Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Friday, October 17, 2014

No Words Necessary

This is why some Geezers tolerate Minnesota winters. A selection of photos from a short hike yesterday at Afton State Park, overlooking the St. Croix River, 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Geezer History of the Hipster Style

In October of 1993, a young art director named Jakobb Whitaker, who worked at a downtown Manhattan ad agency, overslept his alarm after a night of drinking designer cocktails at a trendy Village club.  Running far too late that morning to shower, shave and go through the normal workday niceties, Jakobb cursed his bad luck, grabbed the first clean clothes he could find—which happened to be a pair of slacks and a suit jacket belonging to his room-mate and brother, Mozes Whitaker.

The garments Jakobb donned that morning were both too short in the legs and arms, and too tight for him, but he was frankly too hung-over to care. He was also too drunk to realize that he was also sporting a two-day growth of stubble beard and hair that poked up in irrational tufts of stubble from his head. He didn't even realize that he had left the shirt-tails of his brother's dress-shirt hanging loose under the too-tight suit jacket. He grabbed sunglasses only because he wanted no one to see his horribly blood-shot eyes.

It was a highly uncharacteristic sartorial state for Jakobb, but he was too tired and irritable to care, really, and this irritability fueled the mildly defiant attitude with which he arrived at the ad agency—which by the way, was the same ad agency that famously created the Lamisil toenail fungus ad campaign. As a result of his irritability,  he evinced no embarrassment or apology that morning for his disheveled appearance in a professional setting, and acted for all the world like this haphazardness was some sort of intentional style statement, not an unprofessional manifestation of carry-over drunkenness.

Good grief. Either shave, or grow a real beard. 
The rest is unfortunate history—and one reason why third-world nations hate America. The pampered young professionals at Jakobb's office, who had endured no real struggle in their lives, and harbored no goals of genuine substance, quickly seized on Jakobb's appearance as something to emulate, and by the end of the week all the young male workers under the age of 40 looked like cloned versions of Jakobb, and were already pushing the boundaries of slovenliness by adding denim jackets that had been artificially aged, and wearing knit Jamaican caps indoors.

With the terrifying swiftness of an insidious airborne virus, all of Manhattan fell next, then the entire eastern seaboard. The virus then took a quantum jump to the west coast, carried via 30 year old stock broker traveling first class on United Airlines, where it quickly raced up and down the Pacific coast. In its west coast mutation, hipsterism began to present with bright yellow and green slacks, and purple and red shawls wrapped around the neck like scarves. It was here, too—specifically on the beach communities—that young men began wearing their ball caps backwards on their heads.  In the northern coastal regions, from San Francisco northward, there was an explosion of purchases of JD Salinger's novel, Catcher in the Rye. Ironically, the hipsters seemed to completely miss the way the novel first person narrator, Holden Caulfield's, scathingly indicts cultural phonies.

Last to be infected was America's major heartland cities of Chicago, Minneapolis, and Fargo, ND, but fall they did, and in shockingly quick fashion. However, no new creativeness was brought to the hipster malaise here; mere emulation was all the midwesterners could muster. It was the first sign that the virulence of hipsterism might one day soften; under the stoic Midwestern genetic makeup, hipster mutation began to wane.

A mere 12 months after Jakobb Whitaker's ill-advised  preparation for work one morning, more than 90% of young male professionals in America no longer knew how to shave closely, how to choose clothes that fit, or how to tuck in their shirt tails. Most had even forgotten how to use a comb. Chronic hipterism is now nearly 20 years old in America.

Like all viruses, there are signs that hipsterism is beginning to run its course. Yesterday, the repairman who arrived to work on our  office copy machines, a fellow at least 50 years old, was wearing full hipster regalia—a sight which highlighted the fashion absurdity in no uncertain terms. The young hipster men in our office could be seen gathered outside the copy room, worriedly conferring and gesturing to the poor chronic middle-aged victim a few feet away.

The very next day, one young art director arrived at the office with his shirt-tails tucked in. It is too early to tell if this indicates natural immunity is at last developing, but it is to be hoped that the Midwest, last to be infected, will be the first to recover from hipsterism.