Re: Physical nomenclature

Eric Brunner (
11 Aug 1996 11:17:30 GMT

Patrick Riley ( wrote:

[originally, a question with so little context that many of us, repliants
or not, supplied our own. Bertillon being only a hop skip and a jump from
that most famous of physical metrics, phrenology, distinctly one of the
lower points (of many) of 19th century "science", and one of the many
enduring moments of Science (European) colliding with Colonialism (European).

Alas, after so tedious much of a sameness of sociobiology, where the moral
equivalent of "epicantic folds" on slime mold passes for a sufficient, if not
necessary explination for all immanginable causitry -- the request arises
out of a commercial requirement for descriptive typologies of humans (?) in
the narrative discourse of late 20th century indirect participatory sexual
services industry, and not, as all apparently immagined, as yet another hack
at tolerance, and mindfulness, by predominantly US-confined conflict seekers.

In short(s), the poster is a narrative-challenged skin-flick reviewer who
hopes to adopt some of the ageis of metric, the Grail of Objectivity, in
lieu of the more traditional lyrical narratives of desire.

A moment where some _real_ anthro (cultural) work can be attempted.

Is anyone even slightly curious about this person as an informant?
Not my area but if an entire book can be made out of ripping off "Blanket
Stories" of SW US NA groups (in 1995), this informant ought to be at least
a seminal thesis or two, if used wisely.

BTW, for my money, a "porn revewer" ranks way above modem-armed sociobio
rabble waving reams of popular science on one hand and shredders on the
other. Besides ... we did actually _cover_ (or was it _uncover_) all of the
penile aspects of this (metrics for boobs is not the only possibility) in
the unforgetable Cravat/BreastSize pseudo-selectionist exchange of missiles.

End of pre-coital positioning.]

: (Toby Cockcroft) wrote:
: >>In <4tuhp8$>,
: > Riley) writes:
: >Well congrats!! I'm glad that you are using all of your critical
: >abilities to ensure an objective model.

: No, I do care about politics, I make every effort to be politically
: incorrect! Did it ever occur to you that I might not want to take
: physical measurments because I can't take physical measurements. I'm
: not exhuming dead bodies here. Further even if I could touch and feel,
: such precision would be totally useless.
: Read the full signature.
: >descriptions. To what ends would more precise descriptions of humans
: >acheive? What is this need to describe and classify humans and from where
: >does it originate?

: Of course they are. The feminists (and probably you too) hate it when
: I classify Edith Smith as a big boobed bimbo but my readers (Enquiring
: minds, all) love to know that sort of information. Unfortunately "big
: boobed" verges on the slightly imprecise--there is a qualitative
: difference between 48GGG and just a 44DD!

[pity the bimboloby isn't as metrically tense!]

: >To classify humans by mere physical descriptions is an exercise in
: >futility. Classificatory systems will always be faulty and betray their
: >political and ethnocentric ideosyncrasies. A classificatory system can
: >go one of two ways, one, overly descriptive to the point of dividing each
: >individual into a 'race/clade/what have you' of one or, two, overly
: >simplified so as to describe a few groups by generalised and impractical
: >criteria whereby we describe an archetype and not reality. Any system
: >inbetween attempts to use different methodes to produce different
: >archetypes, but it is these archetypes that have political implications.
: >Why do you use one characteristic over another, why one measurement over
: >another, etc... these reasons are political ones and the groups that they
: >end up creating are political ones.

: think!

: >So I put it to you once again: what is it that compels you to classify
: >humans through physical traits when such an endeavour is futile and
: >wrought with political implications?

: You see I have this "compelling" need to communicate to my readers
: what someone in a movie looks like so they can make an informed
: decision as to whether that female might get them sexually aroused or
: the male might be so repulsive they should avoid it at all costs.
: Hardly a futile endeavour.

: Instead of getting your knickers in a twist a simple explanation like
: "Anthropologists don't use classification systems anymore but you
: could try <name-of-text>" (from the sixties) would have been
: appropriate. BTW one of your more down-to-earth colleagues already
: E-mailed me with an interesting suggestion.

: --
: Patrick Riley
: Author: The X-Rated Videotape Guide
: The X-Rated Videotape Star Index

Eric Brunner