A tonic for the new age…
Thanks very much to those that answered yesterday’s poll. I asked if anyone would like to come forward and explain the appeal of the jeans half mast trend. I could extrapolate from the poll results that no one likes this fashion statement, but that would be wrong on two counts. Obviously evidence suggests otherwise as I continue to see people dressing this way, young men specifically. Also, all statistics can be misleading, warped to suit a particular arguement. I suspect that those that wear their jeans this way, wouldn’t find their way to my blog and if they did, they wouldn’t be inclined to explain it. What can we conclude? Many of us don’t like this look. It’s irrelevant out of context, the context being prison and sending certain signals by how you wear your jeans. Many of us find it silly too, in look and in practice.
The die is cast and therefore I offer you satisfaction. Many thanks to Zoe for her help - we give you the flaming jeans. We’ve set fire to the silliness and hope you enjoy it.
PUBLIC POLL: WHO LIKES THIS LOOK AND WHY?
I was looking for photos of court related scenes and I found this, curious, I opened the link. It was an advice page for people going to court and it was suggested, this may not be appropriate dress for that occasion.
I know I’m not in the teen-25 year range anymore and I don’t get it. Please tell me though because I want to understand WHY? You see I’ve been there too, in that I was once in that age group and we had our eqivalent of making a statement, fashion trends that were incomprehensible to the older generation. In that category of the time were frayed jeans, frayed sleeves, or cut off altogether, flared jeans the wider and more ridiculous the better, and long feathery earrings. None of that impeded our walking (well, the jeans did just a bit and if you were running, they wrapped round your ankles and could trip you up). I can only imagine this jeans at half mast, belt holding them firmly in postion, has got to be constrictingly uncomfortable. What’s the point?
Relativism: The doctrine that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, are not absolute.
We were wrong! It’s not equality or the vote that we should have been fighting for and burning our bras was just a waste of good engineering. For real emancipation, all we required was washing machines! Next time you’re feeling stifled, as if the distribution of labour in your home or work is unbalanced, when you feel as if your voice is not being heard - just do a load of wash, that’s true freedom!
If you’re not too busy striking a blow for freedom by doing the laundry, read, “Liberty is a Washing Machine,” to be posted on Tuesday, July 3rd on “A View From Outside the Box,” url: adialogue.
Following on from our theme of the tyranny of handbags, I now advance to shoes, Jimmy Choos, whatever may amuse…
Here is one of my favourite songs about female emancipation- from shoes!
“Les Femmes Chausees,” The Poozies
A little taste of what is to come tomorrow, Tuesday May 29 on “A View From Outside the Box,” url: adialogue. Please read it to find out what Mrs. Beeton had to say and both how much and how little some things have changed.
“Praise is readily accorded to those whose province it seems is to shine in society, whose brilliant talents or accomplishments almost command admiration, while those who simply devote themselves to their home, to the comfort of their husbands and the care and culture of their children are, in comparison, but lightly esteemed; while in reality they should be more so. They often do a higher, nobler work than mere talents could effect, and seldom without self sacrifice. These good women have their reward.”
(From “Mrs. Beeton’s Every Day Cookery and Housekeeping Book)
Today I offer thanks to two interesting bloggers, two distinct songs but striking one or two of the same notes - strength and candour specifically. Thank you ‘candididlycara’ and ‘blondhairrednails’ for following me and I hope you savour “A View From Outside the Box.”
The photos are from your blogs, the first one about rules has a certain resonance with me. “Candidly Cara” describes her interests as poetry, film, music and enthusiasm but I feel it’s the ‘enthusiasm’ that shines out from this blog. Her posts are candid, funny and sharp - the piece about women and their periods went viral and was excellent in that it got people talking. With Cara’s candour and straight shooting determination to question, leave no stone unturned, I can promise you will not be bored.
“Blondhairrednails” contains the things that strike Elena’s discerning eye. The photo of the gentleman with the elegant, literary bow tie is from her blog. She has an eye for beauty, the elegant of some age but also the new and stylish, the absurd and an ear for the note of anarchy, the slightly subversive. She is strong and equally unapologetic about who she is. I love the fox licking the window, long pink tongue framed by sharp white teeth.
Strong women, strong distinct blogs - thank you for your support.
On International Women’s Day, what better time to celebrate our wonderful, curvy feminine beauty. The most shocking thing to me about this image isn’t the contrast between the typical model and her contemporary, it’s that the ‘larger’ model is in the category of ‘plus size.’ What sort of crazy world do we live in that categorises this woman as plus in dimensions, plus in relation to what? Starvation?
AFAIC, TXTT ILOB! In the old language, that means, “As far as I am concerned, text talk is a load of bollocks! Having stuck my head above the parapet, I should clarify; this abbreviated form of language has its place, just not in every day parlance. The trouble is, the text virus has spread into our minds and infected our words, transforming them into ugly abbreviations, uttered only for expediency.
You may be wondering what the beautiful images I have included with this piece have to do with texting. I wonder if you can imagine waking up in the otherworldly mountains of Patagonia, or ascending a slope by mule to Paro Taktsang (“Tigers Lair”) in Bhutan to one of the monasteries that cling tenaciously to the rocky cliffs, or gazing up in wonder at the face of the Leshan Buddha in China, standing over 71 metres high and built in 713. Now can you imagine trying to express these visions in text speak?
I have observed the new language creeping into ordinary conversation, phone calls and emails. I am the Mother of two children, both afflicted with the dreaded teenage years. On my birthday recently, I received a message on Facebook from my daughter, a message full of warmth and good wishes, her hopes and dreams for me for the coming year - “hbd!” The minimalistic message was fortunately not the only birthday wishes I received from the Girl as her early morning hug and the cake she baked communicated much more. That being said, I can see a time, if that time is not already here, where hbd will become standard, where I will lol to receive her hbd, pressing xoxoxo with my reply.
Should any of this concern you? You probably know the often quoted phrase, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lost it.” I believe if we stop expressing ourselves verbally with the richness, variety and texture of language we will forget how to do so. Eventually, those long unitilised silent cortexes of our brain for language and abstract thought will cease to function. They will become obsolete, in the company of letters on paper and books, particularly the thesaurus. I have to hope that future generations of the Sami people of northern Scandinavia do not turn on to text. How would they consolidate the hundreds of words they use to describe snow?
As a point of interest, I looked up a few words in an online text dictionary. Words describing emotion were woefully absent. I suspect that the reason for this is that they are so rarely used in texting. I looked up the word “exciting” and discovered “X-1-10” will say what can be said with (to name a few); agitate, amaze, anger, animate, annoy, arouse, astound, awaken, bother, chafe, delight, discompose, disturb, electrify, elicit, energise, evoke, fire, fluster, foment, galvanise, goad, incite, induce, inflame, infuriate, intensify, irritate, kindle, madden, mock, move, offend, precipitate, provoke, quicken, rouse, start, stimulate, stir up, taunt, tease, thrill, titillate, vex, wake up, waken, warm, whet, work up and worry in old fashioned English. Our old fashioned ancestors fought for the freedom of speech we enjoy today. It must disturb, infuriate and inflame their memory to see us limit that legacy.
We’re not just limiting our expression. Any form of communication that can be shortened can also be done in a shorter amount of time. As a consequence, there is a growing expectation that we deal with more communication in less time. Add to this the dubious gift of multiple technologies that allow us to be reached at all times. We are the agents of our own destruction in that we have allowed ourselves to be swallowed up by a continuous stream of demands for our attention, partaking of a continuous stream of communication. The negative mirror effect of technological diversity and accessibility is that we now imagine that our every thought, even the most banal, should be shared.
I wonder how much we’re really sharing though? Castration of language by abbreviation, and the double-edged sword of variety and availability means that a lot of what we hear is just noise. There is a lack of intimacy, of real sharing. People get agitated if they’re separated from their “communication devices” for more than a few minutes, imaging they might be missing something. It seems we’ve never had so much voice, so much power and yet ironically, we behave as if we’re desperately impotent. We increase our traffic, build a larger social network and are ever available. Maybe we’re not just missing time, time for the fullness of expression, fully expressed, but also time for silence. Time to be silent.
In the silence we might remember that we used to talk once. We made the time to really talk and to listen, to draw out and to explore. We also allowed time to be silent, to reflect. True communication had value and we nurtured it. Language is magical, reaching, confounding, soaring, enraging, liberating and enlightening but it needs us to live. Let it live.
ⓒ S. Marian, Jan. 10, 2012