April 8, 2021

I've been monitoring men in shorts for a long time, and I have my standards... my evolving standards...

So what am I to make of this? At the link:
The 85-year-old Libertarian inadvertently gave the glimpse of his liberally cut short shorts in the last seconds of a video chat on political issues with host Doug Casey. The men had finished discussing the future of personal liberty, when Paul rolled his chair back from the camera and showed just how much liberty his tiny jeans allowed his slightly tanned, thighs to enjoy.
First, I'm more bothered by the comma after "slightly tanned" — "his slightly tanned, thighs." My guess is they had another adjective after "tanned" but they took it out for some reason. Maybe it was "slightly tanned, skinny thighs" or "slightly tanned, hairy thighs" and they backed off, ashamed of their body shaming. "Tanned" was okay, but the rest — I imagine they decided — was the kind of judgementalism that could get them in trouble. But the telltale comma remained.

Second, I'm going to give Ron Paul a pass. It's a totality of the circumstances analysis: 1. He's 85, so I give him extra room to find whatever ways he can to greater physical ease. 2. He's at home, not out in the world displaying disregard for the aesthetic experience of others. 3. He didn't intend his lower body to be seen, but he refrained from outright nakedness or mere underpants. 4. He's a libertarian, so his theme is freedom, and the shorts express his idea of freedom (though if I were looking for freedom in a pair of shorts I'd pick something more pliable and flowy). 5. He amused us.


There is no comments section anymore, but you can email me here. Unless you say otherwise, I will presume you'd enjoy an update to this post with a quote from your email and I'll identify you with your first name only. 

IN THE EMAIL: A reader named Julie writes: 

Best men in shorts post to date! Not only has it been a funny little joy for us all to have you share this shorts obsession with us for years, but also because we COVID weary souls in our home offices totally relate with Ron Paul. I spend hours every week in video conferencing, often with executives I have never met before. Whenever the mood at the start of a video call is bright enough and I am looking for an ice breaker, I make a joke of the fact that my professional on-camera blouse does not match my fraying sweatpants off camera. EVERY SINGLE TIME the professional on the other side reveals a similar predicament and we have a good laugh. It's become a new form of rapid trust building.