Are We Too Old to Appreciate Cool Fashions?

Image result for Girls with Half Shaved Heads

A reader this morning remarked, speaking, I take it, to the rest of us, “You all seem as if you’re 70 years old.” As if being 70 were a bad thing. “Sometimes a haircut is just a haircut”–referring to someone going around with half his or her head shaved–“and it means nothing except style.”

As far as I can see, those who adopt this style are imitating certain Grade B celebrities that I never heard of. To go to this much trouble is to be making some kind of statement. It may be as simple a statement as “I am an idiot,” or it may be something as profound as “I are a Intyerllectural and i re-ject yore stopid borzoueis socile confentions!”

It used to be that being 70 years old entitled you to a modicum of respect, owing to the experience one accumulates over the course of seven decades.

Speaking only for myself, I do try very hard not to move with the times, because the times are evil and increasingly insane. If it seems to me that a lot of people are going out of their way to look ugly, it’s because a lot of people are going out of their way to look ugly.

Yes, I know–my father, in the 1960s, worried about young people turning into “the bell-bottom type,” although he himself wore bell-bottoms for a couple of years: in the Navy. When he volunteered to serve his country, at risk of life and limb. But I was 18 and I could only laugh at him. What a fool I was!

Now I’m the one who’s pushing 70, and I can look back over the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 17 years of a new century–and see how far we’ve slid down the pipe.

I am proud of my grey hairs. I think I’ve earned them. And I’ve earned the right, by looking back on my own damned foolishness, to say that a society that thinks the shorter a time you’ve lived, the wiser you must be, is headed for a real hard time.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

19 responses to “Are We Too Old to Appreciate Cool Fashions?

  • Phoebe

    First, about age: I’m 75 myself, and when people try to tell me how young I seem, and/or that I shouldn’t call myself “old,” I usually say, “Hey, don’t knock it; it took me a long time to get here.”

    Second, about style: I was working for a living in the 1960s, and dressed accordingly, but I remember the 1950s when many of my classmates tried to look “beat.” Yes, they were making a statement. And alas, some of them stated their way into early deaths. In the 1960s, now being a grownup, I noted that the young soi-disant rebels usually started by saying that they were showing by the way they dressed that they rejected bourgeois moral codes as well as dress codes, and then, in almost the same breath, they complained that people weren’t accepting them as individuals, but were judging them by their clothing. It was impossible to convince them that they were contradicting themselves.

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  • marlene

    When I was young, we’d have thought such “fashions” were freaky AND we were able to say so. Liberals always conflate issues, blame others, and complain the loudest – about everything.

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    • Linda Sorci

      Amen, Marlene!

      Times change – and thusfar, not for the better. I remember my dad saying that the television was a ‘boob tube’, that rock ‘n roll music was morally corrupting and that anyone who wore a leather jacket and rode a motorcycle was a hoodlum. Looking back, methinks he was on to something.

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      • marlene

        LOL – These were the things I liked but never did, as a young person. As an early adult, however, I tried all three. But then I grew out of them, once I finally got what I THOUGHT I wanted. Yes, it seems your dad was right all along. But sometimes we just have to find out for ourselves. (PS: Just between you and me, ha, did you ever wear a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle or listen to a rock song, just once? Ever?)

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        • leeduigon

          No, never had a leather jacket, never had a motorcycle, and never got into rock and roll. I tried to resist the popular culture–which is not to say I succeeded. When I look back on myself as I was in the early 70s, I want to crawl into a hole and zip it shut behind me.

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          • marlene

            Somehow, it’s hard for me to imagine you back then, considering how far you’ve come. I’d say you paid your penance and a good laugh, as well as relief for escaping the jaws of cultural indoctrination, is in order. My 1970’s are still in denial – it wasn’t me, i’m too smart to be wrong, it was someone’s else fault, waa waa waa. If I sound like a liberal, God forbid, it’s because I was one back then – 5 of 12, but those 5 minutes to the left did a lot of damage for a long time. I think i’ll stop right here and look for my own hole with a lock.

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        • Linda Sorci

          LOL! No, I never wore a leather jacket and rode a motorcycle – not at the same time 🙂 I have had leather jackets and my husband has a Harley which I don’t like to ride, much to his frustration. Given his health issues these days, he may not be riding much anymore either, unfortunately. Our daughter likes to ride with him though 🙂

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          • marlene

            “…not at the same time…my husband has a Harley…Our daughter likes to ride with him…” – hahaha, this is precious! Yes, times change, but only after it doesn’t.

            I will pray for your husband and am glad you let us know. I’m sure i’m just one of many on this site who pray for each other.

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          • Linda Sorci

            Thank you so much, Marlene. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have.

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    • Stef P

      And I’m sure you would have beaten up anybody who was different from you.

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  • Stef P

    “It may be as simple a statement as “I am an idiot,” or it may be something as profound as “I are a Intyerllectural and i re-ject yore stopid borzoueis socile confentions!”

    Or it may be just as simple as what you probably told you told your grandparents back in the 50s when you went out driving with a girl in a poodle skirt in the back of a 57 Chevy. “Don’t be such a grumpy old person! I’m young, and I won’t abide by your rules!” You know Lee, 2500 years ago Socrates said ““The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” His breath was dusty then; yours is dusty now.

    And hey, I didn’t come here to troll…I came here because I love fantasy. I see few flights of fantasy here. Only Christian grumpiness.

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    • Phoebe

      Stef, his breath wasn’t “dusty,” if by “dusty” you mean archaic or obsolete. Some things don’t change because facts don’t change. Yes, the young always push the envelope, but sometimes the envelope has been stretched out of shape and pushes further than usual. I was an idiot and leftist (but I repeat myself) in my teens and early 20s, but fortunately — no, providentially — I grew out of it … mostly. Or maybe now I’m a different kind of idiot. I leave that judgment up to God.

      I think what’s wrong now, and was wrong in the 1960s and 1970s as well, is that the grownups, instead of deploring the youthful idiocy, have adopted it. It’s gone mainstream, so that things that used to be confined to the young and the subculture are now so widespread that we “dusty” and “grumpy” ones have become the subculture — or counterculture. So maybe you should look upon us not as the old fogeys but as the new rebels. 🙂

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      • Stef P

        Phoebe, Lee’s elderly and cliched comments here mark him, and most of his followers, as people who are hanging on as poor old people who have no real concept of modern life. I mean for heaven’s sake….old plastic dinosaurs from 50s breakfast cereal…Clint Eastwood singing a song from a 50s TV show….Stupid cat videos…Lee marks himself as a very crotchety elderly man who knows nothing of literary fantasy more modern than C S Lewis….I’m ashamed to say that you are not “new rebels”….you are all old fogeys…Hey, Lee…Do you know anything about any new fantasy newer than say…1970?

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        • Phoebe

          Stef, why do you bother coming to this blog if you don’t like the kind of nostalgia pieces that other guests enjoy? Only so you can insult everyone? Isn’t that being a bit, well, “crotchety”? And by the way, these “old” things are now being taught (unfortunately) in many “new” courses in Popular Culture Studies programs throughout the university system. So you might say that we’re being avant-garde while you’re hanging out in the outdated — and, I’ll have to add, determinedly ignorant — rejection of anything written or produced before last weekend.

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        • Linda Sorci

          Stef, First let me say that we, as ‘old fogeys’, come here to share our values and ideas – with respect for one another! As you seem to have a dislike for the content of this blog, why you would bother to visit or comment escapes me. Furthermore, this blog belongs to Lee and the content is his decision – and his content and the fellowship we enjoy here are, in many cases, sorely lacking elsewhere on the worldwide web. We enjoy the cat videos, the daily hymns, the trips down memory lane, and all the other topics Lee brings forward. By the way, unless you’ve read Lee’s ‘Bell Mountain Series’, it seems a bit disingenuous to criticize his knowledge and aptitude for fantasy.

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    • leeduigon

      We do have a search thingummy. Type in “fantasy” and click. You’ll get all sorts of stuff.
      For fantasy that’s really, really far-out, I recommend the Humanist Manifesto II.

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