Danny Felts, contributor
A Georgian lawyer sounding like his mouth is dripping with honey. Film never being fed at the correct speed, causing everyone look like they were running around on crack. These were some of the simple pleasures of The Greatest Generation. Sadly, most of these ridiculous stereotypes have disappeared with the advent of refined technology, and people who aren’t racist, but in honor of the OLD TIMEY issue, I’ve researched and decided upon the best aspects of the early 20th century, namely:
Poor people wearing suits. Raggy ass suits. (The sweatshirt has ruined us all.)
This one really strikes a chord with me, because if we the people of the 21st century are really being honest with ourselves, 75% of us look like absolute garbage. Honestly, it doesn’t seem that bad at first, but if Rowdy Roddy Piper gave us those sunglasses from John Carpenter’s They Live and they were set to reveal awful dress as opposed to alien overlords, you would faint. A sea of mouth breathers wearing ill fitting pants, and big dog t-shirts would be unleashed upon your unwitting eyes, leaving your face a mask of terror; frozen in a carnival of despair, unwavering and eternally scarred.
What I’m trying to say is maybe we should stop wearing awful, giant sweatshirts for a hot minute, and put on a tie every once and a while. Sorry to get all Orson Welles on you for a second.
The problem is, even if fashion didn’t matter at all, there was an elegant simplicity to the impoverished wearing their clothing until it was beyond repair. Just like you can tell how long a zombie has been dead by measuring its decay, you could also tell how poor someone was based off how badly their suit was falling off of them. Guy wearing a freshly tailored, custom suit? Clearly rich. Other guy wearing a dusty old fedora, with one shoe where a toe is poking out the front, and a pair of pants that’s ripping down the side? He’s either just eaten a can of beans over a lonely garbage fire, or is about to. Hell, even people who were truly destitute had hilarious ways of dressing. A guy with a curly cue mustache wearing a barrel fitted with suspender straps? Game over, dude. Game over.
In closing, if you truly don’t believe those born shortly after the turn of the century weren’t stupendously doomed to be ridiculous, Google search “Orson Welles Champagne” and watch as a 70-year-old Orson Welles attempts to promote a champagne company, in a state that I can only describe as “blitheringly drunk”. Cheers.
Danny is a comedy-like individual living in Portland, OR. Follow him on Twitter to hear about the rubes that come into his work, @dannyfelts.