e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


another unfocused post

Nicole got me tickets to see Neil Young (opening act, Wilco) in December. Great birthday present, and I know it's mere coincidence that a) one of Young's signature songs is called "Old Man," and b) the tickets were a gift commemorating the fact that I'm halfway to 70. The only other time I saw Neil Young perform, I was 19 and the drive to the concert resulted in a minor misdemeanor in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The show itself was great, though, featuring Booker T and the MGs as Young's backing band. I remember the encore: "Rockin in the Free World" and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay." Good stuff. Here's hoping for a show equal in power. Here's also hoping for a less eventful commute to the show this time around.

Maybe the best birthday present yesterday was being called a good writer. Our writing faculty gave a "strategic vision" talk to our dean and her executive council, outlining our long-term plans, hopes, etc. My piece of the talk: how the field of writing studies developed and evolved over the past few decades. A lot to cover in five minutes, so to conserve time and stay organized I used the old "read the presentation right off the paper" method, eliciting several compliments. Thank you, people who are deciding whether to give me tenure in this next new months.

I can't bring myself to care much about the cost of Sarah Palin's wardrobe. I'm not sure why anyone is outraged about this, unless maybe if you gave money to the RNC and don't think a six-figure wardrobe is a good use of your donation money. Right now I'm wearing a pair of pants I bought for two bucks at a thriftsore, a sweater that I think I got for Christmas one year when I still lived in Arizona (98-02), and a pair of tennis shoes with holes...and I wouldn't know one designer dress from another if my life depended on it. I wouldn't opt to spend any sizable amount of money on clothing, but why do I care if Sarah Palin's "people" do? I'm not paying for it. I think many of her political positions are reprehensible, but her clothing isn't. In fact, the more energy expended on criticizing her clothes, the less energy expended on criticizing her reactionary political beliefs. Come on, ya'll.


seth said...

Here's why I'm pissed about Sarah Palin's clothes. According to an article I saw somewhere yesterday, the RNC spent enough money on her clothes to clothe the median-income US family for 80 years. So yes, in the most abstract sense of private property it's the RNC's business what they do with their money, but this move is one that (yet again) demonstrates their utter unwillingness to recognize the conditions their potential voters face every day.

Maybe we don't need to be reminded of that, but apparently some people do.

bdegenaro said...

Both parties spend ridiculous amounts of money on transportation, advertising, and lots of other expenditures. What's the logic of singling out one type of expenditure in one party?

Yes, I think the Republicans are out of touch with the material conditions of most Americans. But, for me anyway, that has nothing to do with what Palin's clothing budget. That has everything to do with their platform, their legislative records, their agendas, etc.

This is a distraction from real issues. You can bet that McCain and Palin and GOP strategists LOVE that the media's focusing so much energy on this clothes issue. They are hurt a lot more by substantive stuff.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

Cathy Horyn (NY Times, fashion columnist and blogger extraordinaire) writes of the Palin wardrobe thing in terms few (none) have taken up, the issues of American jobs vs. ...


bonnie lenore kyburz said...

i did keep thinking, "nice dress!" or "the cut of that jacket is perfection" . . . and generally thought that she was well-groomed (clothing-wise); and this makes sense. then, we got the inside info. and while i can't say that i wouldn't want Valentino designing my wardrobe for High Prestige events (or, um, anything at all), i might have strategically chosen American designer of all things fabulous and really brilliantly structured, Michael Kors (loves it!) or Donna Karan (who for *years* has been positioned and marketed as THE American designer who "knows real women's bodies"; somebody should have known.