Saturday, August 09, 2014

If You Make Things, You Are My Brother: The Tailor

Sometimes things are only different. Other times they are plain worse.

Fish don't know they're swimming in water. Even people, who are at least 14 percent smarter than fish I've known, don't think much about the air around them while they're passing through it. Culture is a form of atmosphere. You pass through it, but it yields so easily that you ignore its effects. Then one day there's a hurricane, or a drought, and you notice it all of a sudden. No one thinks about the Interstate Highway System as a concept while they're driving on it. Well, no one but me, I gather.

If you like novelty, you can easily be persuaded that plain worse is better. If you dislike novelty, you can easily be convinced that anything novel is plain worse. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a world with only these two types of people, and it's driving me to distraction.

1 comment:

Retriever said...

Cool video. I remember visiting my father's Savile Row tailor, not very often, because his suits used to last so long. The construction was so incredibly intricate (as the guy explains, it all creates the comfort and the line).
It occurred to me seeing those photos that maybe the fascination with having at least one really good suit may have been a reaction to WWI,part of "I am NOT wearing a military uniform, but something with extra fabric, designed to make me look cool, for me to loll and seduce women or chill in bars in" Of course just about anybody looks better in a military uniform than in most civilian clothes, hence women's attraction to soldiers in uniform. But these suits were even hotter than military uniforms. There were only 21 years between the 2 World Wars, after all, and the trauma of WWI was so severe for all of Europe. We can't conceive of it here, as we lost so little by comparison with the Europeans....

I think that after one has been ravaged by war, certain trades and arts become even more important to people's morale. Perhaps you can't afford to rebuild the family farm blown apart by a shell, but you can scrape together the money for a suit and take the missus out dancing and feel that life is good again, the Bosch is defeated....

Another way of looking at most of the arts and crafts of this era (cynical?) is as a kind of wilful blindness by people who just wouldn't, couldn't see what was happening politically. Because the thought of another war was too horrible to bear. A bit like the refusal to care or be informed about events outside their own front doors by many people I know. If I don't see, touch or taste it, it doesn't exist and can't hurt me. Hobbits happily cooking dinner in the Shire while dark armies mass not so far off.

Oh ignore me, good video. :)