Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sartorial Sursday: It's the Economy, Stupid!

I've been on a plane recently (check out Twosday's post for more info!) and that of course means being in airports. While in Midway airport in Chicago I noticed that there are stores that sell books and magazines approximately every 20 feet. There are a few different chains, but sometimes two identically branded stores will be a two minute walk from each other. Are people in airports unwilling to walk more than 10 feet to buy a copy of Men's Health? Do they then return to their seat at the gate, rest the magazine on their gut, and proceed to read it while gasping for air? I don't understand it.

The thing that confounds me is that I always assume that businesses are logical. I believe that if they are doing something it means it makes good economic sense. So it apparently makes good economic sense to make sure that every other store in an airport sells J.K. Rowling's non-Harry Potter novel and the three most recent Dean Koontz books that came out this month. I have no idea why this is. I just don't understand economics. Or is economics even the right word? Should it be merchandising? Or store-craft? Or scrimshaw-dawdling? I don't even know enough about it to know the right word!

Here's another example: The hotel at which my work is having a conference is located in Florida and looks like this:

Don't get too jealous, it was 40 degrees here when I took this picture.

So how does it make sense to fly people from all over the country to what looks like an outrageously expensive resort to have a day and a half of meetings that could easily be done using the internet? It can't really just be that management wants to take their families to Disney for free, can it? I refuse to accept that explanation even though it is obviously true. It must make good financial sense to spend a ton of money on plane tickets and hotels so we can spend time wildly applauding at the slightest provocation.

All of this ridiculousness got me thinking about economics and money in general. Have you noticed that some people have money and others don't? I have. Thanks to the extreme cold, Chicago probably has a few less of the people who don't have money, but I'm not talking about the truly poor. No one ever talks about them. I'm talking about the regular people versus the super rich. Everyone thinks they are a regular person, no matter how fantastically wealthy, and I am no exception. We always look at those who have a little bit more and wish we were like them. One thing that is immediately noticeable about those above us is clothing.

Anyone can wear nice clothing. But the thing that separates the truly rich (I guess more than rich I mean high class) is that they are very comfortable in the kind of clothing that leaves us regos constantly tugging at our collars. The ultimate high class outfit is the tuxedo, or, as the high class would say, black tie.

Let's look at a man dressed to the nines, Taco in Puttin' on the Ritz:

Please ignore the black face. Taco is from Germany and it's still cool to casually walk around like that there. If you have an issue, take it up with Deutschland.

Contrary to popular belief, Taco did not write this song. It was actually written by Taco's younger brother, Irving Berlin, who was a child of the eighties. The eighteen eighties! Ha! Heyo!

The song is about lovable German citizens in black face who dress really nicely despite their poverty. The appearance of class is more important to them than trying to actually achieve that status. So how does Taco dress for this video? Let's take a look:

Why are we looking at his appearance? Because it's Sartorial Sursday! Every Sursday Another Flavor looks at a person in a music video and discusses their clothing and general appearance.

So here we see Taco is a tuxedo. His coat has tails and his bow tie is white. He is also wearing white gloves. At first glance it might appear that he is dressed quite nicely, but he is really dressed more like a waiter than a rich person. He is too put together to be an upper class person. Also, the pancake face make-up doesn't really fit, not to mention the lightsaber. Jedis are more comfortable in robes.

So what is Taco saying? Is it that he just doesn't know how to dress? No, I think he is saying something mean spirited about those enthusiastic German citizens. I think he is saying that they are fools to spend their meager means on expensive clothing. I disagree. I just think Taco doesn't understand the economics of it in the same way I don't understand selling newspapers in an airport or going to Florida.

Dressing nice can frequently lead to a better lot in life. Have you ever heard the saying, "Don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want?" Don't you just want to punch those people in the face? But that is exactly what the people Taco is singing about are doing. There is nothing wrong with it so there is no need to be snarky. I don't see what business someone named Taco has being snarky anyway.

I'll see you tomorrow with an exciting rendition of Free-for-all Friday!


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