peculiar dress habits of old white men

Old white men meeting to discuss US intelligence “failures” on Iraq weapons — notice the uniformity of dark suits? Ah, but look at the rainbow of ties! Peeking out beneath the boring suits are a springtime explosion of color, patterns — perhaps even delirious textures. These men crave to express their individuality but are bound by convention, and, perhaps, a fear of their own exuberant natures. But they can’t resist the call of fashion forever — look, some of them have begun to don modest little brooches, hoping the small size will render them unnoticed but unable to resist the lure of jewelry. We can’t see their socks or boxers — indeed I’m happy not to — but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some silk or fun colors there. What these boys need is liberation — a gay liberation!

Now look at these old white men meeting to discuss, well, gay liberation. Again, virtually all in somber hues. But their inner fashionista peeks out through their shiny gold brocade, frankly gaudy jewelry, and funny hats — one even in pink! Personally, I think these boys would do better to look to their own selves instead of plucking motes out of the eyes of their local glbt community. Some of these boys are definitely wearing dresses, which is covered by Deut. 22:5, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” I hope they’re watching out for those blended fabrics, too — those’ll get you in trouble.[1] [Bible, Revised Standard, from the University of Virginia Library, Electronic Text Center])

photo credits: bottom, European Pressphoto Agency, published in NYT 3/31, Laurie Goodstein and Greg Myre, “Clerics Fighting a Gay Festival for Jerusalem” [caption: “Religious leaders met on Wednesday in Jerusalem in a united protest against a gay pride festival planned there in August. From left: Sheik Abed es- Salem Menasra, deputy mufti of Jerusalem; the Rev. Michel Sabbagh, the Latin patriarch; the Rev. Aris Shirvanian, the Armenian patriarch; Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi; and Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi. The man at right was not identified.”]

top, Brendan Smialowsky/Agence France-Press — Getty Images, published in NYT 3/31, David Stout, “Report Calls U.S. Intelligence ‘Dead Wrong’ on Iraq Weapons” [caption: “At a meeting this morning, President Bush was flanked by the men who led the commission. To his left was Charles S. Robb; to his right was Laurence H. Silberman.”]

1. I’ve been reminded that some folks do observe the traditional injunctions against various mixed fabrics. Them, I’ll cut some slack (no pun intended) for being consistent, although, of course, still reserving the right to critique their behavior (and fashion sense) as I please on other grounds. But I truly don’t ever want to hear another self-proclaimed Biblical literalist / conservative quoting anti-man-lying-with-another-man scripture unless they cut out the blended fabrics, drop dollars in favor of shekels, and go back and figure out what it would mean to actually consistently follow Deut., Leviticus, etc. — LQ 4/28