beetle drives, dinner dances, galas, fashion shows, beer and skittles, cheese and wine, sponsored sulks, vicars and tarts, bridlepath rambles and Anthony Worrall-Thompson leaves one quite breathless and longing for, say, a weekend in Nuneaton where, I am assured, things are quieter. Cordially yours, Mrs Pouncer

1:27 AM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

Cow now desperate for a donkey derby.

Formal attire, guessing?

As for a "sponsored sulk" these are unknown in the Land of Topiary but Cow is very intrigued.


12:11 PM  

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