Living pieces of history? Why dress Trad?

Titus_A

Super Member
In response to the anti-intellectual and rather snide comment about Nietzsche above

Making snide comments about Nietzsche need not be anti-intellectual: there are entire compelling intellectual traditions that provide sound, intellectual reasons for regarding Nietzsche with something ranging from skepticism to disgust. The anti-intellectual thing to do would more likely be to accept him as an authority, as he is an often-cited and rarely rarely criticized figure in purely popular literature and entertainment.

Theoden said:
Regarding Nietzsche...I think his insight was funny and helpful. I was a history major and when I first ran across it, it made me laugh. He's dead-wrong about most things, but he's one of the most engaging philosophers I've read.

Far be it from me to criticize another man for deriving enjoyment from serious reading. I would just be saddened to see someone feel hopelessly lost out of commitment to a pessimistic world view. The individual observation, while perhaps not indicative of a properly balanced view of the thing, is certainly witty and thought provoking.

hydepark said:
be careful for every inheritance comes with the demand

I've yet to encounter anything worth doing that did not carry its own demands.

Theoden said:
But, if you are man of prayer, kindly remember me this afternoon

Now, that is something I can do.
 

Joe Beamish

Elite Member
Mid-40s with such an elegiac tone? Wow

I'm amazed anyone at that age can even see or hear or chew, let alone express himself.

Note to 20-somethings: It takes a long time to hit your mid-40s. From 29 to 45 is like, five minutes
 

bd79cc

Super Member
Making snide comments about Nietzsche need not be anti-intellectual: there are entire compelling intellectual traditions that provide sound, intellectual reasons for regarding Nietzsche with something ranging from skepticism to disgust. The anti-intellectual thing to do would more likely be to accept him as an authority, as he is an often-cited and rarely rarely criticized figure in purely popular literature and entertainment.

This reminds me of my favorite Nietzsche rejoinder:

"God is dead." - Nietzsche
"Nietzsche is dead." - God

I found this relatively late in life - carved into a classroom desk top when I was in college.
 

Theoden

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Gents,

Thanks again, for you thoughtful responses.

Hydepark,

I agree that Nietzsche was greatly misunderstood by the National Socialists.

Titus,

Thanks for the prayers. And yes, there are less pessimistic writers to nourish our thinking. On can lean on Plato, Augustine, Pascal and C.S. Lewis for starters.

Joe,

Sometimes it's hard to chew and write at the same time. ;-)

Theoden
 
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ThreeLegDog

Starting Member
In response to the anti-intellectual and rather snide comment about Nietzsche above, let me suggest that the OP had his "Use and Abuse of History for Life" essay (one of the Untimely Meditations) in mind. While perhaps misremembering some of the contents the OP was right that Nietzsche warns us again the urge to erect monuments, to attempt to capture history--it is an essay, after all, in the service of promoting life. "Life" goes on and certainly doesn't belong to any notion of a fixed, reified, ratified, or otherwise monumentalized history. This essay comes from a moment in German history when nationalists were particularly intent on glorifying a certain version of the past that would lead to the cultural authorization of many tragic decisions; it is fortunate Americans have never really been in the same position. To the OP: don't worry about the world crumbling around you, for that really isn't the world. "Life" is dynamic and composed of both the melancholic urge to re-collect parts of the past as they slip away and directed toward the future--which, yes, will eventually be death--attached to endless lines of chaotic forces that arise out of moments of fidelity to our own projects. One last comment to 'Titus_A': be careful for every inheritance comes with the demand, the injunction to make a decision of what you will keep and what you will reject. You cannot fully accept any inheritance as it only exists qua inheritance because of its constitutive incoherency.

^ this
 

AldenPyle

Honors Member
Both original post and commentary are well written and well reasoned. A nice surprise since from the headline I assumed it was someone trolling.

I do not intentionally dress anachronistically, but I'd be lying if I deined there was some element of nostalgia working somewhere in my brain...

I agree with this. Principally, trad clothes are classic items that easily work in the modern world. I always come back to the words, sharp but relaxed.

I'm quite interested in the social history of the 1930-1970 period and I think that clothes are an interesting mirror of those times. I (definitely) would not want to live in that period, but I do think Americans of the post-war era had an enviable sense of optimism and faith in rationality. Perhaps, trad clothes evoke those values; if so, all the better.
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
You cannot fully accept any inheritance as it only exists qua inheritance because of its constitutive incoherency.

I would have quoted more of that, but my quote key fell off the keyboard in mock disgust. We'll continue more of this later, my dorm room this time. In the meantime I've got real things to do.
 

hydepark

New Member
I would have quoted more of that, but my quote key fell off the keyboard in mock disgust. We'll continue more of this later, my dorm room this time. In the meantime I've got real things to do.

I don't think that would really be appropriate; however, I will be holding office hours all afternoon and you are welcome to come and we can talk about the problems you are having with your argument.
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
Or...it could be the clothes just look good. ;-)

Theoden

Do you think people who appreciate old wine/art/cars/motorcyles or homes have to wrestle with the "stigma" of the times of there advocations??

Now that I mention it, I suddenly remeber this ditzy femi-nazi that kept reminding our Enslish Lit lecture class that Shakespeare was sexist.

Or "hey, don't you know that '59 Caddy is emblematic or our racist and oppressive past?? I only drive cars made after the Civils Rights Act of 1964 was passed!!"
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
hydepark said:
I don't think that would really be appropriate; however, I will be holding office hours all afternoon and you are welcome to come and we can talk about the problems you are having with your argument.

I don't recall presenting an argument, but I'll give you one now. The bloated writing here has taken on the dubious quality of an essay writing contest. I'm not impressed. Nor am I ever when replies groan on, are worded dogmatically, obtusely or are spit out primarily to glorify the writer's knowledge.
 

efdll

Senior Member
Some things stand out. Everyone in this forum has an interest in clothes, men's clothes to be precise. And he, for I have yet to find a femal voice here, channels those interests into a fascination with what is accurately called traditional American style. A very cultured friend, who is Latin American not U.S. American, showed me a 19th century portrait of a wealthy American couple and pointed out how this was American style, in contrast to Old World. The man's suit was what we call natural shoulder, and it was that relaxed stance of the tailoring, that ease, that was quintessentially American. The wealth, and the concomittant elite schools and the like, was besides the point. A photograph of a penniless cowboy would signify the same, as does that famous period portrait of the greatest African American jazzmen in Harlem. This country has something to say through its style and some of us, of all backgrounds (mine, like my friend's, is Latin American), like what is said. Comfort, ease, and effortles elegance, which in this forum has been correctly -- and paradoxically given the members' rejection of that country's sartorial flash -- called by the Italian sprezzatura. No wonder it keeps coming back. Recently, one of my daughter's very fashion conscious friends took a look at my topsiders, Bermudas, and OCBD rolled up at the sleeves and said I was dressed like an European hipster. I was flattered for she was paying me a compliment, and amused for it was what this sexagenarian wore in high school and college. Plus ca change. I love it.
 

Brio1

Super Member
Gents,

Great comments.

I agree that trad items are comfortable, handsome, "grown-up" and classic.

I don't think one dresses trad to stand out (or be costume-y). I think the idea, in general, is not to be garrish or loud (except for accepted GTH items). Trad is under to radar, so-to-speak.

The fact that trad items, or even "rocking' trad items is not purely anachronistic, means that the items aren't relics. They are acceptable classic clothing with a sense of style. Part of the reason they aren't costume-y is they are still part of a living subculture with large amounts of artifacts in our everyday world.

If I were to dress the way businessmen did in the 1860's, that would be a costume. In fact, there is a Society for Creative Anachronisms that sponsor events for certain periods. It just dawned on me that someone could be dressed much like people did for the last 60 years and still have some connection to living artifacts, places and establishments.

Thanks for commenting and indulging me.

Nietzsche once said that historians spend so much time looking back, they begin to believe backwards. Perhaps I'm suffering from a little of that in this stage of my life. I'm not a historian, but I'm a man in his mid-forties who is wondering what kind of legacy I'm leaving my children and I'm finding myself longing for permanence.

--Theoden

Good reference to Nietzsche. :icon_study:
 

Brio1

Super Member
In response to the anti-intellectual and rather snide comment about Nietzsche above, let me suggest that the OP had his "Use and Abuse of History for Life" essay (one of the Untimely Meditations) in mind. While perhaps misremembering some of the contents the OP was right that Nietzsche warns us again the urge to erect monuments, to attempt to capture history--it is an essay, after all, in the service of promoting life. "Life" goes on and certainly doesn't belong to any notion of a fixed, reified, ratified, or otherwise monumentalized history. This essay comes from a moment in German history when nationalists were particularly intent on glorifying a certain version of the past that would lead to the cultural authorization of many tragic decisions; it is fortunate Americans have never really been in the same position. To the OP: don't worry about the world crumbling around you, for that really isn't the world. "Life" is dynamic and composed of both the melancholic urge to re-collect parts of the past as they slip away and directed toward the future--which, yes, will eventually be death--attached to endless lines of chaotic forces that arise out of moments of fidelity to our own projects. One last comment to 'Titus_A': be careful for every inheritance comes with the demand, the injunction to make a decision of what you will keep and what you will reject. You cannot fully accept any inheritance as it only exists qua inheritance because of its constitutive incoherency.

Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. "Christians"/ theists rarely comprehend Nietzsche, nor do they really care to. Martin Buber was an exception to this. :icon_study:

" There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross."
Nietzsche
 
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Corcovado

Senior Member
In my neck of the woods, there's nothing costume-like or anachronistic about traditional clothing. William Faulkner's line comes to mind: The past is never dead. It's not even past. There are other styles that men dress in, sure, but what I wear passes for just "clothes."
 
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