Suits, ties and the beginning of a messed-up civilization
When I look at this messed up world we live in I dont know if I should laugh or cry. I like to amend my confusion with an important little distinction: Life is great, its the world thats all screwed up. Keep life and the world separate and youll be wiser for it.There are two reasons why the world is such a mess. First, most people arent wise enough to sit still, shut up and do nothing all day. Secondly, the suit and tie.A pack of political candidates is now off and running, fighting each other to become the next president of the United States, promising to unscrew up the world. Who are these people? When I watch news of their appearances in cornfields, workers locker rooms and hanging out behind the scenes with other strange and important people, I dont know if Im watching American Idol or a dreadfully boring documentary on schmooze finesse.Watching the general public swoon over these people is even more puzzling. Everybodys going gaga over this Barrack Obama guy, as if hes been hanging out in their kitchen for coffee every Wednesday morning for the last 30 years. Personally, I dont know him. Hes never been to my place. So, hes on TV and can say cool stuff. Homer Simpson says cool stuff. I dont vote for people just because they prop themselves up in front of a silhouette of Abe Lincoln and say cool stuff. I might vote for them if they sat still, shut up and did nothing for a month or two.Never judge a book by its cover either. They all wear a suit and tie, assuming instant respectability, or at least the appearance of respectability. Dont be fooled. The Congressman who had $90,000 hidden in his freezer wears a suit and tie too.I never could figure out why men bother with suits and ties. I have always found them utterly uncomfortable and inconveniently time consuming to don. Real men dont don anything. Donning clothes is for Queens, Popes, and Wrestle Mania stars. Me, I just throw my clothes on, usually the same ones I wore yesterday, and head out the door.Whats with all the dress up? The necktie originated with scarves worn by Croatian soldiers and mercenaries. As industrialization allowed for mass consumption of material goods, men wanted to stand out, to assert their social and financial superiority and proclaim their allegiance to a particular group. The suit and tie was born. Big assertive deal. Are these the traditions and motives we want to pay homage to with our duds? Neck ties soon became the ultimate symbol of individuality, even though everybody in the group was wearing one. You cant put on a suit and tie just to be different anymore.Suits and ties can be dangerous, especially when even your enemies wear them. Thats why Kim Jung Ill, the Korean dictator, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian boss man, are my friends. They dont wear ties. Those dudes wear casual jackets and baggy pants, usually the ones they wore yesterday, and shirts that are unbuttoned at the top. Theyre cool, man. I could hit it off pretty good with them, maybe even get them to sit still, shut up and do nothing all day. While we were doing that Id pull the old fingers in the face hypnosis trick on them that Crocodile Dundee pulled on the water buffalo. While they were under my spell we could sneak in some nuclear inspectors and find out for certain what Iran and North Korea are really up to.With those two guys out of the way I would become the new leader of the free world. My first absolute act of power would be to impose a new dress code for the entire planet; no more suits and ties. I would also mandate the serious business of sitting still, shutting up and doing nothing for a month or two. Then maybe wed actually get a wise man to vote for someday. Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.
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