Sunday, August 9, 2015

Baroque Space: Social Classes

In the Age of Space Exploration, humankind is freed from most toil. Automata perform most agrarian, mechanical, and domestic labor. These servitors are often called "Mechanicals" whatever the actual nature of their task.

With no menial work to do, the unskilled poor rely on the charity of their betters or the government. They dwell in large tenements where ideally they go about their days sequestered from the eyes of the more sensitive members of the upper classes. The exception is those living in preserves where the local lords have sought to present an entertaining tableau vivant of antique times. Sumptuary laws dictate the clothing and hair length of those on the dole. The most basic and ill-tailored of garments are provided, as is a relatively bland but basically nourishing provender. The intoxicants available to them are likewise of the meanest sort. Is it any wonder so many become outcasts: beggars, criminals, itinerant and adventurers.
Peasants dubiously costumed supposed in the manner of an Antediluvian Age
Owing to tradition and prejudice, merchants and artisans tend to be human, though often they are no more than the human face on automaton labor. The members of this class most closely follow societal trends and the whims of higher class taste makers.This is particularly true of those dealing in fashion, cuisine, or intoxicants.

Besides governmental, social, or ceremonial functions (war being included among these) and artistic pursuits, the lives of the upper classes of the gentry and nobility are spent mostly in the pursuit of pleasure.

Fashions among the youth of the upper classes runs to the ridiculous


Jay Dugger said...

In order, for those who don't recognize the images.

1. The Robots of Death, from Doctor Who
2. Zardoz!
3. The Vagabond of Limbo

Tim Shorts said...

I imagine this as one of those amusement parks I used to go through when I was a kid, the scene is captured in a room, you look through a large glass window and push a button to make it come alive. But it was always unsatisfying. It always did the same thing when you pushed the button. I am glad to hear nobility have improved this archaic entertainment.

Chris C. said...

I'll take being a noble in any time and place, except the French Revolution.

Jay Dugger said...

@Chris C.

Let me know how much you enjoy early 20th-century Imperial Russia.

Chris C. said...

@Jay Dugger:

Oops! Yeah, forgot that one. Oversights notwithstanding, the gist of the comment stands. Rare indeed is the time and place where the nobles don't have it way better than the average person. :)