Monday, May 15, 2017

"Standing Out a Mile" on Music Monday

Songwriters Jimmy van Heusen and Sammy Cahn once wrote a ditty declaring:

You've either got or you haven't got style
If you got it, you stand out a mile
A flower's not a flower if it's wilted
A hat's not a hat till it's tilted
You either got or you haven't got class
How it draws the applause of the masses.....

Years ago, before Huffington Post, now known as HUFFPOST, became quite as objectionable as it currently is, in their "Living Now" section, I came across a piece written by Lesley M. M. Blume : The Art of Standing Apart. The piece been updated somewhat since I first read it, by the way.

Ms Blume considered that trendiness and style, though related, are not the same thing, and that trendiness is the "insidious enemy of individuality". Ms Blume appeared to consider that all who display individuality also attain style. A dubious premise in my view. 15 suggestions are offered to readers, to help them from falling into a trendy trap, instead becoming stylish individuals. "And I mean trendiness (in) all aspects of our lives: in our dressing, our thinking, our topics of conversation. All of these things conspire to drown us in a sea of same-iness." Whether the article was meant to be ironic, tongue-in-cheek, serious, or a mixure of all three, I'm unsure. We don't all live in a metropolitan, New York or LA bubble and I suspect she wrote with that kind of readership in mind.

As a Sun Aquarian I had to burst into peels of laughter on reading the piece, and that's no bad thing in itself. For most Sun Aquarians individualism comes as stock-in-trade. Different? You bet! Stylish? Highly doubtful. Stylishness belongs to the bourgeoisie, not to the avant garde.

Personally, I'm long past any days of longing to stand out, the time is just around the corner when I'll need to concentrate not on standing out but on standing up!

Anyway, take a gander below at Ms Blume's suggestions on how not to be trendy but how to be individualistic and stylish. I have added a few comments in blue. I apologise to Ms Blume, and thank her for a chance to flex my blogging muscle with a wry chuckle.

1. Find an amazing tailor and have him/her construct you a custom-made wardrobe.
Amazing tailor - are you kidding - in deepest Oklahoma? Trailers (and tractors) they can do, amazing tailors? Not so much.

2. Have an interesting, beautiful calling card made. Calling cards? We're still in 19th century then?

3. Develop an interesting, lively vocabulary.
OK.  How about stellium, quincunx, decanates, duads, midpoints...oh, and sesquiquadrate? Betcha can't say that after 3 martinis.

4. Don't talk excessively about yourself at parties and such. Parties? Such?

5. Give unusual gifts. Patent tractor cleaning gadgets and good chewing tobacco?

6. Concern yourself with the art of conversation. You say conversation, I say conservation...let's call the whole thing off!

7. Concern yourself with the art of listening. Huh?

8. Wear a daring hat. Like this one that the husband has been known to sport when temperatures dive? Not daring enough? Try coming near me with a dead animal on yer head !

9. Vow not to hold a clichéd event, ever. I am particularly referring to bridal showers and bachelorette parties.
I vow, I vow! But - funerals - how to do the stylish version?

10. Make eye contact. Poke 'em in the eye?

11. Once in a while, sit alone in a restaurant. Husband would frown on it, in case I attracted flies.

12. Jolt your wardrobe with an amazing period piece. A period piece like the husband himself?

13. Read National Geographic Magazine. I know that this sounds a tad far-fetched, but you'll be instantly fascinating afterwards. This goes along with being an artful conversationalist. You will become an expert in narwhal activities and barracuda habits, and this new expertise will most certainly set you apart. Plus, it's so divinely Wes-Anderson-ish. We knew that!

14.Be unjaded.Easy! Green doesn't suit me anyway.

15. Don't be afraid to make a bold statement.  
This is a lot of pretentious you-know-what. Bold enough?

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