I know nothing about fashion.
I have learned that before I ever go out with my wife in public that I must surreptitiously discipline my hair with a thoroughly whetted comb and exchange whatever I have been wearing for the prior 48 hours (with items that I had been wearing two days previously–rapidly retrieving them from the bedroom floor). Then I might get a “you looked so handsome when I married you”look–the inspirational booster to turbo charge me into considering the switch from my threadbare sneakers into my old reliable slip on docksiders. It is not quite as simple as being a slob. I also happen to believe most households just do endlessly redundant washing and drying, a sad cycle of wasted effort and resources.
I come from a culture where few people have electric drying machines—contraptions that I regard as enemies of common sense, conscientious living.
As I walk along the street, well-intentioned passersby are always warning me to tie my shoe laces, and I wish they wouldn’t. I will just be stepping on them again within minutes, causing bodily contortions that invariable cause my zipper to slip a tad, which is evidently unacceptable to the fashionistas and my wife (who can spot such vulgarity with the adeptness of a soaring falcon spotting a mouse from 500 feet).
So… how peculiar it feels to feel the need to write about fashion.
As a general rule I pay no attention. I have only one big beef –
I despise the sycophantic need that politicians have to wear an American flag pin.
That has been one of the main reasons why I quickly figured out that Obama had real potential –that in addition to his discomfort at being expected to parrot “God Bless America” every 30 seconds with the comic visual of the hand on heart during constant recitals of America’s various cribbed national anthems.
Yes I know that Obama was forced to sacrifice certain principles in order to get elected. Yes I admit it I dislike self-serving parochial pride, unless it has been specifically earned or done with a bit more modest self awareness. Yes I accept there are times when flag waving is fine–but overuse is a sign of insecurity. In Obama’s case he sent us (citizens of the earth) different messages. To me it proved that he cared about humanity, and that America does not have the right to go around creating havoc around the world based upon the childish notion of American exceptionalism.
To my polar opposites it signaled that he was un-American.
For me, one of the reasons why Obama will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest Presidents will be because he was born in Hawaii, spent part of his youth in Indonesia and had family roots in the African continent. It is this mutt blood, heterogeneous cultural DNA that allows him to have a three dimensional view of what America is and what it should be–a force for good for all of humanity. I know this because I have a similar, but a less exotic cultural background and it allows me to see the world in more of a 3-D aspect than someone who has been in a cultural cocoon. I do not want to be any country, I want to be mankind as a whole. The Countries that I know best are wonderfully great, but also absurdly stupid–in their respective inabilities to see their relative strengths and weaknesses- and blind insistence in trying to re-invent the wheel, when solutions can easily be found by investigating other cultures.
Take the sad state of American Democracy and how it uses fashion, jingoism and set piece propaganda to hide its failings and swallow it’s corruption.
Now compare this with the relative health of British democracy:
Oh yes–we are missing the money–the money spent to buy elections. (And yes, in the below graphic I did multiply the UK total by 5x to compensate for the difference in population size.
But the pin, flag and money is not really my target here, I am pursuing something far more trivial–someone who by comparison allows me to be a fashion icon. For me to look like James Bond stepping unperturbed away from a cascading building into the bed of a voluptuous but doomed beauty, I can only turn to one person. The question is who. Clue— It will either be Bernie or Hillary. So let us take a closer look:
Now if you just look at the above image–you might well jump to the wrong conclusion. Hillary looks just fine standing behind the lectern–Bernie looks a bit suspicious. But now look more closely:
OK Bernie–all is forgiven. It looks like Bernie is not pandering to unending pride, but rather standing with people who might actually need recognition–or god forbid, it could simply be an accessory given to him by a loving family member.
So that leaves Hillary. What is wrong with Hillary? Well remember that I said she looked fine standing behind the lectern–but the lectern was simply hiding Hillary’s true fashion persona. Here (below) she is making her way to her lectern – her safety zone. This might be the one case in history where a flag pin might have been a useful distraction.
I will refrain from commenting on what this does to her body shape, or ask what has she got in the white highlighted pockets – I just was thinking-just hurry up and get behind your lectern.
Now we can all make fashion mistakes, and as I have confessed, I am hardly one to judge. Perhaps you are not quite as nonplussed as I was. So just in case you are missing the point (and you know me–I do love to make an overwhelming, irrefutable case) I thought I would put together a montage.
Even as I was putting this montage together, bemusedly considering numerous images–I found myself getting overwhelmed by far from trivial thoughts, even an epiphany….
Yes, Hillary clearly has an epically individualist fashion taste, but this doesn’t seem to bother her in the least.
Yet she is always accused of being robotic, too careful, too scripted, too concerned about the polls – thus making her seem dishonest by non stupidparty standards. Stupidparty candidates are 1,000% more dishonest (as proven here). Clearly such characteristics are not something she was born with; it is not natural to her. Then it dawned on me – she is suffering as someone who is constantly attacked by unworthy people. Shell shocked after decades, since 1992 to be precise, when the George H Bush election machine targeted their only viable threat—the Clintons. Yes that vast right wing conspiracy theory – for it does exist, and George H. Bush was at the very epicenter. Hillary was punched in the face by unscrupulous well financed low-lifes day after day. Starting with the farcical Whitewater non scandal, lesbian conspiracies (so what), the murder of Vincent Foster et al, to the murders of the US embassy staff in Libya -fake scandal after fake scandal.
The email nonsense – she simply did her best. She wanted a Blackberry to maintain her extraordinarily complex schedule, but the security apparatus said no, while providing no solution, so she came up with her own solution, one that was just fine at the time, one used by others in her position. Now every know-nothing scum just prattles on endlessly, knowing other know-nothings will think they now know something when in fact they still know nothing. But that is the politics of this century and that is why we have the no nothing leader, Trump, to get all the know-nothings frothing in a rabid fever of ignorance.
Notwithstanding that Bernie Sanders’ behavior has been beyond reproach, and he makes reasonable insinuations, there is a segment of his rabid fan base that are now behaving no better than the disciples of Karl Rove, Fox news, and hate radio–the right wing conspiracy machine. Why the hell do you think she wanted her private email server (at a time when this was totally legal)? Because basically she has learned not trust anybody. That is also why she struggles to reach out beyond her suffocating trusted circle of advisers. She knows that the majority of the wild assertions being made by the right and now on the left, come from scum – and of course this must make her mad. Yes, she could be more like Obama and handle it better -but Obama is a unique individual, no one will ever match his grace under constant and absurd attacks, orchestrated by big money investing in creating endless hate. This investment has also now lead to Donald Trump.
Yes Hillary has made strategic mistakes -she made a couple of moves during the 2008 election that I will never get over, she made obvious errors after resigning her post as Secretary of State (she should have disappeared off the stage, gotten out of her bubble and gotten her hands dirty helping real people in an obscure location) so I accept that her youthful idealism has likely been blunted and she should have recognized that.
But the funny thing is that just by looking at her fashion tastes, you see the real un-blunted Hillary–a part of her soul that has not been squashed by endlessly unfair character assassination. However flawed as a candidate she may be, and not withstanding the ideological concerns that I have discussed, she is perhaps the most qualified candidate to run for President, at least since the Second World War.
She has the intellect, the experience and institutional power to be an excellent President.
This well deserved compliment should not be taken as an endorsement over Bernie–I am making no such endorsement at this juncture.