Vanessa Friedman brings the war home!


The Times, stylistically woke:
We've just watched Part 9 of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick Vietnam film.

All in all, Part 9 was hard to watch. Hard to read? That would be Vanessa Friedman's report from the current round of Paris fashion shows. The report appeared in this morning's hard-copy Times.

We'd have to refer to this work as obscene. It appears beneath an obscene headline:
What Does a ‘Woke Woman’ Wear?
No, we're not making that up. After a bit of early piddle, Friedman climbs into the saddle:
FRIEDMAN (9/28/17): You’ve got to hand it to the designer Maria Grazia Chiuri—she stands her ground. There’s no waffling here. Whatever the voices whispering in her ear are saying, she does not let them sway her from what she believes. When she joined Dior as its first female artistic director just over a year ago, she picked up the banner of feminism and has been waving it enthusiastically ever since: delving into its literature, discovering its heroines and using them as muses in her shows, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Georgia O’Keeffe and Amelia Earhart.

It should have made her the perfect designer for these “woke women” times. The problem is the disconnect between the inspiration and its expression.
So true! Chiuri should be fabulous for these woke times! Thoughtfully, though, Friedman lays out the the disconnect between the inspiration and its expression:
FRIEDMAN (continuing directly): As consistently as she has stuck to her agenda, she has stuck to her separates: couture denim—this season in patchworks of different faded washes and weaves—and Dior-branded underthings: big pants and little bras, reimagined in wide marinière stripes (or jailhouse ones, depending on your reference point), most often worn under sheer tulle ballet skirts. Also the corset top and the character cashmere knit, this time with the dragons, spiders and snakes that marked the work of Ms. Saint Phalle.

But what feminist, even a millennial one, wants to wear a mirrored mosaic onesie in bright pink or blue under a transparent tulle skirt open to the waist that looks like nothing so much as Madonna in her “Desperately Seeking Susan” years? Or a white cotton version over a polka dot shirt with a swiss dot skirt below and a white jacket over it all, as if to give new meaning to the term play suit? These are not the clothes of revolution, even New Look revolution.
Say you want a revolution? There's nothing woke about wearing a white cotton onesie over a polka dot shirt with a swiss dot skirt below and a white jacket over it all!

Chiuri has stuck to her separates—and yet! As Eliot so thoughtfully mused, between the inspiration and its expression falls the shadow.

Part 9 of the Burns/Novick film features footage we didn't know existed—footage of the 9-year-old Vietnamese girl who ran down the road in the famous photograph after having her clothing, and much of her skin, burned away by a napalm attack.

We didn't know there was film of her preternatural calm as several photojournalists later came to her aid. Somewhat similarly, we barely knew there could be foppish, upper-class bad faith of the type the New York Times is willing to churn in such regular fashion.

As we sit on the eve of destruction, that piece by Friedman is obscene. When a nation's major newspaper, and its subscribers, tolerate such obscenity, that nation has silently volunteered for one, two, many Donald J. Trumps.


  1. The song. "The Revolutionary Costume for Today" from Grey Gardens presents this theme as a song.

  2. Nytimes is a major newspaper? Oh, dear. I remember reading something recently, demonstrating how National Enquirer (or some such) is publishing far more reasonable pieces than NYT and WaPo, on the same subject.

    1. Of course. The New York Times and WaPo are corporate-run media.
      At this point, is there anyone who trusts corporations?

    2. Wow. The corporate-owned media, who has tried to find any excuse, except Trump's bigotry, to explain the 2016 Presidential election, isn't publishing reasonable pieces. Color me shocked.

    3. National Enquirer is owned by a friend of Trump's so it has published nothing but friendly pieces about Trump and his family and propaganda against Trump's opponents. Hillary may have another alien baby by now. This is what Mao considers "reasonable."

  3. David: What do you think of the Confederate cause? Treason in support of slavery? A gallant struggle for state's rights? Other (please specify)?

    1. What do I think of the Confederate cause? I think the Confederate cause was defeated around 150 years ago. IMHO liberals and conservatives have plenty of current issues to fight over. We don't have to look for excuses to fight over long-settled historical issues.

    2. What do I think about the abortion cause? I think the abortion cause was settled in 1973. IMHO, ...
      Doesn't it say anything to you that Conservatives have to make the Kaepernick protest about the flag and military, just to avoid the issue of obvious injustice and unequal treatment of black people?


    3. DavidinCal,
      Remember that time your opinion jibed with reality? Me neither.

      "Pro-Confederate activists twice held events to commemorate Alabama’s 1861 secession from the United States at the headquarters of the foundation led at the time by Roy Moore, the new Republican nominee for US Senate.

      The events, held at the Foundation for Moral Law’s building in 2009 and 2010, promoted a history of the Civil War sympathetic to the Confederate cause, in which the conflict is presented as one fought over the federal government violating the South’s sovereignty as opposed to one fought chiefly over the preservation of slavery."

    4. I support the right of abortion. I think Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision from a legal or Constitutional POV.

      I would think Democrats might be embarrassed to bring up past mis-treatment of blacks. Democrats were on the wrong side of the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan.

    5. #youarenotfoolinganyone -- this article responds to you comment:

    6. "I support the right of abortion. I think Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision from a legal or Constitutional POV."

      I see avoidance continues to be your game. The reference to the abortion decision is that the war is never over to Conservatives. Just as the war for the Confederate cause is never over to Conservatives. Soon, the "economically anxious" (and not, at all, bigoted) voters in Alabama will elect Ray Moore, and the Confederate cause will have it's own Senator, to pair with their Attorney General.
      Your opinion isn't "humble", it's horribly wrong.

    7. 12:36 PM,
      Re: WaPo link
      This doesn't surprise me. People support "political correctness" around their own feelings/ beliefs. Now, the trick is getting them to support it around the feelings/ beliefs of others.

    8. Bigoted conservative Democrats became Republicans.

      Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, Bob Barr, Phil Gramm and many others.

      Classic DinC bullshit. He comes here to drop a turd in the punchbowl regaling us with Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity Fractured History 101.

    9. AnonymousSeptember 29, 2017 at 12:53 PM:
      "Just as the war for the Confederate cause is never over to Conservatives."

      Are you saying that Conservatives want to bring back slavery?

    10. So, David, what do you think of the Confederate cause? It was wrong because the Democrats backed it?

    11. "Are you saying that Conservatives want to bring back slavery?"

      Are you asking if Conservative business owners would like free labor?
      Yes. They'd vote for it in a second.

      BTW, Conservatives would also vote for a government-run healthcare system, if there was a guarantee that no blacks could benefit from it.
      These are your people, DavidinCal, embrace them.

    12. David in Cal, this passage responds to your link:

      [QUOTE] ...Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker.

      The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, unfolded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national poetry and eloquence.

      I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait-perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans and can be had cheap will be found by Americans.

      I shall not be charged with slandering Americans if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands. I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

      My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.

      Trust no future, however pleasant,
      Let the dead past bury its dead;
      Act, act in the living present,
      Heart within, and God overhead.

      We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time.

      Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child's share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence.

      Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have "Abraham to our father," when they had long lost Abraham's faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham's great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchers of the righteous?... [END QUOTE]


    13. Damn Cmike. The fact that this man came into being as a slave, endured such hardships as can hardly be imagined, and came to deliver such a speech (apparently extemporaneously ) should humble any man alive, past or present.

      Nice (lengthy!) riposte to whatsisname.


    14. Those, certainly, were prepared remarks [LINK]. Douglass was making his living in 1852 as a paid lecturer and a struggling newspaper publisher.

    15. "You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium."

      Exordium. I had to look that up in my dictionary. : )

      That's what made me think it extemporaneous. Dumb I suppose given the exalted language, and to suppose anyone could transcibe it as it was spoken.

      Humbling, nevertheless.


    16. Thanks Cmike for directing me to History is a Weapon. I perused the author's list. I plan on spending a lot of time there.

      Best regards,

  4. "We didn't know there was film of her preternatural calm"

    That calm is called shock and it is very common. It was a major invasion of that poor girl's privacy to broadcast her naked suffering everywhere for political purposes, even a cause as worthy as stopping a war. There is no decency in showing that photo then or now.

    And Somerby has the nerve to talk about empathy! What an ass he is.

    1. Yep, finally figured it out. Thanks Raven. I'm kinda slow.

      And thanks Cmike, for setting me up for that horrible joke.


      Wait a minute! I don't need to type that anymore!

      And as far as Kim Phúc, I'm quite sure the tea will help.

  5. No feminists were harmed in the writing of that article.

    Where was Somerby to complain when the fashionistas were portraying "heroin chic" in their shows and ads? Women as dead bodies, ODing in blue and olive face paint, their bodies arranged in unnatural positions. Was that OK with Somerby but this isn't? Or is this a chance to take a sideways swipe at women's issues?

    There is no law that says women cannot be lipstick feminists (to borrow a term). Clothing can be a women's issue but the idea of choice includes choosing to wear what someone else deems fashionable, no matter how ridiculous some man like Somerby thinks it is. And the NY Times covers it because NYC is the center of the fashion industry in the USA.

  6. Bob, you don't have to frickin' read every frickin' article in the paper. News flash: a story about fashion (a big business, by the way) can exist alongside stories about boob Trump and other political topics. These types of stories have always co-existed. The presence of a fashion article doesn't represent the end of journalism. How many times do you go down this road, and how many times do we have to point this out? Why read the damn fashion article anyway? What's next, railing at the funnies?

  7. Shorter Bob:

    Shame on those abolitionists for their tribalism. Without the self righteous liberal leaders like John Brown we could have changed hearts and minds.

  8. Obscenity is what results under jewish control. It was the same in Weimar Germany.

    1. Das Arschloch spricht,
      Ein Altweiberfurz bricht
      Aus dem Scheißmund des unbekannten Schweinhundes heraus.