Apr 13, 2010

Writers Interviewed. The Tallahatchee Button Fetish.

Interviews with two writers, I’ve mentioned recently here – Dorianne Laux and Charles Baxter – are available at Eastern Washington’s literary mag, Willow Springs:


Other Banjo-respected writers interviewed there are Rick Bass, Aimee Bender, Stuart Dybek, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Gerald Stern. Each of them has wowed me at least a couple of times, though for truth in advertising, I should mention that I haven’t yet read these interviews.

Speaking of celebrities (outside the poetry world, where appearance should be irrelevant), why have male celebs developed the custom of buttoning their jackets when they stand, unbuttoning when they sit?

I caught a moment of the nuclear arms summit on TV this morning, and as President Obama rose for a moment of silence honoring Poland’s tragedy, he buttoned his jacket. So did his female counterpart from Argentina.

How many times have I puzzled over this as I watched Letterman or Leno and their guests?

What is so outrageous about an unbuttoned jacket on a standing man or a buttoned jacket on a sitting man? (Well, the latter might be an issue of tightness and popped buttons, an epic embarrassment, to be sure). Aren’t there enough dumb behaviors out there without this button fetish?

I’ve lost plenty of sleep over this, and my patience is wearing thin. Everything has a reason. A universe without reasons is a piss-poor universe, and I want some answers. I don’t want obscene wealth, just some minor league info—nothing that would shock or depress me, please, just some crumbs on quirky subjects like this. If you have nothing to offer, why are you using my oxygen?

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Brenda's Arizona said...

Oh my, are you pissed at the world? You have me laughing VERY LOUDLY. Sucking a LOT of O2. Your O2...

Ok, I have been researching your question. Honestly, fashion 'experts' say it hangs better when all buttons are button - except the last one - when the wearer is standing. It just hangs nicely. Whatever...
And unbuttoning for sitting is a comfort shift. Who cares how it hangs when you are sitting. (My imagination can't leave this alone)

And for dancing, leave 'em buttoned. OK, the last one can be unbuttoned.
Unless you are doing a hip-hop dance. Then you can unbutton. But never ever take your jacket off.

Honestly... I read it here:

But my question is 'why are your knickers bound so tight??'

And how often do you wear a jacket?

Banjo52 said...

Well, today BrAZ is clearly into things that hang well. How was I to know? Mt. Union is or was a Methodist college, so her preoccupation with things fashionable and/or things hanging nicely is a twist that throws me quite off balance.

I am not pissed at the world (any more than usual), but thought I should offer some lightness after yesterday's dark Sexton night, and I'm rewarded with fixations about hanging.

I stopped wearing a jacket to work last fall. What can the do to me now?

I wore one to lunch yesterday--an occasion. I don't mind a jacket. I even like the look of ties, but can't stand the discomfort. I never button a jacket, no matter badly it hangs. Yes, even at funerals. If you care about my button, then don't expect me at your funeral.

Barbaro said...

I guess it would look silly if someone stood and sat a lot and had to do rapid-fire buttoning. How did it work in that "town hall-style" Presidential debate where they sat on stools?

I'm a fan of quasi-outdated men's fashion. I don't wear cufflinks, but I like how the Prez usually does. I refuse to wear a blazer or dress shoes with jeans, no matter how many talk show guests do. I love really nice, all-leather dress shoes, even though they're impossible to walk in.

If you're wearing a tweed or other jacket that obviously can't be part of a suit, without a tie, I think you can get away with never buttoning it. Otherwise, it looks like you're itchin' for a fight.

How about the huge deal politicians make of taking OFF their jackets to become "regular" guys?

It's a bit sad to me how much better people dress in poor countries. You see these adorable little old men in Latin America shuffling around in threadbare suits because those are the only clothes they have, and that's the only way they know how to dress. And don't even get me started on dress shoes on unpaved streets...

Anonymous said...

I think the act of buttoning the suit jacket is elegant and rather sexy, in a Cary Grant sort of way. And the line of a buttoned jacket, when worn with as a suit, is much more appealing.

A jacket with jeans, on the other hand, should remain unbuttoned.

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