Our series resumes tomorrow: We'll be finishing this week's series tomorrow. This is the first of many weeks in which we plan to conduct a meta-discussion about how our failing society ever got in the mess it's now in.
We're hoping that some kid who's 9 years old today will read these reports at some point in time. We're hoping that he or she will be able to apply this work in a way which will rescue future generations from the spectacular dumbness which, in the fullness of time, has finally given us our Trump and our spreading plague.
For today, we'll only note that times are hard around the world of the upper-end press. In this morning's Washington Post, Robin Givhan helps us ponder what we've suddenly lost:
GIVHAN (3/19/20): Hanging up our clothes and our public personasWe're sure that Givhan's a very nice person. But is anyone actually reading this guff? Were we the people actually reading this guff down through all those many long years?
In offices, they call it power dressing and business casual and dressing for success. The invitations tell us to gussy up in cocktail party finery or unleash our imagination with creative black tie. We buy something new because we have tickets to the theater or a concert. We hunker down in front of a television with a bowl of popcorn and become armchair critics as we watch a parade of fashionable — or not — celebrities on an awards show red carpet.
These are our personal fashion moments, both real and vicarious. For the time being, they no longer exist. They have evaporated in the midst of mandates to work from home, bans on large gatherings and other precautions against the unknowns of the coronavirus.
The public square has shut down. Employees are banned from their workplaces. Schools are closed. The Smithsonian Museums are shuttered. Broadway is dark. Disneyland is locked. And we’ve lost a little bit of ourselves. An essential part of our identity is rooted in how we relate to the people around us, how we situate ourselves within the social hierarchy. We are defined, in part, by our tribe. We dress to tell a story about ourselves and if there is no one there to hear our narrative, we’ve been put on mute—turned into mere ectoplasm in pajamas.
These journalists today! Their immediate predecessors spent months on Candidate Gore's disturbing earth tones and on his three-button suits. In the end, decades of this simpering lunacy finally gave us our Trump.
Tomorrow, we'll finish our first week's uber-report. This simpering lunacy has all been enabled from the top.
Ridiculous foolishness trickles down! In the weeks ahead, we'll be taking you all the way back to "the set of all sets not members of themselves" and thus to Lord Russell's Paradox!
If you have a 9-year-old, might your home-schooling start here?