April 4, 2018

"Clog life is not lived off the grid but grid-adjacent. It’s a fuzzy, fancy realm, littered with alpaca sweaters, Rachel Cusk novels, and trees that grow indoors, in charmingly primitive ceramic pots."

That's a little too close to where I live, except that I have no idea who Rachel Cusk is. I do have 5 10-foot tall avocado trees charmingly growing indoors, planted and tended to by the charmingly primitive ex-potter who shares my fuzzy realm. I wear sweaters. I've got enough clogs that I'd have to go count them to tell you the actual number, and I've been collecting them since right about when Dansko was founded (1990) and I first saw them in a CP Shades store, which... don't get me started on CP Shades.

The quote in the post headline is from "The Life-Changing Magic of Clogs" by Lauren Mechling (from January, in The New Yorker), which I'm reading because it's linked in "What’s the Next Status Clog?" (at NY Magazine)("Writer Lauren Mechling deserves credit for both coining the term clogerati, and confirming No. 6 as the current clog that confers status on its owner").

Okay, I looked up Rachel Cusk. I see there is a New Yorker article about her from last year, proving that though I subscribe to The New Yorker — it's the only! magazine I subscribe to — I don't even notice some of the articles:
In Rachel Cusk’s most recent novels, “Outline” and “Transit,” a British writer named Faye encounters a series of friends and strangers as she goes about her daily life. She is recently divorced, and while her new flat is being renovated her two sons are living with their father. There is something catlike about Faye—an elusiveness that makes people want to detain her, and a curiosity about their pungent secrets....
Don't you always feel like detaining a cat and telling it your pungent secrets?
“Consider the pizza,” [Cusk] writes. “It is like a smiling face: it assuages the fear of complexity by showing everything on its surface.”...

On certain birthdays, she told me, “I would get a call from my mom reminding me of the torment she had gone through on that date.” Cusk’s birth, in an understaffed hospital during a blizzard, was long and difficult. Cusk suggested that her father blamed her for the trauma his wife had suffered, because he always seemed angry with her. When she reached puberty, she began to feel that her developing body was “disgusting.” “I always felt repellent,” Cusk said. “That has come out in my work, unfortunately, as disgust for the repellent qualities of other people.”...

Her mother’s prudishness and conformity were, by Cusk’s account, stifling not only to the young Rachel. On the morning after she and Scamell-Katz were married—in “a fantastic party on the beach,” she said—“I met my father in the kitchen. ‘I didn’t realize there were men like that,’ he said of Siemon and his friends, who had been dancing wildly around a bonfire in knee-high boots. And he wished he could have been like them, boots and all. Because his own wildness had been domesticated by my mother.”
Men in boots and women in clogs. Get to know them. Eat smiling pizza, and tell secrets to cats.

36 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

This would be a good one to list 10 questions.

tcrosse said...

Clogs ? Drano !

traditionalguy said...

Cats just stare back at you, maybe make a note and say a brief meow. They seem most attentive when you are discussing breast feeding among a litter of siblings. But they only charge 50 treats per hour.

Bill Peschel said...

"There is something catlike about Faye—an elusiveness that makes people want to detain her, and a curiosity about their pungent secrets."

I think it's Faye who's curious about people and their pungent secrets. This is a parallel structure: she has the elusiveness, so she also has the curiosity.

In other words, she sniffs peoples' butts. Just like cats.

tcrosse said...

Consider the calzone, which conceals its pungent secrets.

Inga said...

What’s not to love about clogs? The high heeled clogs might be dangerous to older women though. I loved wearing Crocs to work and we almost had a riot among the nursing staff when we were told we could no longer wear them. Nowadays I like wearing well cushioned flexable lightweight clogs, but aren’t Crocs. I saved my old Crocs for the garden.

Rana said...

This older woman can wear high heeled clogs just fine. I'm a fan of Maguba and Lotta From Stockholm clogs--Swedish style without the Hasbeen price. They go nicely with my Gudrun Sjoden clothing.

Inga said...

“This older woman can wear high heeled clogs just fine.”

Lucky you! After 35 years in a nursing career, my feet say, “oh hell no!”

Rob said...

Telling secrets to cats and marrying Scamell-Katz. Reminds me of the riddle, what has four legs and chases cats? Mrs. Katz and her lawyer.

But in this era of #MeToo, is detaining young women--or even wishing to detain young women--not a fireable offense?

Scott said...

"life-changing magic" gives us 258 drops on Amazon.com.

Achilles said...

Cats don't want to know your secrets.

They are trying to figure out if they can kill you and eat you.

Achilles said...

Many times cats aren't even interested in eating.

They just like to torment and kill things.

William Chadwick said...

I started to tell my cat my secrets, but he interrupted me. "Hey, Augustine," he said, "why don't you tell your confessions to someone who gives a rat's ass?" He's very erudite but somewhat sarcastic.

Nancy Reyes said...

just another story about escaping evil old fashioned ways of being responsible and caring for your family, and finding fun with hedonism. (so where is their money coming from, I always wonder?)
Excuse me, but one does wish that modern novels and magazine stories would be more original.

traditionalguy said...

The cloggers on the Appalachians salute you.

Howard said...

It's hard to keep up reading the New Yorker, even skipping most of the NY concentric stuff

D said...

Share your secrets with the little furball, sure, but dont think you can ever go full cat, and get a tail, and wear a tshirt with a cute human baby picture on it, and go balance on apartment ledges.

(IASIP)

exiledonmainstreet said...

I have never found clogs comfortable. When I'm not at work, it's either flats (with some arch support built in), sneakers, or sandals for me.

John Scott said...

Back in Delaware we used to buy our clogs at Eskel's (sp?)

Howard said...

Clugs were popular in SoCal in the 1970's when all the "Europe on $5/day" tourdists returned home smoking Drum handrolls or Balkan Sobranes and eating turpentine black licorice from Amsterdam.

Jon Ericson said...

Don't be catty, Althouse.

Saint Croix said...

“Consider the pizza,” [Cusk] writes. “It is like a smiling face: it assuages the fear of complexity by showing everything on its surface.”…

You'd have to rearrange the pepperonis to get a smiley face on your pizza.

I would find that super-annoying.

If I took you out on a pizza date and bought you a pizza and instead of eating it you rearranged the pepperonis into a smiley face I would be like this. "What the fuck?"

Michael K said...

I would strongly recommend City Journal and Claremont Review of Books.

You need some balance.

Michael K said...

Inga already pointed out that clogs were part of the nurses dress code and also for quite a few surgeons.

Ann Althouse said...

Clogs are not that great for walking, except short distances, but they are great for standing, hence the popularity (or so I've heard) with surgeons. I often taught classes that were 80 minutes of continual standing, so they were excellent shoes for me. The other thing that I like about them, is you can just step into them, so it's nice if you leave your shoes at the door and then just need to step into them when leaving the house and if you're riding in the car as a passenger and like slipping out of your shoes and then easily jumping back into them.

Paco Wové said...

To expand on Michael K.'s comments above, I find it noteworthy that so many of your preferred sources of print media have the words "New York" in their titles. Have you ever wondered about how this skews your view of the world?

MadisonMan said...

'The Clog Guy' was a famous caller when the better half worked taking calls for a Mail-order company. He got off talking about clogs to the woman who took his call.

I can't see clogs without thinking of him. My wife tells hilarious stories about him.

buwaya said...

"Don't you always feel like detaining a cat and telling it your pungent secrets?"

Cats usually generate pungent secrets. They don't really care about yours. Or theirs either really. These are yours to deal with, or not.

Having owned cats for decades now I know all about them.
(Technically, they belong to wife and daughter, but these secrets wife&dghtr avoid).

buwaya said...

Clogs are typical everywhere -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakya

Once the national footwear.
As the wiki says, rather obsolete these days.
But who knows what the future shall bring.

They formerly carried the connotation of the lower classes.
Poor people wore clogs.

Jon Ericson said...

Better than running barefoot into one of Trumpit's comments.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Rachel Cusk and her audience seem to not know the level of cliche they have descended to.

Meraas said...

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tim in vermont said...

I used to wear clogs because they were the first shoe I ever found that were comfortable the instant I put them on, shaped to fit my feet, they never broke out at the sides. Being Dutch, I guess that they were designed around wide feet like mine. But people thought I was gay, which was different in the ‘70s than today. Now I wear Crocs, which are much quieter and you can wear them in the snow to get to the hot tub, and wear them right in,or slip them on to get firewood, and in the summer you can wear them around the garden or right into the lake.

tim in vermont said...

eating turpentine black licorice from Amsterdam.

My mother loves that stuff! But I tried it once and after spitting it out, I had to brush my teeth for like five minute.

Rick Turley said...

Country ticks and chiggers applaud the decision to wear clogs to do your yard work and gardening.

mikee said...

My wife and I currently have possession of our daughter's cat from her college days. Black Alice is a solid black cat pulled toos oon from her feral mother. She is not properly socialized. She is mean and will hiss and scratch and bite if too much, i.e., any, familiarity is shown to her. Only when being fed will she tolerate some petting.

I have never shared a secret of mine, pungent or otherwise, with my daughter's demonic familiar of a cat. We keep her because when fed catnip she becomes a completely hilarious parody of a stoner teen, losing all inhibitions, gymnastically falling over her own feet, racing around startled by her own tail twitches, and making her near-constant unloveableness disappear for a moment.

Cats are commodities, readily exchanged for any reason, for a different cat. Alice remains here despite her horrible behavior because she is loved by our daughter. That perhaps is the pungent secret we share only with the cat.