Is the emperor wearing wonderful new clothes or is he wearing nothing????

Well er... imperial nudity is openly on display, and some women in the audience are getting quite excited.

Then a courtier gets involved and refuses to admit anything is wrong. That is The Courtier's Reply, a sequel to "The Emperor's New Clothes". [1] and it can become Rudely entertaining.

  1. The courtier explains one should study the way Parisian fashion houses add that undefinable "je ne sais quois" [2] which makes their designs special and European. Furthermore one is required to study fashion companies in the United States as they add American know how that makes their designs impeccably stylish. Western fashion designers have the skill to conceal what a wearer has below the waste. Simultaneously designers subtly show something attractive is there and avoid obscenity. Impudent upstarts assume they can tell what is visible below the waste. And they don't even understand how skilled designers conceal it.
    1. We puzzle over this since we can't see any evidence the emperor is wearing stylish clothes, rather we see no clothes at all below the waste. Incidentally are all those women staring at something. Errr what?
  2. The courtier continues that critics clearly haven't studied erudite comparisons between the costumes of European emperors and those worn by emperors in China, Japan, Ancient Rome and other nations. Without knowing how imperial naughty bits are/were respectfully covered in these above mentioned empires it is unreasonable to assume one can tell whether or not the imperial naughty bits of our ruler are properly clothed. Moreover brazen cynics cannot compare imperial clothing with that of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, Ancient Mesopotamian rulers, Latin American rulers before the European arrival etc. etc. etc.
    1. How in the name of the Most Holy IPU & FSM is all this relevant. Would women giggled at all those other emperors in elaborate costumes the way they giggle at our naked emperor?
  3. Unless all subjects connected with clothes and fashion are studied in detail nobody has the right to criticise the naked emperor. How can those extremely disrespectful accusers imagine they know enough to tell whether the emperor is wearing tasteful, fashionable clothes or no clothes at all? It's clear critics don't know the first thing about clothing design, fashion or good taste!
    1. The list of what needs to be learnt can easily be extended without limit and it's all irrelevant.

In a similar way Christians, especially educated Christians sometimes tell us to learn endless and irrelevant Sophisticated theology. They also imagine we shouldn't criticise Christianity unless we master all this irrelevant material, see The Courtier's Reply and The Courtier's Reply, entertaining but not very polite for more.


  1. The Courtier's Reply by PZ Myers imagines how the famous story, by Hans Christian Andersen could continue. A few people outside western countries may not know the story so for anyone who would like to read it or refresh their memory here are links. Swindlers persuade a vane emperor that they can get him magic clothes. These clothes look fine, really magnificent to worthy folk but fools and unfit people can’t see anything. (People do sometimes believe wild, improbable paranormal stories so perhaps this fairy tale isn't too bizarre.) The climax of the story has the emperor parading while neither he nor anyone else admits they can’t see wonderful clothes. Finally a child says the emperor is naked and after that everyone recognizes the emperor’s nudity.
  2. je ne sais quois;je ne sais quois