...on readings, writings, rants, and random reflections
Johnny Carson played baseball? I win!
I don't even want to know what he was playing dressed in that gear!
I knew the outfit looked familiar. I remember a teacher who dressed in that polyester safari look. It was french class and I never took the waiver exam but the teacher liked that I knew the answers. I remember he brought french foreign films to kill time. He knew I had seen one and asked If it was ok for school. I honestly thought It was, but my tv version was likely edited. He nearly died scrambling to turn off that old style film projector. I had completely forgotten about his dress style but even then, I thought It was lame. I can't see a man ever wearing a two color scarf again, but maybe if one of your baseball heroes gets an endorsement, who knows? I am tempted to write about the meaning of writing in a darkroom!
Of course Mr. Carson is modelling the "Johnny Carson Line" of clothing there; i.e. he's wearing stuff that he's trying to sell to unsuspecting males of a certain age. Both the clothing and the hairstyles of men in the 1970s were atrocious. Those were not "the good old days."
Oh please, that was hip for then, so let's cut Carson some slack. Every era has atrocious clothing, some more than others. Looking back at the 80s, I recoil in horror at the whole Breakfast Club era and realize that had the BP spill occured in the 80s, my generation could have just dunked their collective heads in the Gulf and sopped up all the oil with Jheri curls and Emilio Estevez Supercuts styles.As for Carson, even Sean Connery was sporting leisure suits as 007 in "Diamonds Are Forever." Then again, my personal aesthetic is that Real Men dress like Sinatra and Duke Ellington....
Nothing "hip" was ever advertised in the likes of Esquire magazine. What was hip then is the same as what is hip now. The problem being that the word hip has been coopted by Madison Ave., like everything else from tie-dye shirts to gangsta rap.
Sinatra and Ellington were elegantly stylish, not hip. A little fairy hat and a London Fog raincoat ostentaciously draped over your forearm is not hip. In their day Zoot suits were hip; James Dean and Brando were hip; the original Stones were hip; the original Beatles were not.
I will go so far as to say that the Beatles split up mostly because John and George were increasingly hip over time and Paul and Ringo were stubbornly not.
Fashion, something I know about! Carson did not even believe in what he was selling. Magnify his face on the bottom pic and his smirk was the most 'smirkiest', ever. Translation: he had a lot of ex-wives to pay. The elegance of Sinatra and Ellington made them hip to their peers. Dean and Brando had the younger market, were hip replaced elegance. Breakfast Club was my ideal of cool, and frankly Sean Connery could have worn a dress, and still looked hot.
But you are extolling the Madison Avenue, ripped off, version of "hip." Real hipness is the polar opposite of that. Muddy Waters and Charles Mingus were hip. Tony Bennett and Doc Severison were not. Talented and elegant, yes; but hip, no.To be hip is to have minimal social valence; it is to be detached from the mainstream, not determinedly soliciting the mainstream's attention and business. If the mainstream finds you and begins to seek you out, it may kill you. It killed Kerouac. And more recently it killed Kurt Cobain.
I think hip is when Madison avenue follows you, and then sells it to the masses. Your style becomes overused and not longer individualistic. Sometimes they redefine or mainstream 'the look' to properly monetarily commercialize. The grundge look was what I would associate with Kurt Cobain. I remember being enchanted with the Annie Hall look and the Diane von Furstenberg wraparound skirt. I agree Tony Bennett and Doc Severison were buyers. Muddy Waters and Charles Mingus, I have to google the latter and I am not sure about Muddy Waters. I thought it was a band and more than one person.
Muddy Waters was one of the greatest, if not THE greatest of the blues singers from the Mississippi delta region. Charles Mingus was a bassist and genius jazz composer. I had the privilege of attending a perforance of the Charles Mingus Quintet in the Village in NYC, back in the 1970s.
I have to ask my friend which famous singer she sat with on a plane and discussed her new teaching career. She had just graduated, and was moving to Austin. He was very sweet, asked her a lot of questions and mentioned he played music. She wished him good luck with his music, and was later told he was famous and was there for a big concert. I know zip about music too!
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