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Random fashion thoughts - Page 6282

post #94216 of 99761

Freedom is to be indifferent to life itself?

Sorry, that's not really my MO. I think about it more in terms of social fabric or financial shakes.

 

I think we got on the travel plan tangent as a poster brought it up. I do think that the idea of being able to up and leave as 'freedom' is probably a relatively western concept. Although, I'm sure the concept of wanderlust has existed in japanese writing/philosophy as well.

 

I think this becomes even more interesting if you talk about 'physical' freedom, i.e. ability to choose where you are/go whenever you wish, and so called 'mental' freedom to think what you want whenever you want. I suppose we have the latter freedom, but work/etc often detract from it because exercising that freedom would lead to a loss elsewhere. Not really sure if that takes away from it being a freedom or being a choice at that point.

post #94217 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post

You cannot have one (saved wealth) without the other (servitude and sacrifices).    There are exceptions, of course.   

Money is money.  Freedom is freedom.  I think most people with life experience would tell you that they're more often than not poorly correlated.

The problematic of money is that, inherit, steal it, get it as salary or in a capitalist role, it is never just money but sign of our belonging in certain social spaces which determines what is possible and within that very reduced amount of choice, what we can perceive as possible. In this sense money does not give us space to manoeuver, it just part of what places us somewhere on a social chessboard.
post #94218 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post

Freedom is to be indifferent to life itself?


Sorry, that's not really my MO. I think about it more in terms of social fabric or financial shakes.

I think we got on the travel plan tangent as a poster brought it up. I do think that the idea of being able to up and leave as 'freedom' is probably a relatively western concept. Although, I'm sure the concept of wanderlust has existed in japanese writing/philosophy as well.

I think this becomes even more interesting if you talk about 'physical' freedom, i.e. ability to choose where you are/go whenever you wish, and so called 'mental' freedom to think what you want whenever you want. I suppose we have the latter freedom, but work/etc often detract from it because exercising that freedom would lead to a loss elsewhere. Not really sure if that takes away from it being a freedom or being a choice at that point.

I merely offered one of the multitude of definition of freedom, the takeaway point should be that there are many, they are often contradictory (Nietzsche himself offered more than one) and they are related to the system developped by a specfic thinker, they cannot be seen in isolation from that system, making our discussion sorta pointless.
post #94219 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post


The problematic of money is that, inherit, steal it, get it as salary or in a capitalist role, it is never just money but sign of our belonging in certain social spaces which determines what is possible and within that very reduced amount of choice, what we can perceive as possible. In this sense money does not give us space to manoeuver, it just part of what places us somewhere on a social chessboard.

 

There are a few people who are quite wealthy, who settle into the countryside to live simply during retirement never flaunting their wealth. Upon their death, their will often donates quite a large amount of their estate/money to charity and whatnot and their neighbors/family are shocked to hear that they were rich.

 

That sounds like freedom from expectation to act as one 'should' given their means, no?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post


I merely offered one of the multitude of definition of freedom, the takeaway point should be that there are many, they are often contradictory (Nietzsche himself offered more than one) and they are related to the system developped by a specfic thinker, they cannot be seen in isolation from that system, making our discussion sorta pointless.


I did not intend to say that you were wrong! Sorry if that's how it came across.

 

I definitely think in terms of systems for this kind of thing, which is why I mentioned social fabric, i.e. the weave of commitments, expectations, desires, etc.

post #94220 of 99761
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post #94221 of 99761
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post #94222 of 99761

"Sometimes the clothes do not make the man." - G. Michael, Freedom '90

post #94223 of 99761

"All the other kids with the pumped up kicks."

post #94224 of 99761
"It's gotta be the shoes." - Spike Lee
post #94225 of 99761
Also... Fuuma?

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post #94226 of 99761
Some interesting responses so far. (And @KingJulien, I don't at all mind the diversions, which are interesting in themselves.

I just wanted to say a couple of things quickly, then will respond in more depth when I get some more time tonight (currently on the road).

@gettoasty I hope you know that I would never presume to tell you what's real and what's not, especially given your unique relationship to reality smile.gif

I also wanted to clarify-- in case it wasn't clear from my initial post-- that I was not advocating the contrasts I was discussing, especially in their stark form. I think the truth is more complicated than they suggest. I do think, however,that there are important issues in the vicinity of those contrasts, and I was curious if others felt similarly. So far, I get the impression that the answer is, with some exceptions, "basically no".

@conceptual 4est hey, I'm all for wearing dope shit. It's just that I think it's also interesting and worthwhile to think about what's behind our interest in wearing dope shit, and about how that interest fits into our more general efforts to...er...be dope people.
post #94227 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface View Post
@conceptual 4est hey, I'm all for wearing dope shit. It's just that I think it's also interesting and worthwhile to think about what's behind our interest in wearing dope shit, and about how that interest fits into our more general efforts to...er...be dope people.

 

Yeah, I realized afterward that my post probably seemed very dismissive.  I do think it's a valid sentiment though, or at least school of thought with regards to the clothes we love. I also think it's worthwhile (and fun) to chat about the points you bring up though.  I started writing something up but I'm saving bits and pieces of it for a later post that you guys might see.

post #94228 of 99761

I think it's part of human nature to be interested in clothing in one way or another (aesthetically, functionally, etc).  We don't have fur; we don't have bright plumage; we have evolved to need clothing to fill the functional roles that other animals posses physical attributes for.  The headdress worn by a tribesman on the African savannah, the sweatsuit worn by a coal miner in his off hours, and some "dope ass jawnz" are all serving similar roles in that they're physical manifestations as necessitated by our environment.  Since we inhabit different environments, both natural and built, the form and function of our clothes might differ, but the fundamental basis for having and needing clothing is a shared human characteristic.  So if you look at clothing as an element of human evolution, wearing dope shit is the equivalent of an individual determining their own evolutionary path.  Moreover by supporting the creation of dope shit you're also playing a small role in the general evolution of people in your environment. Like finches in the Galapagos. 

 

The ethics of fashion are related, but with an abundance of variables that you'd have to take in to account if you based your ethics on a cost/benefit analysis. Fashion is an industry, so buy clothes supports the jobs and people within said industry. Benefit. Experts/craftsmen/artisans/insert-other-skilled-title-here generally have a role in the creation of dope jawnz, so your purchase supports both the profession in the present and for posterity. Benefit. But you could get a leather jacket for $50 from Walmart and use the saved money to build a school in Africa. Cost. But if you buy the $50 jacket from Walmart you just blinded some child working in a tannery in Kuala Lampur because they got tannin splashed in their eye. Cost. But dangerous and underpaid factory jobs are the only reason that family has enough income to sustain themselves. Benefit? And so on.  The ethics of it come down to how much an individual considers the variable and the weight put on each.

 

But to succinctly answer the question, I don't feel it's an entirely worthless pursuit for both the usual egotistic reasons (you feel good when you're dressed well) as well as the "philosophy" described in paragraph one.  And I avoid it becoming an ethical dilemma by only buying dope jawnz secondhand, thus literally cutting costs without losing any perceived benefits.

 

Don thy dopest vestments for the glory of mankind.

post #94229 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface View Post

i thought i'd follow up on my part of the most recent wisfw post with some further thoughts about self-presentation and ambivalence about (caring about) style. i'd be genuinely curious to hear others' thoughts on the subject.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
i assume that for most of us on this forum, our interest in clothing is one aspect of a broader of interest in aesthetics and design. but while it's pretty easy to recognize and applaud the value of the latter, general interest-- after all, for those with a particular sensibility, it's a large part of what makes life worth living-- the worth of the former, specific interest is more fraught. i take it that's largely because having a serious interest in how one dresses pulls one deep into the realms of self-presentation, while admiring the beauty of a painting or the graceful geometry of a mountain (or the sleekness of one's macbook, or whatever) paradigmatically involves focusing on the object itself, rather than on oneself. (the same point holds even if we think about aesthetics in terms of how the subject perceives and interprets the object in question, as opposed to positing some intrinsic aesthetic quality in the object, e.g., beauty, harmony, etc.).

so, this is the first strike against taking an interest in one's personal style of dress: it involves focusing on oneself. and this is supposed to be troubling because that focus may easily manifest as a kind of narcissism. but things get even worse. caring about how one dresses does not primarily concern being a certain way, but rather concerns appearing to others in a certain way. this distinction is tied to the kinds of ethically-significant contrasts that have long troubled reflective people. some of these contrasts: inner vs. outer, reality vs. mere opinion or mere appearance, what is deep vs. what is superficial, and so on. while we may be tempted to chalk these contrasts up to a kind of puritan squeamishness, they occur over and over in a wide variety of philosophical and religious traditions.

in any case, one might worry that focusing on mere appearance not only amounts to spending time and energy on a pursuit that is basically worthless--thereby wasting time that could be better spent on something actually worthwhile-- but that doing so is also positively damaging, since it corrupts one's ethical sensibility. for instance, here is pascal: "we labor incessantly to embellish and preserve our imaginary being, and neglect the real one." and again, "we are not content with the life we have in ourselves and with our own existence; we wish to live an imaginary life in the thought of others, and we consequently force ourselves to appear."

now, i think this is very ripe territory, and that it touches on some of the most fundamental (and sometimes, uncomfortable) aspects of what makes us human. my question for you all is this: to what extent do you feel the pull of these ethical considerations when reflecting on the role that your interests in clothing and personal style play in your life? do you have other values that you find it difficult to reconcile with (the extent of) your interests in clothing, or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, do you find these interests wholly unproblematic on reflection?

Queasiness over vanity contributes to how interest in clothing is perceived, but I think a lot of it also has to do with projection of social class and status. With the rise of the middle class over the last two hundred years or so, it has become less and less acceptable for wealthy people to flaunt their wealth and/or assert some kind of sovereignty of nature over less wealthy people. Wearing expensive clothes, even if you appreciate them for their aesthetic value rather than the social signals they send, signals to others that you are wealthy. But "others" need not include everyone. Much of the churning cycle of fashion has to do, in my view, with to whom exactly you can signal either your "coolness" or your money or both. You can appreciate the beauty of a painting or a mountain without owning one, and that appreciation does not come with implicit support of a social structure. Hardy Amies said that wearing a suit and tie is a necessary and sufficient condition for supporting primogeniture. That's taking it a little far, but he has a point.

Regarding Pascal's "imaginary" and "real" existence, I think it's a false dichotomy. Or at least, if you think you've found your one true self, you're a far more enlightened being than I will ever be. The stories and characters that have had the most profound effect on me at various points in my life - Midsummer Night's Dream, The Count of Monte Cristo, Batman - are concerned with the malleability of identity. How our fantasies interact with our realities, in which one we are most ourselves, which is more fulfilling, if one can become the other, or if there's any way to tell them apart at all. Clothes represent one way that you can bend your identity, or a cue to yourself to inhabit a particular role. One you give up the idea of a core true self that your clothing hides, you can think of clothing as a reagent in this process rather than an inhibitor.
post #94230 of 99761
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Queasiness over vanity contributes to how interest in clothing is perceived, but I think a lot of it also has to do with projection of social class and status. With the rise of the middle class over the last two hundred years or so, it has become less and less acceptable for wealthy people to flaunt their wealth and/or assert some kind of sovereignty of nature over less wealthy people. Wearing expensive clothes, even if you appreciate them for their aesthetic value rather than the social signals they send, signals to others that you are wealthy. But "others" need not include everyone. Much of the churning cycle of fashion has to do, in my view, with to whom exactly you can signal either your "coolness" or your money or both. You can appreciate the beauty of a painting or a mountain without owning one, and that appreciation does not come with implicit support of a social structure. Hardy Amies said that wearing a suit and tie is a necessary and sufficient condition for supporting primogeniture. That's taking it a little far, but he has a point.

Regarding Pascal's "imaginary" and "real" existence, I think it's a false dichotomy. Or at least, if you think you've found your one true self, you're a far more enlightened being than I will ever be. The stories and characters that have had the most profound effect on me at various points in my life - Midsummer Night's Dream, The Count of Monte Cristo, Batman - are concerned with the malleability of identity. How our fantasies interact with our realities, in which one we are most ourselves, which is more fulfilling, if one can become the other, or if there's any way to tell them apart at all. Clothes represent one way that you can bend your identity, or a cue to yourself to inhabit a particular role. One you give up the idea of a core true self that your clothing hides, you can think of clothing as a reagent in this process rather than an inhibitor.

 

 

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. (Vonnegut)

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