Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Boys of Yale, 1964

Photos by Salt Water New England
Is a goal for clothing to be timeless?  What here still holds up today?




Governor Scranton, Born in Near-by Madison

Kingman Brewster on the Right


A Young John Kerry in the Back

70 comments:

  1. Idolizing "boys of Yale" of past generations is certainly not timeless these days

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    1. Idolizing? I thought this was just a comparison of clothing.

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    2. "timeless" ...meaning what?

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    3. I think K is referencing the "Kavanaugh situation" and saying that it's not particularly cool to look nostalgically backward these days. That said, these boys look great, and it's hard to see this as "idolizing." It's mostly a sharing of pictures from a neater age.

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    4. Dear K, the question asked was-
      "Is a goal for clothing to be timeless? What here still holds up today?" I must say, that was an amazing stretch!

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    5. To say it's a stretch is to be wearing blinders; the title is "Boys of ..." - which isn't the usual turn of phrase. Yes SWNE is a respite from the overwhelmingly depressing things going on, and K's comment is not what we would want to see on the opening of a post on this lovely site, but aren't we all tired of trying to dumb ourselves down?

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  2. The Chesterfield overcoat, button-down shirts and repp ties are timeless. The collar rolls on the shirts are not as good as Brooks Brothers. The jackets' lapels and ties are a bit skinny - very 60s. Governor Scranton is wearing a shirt with a semi-spread collar which looks very English. He dresses more Oxford than Yale.

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    1. I think everyone was "skinnier" back in the '60's.

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    2. People were poorer in the 60s. Britain was still suffering from post-war austerity. In London, the 60s fashions were for skinny lapels and ties too, even Sean Connery's James Bond.

      Roger Moore was, naturally, very 70s, Pierce Brosnan was corporate European and Daniel Craig is just an inconsistent mess. Personally, I prefer the traditional style and manners of Patrick McNee as John Steed in "The Avengers", a true gentleman.

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    3. Sir Roger also designed his own colorful wardrobe used for his role in "The Persuaders" in the early 1970's, which also featured Tony Curtis' "very 70's" apparel as well! Very little use of tradition in that example.

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  3. Not sure about the clothing, but I'll bet that Rolleiflex is still usable today.

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  4. The velvet sombrero gilded with metallic rick rack is perfect!

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  5. I see "Monica" in picture #2, man- she is just blossoming!

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  6. Typical spring in New England day. Chilly enough for an overcoat, for some. Warm enough for shorts among the studenti eager to wrap up winter.

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  7. Perhaps more interesting is how, within five short years, a majority of young men in these pictures would be in jeans, with long hair, beads and beards? What happened in those five years? Riots. War. Drugs. The Doors. Woodstock. Free Love.

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    1. “Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven...” Jim Morrison.

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    2. No, didn't happen. Those are mostly all Young Republicans in the picture. A few served in the armed forces and just as likely went to Germany as Vietnam (there were more troops in Germany at any time than there were in Vietnam), a few dropped out, the rest became lawyers, stock brokers and the like. Life went on without a hitch.

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  8. However interesting the pictures/fashion, it truly feels tone-deaf to share this content right now.

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    1. I think Muffy is well aware of the news and meant no harm in posting these thought provoking images. Would you have preferred a trigger warning? She also steered the conversation toward clothing and items that have stood swings in fashion. GLH

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    2. Anonymous at 9:48 AM:

      Tone-deaf? If you mean there are too many white people in these pictures then I think you should stroll around Yale today, and tell me how things have changed for the better since 1964.

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    3. If you think Yale hasn't changed for the better since '64 because of the lack of homogeneity then you have some serious self-examination to achieve.

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    4. Anonymous 12:18 PM:

      No, this "lack of homogeneity" is behind all of our country's current, and I'm afraid, future ills. When members of a society have to "choose sides" it's in big trouble.

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    5. Escape from Castle WeinsteinSeptember 30, 2018 at 6:01 PM

      RDR, surely you're mistaken. NPR's been preaching at us for at least twenty years that "Diversity is our Strength"™. Now you're telling me that it will eventually lead to our skin being our uniform. Why would they lie about something so serious?

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  9. The students are wearing timeless khaki pants, OCBD shirts, weejuns, pullover sweaters, and sports jackets. It looks like one student is wearing jeans, an OCBD, a cardigan, and loafers and he appears to be smoking a pipe.

    Whimmy (waiting for the flood waters to fall in South Carolina)

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  10. John Kerry had several 'Forest Gump' moments, didn't he?

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  11. Pardon the ignorance of this question (which comes from a millennial, no less), but I often wonder how young men were able to afford to dress this well in the past. And I don't mean just at Yale, where I'm sure a substantial portion of the population is of means, but at other colleges and universities as well. Were jackets simply less expensive relative to incomes back then, as they were more readily available from local tailors? Or did men just buy one sport coat that they wore everywhere? Seems like a sport coat from brooks is around $500 these days, and I just can't imagine asking my parents to buy me a couple for college, whereas a "regular" jacket can be had for a fraction. I know one can also buy a pair of Weejuns for $100, but the shoes a lot of these kids look to be wearing in photos are of higher quality and more akin to the $300 goodyear welted shoes of today. No way parents would've bought me a pair of those either.

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    1. This is a very thought-provoking question. I can't speak to the times as I wasn't present (Gen-X-er), but it seems like more of the clothing from that era would have been made in the USA, where the bulk of our clothing these days, regardless of its appearance, is made in the Far East. With that, wouldn't it make sense that clothing prices would have been higher relative to a person's income then?

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    2. Don't think the young men were themselves able to pay for the full ride at Yale, do you?
      So whom paid the bills of it all, and outfitted them? Different times and different family ways.

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    3. Dear William K.
      I think if a person could afford the total bill at this college then clothing bill/lifestyle cost wasn't a worry too much.

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    4. Food, shelter and clothing. Were not, in the 1960’s and the years preceeding, these the primary considerations? There were many items not yet a household expense that are de rigueur today; cable tv, various appliances (microwave, garage door opener, computer). People of all stripes carried a lunch. Prepared foods, “salad bars” etc., were yet to come. Transportation, for those of student age, was often free. Remember hitch-hiking? It was how we got around. We hitched down Whitney Avenue. The destination might have been Barrie’s. Yes, some items were considered expensive. A pair of Barrie’s loafers were $29.99 in the mid-sixties (made in England!). Twice as much as one might pay for shoes made in Maine or Massachusetts, and bought at Thom McCann... Point is, there were somewhat fewer spending options. Travelling was not as casual and as frequent an activity. Plus, many young people, teenagers, worked part time, including the college bound. Local kids staffed the restaurants, stocked the grocery store shelves, pumped the gas(!), carried your golf bag. Remember paper routes? For many that’s where cash came from. The cash that went to buy shirts at Yale Co-op, or sweaters at Gamer. It was a time of fewer choices. Little things; a chocolate bar came from M&M Mars. More costly selections were not available. There was less pressure on the cost of day to day living from items like insurance.

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    5. Classic clothing (not designer) could be obtained affordably by the middle class as it was a regular offering at the basic department stores like Sears. The standards of dress were much higher then. (I have a collection of vintage catalogs.)

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    6. A Gant dress shirt was about $5 when I was in college. It does sound more affordable, relatively speaking. A new VW was about $2,000, a Volvo a little over $4,000. Tuition where I went to school for one semester was $125, with the various fees and books extra. It wasn't an Ivy League or private school, of course. Wasn't easy, either.

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    7. To William K, your observation of made in USA vs. made in Far East is spot on regarding affordability, but I think the responses above are enlightening. It does seem like it was a simpler era with less conspicuous consumption around the edges, making the clothing relatively more affordable as that is where more family dollars were directed to. Heck, I think the difference in tuition alone may explain some of this away.

      To me, I always find it quite unfortunate, as I really prefer the clothing and aesthetic of this era, and wish it was the standard today. On the other hand, the difference in price between a pair of shorts, t shirt and flip flips, and a pair of trousers, sport coat, loafers, and OCBD shirt, is just enormous. Hence my frequent bewilderment at the prevalence of the look back then. But the above insights make sense. Thank you.

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    8. I don't agree with the part about less conspicuous consumption then. And just because the students in the photos are dressed up to go see Governor Scranton doesn't mean they didn't wear jeans and sweatshirts hanging around the dorms and the student union. Something in between for classes, no doubt. But it is true that people dressed up a little more then, even the policemen. The styles are classic now but at the time, they were just stylish, right out of the pages of Playboy.

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    9. I attended an Ivy in that era and was able to buy almost all the clothing such as that shown in the photos at second hand and consignment shops for pennies on the dollar. Some of it brand new or barely worn. I had one winter pea coat that lasted me for four years and cost fifty cents.

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  12. Meta association to current events notwithstanding, to answer the second question first, nothing. A bygone era, hopefully.

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  13. The goal of clothing is to hide our nakedness. Read the Bible. Clothes came into fashion right after an apple incident in the Garden

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    1. And maybe some protection from all things that burn, bite, stick and scrape?

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  14. I've worn all of these clothes in the last month excepting the police uniforms - and I'm 38.

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    1. And the velvet sombrero gilded with metallic rick rack also, as seen on the first image? Might be time to round it all out then -try the Police uniform for Halloween.

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  15. The men with the hats were veterans of past wars and the men without were about to become soldiers.

    Good Lord, the glasses and hairdos on the women, though...sleeping in curlers and clouds of Aquanet.

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    1. Those darn pink plastic foam curlers even hurt then snarled all hair, and the Dippy-Do gunk to set it- YeGads...pass me the Tang, please.

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  16. As I get older I've come to the inevitable conclusion that what we grew up with as "normal" in the past was in fact only a "snapshot" of a moment in time. No different than the "moment" of flapper attire, or poodle skirts, or high starched collars and dinner jackets, what we engage in here is increasingly nostalgia for the familiar currency of our youth. The sad truth is those clothes, attitudes, and mores served a purpose at that time; and regrettably, that purpose no longer applies. It is a thing out of time, anachronism.

    These days "anti-values" are promoted: Sloppiness, obscenity, aggression and transgression both public and private, and sartorial customs like torn clothing, extensive tattooing and piercing--formerly the caste markers of the lowest specimens of various outcastes are being adopted by even our current "elites."

    By the same token, the values our parents, headmasters and churches once taught us as the best way to a good life are being "de-normalized" and replaced with acts and speech once thought degenerate, reprehensible, disruptive to society and beneath the dignity of any decent person. Where can this take us except to further chaos? It comes off as the ravings of unkennelled, unhousebroken spoiled brats.

    Lastly, the current academic culture is actively promoting emotional fragility and "othering" those who actually have coping skills, grit, and the sense of perspective to reject tropes of both victimhood and inherent privilege. Some people just want an education, but they can't even be left alone to do that anymore--everyone must take a side, everyone must be labelled. Dissent or even disengagement from certain partisan narratives may blackball you for life!

    Contrast today's undergrads with the generation that fought WWII. You may want to think about that carefully before writing out your next alumni check.

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    1. Let me guess, you are an old white man.

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    2. Thank you. Absolute kudos. What a wonderment of thought provoking perception of reality on many aspects. I could see it as I read it-tiny gems of flash back snippets of Back To The Future, Peggy Sue Got Married...”fluff” movies that weren’t completely fluff…. the pendulum of world history, our inherent fuzziness, etc. Coming here, getting the ever widening valid view of others.
      Thank you again.

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    3. I'm an old white man and I don't agree with very much of what Mr. Anonymous at 3:23 said. For what it's worth. Both my son, a college graduate and my son-in-law, a college student (and also Air National Guardsman) both served in Iraq and Afghanistan and unlike most of those who served in WWII, they weren't drafted. And we all were stationed in Germany, too, coincidentally. What's the matter with kids today? Nothing!

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    4. BlueTrain:

      "What's the matter with kids today? Aside from being brainwashed into unquestioningly believing what the extreme leftist mainstream media feeds them, and having no critical sense of judgment, and no personal idea of how to discern the truth, then nothing!

      Obviously, both your son and son-in-law are fine people and patriotic Americans, but the vast majority of undergraduates are clueless victims of groupthink.

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    5. I will admit there seems to be some groupthink going on.

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    6. Let me guess, Anon Sept. 28 5:33 p.m., no one ever took you aside and taught you to sit your privileged rear-end down and be quiet every once in awhile, instead of giving in to your entitled sense that anything you say, however rude, is eagerly awaited. So often this comes at the expense of good manners, which presumably you were never taught either.

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    7. I fall into the age group of 'old white guys'. My children and their friends (each 'liberal elite' college-educated young adults now) have faced and fully risen to more challenges and difficulties than I ever had to. I couldn't be more impressed by them.

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  17. At the moment there is an active movement in academia, and moreso in liberal arts colleges, to wholly overturn teaching of the Western canon; classics, religion, history, Western philosophy and culture (yes, the legacy of "dead white men.") In favor of--what? Moral relativism? Multicultural fragmentation along every "identity" line imaginable? Pure Darwinian materialism?

    When you believe in everything, you believe in nothing. If Americans no longer have any common ground, any shared, agreed-upon "truths," how can our Republic hold? If people no longer share so much as the existence of a concept of right and wrong, on what can we agree? If we kick over the founding premises of all that created and sustains our civilization, what will replace that, the irrational shrieking of anarchists?

    Ask Robespierre how that turns out.

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    1. Ask Jefferson Davis while you're at it and Lee, too.

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    2. Occasionally, when my family needs the funds or I have the time, I do something that I love; I teach a class at one of the local community colleges in the area I live. I am continually uplifted by the young people I encounter. I find them thoughtful, value driven and curious about the world they are entering. However, like every generation, their values are different from the last. They may be influenced by their parents and other role models but they are individuals, influenced by their world experiences. With all due respect to Mr. Reichardt I don't find them 'brainwashed.' I find that they attentively listen, think for themselves and form their own impressions about how they feel things should be. Every generation is entitled to the opportunity to build their own society. The push back from older generations is when they grow uncomfortable when they observe them trying to create or improve something they don't agree with. Frankly, with the mess WE have made of things I don't think I would be comfortable criticizing the younger generation for their desire to build their own world.

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    3. I encourage you to consider the notion that the present movement in higher education referenced above seeks primarily not to question or overturn the Western canon, but to instead facilitate the integration of diverse meaning-making traditions. The Western canon unquestionably retains value; however, not all forms of worthwhile knowledge exist within a single orthodoxy. Assuming responsibility for the continued cultural and demographic shifts in our nation lie with the 'usual suspects' of experimentation with drugs, loud music, and free love is to miss the point entirely. The salient issue is our society continues to diversify at an increasing rate (whether this causes you discomfort is distress is a discrete topic); the material taught to this diverse population should reflect their unique identities. Consider the work of Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD; upon realizing the typical pharmacologic treatment for patients experiencing hypertension wasn't sufficient, he introduced the notion of utilizing mindfulness-based coping strategies, representing a fusion of Western positivism with zen-Buddhism. Strange bed-follows? Certainly. Efficacious treatment? Yes.

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    4. Thank you, John Brewer. Beautifully and tactfully said.

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    5. @Matthew: "The material taught to this diverse population should reflect their unique identities." No. This presumes they are customers, not students, and that the job of education must be to reassure them of the rightness of their individual "truths." Which is yet another reason why we as Americans are so dis-unified.

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    6. You are not French?

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    7. @Sartre: In 1882, Frederich Nietzsche wrote "God is dead", meaning that the European reliance upon Judeo-Christian doctrine as the exclusive meaning-making system faced a prodigious decline in the future. In 2018, one may earnestly and non-ironically claim that "Modernism is dead"; that the security of accepting the existence of any universal truth is facing a similar decline.
      The truth is, I agree with your assertion that there exists a canon of literature and thought that all students should be exposed to, not only for the good of society but for their own cognitive growth. Your eponym's own 'Existentialism is a Humanism' is but one such essay that I desire all humans to be familiar with. However, universal access to thought does not guarantee homogenous interpretation; to assume so is the height of cultural hubris.
      Further, in a capitalistic society, higher education represents a business just like any other social or political institution. Indeed, tuition has increased by roughly 1000% (one-thousand percent) since 1960. Assumedly the demand for college nor the quality of undergraduate education has increased by anywheres near this statistic over the same period of time. The American public should be able to walk and chew gum simultaneously. The intellectual equivalent is hosting conflicting ideas without undue emotional distress. An undergraduate education can be meaningful as a path towards broader intellectual and civic engagement while also facilitating the accumulation of capital. Welcome to a post-modern world, Sartre. You'll love it. Or hate it. But you will engage with it, and continue to learn and develop.

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    8. Bernard-Henri Levy, "god is dead but hair is perfect"

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    9. Matthew Couch:

      "... hosting conflicting ideas without undue emotional distress."

      Please don't let anyone on the Left know you even harbor such "Fascist" thoughts, or it will be the fastest way for you to be chased out of a restaurant by a profane, post-modernist howling mob.

      Some people can longer walk while chewing their gum.

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    10. @Robert Reichardt, the central assumption underlying majority of parametric statistical analyses (i.e., those based upon a normal distribution) is that variance within a sample will exceed the variance between samples. That is, differences in thought and behavior within the entity you label the 'Left' are statistically likely to exceed difference between the 'Left' and 'Right'. It in undeniable many individuals across any existing spectrum of social differences may be reduced to a 'howling mob'. I hesitate to assume the average member of such a howling mob may articulate the epistemological differences between post-modern and modern thought, however.
      Once freed of the essentialist definition demonizing assumedly half of society, allow us to examine ambiguity tolerance, the very act of hosting conflicting ideas without undue emotional distress. Decades of empirical social psychology research reveals individuals scoring high in the personality trait of "openness" are less likely to experience aversive emotional arousal by holding reciprocally exclusive ideas. Further, the trait of openness is uniquely and significantly correlated to political liberalism, meaning the 'Left' is more likely to embody the very trait necessary for engaging with ideas that may disconfirm their worldview. In contrast, the 'authoritarian personality' represents an individual who is wholly foreclosed to the experience of uncertainty; unsurprisingly, this personality is associated with low scores upon the openness trait.
      In sum, the desire avoid aversive emotional arousal associated with uncertainty drives individuals to accept a rigid adherence to one worldview, and resist attempts to revisit or amend this view. Indeed "hosting conflicting ideas without undue emotional distress" is far from fascist, and not the exclusive realm of any political or social persuasion. For further reading, I heartily encourage both A. Dusso's "Personality and the Challenges of Democratic Governance: How Unconscious Thought Influences Political Understanding"
      and Erich Fromm's incandescent "Escape from Freedom".

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    11. “Oh my God, I'm in love. Thank you, Mr. Couch. ”

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    12. Matthew Couch:

      You make some very insightful points here, but I disagree with "individuals scoring high in the personality trait of "openness" are less likely to experience aversive emotional arousal by holding reciprocally exclusive ideas. Further, the trait of openness is uniquely and significantly correlated to political liberalism, meaning the 'Left' is more likely to embody the very trait necessary for engaging with ideas that may disconfirm their worldview."

      A nice thought, but it runs totally contrary to all empirical evidence currently loose on the streets of our contemporary society. Indeed, your thesis fails to recognize that the hard Left has expropriated this "authoritarian personality" once found on the extreme Right. Yes, these Liberal individuals are into "openness" -- but only if you agree with them (contrary opinions are heresy and will be punished accordingly). And to use a variation on my earlier example, the Tea-Party never bullied or chased a family out of a restaurant, or threatened people. Ever. This behavior is now the exclusive province of the new Orwellian Democrat/Antifa Party.

      I admit I haven't read Dusso, but I have read Erich Fromm (who hasn't?), and I do know where to find a close-minded, hysterical, violent bigot -- I just have to look to my left and there they are in great numbers. Plain as day.

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    13. Herr Reichardt, it doesn't matter whether you "disagree" with the point Mr. Couch is making about liberals being more open to engaging with ideas, and to progress. Study after study has correlated conservative politics with adherence by followers with lesser intelligence, lesser education, and much lesser courage. It's also quite striking that Mr. Couch was able to explain himself with scurrying off to wave Fox News red flags like the mythical evil liberals "chasing a family out of a restaurant." Also, there is no such thing as a "new Orwellian Democrat/Antifa Party." You made that up on the spot, once again proving Mr. Couch's point. Seriously, sir, we read this blog to enjoy the beauty of the images, and to read intelligent and insightful observations on the photographs. No one reads this blog in search of your paranoid right-wing political theories and your crabby cant. Mr. Couch wrote an edifying comment. It didn't require a clichéd retort.

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  18. As a Canadian, born in the very early sixties, living initially north of Lake Superior, and watching American television (along with the occasional family trip across the border), I can honestly say that I've always admired the American clothing style of the early-mid sixties. Yes, clothing does - often - identify us as members of one tribe or another; it's always been so. That, in and of itself should not be news to anyone - including those dreaded white males and their righteous detractors. Full disclosure: I'm one of those white anacronysims. I put myself through university (no family money - and Dad died when I was 16), was a member of the reserves (our equivalent of your National Guard), worked every summer (no rest for the wicked, evidently), enjoyed no priviledge (as far as I recaĺl), and wound up doing research for my grad studies at Harvard. Not bad for an immigrant's son. I continue to work hard to earn my keep - despite of my apparent whiteness (long hours and little if any overtime (after all, that's what professionals do...) And, no matter the cost (mainly time - the most valuable of commodities - an essentialy non-renewable resource) I make an effort to help my co-workers and those less fortunate whenever possible. But, really, why the political debate about clothing? Should it not simply be a matter of preference and personal taste? Does what we wear on our backs reflect our negative attributes (or any real personal characteristics)? Or, does it simply reflect our personalities? I would suggest the latter, as an outsider - after all these years - still peering into that fascinating window that is the grand experiment caĺled the United States. Oh, and I wish you well, as do most north of the 49th Parallel; being that rather nervous mouse in the figurative bed with your elephant...

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  19. The above should have read: "(or any real group/tribe characteristics)". Apologies, it was late when I wrote it...

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    1. ...and, that should have been "despite my apparent whiteness" no need for the "of". It's ironic (I also taught Communications at a college as a grad student) that despite my best advice to my students years ago to proof read their work - I've chosen to ignore my own counsel. Again, apologies...

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  20. The kids of the sixties, no matter what they wore, became the most conspicuous consumers on the planet earth, spurred the Wall Street & economy of today, and created our "on demand" culture. Some of us of that era taught our children to look beyond clothes & appearances. I work with many younger people (tech industry) and I hate the way they dress, but for their technological creativity, amazing concern for their impact on their environment, and sense of fair play, I genuinely applaud them. Make no mistake about the fact that they are young & aspire as we did, but their idols are different from ours.

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  21. I think it all holds up except for the men's hats.

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