Home > General > Jeans and the decline of modern society

Jeans and the decline of modern society

Presumably you saw this last week, but George Will penned a column denouncing denim. Denim! Fun quotes:

Seventy-five percent of American “gamers” — people who play video games — are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote.

Presumably Will lost a game of Pong in his younger years and has never quite recovered.

Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy’s catechism of leveling — thou shalt not dress better than society’s most slovenly. To do so would be to commit the sin of lookism — of believing that appearance matters. That heresy leads to denying the universal appropriateness of everything, and then to the elitist assertion that there is good and bad taste.

I wear jeans. I think there’s good and bad taste. I think George Will’s taste is the latter.

This is not complicated. For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule: If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don’t wear it. For women, substitute Grace Kelly.

Ok, Will’s taste is bad and old. Am I supposed to go to work dressed like this?

Look, George. I know how you feel. You couldn’t write a column just to complain about denim. So you had to connect to everything in society that you think is bad. You had to attribute it to a rejection of the idea that appearances matter. The problem is, that’s not true. You’re just old. It’s ok, though. You’ve got a good job. You can lie about global warming without consequence. You have money and probably a family. Surely something can fill the void so you don’t have to inflict your half-baked ramblings on those of us who have real jobs.

Also, this should be read, for the picture and caption.

Categories: General
  1. April 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I saw that in the chronicle last week… It’s funny- working on campus, I see a lot of horrid “styles”: The giant $5 sunglasses, the hat halfway up the head, pants hanging below the ass, generic Abercrombie shit, etc. I mean I can agree with his opinion on pre-faded, pre-holed jeans being pretentious, but railing against jeans in general is just… Baffling. The equivalent to “society’s most slovenly”? I’m pretty sure my bosses- who wear jeans- are dressed better than the bums outside Wal-Mart.

    Also: As long as we’re going by standards set in the 50s, I guess I should take up smoking and hating black people. I mean it was in good taste back then, why not now?

  2. April 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    The giant $5 sunglasses

    This. If I ever rant about an article of clothing, that’s what it’ll be about.

  3. April 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm


  4. Ben
    April 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    He sounds like somebody’s senile grandpa; “Eh, you darn kids with your bluejeans and motorized carriages.”

  5. April 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I saw that piece – a lot goes by him, and he’s absolutely never going to know that, and that is annoying.

    I’m 59 and I still wear jeans. I don’t think I’m still young, I don’t think I look young, and I’m not making any grandiose points. I’m just comfortable.

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