Pessimists Archive

Why do people keep resisting new things? That’s the question Pessimists Archive tries to answer. In each episode, we travel back in time to the moment that a new technology or innovation was introduced—something that today we think of as totally commonplace!—and we explore why everyone was freaking out about it. Our hope is this: By seeing how repetitive and often silly yesterday's fears were, we can begin to defang today’s fears as well. Pessimists Archive is hosted by Jason Feifer. Follow us on Twitter at @pessimistsarc, which is run by Louis Anslow. Our email is pessimistsarchive@gmail.com, and website is pessimists.co.

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The Waltz


Why are new dances always so scandalous? Grinding, freak dancing, swing dancing, rock-n-roll -- each had their opponents. But at the beginning of it all was the waltz. We may think of the waltz as classy and performative today, but as it gained popularity in the early 1800s, the dance was called disgusting, dangerous, an “obscene display … confined to prostitutes and adulteresses”, and worse. Why? In this episode, we explore how the waltz got people so riled up, how everyone finally got over it, and what the whole sweaty tale can teach us about the future of scandalous dances. Reach out! Twitter: @pessimistsarc Email: pessimistsarchive@gmail.com Web: pessimists.co


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 2019-04-22  39m