April 16, 2009

George Will is still ranting a rant that has been ranted for 50 years.

And he thinks we are ridiculous.

***

By the way, how can you rant about taste and aesthetics on a webpage as horrifically cluttered and blinkingly atrocious as Townhall.com?

76 comments:

American Liberal Elite said...

Never take sartorial advice from a man in a bow tie.

Bissage said...

I really have no moral standing to form an opinion on this as most of my business suits are custom tailored from the same fabric they use to make sweatpants.

m00se said...

Granted, George is over the top here, however - how does this differ from your phobia about men in shorts? You've vented to a similar degree about men in baggy shorts.

Sauce, goose, gander...

rhhardin said...

Check Jewish World Review when directed to Townhall.com to see if they carry the same column.

I've boycotted townhall forever for dimming the lights with web page crap that slows the computer to a crawl.

Townhall is up there with the worst of radio station websites.

Jewish World Review by contrast has always been minimalist, and generously gives you the entire column on one page.

rhhardin said...

I avoid denim because it bleeds blue onto your wash.

Everything must fit one load or I won't wear it.

Also, secondarily but very important, light colors are vastly move visible for bike commuters

Pogo said...

The US has gone full retard socialist, and he writes about denim pants?

His kids are now slaves to an insatiable government gone mad, and his topic is jeans?

I detect an Obama voter.

zedzded said...

I am with you, Pogo. Mr. Will has gone round the bend. I think, like many in his mileau, he voted for Obama. Closet socialists. I blame the public schools for teaching our children about the socialist agenda. Get 'em young, right?

Palladian said...

"I detect an Obama voter."

He had Obama over for dinner, remember?

People like to pretend that there are two different, opposite "sides" who are fighting ideological battles in Washington, but when you get down to it, it's all powerful people laughing over elegant dinners at our expense.

Pogo said...

Palladian's right.
Again.

I backed out of a proposal to write an article against national health care because I thought, what's the point?, it's a done deal.

Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets

hdhouse said...

I receive the townhall updates and in the past posted there...now i can't even log in and i don't miss it. i used to think mr. will was a smarty but now think that is because my father thought he was. now i think he is just another townhall elitest who can't be bothered.

Peter V. Bella said...

WHat next, the virtue of WHite Suits ala Tom Wolfe?

Woody said...

No one actually pays any attention to how folks dress. No longer do "clothes make the man."
Should I ever be on trial for my life, I would care less what my lawyer wears into the courtroom, nor how much it insults the judge.... Yeah, sure!

zedzded said...

Shut up, HD, and pay your taxes, you tax cheat.

And learn to write in standard English - you write like a fucking retarded 3rd grader who is a tax evader.

Pay up, douche. You are un-American.

jdeeripper said...

rhhardin said...I've boycotted townhall forever for dimming the lights with web page crap that slows the computer to a crawl.Just get the article in the "print" format and get out of the main site. Very ugly site.

Look, George Will is a dork. An old dork. Sure a lot of jeans look like crap but are casual khakis or wool dress pants better? It's just another version of the same dreaded conformity to the "undifferentiated herd".

The main difference is the looser pants cover up the incredibly poor bodies of most men. Add a jacket with shoulder pads and the average potato man looks less potatoish.

Not all jeans are created equal.But I agree with Althouse shorts on men are almost always very wrong

MadisonMan said...

I am confident in saying that George Will has pairs of Dockers in his closet. How are they any different from Blue Jeans? They're just Blue Jeans for people with middle-aged (or older) bodies.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Could George have his tongue in his cheek a bit?

He misses the real problem.

Fat women in spandex pants.

Someday in Wal-Mart a pair of spandex slacks will explode, showering unaware shoppers with shards of spandex shrapnel.

Be on your toes, Wal-mart shoppers.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Could George have his tongue in his cheek a bit?

He misses the real problem.

Fat women in spandex pants.

Someday in Wal-Mart a pair of spandex slacks will explode, showering unaware shoppers with shards of spandex shrapnel.

Be on your toes, Wal-mart shoppers.

Ann Althouse said...

"You've vented to a similar degree about men in baggy shorts."

I challenge you to quote prose of mine on the subject of shorts that goes on at length and with references to literature and so forth.

Also, I'm saying men in shorts are desexualizing themselves.

ricpic said...

No matter how reassuring he is sooner or later a bow tie wearer lets you down.

ricpic said...

No one actually pays any attention to how folks dress.What're you, a frickin' alien?!

Lem said...

Shame on George Will for unearthing this relic.

I hope he didn’t damage the parchment by contaminating it with his DeNAm.

ricpic said...

...I'm saying men in shorts are desexualizing themselves.What if a man's naughty bit peeks out from under his shorts?

ricpic said...

When I preview my comments the spacing works. Then when I click publish the spacing disappears. My computer problem? Or something haywire with the Leave your comment section?

ricpic said...

test

test

traditionalguy said...

Rural field laborers and ranch hands wear jeans and work shoes/boots for very good reasons. So Will does not want to see anymore jeans worn at Whole Foods because that style irritates him. That is a pretty small minded complaint coming from a Washington insider. Suppose the military veterans from Texas start wearing jeans too. That whould shake up these Washington Taipans even more.

MadisonMan said...

ricpic, the problem is with italicizing. You can make a line after the italics

if you close the italics (add the close tab) after the carriage return/line feed. Like I just did above. If you close the italicsand then hit carriage return/line feed, the paragraph isn't recognized.

It's a blogger problem.

Peter V. Bella said...

How about men in tights? Or men in spandex(cycle) shorts.

Blago, our criminal governor ran the state in running tights from his "home office"; a lot of women thought he was sexy.

rhhardin said...

@ripic, do not end a paragraph with html codes like /i /a etc.

Rather, begin the next paragraph with that the bit of html.

It's a new bug. Solutions to bugs are usually workarounds.

ricpic said...

Thanks MM and rh.

Clyde said...

As I wrote in Comment #58 at Townhall (before I came here for my morning Althouse), Mr. Will, you forgot to say, "Get off my lawn, you rotten kids!"

Cranky, crotchety old Beltway elitist!

Peter V. Bella said...

I like "blinkingly atrocious".

John said...

I have seen George Will wearing a trench coat on TV. Yet he is not an infantryman in the trenches of World War I. I have seen George wearing a vest and bow tie, the garb men used to wear to keep their necks and torsos warm in old english houses without central heat.

He seems very aware of this discordance in others, and totally blind to it in himself. he should read Alison Lurie's "The Language of Clothes." Great book.

Also a tech question for rhardin: I set up my account as "John" and there is another John here (I think I came first, but he posts more often, so OK he can have it). How do I change my posting name?

And Ann, nobody is saying you make as many self-important literary references as George. But you do care a lot about what other people wear. To some of us, that is a little weird.

I guess as I get older I am having that reaction -- of cranky curmudgeon -- more. But for me it is mostly girls in jeans that show their butt cracks and their love handles spill over the sides. Which to me desexualizes them, as they try to sexualize themselves. So maybe I am having the same reaction as you.

peter hoh said...

Of course Will voted for Obama. Do you think he could have made it through 4 years of defending McCain?

Bob_R said...

Could Will have possibly picked a worse time to suggest that we should dress more like politicians, bankers, lawyers, and journalists?

Pogo said...

" men in shorts are desexualizing themselves"

It's antipodal to the codpiece, which really ought to be encouraged, I think, given the reality of most men, myself included.

All for the greater good, really.

" girls in jeans that show their butt cracks and their love handles spill over the sides. Which to me desexualizes them"

Rather, it antisexualizes them; eliciting the anti-erotic, un-carnal, anti-horny, and salt petered reaction among bystanders.

Bob_R said...

Regarding timing, I'll make a wild guess that this has been in a bottom drawn for a few years and Mr. Will is either under the weather or off having fun. This has a distinct phoned in quality to it.

MadisonMan said...

I should have referenced rh in my comment, as the fix I wrote is the one he told me about :)

Pogo said...

Howl
by George Will

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
bluejeans, a shabby nostalgic longing,

dragging themselves through the exurban streets at dawn
looking for a manicured lawn,

acid-treated hip-huggers yearning for the summa contra denim
connection to the billionaire rebels in Silicon Valley

faux poverty in tatters, and slovenly and high sat
up juvenilized in the supernatural darkness of
Levi Strauss pants floating across the tops of cities
contemplating democracy's catechism of leveling,

hdhouse said...

I would comment on the men in shorts thing but zedzded would just hurl at me so I'll write nothing and he'll still hurl up a storm.

"never give an idiot a drum"

jdeeripper said...

John said...But for me it is mostly girls in jeans that show their butt cracks and their love handles spill over the sides..

Those are called muffin tops.

former law student said...

Not only that, this was not even his idea, but one long riff on an article by one Daniel Akst, in the WSJ.

In other news, people wear basketball shoes when they're not actually on the court. And, unlike the conformists of the James Dean era -- by which I mean Ozzie and Harriet -- they do not wear neckties and cardigans when lounging around the house. Nor do they wear demure dresses and aprons.

Which reminds me: what does he suggest for men's casual pants, other than the durable denims? Chinos? Khakis? Never describe a problem without suggesting a solution.

Eric said...

I agree with Pogo. Of all the things going on he chooses to write about a trend that's been going on for decades?

Next up: Yet another column on baseball.

Paddy O. said...

George Will is a well known westphobe, hating all things that come from west of the Mississippi.

So, of course, his fashion sense will reject all things denim, where instead of adult men being in love with violent video games they instead fall head over heals for men who dance in fancy ball rooms--a much more realistic portrait of the world, of course.

And given his love for all things baseball, I imagine that this is Will's ideal contrast of the modern trend toward undifferentiated dressing.

Oh, for the good old days where a man could love musicals, wear bow ties, and be covered in layers of warm wool at all times.

john said...

John -

Don't change your posting name. There's too few of us around any more and we need to look out for each other.

john said...

PaddyO -

I'll be damned if that aint Eleanor Roosevelt in that crowd.

Cedarford said...

Good effort by Pogo with "Howl" - as the priggish Will would have written it.

Look, the guy was a good commentator back in his day, which was before my time in the Doonesbury-Carter years I guess. But then this guy just settled into DC writing his predicatable stuff and droning on TV as a boring antipode to the equally berift of thought and boring Bill Moyers. (who actually was once something).

Will complains about men frozen in time. Dressing as they did as kids 40 years earlier.
Not dresssing as a "better" when their wealth rises to a level they should show their lessers their class distincions. He is sort of harumphing that blue jeans are our version of the Mao suits 800 million Chinese wore. He counsels billionaires to start showing their clas distinctions a little more proudly - "I'm a billionaire. I wear pants made of virgin vicuna wool, and a shirt made of microfiber spun on the Mir space station costing 3300 dollars a yard. Simply to proclaim I am a true conservative who wears things you can't afford instead of blue jeans". "Because you can't see me in my private jet and 62,000 sq foot oceanfront home, my attire should better reflect the vast gulf between me and the rest of you and make you envious and embrace conservatism, so you can aspire to be like me..."

And rails we want to be James Dean and Marlon Brando 50 years too late.

Living in the past.

So what is Will's advice?

This is not complicated. For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule: If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don't wear it. For women, substitute Grace Kelly. Got it!

1930s Social Register de rigure top hat and tails for the men.
1950s Grace Kelly Bouffants, ankle length chiffon dresses, and torpedo bras for the women

Joe Hogan said...

If Will is going to propose rules for sartorial splendor he should at least be aware of his facts.

Did Fred Astaire ever wear denim? Yes. In "Follow the Fleet". Here is a link to an image: http://members.tripod.com/~npaulette/EBFredAstaire.jpg

Now will Will have to carve out an exception to his prior rule to exclude times of military service? He will.

Ron said...

If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don't wear it.Mr. Astaire also used to wear a tie as a belt; Will Cranky Ol' George bitch about this too?

Don't like jeans, myself...haven't worn them in 20 years at least...

Trooper York said...

George Will is a complete and utter douche. He is one of the tired old collection of lap dogs trotted out as a "conservative" voice when he drips condescension and arrogance from every oily pore. No better example can be found of his anti-diluvium attitudes about life than his totally predictable rants about baseball. He will go on and on about the designated hitter and the strategy and mystique of National League baseball with it oh so exciting double switches and pitchers batting .069. Typical of the long winded bores who want to tell you about the "good old days." Well a three run homer by a fat fuck like Big Papi beats the shit out of a double switch every single time bitch.

Spring officially starts today. It is Opening Day at Yankee stadium.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Heck, I wear shorts AND knee socks.

But that's what happens when you hang around with the Boy Scouts.

holdfast said...

"ogo said...

The US has gone full retard socialist, and he writes about denim pant"

Pogo wins the Internets!

William said...

When I was a corporate nonentity, I wore a Brooks Bros suit of sufficient stuffiness to make George Will look like Sporting Life. Two observations: No one wears a suit and tie on a hot summer day because they want to. No one wants to park their money at a firm where the nonentities wear Metallica t-shirts and cut down jeans.....In my working life I wore a suit and tie not to impersonate a grown up but to impersonate a man who respects the conventions. Nowadays I wear jeans almost exclusively save for the occasional wedding, funeral, or hanging. I'm not trying to imitate a rebel or an adolescent; I'm just trying to be comfortable.....Maybe dressing for comfort is more a marker of status than luxury clothes. I could not afford to dress the slobby way I preferred until I was well into my fifties. Rock stars and internet millionaires dress that way in order to thumb their noses at the corporate rabble who have to sweat the bread.

AlphaLiberal said...

Methinks George Will got his ass kicked good on his global warming lies and is trying to avoid serious controversy.

john said...

Trooper says - "George Will is a complete and utter douche ... Its opening day at Yankee Stadium."

Will also wrote a pretty good book on baseball, IMS. How the hell could he have done that when "the whole country has gone full retard socialist"?

Perhaps for the same reason I go to baseball games? Perhaps because our life is sometimes more involved than continually getting our panties bunched up when someone "who should know better in this time of crisis" writes about something kind of silly?

If you could picture Steve Jobs in his denim costume instead of George Will in his bow tie, I think some of you would have gotten it.

Pogo said...

"How the hell could he have done that when "the whole country has gone full retard socialist"?"

The nomenklatura get to do whatever the hell they want, that's how.

Us lumpenproletariat are just so many dogs barking, annoying our masters to no end.

And I picture Steve Jobs dying from cancer, much in the same way the US is rotting from within.

john said...

Wow, Pogo.

I hear that tight jeans can cause certain types of cancer.

Pogo said...

Mostly causes tighter jeans, when a pretty girl goes by.

Beau said...

Heck, I wear shorts AND knee socks.
With sandals I hope.

Richard Fagin said...

George Will? The cretin that advocated tax increases when Bush 41 was president - to balance the budget? That fraud?

Let me put my jeans on, you fake conservative, elitist snob.

Joe said...

George Will is, and always has been, a snob.

His contempt for all sports and "common" entertainment except baseball is but one evidence of this. His attraction to baseball is completely over-the-top--sorry, George, BUT ITS JUST A GAME (and a boring one at that.)

As a political commentator, he gets some things right from my point-of-view, but what's stunning is how often he's thunderously and obviously wrong. I do think a large part of this is his contempt for, and cluelessness of, the middle and especially working classes. (I'm not just talking opinion; his factual errors are legion and largely inexcusable--he is truly one of those people who say "I believe this is true so it is true" even when the contrary fact is staring him in the face.)

zedzded said...

I think Al Gore got his ass kicked good on his global warming lies and is trying to avoid serious controversy.

There, fixed that for you AL.

Eric said...

Methinks George Will got his ass kicked good on his global warming lies and is trying to avoid serious controversy.

That's what I like about the left. If you disagree with them somehow you're not only wrong, you're lying.

Eric said...

I hear that tight jeans can cause certain types of cancer.

There are sexually transmitted cancers. Not sure if there are human varieties, though.

Jeremy said...

Eric said..."That's what I like about the left. If you disagree with them somehow you're not only wrong, you're lying."

He was either lying or he's just plain stupid:

WILL: "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979."

Within hours of Will's column appearing, the ACRC had posted the following statement on its website:

"We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined."

former law student said...

I hear that tight jeans can cause certain types of cancer.My sister warned me in high school that her attractive friend with the skin-tight jeans complained to her about recurring yeast infections. There apparently is some truth in this. But I don't know about cancer.

Bruce Hayden said...

The best comment was the first one: "Never take sartorial advice from a man in a bow tie."

From my point of view, his problem is that he rarely has crossed the Mississippi. I got my first pair of blue jeans in the early 1950s when I was maybe 2. I remember my grandparents wearing them. Then, up until the early 1960s, we couldn't wear them to school because of the dress code. Since then, I have worn them most of the time that I haven't been wearing a tie.

But I didn't grow up in the north-east. Nor, did I go to prep school there, nor to the right colleges there. And, so, I never picked up their preferences for other types of pants. So, I still wear jeans - a bit larger now, but very similar to what I wore in high school. Ok, the button fly was silly. Maybe historical, but still almost disfunctional. But other than that, almost identical.

And I work in an office where everyone wears jeans, ranging from 21 to 61 years old. I am happy, even if George Will wouldn't be.

John said...

john- thanks, brother. I will continue to fly our flag. I did notice that you are john while I am John. The upper case makes me kind of more George Will-ish, So I guess you win that one.

On the general douchitude of Mr. Will, one time I was at an Orioles game with my brother who lives in DC and Will was there with his son, who has Down Syndrome. I asked about it and the bro (republican and navy officer) said he is famously a good dad to junior. So, while some of his opinions are lame, I can't hate on him SO much. And while Pogo is a witty cat, maybe "full retard" in this context is something we would back off of.

Pogo said...

I have two brothers who are retarded, John. The word means nothing to me.

John said...

Pogo-
That's fine, man. Not trying to PC you. I'm not saying there is anything wrong about the attacker. But considering the possible sensitivities of the target, maybe fair play is best served by whacking him on another front, of which there are many.
John

holdfast said...

"Blogger zedzded said...

I think Al Gore got his ass kicked good on his global warming lies and is trying to avoid serious controversy."

Actually, his ass is now so large that he really doesn't notice when it is kicked.

Joan said...

Wait a minute, isn't Pogo's "full retard socialist" comment a reference to the obscenely funny Tropic Thunder?

Pogo said...

yup.

Revenant said...

The problem with George Will criticizing people's looks is that the man looks like an elderly version of the dad from "Back to the Future".

Focus on not looking like you could get beaten up by a Girl Scout, George. Then worry about how other men look.

kentuckyliz said...

I hate ass hats and muffin tops.

And, it's like, MUFFIN TOPS? Damn, looks like she ate the whole bakery!

Once there was a group of people on the elevator at the college campus where I work--me and a bunch of college students. There was a really hefty whole-bakery gal in lowriders and spaghetti strapped midriff top. Once she exited the elevator and the door closed, I noticed everyone looking at each other wide-eyed like OMFG!!! I merely said, "I admire her self-esteem" and everyone cracked up laughing.

You can almost always find something nice to say.....

Joan said...

Lileks fisks, expertly as usual.

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