Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Gavin » 25 Nov 2013, 21:57

In addition to my previous comment, I think the "trousers down bottom" thing is just a statement that " I don't care/I can afford not to care" which is deliberately broadcast in order to i) attract females and ii) warn males. More admirable, for wiser people, would be the message "I can afford not to care, but I care anyway" - but few people are wise, especially in their youth!

Often the wearer of ridiculous trousers cannot actually afford not to care, and would do better pulling their trousers up, but the message is more important than its truth. Woe often comes to the foolish person who gets involved with such an individual.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Elliott » 26 Nov 2013, 00:25

I've seen this among well-heeled middle-class guys in their twenties. Look for any of my holiday accounts to read about it.

On the matter of wearing gratuitously offensive T-shirts in public, one thing I might not have mentioned before on this forum is that, three or fours ago, I was on a bus in Edinburgh when a young guy - who looked lower-middle-class and distinctly edgy/unfriendly/arrogant - got onboard wearing a T-shirt with the message: F*** YOU YOU F***ING F*** (without the asterisks). In a healthier age, somebody wearing clothes like that would have been quietly taken down an alleyway by three men and beaten up. But in our age, who would dare to say anything to him? It wasn't that he was a thug - he wasn't - but you could be absolutely certain that he would have the upper hand, wouldn't tolerate the notion of his own guilt for a second, and would treat you with utter contempt.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Yessica » 26 Nov 2013, 08:14

Gavin wrote:Often the wearer of ridiculous trousers cannot actually afford not to care, and would do better pulling their trousers up...


Agree. They are rarely very accomplished individuals who really can afford not to care.
This is hwat is funny about it. Most of them live on our money but are disrespectful of us. The reason why they wear their trousers like this is because it makes on look "prison experienced". When they go to prison first thing they do is take the belt away. That is why they wear it.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Yessica » 26 Nov 2013, 08:16

Elliott wrote:In a healthier age, somebody wearing clothes like that would have been quietly taken down an alleyway by three men and beaten up.


What? How is beating up peaceful people (no matter how ill-dressed) healthy?
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Elliott » 26 Nov 2013, 17:51

Because he wouldn't wear such a T-shirt again.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Lindsey » 26 Nov 2013, 21:47

I don't feel advocating violence for how people are dressed is forward thinking. How do you feel about people like Sophie Lancaster ? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_o ... _Lancaster
Did she deserve to die for dressing as a goth, did anybody have the right to beat her at all?
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Elliott » 27 Nov 2013, 07:15

What I said is indeed quite extreme. Let me describe how I see things, in the one instance that I described in my previous post, the guy with the T-shirt that addressed everyone who saw it as a f***ing f*** and said "f** you" to them into the bargain.

That man deserves the contempt of civilised society. His goal, his one and only goal, in wearing that T-shirt was to insult as many people as possible as much as possible. He might have flattered himself or lied to accosters that he was making some sort of intellectual point with the T-shirt, but really it was sheer, unadulterated ego. He was doing it purely to see how much he could impose himself on everyone else; how much he get away with being a disgusting individual. How can we say that a man behaving in such a way deserves respect? If we can, then just how far does somebody have to go, how much do they have to insult and degrade us, before we stop turning the other cheek?

If I walked into a roomful of strangers and said, without a hint of a smile, to each and every one of them, "f**k you, you f**king f**k", I think not only that I would be swiftly man-handled out of the building and beaten up, but that I would deserve it.

That that man was able to walk around wearing that T-shirt in public, even on public transport on which there were old people and children, does not reflect well on his society. It says, in my view at least, that his society is not only decadent and nihilistic but very, very weak.

What is the point of objecting to women wearing the burka - insulting us and our culture - if we then turn a blind eye to one of our own wearing clothes that insult us? If that freedom - the freedom to call everyone who sees you a f**king f**k, and to be called a f**king f**k just because you happen to lay eyes on a particular stranger - is something that is fundamental to our society, then frankly we deserve the burka brigade.

Our society has to stand for more than base, animal freedom.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Yessica » 27 Nov 2013, 07:43

Elliott wrote:If I walked into a roomful of strangers and said, without a hint of a smile, to each and every one of them, "f**k you, you f**king f**k", I think not only that I would be swiftly man-handled out of the building and beaten up, but that I would deserve it.


I could not help laughing when I thought of a stranger walking towards me and calling me a "f***ing f***". I would not even be mad. It is just too silly.

That to my mind is what everyone should do to such people point your finger at them and laugh at their stupidity. They would soon stop wearing such T-Shirts.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Yessica » 27 Nov 2013, 07:48

It reminds me of one of my cousin's sons. In kindergarten he went through a phase of walking to people and calling them a poo-head for the fun of it.

I cannot stop laughing for now I have the picture of a grown-up man walking to people and saying: "You are a fu***ing fu***... and also a poo-head."
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Michael » 27 Nov 2013, 16:05

What is the point of objecting to women wearing the burka - insulting us and our culture - if we then turn a blind eye to one of our own wearing clothes that insult us? If that freedom - the freedom to call everyone who sees you a f**king f**k, and to be called a f**king f**k just because you happen to lay eyes on a particular stranger - is something that is fundamental to our society, then frankly we deserve the burka brigade.


An interesting point, Elliott. Is one of the things that irks us most about militant Muslims (aside from their brutality and bloodlust) the fact that we believe in many cases they have a point when they denounce Western decadence? That while they may not have a superior culture they have rules, traditions, and are prepared to fight for them?
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Caleb » 28 Nov 2013, 03:29

Michael: I think so. I think that many people conflate the ideas of respect and being nice. Perhaps I think differently about these things to other people, but there are people I respect but do not like. Likewise, there are people I like but do not respect. My ideal, of course, is someone I both like and respect.

For me it's because I also believe in the concept of will to power. There are people I know who pursue something (that is sometimes transcendental) with singularity. Obviously, I have a hierarchy of pursuits, but in some sense, I still value someone who singularly pursues something that I consider base over someone who just kind of drifts through life.

Thus, for me, at least in some ways, I would rank the traditional West above Islam, but I would rank Islam above the modern West. Far too much of modern Western culture consists of either immediate gratification or narcissism. People purport to have values, but I think many of those are merely so they will look good to others. Much of the rest of modern Western culture is an unabashed celebration of nihilism. In one hundred years, the current Western mindset and societies simply won't exist. Either there will be a right wing reaction and return to traditional values or Western societies will collapse into complete basket cases and either be supplanted or become client states/colonies of something more powerful. Liberalism, feminism, narcissism, gross consumerism, etc. simply won't exist anymore.
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Kevin R » 30 Nov 2013, 23:09

I smiled when I read Andrea's initial question..

I do actually have an acquaintance who dresses in authentic 1930/40s clothing on a daily basis, and also lives a domestic life based on the era. She lives in Holland and goes out most days to do the shopping and tasks etc.. Over the years she's encountered all sorts of reactions, but she still carries on indomitably against the tide of sartorial squalor that she sees for the most part makes up her society. Indeed, she pointed out (in a television interview once conducted with her) that clothing from eras such as the 1920s/50/60/70s are commonly appropriated and slightly adapted for current street fashions, but her choice to adopt the sartorial look of the era in totality is somehow seen as beyond the pale by others, who see her as a being somewhat barmy.

In terms of dress and fashion today though, on the whole I think that we're witnessing a homogenisation that reflects mass global communication, mass consumption, manufacturing economies of scale, and the whittling away of dress as a source of either deeper symbolic meaning, or signifiers of trade or vocation. Those are the forms of appearance which engender the satisfaction of mutual social identity (that leads me to wonder how many soldiers or sailors do we see still in uniform on the streets now that the lunatic threatens?). Social identity through dress still seems to be prevalent, but only the prevalent tendency to melt into a huge bolus of relaxed blandness supplied by chain-store aesthetics (if that's not too much of an oxymoronic term..), the precepts of which seem to be dull utilitarianism punctuated by fits of surrealistic melange, tribal eccentricities and aesthetic cul-de-sacs. We are now moving into the age of enforced leisure and out of the ages of toil and traditional heriarchy that gave shape and meaning to dress. When it comes to what to wear, sadly there are no longer reasons for people to think in terms of propriety or congruity when conducting their social activities. The current thinking is to suspect anything that tries to make a hierarchy of intent or meaning. In sartorial terms, the opera is just the same as going for a coffee, a funeral is just the same as popping down the supermarket for a loaf and a paper on a Saturday morning..it's all either consumption and leisure, or an emasculation of true ceremony.. Flatten the values and you quickly have the brutal and the sentimental as bookends to an empty shelf. Odd juxtapositions are everywhere.. Flip-flops on concrete pavements.. Shorts in mid-winter.. the obsession with vapid sloganeering on chests and backsides.. jeans at weddings and funerals.. suits without ties..(just as conformist as suits with ties now..). The list could go on and on.

If one looks at the history of costume through the ages, one sees a marvellous spangle of beauty in courtly dress, all the way down to a satisfying simplicity in working dress.. all linked to aspects of social belief and theories of beauty. Today, we have the safety of the t-shirt, or the comfortable indolence of denim, whether you're in Karachi or Kansas. Unless of course it's a chance to 'get dressed-up', which is not the same as dressing up and keeping it up - that means when you dress-up you really are dressing up.. There are still people who keep up standards, despite others not sharing them. Such is the modern phenomenon of casual relativism
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Caleb » 01 Dec 2013, 04:10

Kevin R wrote:I smiled when I read Andrea's initial question..

I do actually have an acquaintance who dresses in authentic 1930/40s clothing on a daily basis, and also lives a domestic life based on the era. She lives in Holland and goes out most days to do the shopping and tasks etc.. Over the years she's encountered all sorts of reactions, but she still carries on indomitably against the tide of sartorial squalor that she sees for the most part makes up her society. Indeed, she pointed out (in a television interview once conducted with her) that clothing from era's such as the 1920s/50/60/70s are commonly appropriated and slightly adapted for current street fashions, but her choice to adopt the sartorial look of the era in totality is somehow seen as beyond the pale by others, who see her as a being somewhat barmy.

In terms of dress and fashion today though, on the whole I think that we're witnessing a homogenisation that reflects mass global communication, mass consumption, manufacturing economies of scale, and the whittling away of dress as a source of either deeper symbolic meaning, or signifiers of trade or vocation. Those are the forms of appearance which engender the satisfaction of mutual social identity (that leads me to wonder how many soldiers or sailors do we see still in uniform on the streets now that the lunatic threatens?). Social identity through dress still seems to be prevalent, but only the prevalent tendency to melt into a huge bolus of relaxed blandness supplied by chain-store aesthetics (if that's not too much of an oxymoronic term..), the precepts of which seem to be dull utilitarianism punctuated by fits of surrealistic melange, tribal eccentricities and aesthetic cul-de-sacs. We are now moving into the age of enforced leisure and out of the ages of toil and traditional heriarchy that gave shape and meaning to dress. When it comes to what to wear, sadly there are no longer reasons for people to think in terms of propriety or congruity when conducting their social activities. The current thinking is to suspect anything that tries to make a hierarchy of intent or meaning. In sartorial terms, the opera is just the same as going for a coffee, a funeral is just the same as popping down the supermarket for a loaf and a paper on a Saturday morning..it's all either consumption and leisure, or an emasculation of true ceremony.. Flatten the values and you quickly have the brutal and the sentimental as bookends to an empty shelf. Odd juxtapositions are everywhere.. Flip-flops on concrete pavements.. Shorts in mid-winter.. the obsession with vapid sloganeering on chests and backsides.. jeans at weddings and funerals.. suits without ties..(just as conformist as suits with ties now..). The list could go on and on.

If one looks at the history of costume through the ages, one sees a marvellous spangle of beauty in courtly dress, all the way down to a satisfying simplicity in working dress.. all linked to aspects of social belief and theories of beauty. Today, we have the safety of the t-shirt, or the comfortable indolence of denim, whether you're in Karachi or Kansas. Unless of course it's a chance to 'get dressed-up', which is not the same as dressing up and keeping it up - that means when you dress-up you really are dressing up.. There are still people who keep up standards, despite others not sharing them. Such is the modern phenomenon of casual relativism


That was great. I have a question though. What would constitute an aesthetic cul-de-sac, as opposed to any of the other terms you used? (I love that term, by the way.)
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Elliott » 01 Dec 2013, 10:11

Michael wrote:An interesting point, Elliott. Is one of the things that irks us most about militant Muslims (aside from their brutality and bloodlust) the fact that we believe in many cases they have a point when they denounce Western decadence? That while they may not have a superior culture they have rules, traditions, and are prepared to fight for them?

I don't think that is one of the reasons that Islam irks me. I only drew the comparison to point out that we do have something worth fighting for (Western civilisation), and that it's absurd for people to moan about Muslims but then approve of Western decline. I also think the two things are connected: Muslims are here and their creed is being appeased, at least partly because there is a crisis of identity in the West.

The fact that Muslims stand for something and my compatriots don't does not make me more angry or resentful about Muslims. My anger/resentment about them is fairly static; if anything it will reduce as the caveats come in, not increase. No, what worries me more is the defeatism and nihilism that I see all around me. If Muslims ever try to take our countries over, it'll be our own nihilism which makes us lose the fight.

Just two nights ago I was at a 30th birthday party, held in a social club. The guy comes from a very middle-class background, even upper-middle-class (his father runs an accountancy firm), and he had chosen the set-list. The music was a good mix of rebelliousness, from 60s rock, through 70s glam, early 80s naval-gazing, and ear-splitting 2000s rave, but mainly I have to say, 2010s rap. One rap song began playing that contained the line "smash you the f**k up!" roughly every ten seconds. After biting my lip for the first minute of this song, I turned to the person next to me, who I thought might be sympathetic since she was about sixty and fairly well-spoken and of at least average intelligence, and I said:

"Not the most civilised music..."

She immediately replied:

"But what is 'civilised'? Who decides?"

Presumably, not the son of an accountant.

All I could do was gesture to the speakers blaring out this poison and say, "Surely, whatever civilisation is, it's not this...?"
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Re: Modern Clothing: Your Thoughts

Postby Kevin R » 01 Dec 2013, 17:07

Caleb..

In terms of what I was saying about the age of leisure, I think that dress and fashion is now a matter of a trade off between large vested economic interests, the homogenisation of social-roles and the notion of free-form appropriation when conceptualising the carousel of high-st public fashions. The styles and forms of yesteryear are now re-hashed and re-constituted in a seemingly perpetual cut and paste job, but it seems to me that the meanings which gave birth to them are now lost in the subsequent casual appropriation. Strange vulgarisation and incongruity seems to be the result, and I sometimes feel that even those who design new fashions at the high-end of the fashion houses are completely bankrupt of ideas, because there aren't any more profound ideas percolating up from the ether of the intellectual or moral world to sustain them. To give an example, the other day I was passing the shop-window of a clothes boutique here in York, and the mannequins in the window were garbed as follows: on it's feet a grotesquely mutated version of an 18thC shoe (a bit of Rococo for you), on it's legs a pair of strange cross-laced cheap PVC trousers (a bit of punk for you), on it's torso a very large and loose T-shirt with coarse images of leopards and some mumbo-jumbo slogan scrawled across it (a bit of modern kitsch for you), also on it's torso a strangely lurid version of a tweed jacket to finish it off (a bit of Victorian aristocracy for you)..Headwear was mercifully eschewed, but in the end I suppose it wouldn't make much difference what was appropriated, hence my term 'cul-de-sac'.. it pointed towards a dead end in terms of profitable aesthetic development.

Incidentally, my wife does actually manage a branch of a well-known high st fashion emporium, and it's one of the better ones in terms of style and design, but the strange thing is that although they sell a lot of decent clothing, hardly any of the women who are browsing are dressed to that higher standard displayed on the rails, and one never seems to see women in public wearing the products.

Another little experiment to try when you are out and about is to count how many people are wearing jeans out of every ten you pass.. try it, the results are astonishing..
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