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Fashion Freedom Flows in Only One Direction

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Recently, Alton Towers, a theme park here in England, banned swim briefs for men, declaring them in "bad taste" as they are a "family venue." I need only, I hope, report that no such ban on bikinis for women applies to prove the point that what is good for the goose is absolutely not good for the gander.

We belly-ache over the subject of sexual equality. We talk of liberating women from the stringent dress codes of hard-line Islamic societies, which is all very well and certainly has my support. But we ignore the trend taking place in Western society, which in 50 years' time will expect all men to wear burlap sacking from neck to toes, lest the sight of a male elbow or ankle offend anyone's sensitivities.

I will never understand what it is about Speedos that gets some people so worked up. For all you women who say you don't like it, I submit the following scenario to you: You and your man are both sunbathing on the beach. You, of course, have the freedom to bare as much as you please while your male company is wearing baggy, flowery board shorts. Now comes night-time and you're looking forward to a bit of playing around. Your partner peels off his shorts to reveal the following: a tanned chest and abs, pasty white thighs and tanned calves. And you expect to say, with a straight face, that this turns you on? Please, ladies. Next you'll be telling me that all drinks should be spiked with GHB, and probably saying that with a straight face as well.

Okay, I do realize that the bald, ugly, beer-bellied, chicken-legged contingent has given swim briefs a bad name. But why should fit, handsome men have to pay for their crime? There are some women out there who I believe should never wear skirts above the knees, because their legs are a horror show. Yet, you'd think me crazy to declare short skirts off-limits to good-looking, in-shape women simply because some pudgy-legged females dared to bare.

At my workplace, shorts recently became a banned item of clothing. Yet, men can wear 3/4 trousers. Have you ever seen a more ridiculous fashion item than 3/4 trousers? What's the point in wearing something that's not quite shorts but not quite pants either? And furthermore, does the management even realize where these 3/4 trousers originated? From that moronic "music" and "lifestyle" known as hip-hop. So, basically, our workplace is saying that a nice, crisp, respectable pair of khaki shorts, down to the knees, is not acceptable during the warm weather in our supposedly casual office, but some ridiculous claptrap from the "gold chains, no brains" world of rap is.

I remember when shorts down to the knees used to be considered conservative. Now men can't even show their whole calves anymore.

Who defends this sort of ridiculous fashion? It seems no matter how baggy and how long summer gear for men gets, there are always plenty of people who will defend it and declare it sexy. I don't know: I'm guessing society is just mad about ugly clothes on guys. It's the only explanation.

Why can't we simply admit that, as a society, we are severely prejudiced against the male form? That would at least be a laudable dose of refreshing honesty for once.

When I was at Discovery Cove, the specialist park set up by Sea World in Orlando, I saw a Latino guy wearing Speedos. This is a family-friendly destination as well, yet no one told him he couldn't wear his briefs. He was the only one there wearing them, it’s true — I'd opted for the wetsuit — but no one was telling him off for his preferred swim gear.

So, fuck you, Alton Towers. Your "bad taste" logic works both ways. You ban fashion freedom for men, I'll ban you from ever receiving any money that I earn.

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About Nightdragon

  • http://joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I thought women had it bad.

    3/4 trousers are virtually unseen in the US. Thank the Lord.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    In Israel, 3/4 trousers are very common, especially on boys or young men going to religious schools in the hot weather. It meets the standards for modest dress, and at the same time allows a little air on the skin.

    The beaches here are like the rest of the country – schizophrenic. Some are “religious” with separate bathing for men and women, with modest clothing for both – and some look like Club Med. It all depends on where you go here.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Joanne — Honestly, I didn’t notice a lot of 3/4 pants during my visits to the U.S. this year (Orlando in March, Boston in July), but I wasn’t really looking. I’m surprised they aren’t more common there, considering their source. They’re very common here in Britain, unfortunately. I’m glad you agree that they look dreadful.

    Ruvy — I’m sure 3/4 trousers are good during the hot weather in religious schools; it’s nice to know they serve some sort of purpose. But I see no reason for them in a secular setting. To be honest, I’d rather just wear full-length jeans, just as I do at work … I’m sure there’s loads of Club Med-type beaches in Tel Aviv, eh?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You apparently like dictators of fashion. Judging by who you feel should be wearing what. I’d probably be a little more gentle if you weren’t partaking in the same mentality by judging other people by their body types or whether they have the ‘right’ tan. You seem to approve of what the culture tells you is acceptable and it’s okay with you to speak unkindly and with no empathy whatsoever. So, I wish Zedd would come back and make fun of your picture again. Apparently you haven’t learned anything about making body judgments about others.

    Like I always say, some people have to be set on fire before they understand what hot feels like to someone else. May the flame that teaches you burn brightly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not going to get into that controversy, Cindy, but man’s fashions are really lagging behind what’s available for women. No doubt it’s got to do with which group spends more money for clothes.

    I tried to get some short lately for working out outdoors, and oftentimes I have to buy woman’s ware or go to a professional bike-shop to get anything decent looking.

    The 3/4 shorts are atrocious – totally desexualizing the male. But that’s my opinion.

  • zingzing

    “And furthermore, does the management even realize where these 3/4 trousers originated? From that moronic “music” and “lifestyle” known as hip-hop.”

    ha. that’s ridiculous. they’ve been around much longer than that. your understanding of history seems to be as limited as your appreciation of music.

  • zingzing

    and wearing your pants 3/4 is quite common in these parts. often times, there’s a bicycle nearby.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Note to whomever:

    Everything is always in style. Pick something you like and wear it. Be happy and free and please don’t judge yourself by what other people think. Who cares what a bunch of sheep, waiting for someone to tell them how to dress, think? Try not to be one of them. Try not to damage other people further by perceiving them as inadequate. Be as kind to them (to absolute strangers you’ll never meet) as you want people to be toward your own sensitivities.

    Like yourself. Make your own statement. That is what all those people you want to be like are pretending to do in commercials and advertisements. They’re ‘acting’ like they actually like themselves. That’s the real attraction. People want to copy people with self-esteem. We learn early to mistake this for looks, or conspicuous consumption, or power. It gets worse after that.

    Be yourself. You’re okay as you are. And so is everyone else.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Quoth zingzing: “[Y]our understanding of history seems to be as limited as your appreciation of music.”

    “Music,” zingzing? Spoken lyrics over an electronic drum track while using somebody else’s composition in the background, that you played no actual note of yourself, is not what I call music. Call it what it is: rap. To call it music is to be intellectually dishonest.

    Maybe 3/4 pants were around longer than I intimated, but I didn’t start seeing them until the mid-’90s, and then they really started to proliferate by the early 2000s. It’s like the phrase “credit crunch,” which was first coined in 1967. Yet, to most people, it will always be considered a late ’00s catchphrase.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Roger: “[M]an’s fashions are really lagging behind what’s available for women. The 3/4 shorts are atrocious – totally desexualizing the male.”

    BINGO! Spot on.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Cindy, I will completely ignore your rant in comment #4. You were angry, therefore you came off sounding immature.

    In comment #8, however, you actually seem to be saying something of substance, but I’m damned if I can figure out what any of it has to do with my assertion that the male form faces prejudice from all angles in our society and that, as Roger excellently pointed out, our fashion choices are sadly limited and inadequate when compared to what’s available to women.

    The fact is only women can be “happy and free” to wear whatever they please, including plenty of stuff from our wardrobes. If you’re a man who dares to wear anything other than loose shirts and baggy jeans, then God help you if you should perchance to run into the wrong crowd. Only if you had the fighting skills of Jet Li could you truly not care less about what people thought of your devil-may-care individualism. Most men are “sheep” because they’r forced to be; they are being put in their place.

    You can “like yourself” as much as you please, but that doesn’t explain why there’s such a disparity between women’s fashion and men’s … er, “fashion.”

    Furthermore, it’s rather tough to be pleased with who you are when you’re male and everywhere you turn, you’re being desexualized (as Roger also correctly pointed out). You women certainly wouldn’t like that, so why should we stand for it?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Mark. It also depends on what part of the country you’re in. I’ve never had any problem getting whatever when I lived in the Bay Area for over thirty years – I’m talking about Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, not to mention European fashions man’s in specialty stores. But it sure changes, and drastically, once you move out of the major metropolitan area to live in a hick town.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    True, Roger. But London ain’t a hick town. I could get whatever I wanted here. Doesn’t necessarily mean I’d buy it and wear it, though.

    I once wore a kilt to my wife’s cousin’s civil-union ceremony, and, not to be conceited, but I thought I looked great in it. I loved wearing that as much as I ever enjoyed wearing a form-fitting pair of Wranglers. But do you think I could wear that in any other setting, apart from the Scottish Highlands? I think not!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    Yes, I agree. Not the best way to come across*. I’m sorry.

    Let me address your point about prejudice against males, first. I agree. There is prejudice against males–male dress and male behavior too. I oppose it. I would be as outraged as you by the restrictions made by Alton Towers. I oppose to all restrictions people decide to place on others based their personal whims.

    *Please just note my response was largely a mirror of your own. See your–“Fuck you, Alton Towers”. It was a poorly designed attempt to make a parallel so you could see that this:

    “I do realize that the bald, ugly, beer-bellied, chicken-legged contingent has given swim briefs a bad name…”

    and this:

    “There are some women out there who I believe should never wear skirts above the knees, because their legs are a horror show. Yet, you’d think me crazy to declare short skirts off-limits to good-looking, in-shape women simply because some pudgy-legged females dared to bare.”

    are biased and derisive comments about others. They are from the same pool of thinking that created the bias against the men’s swim attire that you so oppose. You have biases (against looks) that come from the same well as those of the person/people who made the decision that forbids certain male attire at Alton Towers. Do you see why that is so?

    If you don’t think other people should make rules that decide what men look good in, why do you think it’s okay for you to uphold the social rules which dictate who looks good in what? Those rules are even more damaging to people than a stupid rule about what should be worn at a pool. Do you see how holding and promoting personal biases about other people’s bodies might hurt people even more than just denying them fashion choices?

    Can you see that if you want to change the world, you have to change yourself?–your own attitudes. You don’t have to be a samurai to do this. You have to have a conviction. You have to believe in what you think is right. That is what gives you the confidence to oppose that status quo. You also probably (if you are like me) have to have support from other people.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “But do you think I could wear that in any other setting, apart from the Scottish Highlands? I think not!”

    The ultimately most attractive man, is one who is confident in himself. There is something irresistible about a man who likes himself enough to be confident and unconcerned about what others think, whilst opposing the status quo.

    This is very rare. In words you might understand better, there is a great market demand among women for men like this.

  • zingzing

    mark: “”Music,” zingzing? Spoken lyrics over an electronic drum track while using somebody else’s composition in the background, that you played no actual note of yourself, is not what I call music. Call it what it is: rap. To call it music is to be intellectually dishonest.”

    horseshit. rap has all the qualities of music, except you don’t like it, therefore it’s not music, eh? and if sampling is somehow a crime, then hundreds of songs that you probably do like (but don’t know are based on samples,) aren’t music either. if the above is your definition of hip hop, you haven’t listened to enough of it to form any real opinion.

    #1, it isn’t “spoken.” it’s rapped. there are musical rhythms, rests and plenty of melodic elements within it. if it’s spoken, do you think that george bush could do it?

    #2, manipulation of sound is just as “musical” an endeavor as plucking a guitar string. otherwise, you are negating all sorts of technical and formal breakthroughs of 20th century music, such as certain strands of minimalism, electronic and tape musics. then there’s the whole plunderphonics thing to deal with.

    #3, there are rap records with hundreds of samples on them. public enemy famously used countless james brown samples (and ONLY james brown samples) on one of its tracks, but they are so cut up, processed and reorganized that i doubt you could name which songs they came from. james brown most certainly didn’t write the end product. and it sounds nothing like a james brown song other than the “uh!” you hear now and again.

    #4, plenty of hip hop is played on live instruments, and most hip hop these days is a mixture of samples and live instrumentation.

    if anything is “intellectually dishonest,” it’s judging something you clearly haven’t even given a chance. i assure you, however, that it IS music. (you should study up on some john cage.)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I have a pair of 3/4 trousers (if I were a woman they’d be called capris!) which I bought in Australia and love. I don’t do shorts, so I wear them all the time in the summer here in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where typical daytime temperatures make the surface of the sun look like January in Chicago.

    My American wife made me get rid of my Speedos when I moved to America. Back in Britain, though, for as long as I can remember, every male wore them (inexplicably, considering the climate) to the beach and the public swimming pool. I haven’t been home during the summer in eight years, but I dare say American-style board shorts are now taking over.

    Dress code logic baffles me often. Men can walk around bare-chested in situations which would land a woman in a jail cell if she tried it. Women have extensively more freedom of clothing choice than men in most office environments. There are clubs where a man won’t get through the door unless he’s been dressed by Prince Charles’s personal tailor, while the woman behind him gets waved in wearing what appears to be a pair of small handkerchiefs.

    Then again, nobody said the world had to make sense. Especially when it’s run by humans.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, bring ’em on, then, Cindy, because I meet all the requirements – namely I don’t give a shit.

    But I do want to look sexy, at least in my own eyes, while I still can.

    You’ve got my email, so I expect an avalanche of throbbing, salivating females.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    One reason, of course, for this divergence between male and female fashion has to do with the notion of sex and the packaging: It’s a woman’s weapon, her chief asset, whereas when in comes to a man, American rendition, other things were supposed to define it – such as money or power.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Okay Roger. If I meet any throbbing salivating females, I will e-mail them directly to Kentucky.

    :-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    19

    Yes Roger, I agree, that is exactly how things work in a relatively free society that is still based on domination. Women–as property were to be attractive to their dominators. Men–to be dominators–would have to accumulate that which would allow them to dominate. This is an ill-advised way of living. It causes innumerable problems. It is one of the very many bad results of domination mentality.

    When you have an entire culture of people who are trained early on to base their self-worth on image, you end up with neurosis as the ‘normal’ way of being. That is the mildest of the ailments that result–others are not so mild.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Dr. D: Speedos were common once even in puritanical America, but were given the boot around the early ’80s. I was pleasantly surprised to see how popular they still were in Britain when I first arrived here a decade ago. But you’re right, the dork shorts are now taking over. Primark (or was it Peacocks?) used to sell cheap swim briefs every summer, and I’d load up on them. Now their swimwear is all that board-shorts crap. But, nevertheless, I still feel comfortable enough to go to a pool or beach in my Speedos here (as it stands now, but we’ll review the situation in another five years …).

    Your point about the bare-chestedness is a good one. I walked around bare-chested once — when I was 14, because I thought it was “bad-ass” and “cool.” I never did it again. I found that shirts are a good thing. (Walking around bare-chested and swilling a can of beer … now that’s something I never saw/see in the U.S., outside of a bikers’ convention. Makes me chuckle when Brits do it, as they so often do.)

    Alas, the world is run by humans — much to every other living Earthly creature’s misfortune — so you are indeed correct when you say that not much will ever make sense while this is the case.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Cindy, maybe this can be classified as typical neurotic behavior, I don’t know — I’ll let you be the judge of that — but I do like to be thought of as “normal.” When asked about me, I wouldn’t mind at all if someone said, “Manning? What about him? He’s just a guy.” Just a guy. Nothing to single me out with.

    Start expressing a bit of individualism and that non-descriptiveness expires. You are then going to be defined by whatever unusual look you start sporting, and that’s not for me. That’s not the sort of attention I want.

    I like myself — yes, I hear my detractors asking “why?” — but I like myself as the average, run-of-the-mill guy that I wish others to view me as.

    I just wish normal, average and run-of-the-mill for men wasn’t so damn drab and boring.

    (And I’m not concerned about the “market of women” just waiting to pounce on the “proud individualist,” as I’m already happily married.)

  • STM

    Mark, seriously, mate, budgie-smugglers should be banned worldwide not just at that joint.

    Little swim briefs are an affront to everything decent in the world – especially (Eek. I hate even imagining it) in the UK as the Poms have no idea of beach fashion at all.

    Nothing worse than old fat blokes with their guts hanging out and their arses jiggling around at the bottom of a pair of smugglers.

    Even the so-called “Euro-smuggler”, which Daniel Craig wore in James Bond, while offering slightly more in the fashion sense, are a disgrace on the wrong bod.

    Let’s face it mate, they only look good on Bondi Beach lifesavers and British super spies.

    However, since Speedos are a national icon down here in the Great Southern Land (well, they were before they were sold off to Americans), old fat surfer dudes like me have found an excellent use for them:

    Wear them under boardshorts or a wetsuit to stop your nuts getting twisted in the surf. They are quick drying (better than your standard undies and no dramas from the wife when you come with yer Y-fronts starched by sun and salt water) and the old Aussie-designed ones had an open lining so you could empty the sand out after getting smashed. (It helps having a beach culture when it comes to swimsuit design.)

    They also mean you don’t have to wrap a towel around yourself while you take your boardies off.

    Simply, we’ve learned through bitter experience that you just can’t freeball in the ocean. Mother Nature has some wicked ways of taking her revenge.

    Oooh, geez, I can feel the pain just thinking about it …

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Stan,

    For me, it is, as Roger said, a case of wanting to look sexy (at least in my own eyes) while I still can. I’m not fat, nor am I old, even though I turn 40 in November.

    I do enjoy the term “budgie-smugglers” though. You Aussies have a unique sense of humor.

    I think Speedos look good on fit guys. OK, granted, perhaps my bisexuality has something to do with me feeling that way.

    But, I repeat, if Alton Towers had demanded shorts for women as well, I’d have had nothing to say about this. In fact, I’d have respected them for it. It’s the one-sidedness of the ban that has me so p.o.’d.

    As you can tell, I bristle at being told what I can wear and what I can’t. But, for the sake of fitting in and rising to people’s expectations of me, I’m nonetheless pretty obedient.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    What do you make of the flow of fashion freedom here?

    Tiny, Tight, Humiliating: Speedos Are de Rigueur in France

    Mortified visitors can’t believe it when continental pools insist that men wear tiny, tight Speedo swimsuits, writes Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian. An Irish journalist was recently hauled out of a French pool and could only return in an “unbelievably skimpy” pair of Speedo trunks that were “bloody uncomfortable for me and anyone who had to look at them,” he grumbled. Why the insistence on the booty-hugging briefs? Hygiene.

    The French find American baggy swimming trunks as disgusting as many US men find Speedos. “I accept that some men feel very ill at ease wearing small trunks,” said a Paris pool director. “But bigger swimming shorts can be worn elsewhere all day, so could bring in sand, dust or other matter, disturbing water quality.”

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Cindy, while I believe the French have always had a lot more taste in male swimming gear than most English-speaking countries, I believe they’re being a bit jack-booted in this instance. What I would like is for anyone to wear what they please in a beach or pool setting. I won’t look cross-eyed at the guy in board shorts if he won’t look cross-eyed at me in Speedos: that’s the sort of understanding I want. I don’t want to force men into tight swim briefs — I just want them to have the freedom to wear them if that’s what they like.

    Besides, I see no reason why Speedos have got to be tiny and tight. They can be a bit roomy and cover a bit more rear-end space and still look good and be adequate for swimming purposes.

  • zingzing

    listening to much hip hop these days, mark?

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Sorry, zingzing, I’m afraid to report that I haven’t. I prefer indie rock and piano jazz, and a little classical music thrown in for good measure. Rap has no place in my music collection.

    Besides, I think there’s nothing more ridiculous than some 39-year-old white-boy conservative listening to something that’s clearly aimed for young liberals — like yourself.

  • zingzing

    too bad. music isn’t a political or age-based thing. there’s always more to listen to. music will keep growing and changing, no matter if you decide to leave it behind or not. keeping up with it takes very little time. keep your mind open and you’ll have great fun with it.

    rap was the driving force behind the technological developments of the late 80s and early 90s, even if these days it has fallen on a bit of hard times. the energy that fueled it has become a bit dissipated over the last decade. even it’s biggest backers will admit that it’s been watered down as/because of it has become a dominant force in pop music.

    i was at a beach house/grizzly bear concert in brooklyn last weekend, and apparently jay-z showed up with beyonce and her sister. he said that indie rock is going places that it never did before rap showed up, and he’s right. he said that rap should learn a thing or two from indie rock, as indie rock learned plenty from rap.

    to prove his point, there have been several albums made recently of rappers rapping over rock beats, like the grey album (which takes its beats from the beatles’ white album, it’s raps from jay-z’s black album) and jaydiohead (which is jay-z over radiohead beats). that may be a good ticket in for you. i swear, you’re ignoring an entire art form.

    but still, the best rap is the “golden era” stuff, when rap first moved away from the pop world and created its own thing. anything labeled a “classic” of rap from 1988 ought to do you. it was the 1967 of rap. shit just blew up.

    and there’s nothing ridiculous about learning to love something new. it just takes getting over your conservatism. and, as i stated earlier, conservatism, in the political sense, has nothing to do with music. otherwise, you’d be listening to polka. that said, i was at a restaurant tonight that featured an old-timey new orleans-style jazz combo, and they kicked my ass. so amazing.

    music has no age, race or politics. it just is what it is. and variety is the spice of cliches.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Zingzing, I appreciate the passion you’re showing here — it’s admirable — and I thank you for the education you’re trying to impart to me, but I’m an old dog who doesn’t really take to new tricks.

    I don’t even listen to much rock beyond the year 2000. Smashmouth is really the only contemporary rock band I take any interest in. You might say that I’m stuck in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, but that’s OK with me. I know what I like and I stick with it.

    I have to disagree about music not being political, a lot of rap and rock is just that. I try to avoid that stuff. I like my music without any overt or even covert preaching. For instance, Steely Dan are considerably to the Left, but their lyrics are so dense you’d have a hard time working that out. I like that.

    Anyway, I’ll stick to what I know and I’ll remain quite happy with it. It’s just the sort of guy I am. Thank you anyway.

  • zingzing

    oi… smashmouth? you are hopeless… i’m sorry! there’s nothing i can do to help. i’m so sorry. [closes his eyes, walks out the door, shutting the door on his way out.]

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    LOL. Well, you’ve made your feelings clear there, zing. But it’s true, I think Smashmouth is awesome.

    Look, Zing, if it makes you feel any better, I will admit to something: I bought Len’s You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush, described by some critics as “pop for the hip-hop generation,” when it first came out in 2000. I loved the song “Steal My Sunshine.” The following song on the album, “Cryptik Souls Crew” is pure rap … and I liked it. I found it interesting the way those guys worked hip-hop into their pop rock.

    And, when I was in my early 20s and quite a fair bit more liberal, I — like most young white guys — dabbled a bit in rap, listening to NWA and Ice-T. But then I found myself in my late 20s, grew considerably more conservative and outgrew it. I went back to the music I originally loved: rock from the ’60s through the ’80s, piano jazz, and classical. I just don’t get bored with any of it, so it’s what I’m content to stick to.

  • zingzing

    i actually like “steal my sunshine.” it’s a nice pop song with a solid rhythmic hook. nothing to write home about, but when i ran across the original song where the sample came from, i had nothing but good memories of it.

    the thing with nwa and ice-t is that they’re both gangsta rap. while the genre (or sub-genre, i suppose) had it’s formal breakthroughs, it was also tied to a very angry lyric. that, i can see, is easy to outgrow. it’s like the goth of the rap world. still, i listen to rap more for the production that the lyrical content. how a rapper flows is also far more important to me than what he’s actually saying.

    but rap is a huge genre with tons of sub-genres. underground rap offers a huge amount of choice, often dictated by labels, which have a consistent sound. listening to only mainstream rap lends itself to a metaphor of sorts. bear with me here. i know you live in england, so i’ll make it apt… say you’re going out for some indian food. in england (this would be the mainstream), you probably have a couple of choices, the northern or the southern styles of indian food. but if you go to india (and this would be the underground of rap) to sample the cuisine, you would notice hundreds of different regional styles. the choice of indian food in india is vast compared to the choices you find in england. rap is much the same. if you stick to what happens in the top-40, you get a watered-down flavor. if you go to where the stuff comes from, you’ll find so much more.

    there’s nothing to stop you from being a musical conservative. the more stuff you expose yourself to, the richer your experience. i can’t think of a single argument that would go against that. i intend on living a life rich in experience, because i only have one life. i note that you uprooted yourself from wherever you came from and moved thousands of miles away to a comparable, but very different culture. that certainly wasn’t the most conservative move you could make, and i’d bet that you don’t regret it for one moment. make other decisions in your life like that, and i doubt you’ll regret them either.

  • zingzing

    “there’s nothing to stop you from NOT being a musical conservative.”

    sorry.

  • Warren O’Leary

    My sentiments exactly; anti-male bias in fashion for over fifty years ! Males unite for fashion freedom within historical/traditional menswear fashion. Males don’t want transvestite/ cross-dressing freedom that females demand and get.