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Casual(ty) Day

Posted by Dirck on 13 August, 2010

Yesterday I was writing about a green pen with white trim (the jewel holding on the clip, not visible in the picture).  I was at that time surrounded by people dressed in green and white.  It was casual day at The Regular Job, to allow people to support the local team who were playing that evening.

I was wearing a light grey Oxford shirt, medium grey twill waistcoat, black trousers and a dark blue silk tie, plus a Panama hat when outdoors.  There being sufficient naturally-occurring pointless tribalism in the world, I refuse to participate in the artificial sort which calls itself Team Pride.  I expect that one day I will be chased down a street by a jersey-clad mob, all chanting, “Not one of us!” 

Of the various horrors of modern clothing, I find football (in the North American sense) sportswear particularly unhappy.  Like the surcoats of the middle ages, the main purpose of the stuff is to help people at a distance know who’s who.  It is invariably strident, and not calculated to please the eye near-to.  Also like the surcoat, it’s not meant to be worn without something substantial underneath.  When not worn by an actual football player engaged in his task, but rather hanging about the torso of a notably non-athletic standard person, it just looks silly.  There are those who wear it as the entirety of their upper costume, in which case there are glimpses of pale flesh through the weave.  Others wear another shirt beneath, which hides their shame but does nothing for the strident’n’shapeless nature of the garment and has the added but dubious benefit of bringing it closer to the level of sweatiness which sportswear and surcoats share.

I have previously mentioned that I’m more or less in favour of personal choice in matters of dress.  This sort of thing adds offence to mere modern sloppiness by being a commanded look.  Offend your tribe not by dressing you each alike!  At best (!) it’s herd mentality, which at very least impairs judgement.  At worst, it’s being played for suckers in an unusually obvious way by advertisers.  I’m not a big fan of people looking like idiots, but I’m really against people allowing themselves to be made to look like idiots.  I don’t aim this merely at my co-workers, either.  On game day, it seems 3 of 5 people in the city are dressed as if they expect to be called out on the field.

While I phrase my concerns in a sartorial vein, I have a real worry at the panem et circenses tone of a lot of modern entertainment– the greater the spectacle, the nearer the fall of Empire, right?

I am, I suspect, over-reacting to yesterdays example of mass foolishness as it co-incided with my being shown The Laws of Human Stupidity by a friend.  It’s a chilling document, but one that should be widely known.  Stupidity is the great enemy of civilization, and as one who enjoys the trappings of civilization (bathing, central heat, very low incidence of random cannibalism) I’d like it to last as long as possible.  Read and be warned.

As a cure, or at least a reassurance that modern society has been able to survive this particular ill for a while, I made a point of watching The Male Animal last night.  Between that and remembering that my mother-in-law, a team booster if ever there was, is still able to find fault with goobers near her seats at the stadium despite their shared livery, I may be able to avoid despondency.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer 800
Today’s ink:  Lamy blue

11 Responses to “Casual(ty) Day”

  1. Clothing is designed to protect a person from the elements and, if one deems it desirable, to preserve one’s modesty. All other purposes of clothing are arbitrary and optional.

    While I do follow said football team (and am under no illusion that I have the capability to join them athletically), I don’t generally wear their paraphernalia to work. Still, I understand why people might want to – and I am the owner of a jersey that I wear when I attend games. (I have an even lovelier jersey that I wear when I support my favourite baseball team in a distant Canadian city.)

    To do so is fun and people generally enjoy having common interests (why else would Canadians talk about the weather so much? It is what binds us).

    To those who prefer a certain amount of decorum in their dress, might I suggest a lapel pin? It might make a very favourable impression!

    • Well, there’s a bet I lost: “I’m wonking about this particular team, with obvious geographic connection. Bet the first comment I get is a threat of being run out of town on a green and white rail.” You and your civility!

      As for the lapel pin– if I did in fact care a whit for the fortunes of the team, that would probably be the way to go. However, as I’m blankly indifferent to almost all sports, it would just mislead and produce conversational cul-de-sacs in the nature of, “Hey, how about that game last night?”/”How did you know we had the Playstation fired up?”

  2. sadieruin said

    I have never understood the drive to dress in any team fashion (there should be a sign hung around my neck that decries how I don’t play well with others), in fact aside from Halloween I don’t dress for any occasion unless accidentally. In part I think this has to do with a year long stint at San Fransisco Gifts where one is required to look like a leprechaun for at least one month a year.
    Not that I am not a fan of sport, I am a rabid hockey fan, and yet I do not own a single jersey and aside from a stack of post it notes in the team logo (a christmas gift) there is very little in my life that would allude to the fandom I have with hockey.
    I confess I dress as the modern student cum Teaching Assistant on a budget, mostly whatever’s clean and then dressier on days I have to do something TA related, I feel that that is a good enough compromise. But it does become a lot harder for me to decry the state of others dress when I’m shlubbing it around campus in a hoodie and jeans.
    I would however gladly take to dressing like a 1950’s/1960’s woman of leasure, if only they would put out patterns for such thing in my ample size, or sell them in my size. You think it’s hard finding stuff to fit your frame, imagine finding a dress with a waist bigger than a 36, near impossible my good man, near impossible.

    • I guess my attitude on this issue shows a certain degree of misanthropy (no doubt why I enjoy certain other blogs) which leaves me cold as far as doing what everyone else is doing.

      …and I always thought the 1920s would please you better, sizes not withstanding. Live and learn.

      • sadieruin said

        Ooh the flapper styles do have a je ne se qua, but the Betty Page style of cinched waists and large collars just seem like the pinnacle of fashion to me. Though I’d never wear the shoes, heels and I don’t get along, ever.

  3. sophie_vf said

    ok, this really made me laugh – I happen to be in Regina right now for a conference and though I wasn’t at the game last night, I did get to wander around downtown for a bit, hear the roar of the crowd (and the firecrackers) and gaze in awe at the “Riders Pride” logos on the skyscrapers – HOW do they do that?

    Today, though, I keep looking at people wearing Rider belt buckles and the like, in that particular shade of green that goes with nothing, and thinking “ok folks it’s time to stop now”.

    However, this is from a woman whose husband bought her Roughrider earrings. You heard me right. Earrings.

  4. sophie_vf said

    also, I hesitate to point this out, but on my monitor, your blog header is really very close to THAT green…

  5. […] the stadium.  How dare one mention the stadium?  I’ve commented briefly in the past on how mad on sports the local population is, with certain holdouts like your correspondent.  The old-style open-air arena in which The Big […]

  6. […] is, in fact, a market for fountain pens in a town which spends a lot more effort shouting about sports than arts, there is reason to […]

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