Thursday, July 07, 2005

Entia non sunt multiplicanda...

I have been meaning to write about shutters lately, or, rather, the scarcity thereof in the Outpost. Now that it has become really hot, I have started noticing that most newly built homes (i.e., say, 60% of all homes), houses and flats alike, completely lack shutters of any description. This means that the heat cannot be prevented from reaching through the glass panes and getting trapped indoors. Instead of shutters, you have curtains or the cursed Venetian blinds (a cat's plaything and not even sexy anymore). Why would people not install shutters in a land drenched in sunlight? Why do they want the heat to be trapped inside their homes, between glass and curtain? Do they like it? Not really, that's why they set their air conditioners at 18 degrees, with fans at full speed.

I have been trying to both seek an explanation and reconstruct the just-so story locals would have about this. Then, suddenly, inspiration in TGI Friday's: a general theory that captures all sorts of Outpost behaviour, sure with the details still left to be worked out, but a good, simple theory in any case; it can be reduced to a single proposition:

Outposters are peasants.

'Peasants' should be read descriptively: neither as pejorative nor as a label glorifying rustic purity. Once this is understood, you can go back and read every single post of this blog under the light of the proposition above and it will all fall into place now. As a bonus, the above captures intriguing similarities between 'Outpost realities' and those in other places and times. Actually, in hindsight I wonder why it has taken me so long.

While you are occupying yourselves with this, I can take a short break (maybe), dedicating myself to internal life.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, once I put the proposition over all your posts I lost interest in your blog, because until I did, it didn't sound paternalistic. Now it does. Maybe it's the oversimplification, the generalization, the stereotyping... who knows. It just sounds as if you are looking from above now, instead of from within. Bummer...

7/7/05 12:17  
Blogger The Passenger said...

How very true.

Perhaps loxias can elaborate on his statement.

7/7/05 17:09  
Blogger Loxias said...

@anonymous: someone with your background should acknowledge that 'peasant' can be a term intended along the lines of "belonging to a 'non-urban', 'non-secular', 'non-civil ' society" (although I would hate to have the term thus reduced) and certainly not as a "pejorative" term.

By the way, the self-irony was lost once more, by the way, wasn't it?

@Ozy: see above.

7/7/05 18:51  
Blogger The Passenger said...

I'd say that not 60% but 90% of newly-built houses in my area actually have shuuters.But maybe I'm living in a parallel universe Outpost...

7/7/05 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean "someone of my background", big bro? :)

I just read the term as "one who lacks common sense" (a new pejorative menaning if you wish), given the context. Of course, a lot of things are nonsensical at the Outpost, but not for that reason. Most ludicrous abnormalities can be attributed to tribalism, or the nouveau riche. But to use your words, I would hate to have the term thus reduced. What I disliked was the tone, the feeling I got from your post (after all, I suck at reading between the lines). It sounded like criticizing from above, instead of from within. Your other posts were the other way around, thus I wouldn't use this one to characterize them all. It just doesn't do it (for me).

8/7/05 13:24  
Blogger Loxias said...

To mix the narratives a bit, be it from within or from above, the sleepless oracular eye of Loxias sees all, including your background, O anonymous one! :-)

Seriously, now: could you take seriously the statement that in a moment of 'inspiration', a "theorem" (of what?) was conceived in, hm, TGI Friday's? What about turns of phrase like "will all fall into place now", "in hindsight I wonder..."?

(Only yesterday did I realise that 'peasant' is a powerful, all-embracing, all-purpose curseword in the Outpost. Zounds!)

Ah, irony, high yield but so risky...

or

We have all been corrupted by the absolute relativism of the "Theoristes", thinking that (my deliberate) abuse of scientific discourse is legitimate / to be expected...

8/7/05 14:59  
Blogger Loxias said...

Actually, shutters are becoming scarce because of nouveau-richism -- you are right about this one. Ask an architect.

8/7/05 15:02  
Blogger Loxias said...

... not to mention the scarcity of awnings...

8/7/05 23:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, maybe you needed to clear some things up then for the original text to sound the way you meant it. Again, not because its alluding to the cypriot allergy to anything peasant-like, just the tone... spooky :)

In any case, you can buy me lunch at that picture of yours and all the uneasy feelings will be gone.

Cheers.

11/7/05 21:24  
Blogger The SeaWitch said...

"Peasant" debate aside...and back to shutters themselves. Do you know why old homes on the island of Naxos have shutters INSIDE the house instead of outside? I've been wondering about that for 5 years now.

8/10/05 12:09  

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