Friday, November 04, 2005

In which the Meridian offers up a Blogosphere Dress Code for his readers' consideration

I'm sure by now my readers have noticed that a week and a day have passed between my last posting and today's first post. I've been doing stuff, I assure you . . . just not my primary job here at Blog Meridian, that of "arranging, deepening, enchanting the blogosphere." Though not one of my readers has chastened me, much less called me into a hearing before a congressional committee, regarding what might appear to some as a derilection of duty, I do feel guilty.

And so, partly as an act of contrition and partly as a gesture to the blogosphere, I humbly offer a Blogosphere Dress Code for your perusal and comments.

Actually, to acknowledge the muse that prompts this, I must properly tip my hat to the recently-posted e-mails of "fashion god" (who knew? I now have a broadened appreciation of him) Michael Brown.

I suppose that if there's one important lesson we here in the blogosphere can learn from these e-mails as regards dressing appropriately, it would be to Dress to Look Like You're Working. Mr. Brown's press secretary was certainly aware of this, in view of the fact that she advises her boss to roll up his shirt sleeves when he appears before reporters to create the image of Work, that even the President had been doing so. To my mind, all the Sturm und Drang about whether bloggers should be spoken of in the same legal and reputational breaths as journalists (interesting, by the way, that bloggers seem to be more worried about that than journalists are) would be greatly reduced if bloggers, analogously, would take the same advice. Pajamahadeen, or however you spell it, is kinda cutesy, but admit it, it sounds, oh, I don't know, a bit too much like what it in fact is: a bunch of chubby guys thinking they're winning the hearts and minds of the nation while sitting at their computers having needed a shower and a shave for at least (let's be charitable) a couple of hours. I will be charitable still further and imagine (that is, I will hope, for imagination's sake) that they are actually in pajamas and robes . . . which, of course, makes at least the name Pajamas Media more than a little odd. But never mind all that. The "Every Day Is a REALLY-Casual Friday" dresscode for the blogosphere leads precisely to the sloppy rhetorical habits--you know what I mean: the ad hominems, the straw men, the tu quoques, the red herrings and all the rest--that show up in their posts (and I am no different, I assure you), analogous to the bathrobe lying at the foot of the bed: both grabbed up and donned without thinking.

So, then. What to do? Well: at the very least, dress like you might actually engage in some heavy lifting of the physical sort, if not the intellectual kind. Dress in such a way that you'd feel comfortable leaving your place to help a friend move into his new place. That way, you don't have to shower or shave if you don't want to, but neither will you feel as though by leaving the house you'd be violating your community's decency standards. If you want to blur the line between those two kinds of lifting, I'd suggest wearing a demin shirt and jeans, but no belt (too dressy--unless, of course, you're one of the lucky few actually getting paid to blog). The denim shirt isn't fussy but the right kind of tie looks good on it; and best of all it says Work in a rather gestural, could-be-physical-could-be-desk-jockeying sort of way. I'm not too much into that sort of blurriness today, as you can probably tell from this post, so I'm wearing jeans and my beloved burnt-orange* "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirt. No furniture to move, in case you're wondering; just two very full baskets of laundry. Footwear is optional, of course, but you do want to guard against rhetorical as well as physical cold feet while blogging, so do what you must.

And that's all there is to it, I suppose: no name tags, no pieces of flair on your vest . . . hey! NO VESTS!! But given the government's recent considerations of rules regulating blog content during elections, sometime soon I will have to work up some sort of Blogosphere Code of Ethics. Soemthing that immediately comes to mind, though--this too from Mr. Brown's e-mails--would be, "If you're supposed to be blogging, especially during emergencies like awaiting indictments or Friday Cat-Blogging, DON'T take time out to arrange for pet-sitters."

How exceedingly unprofessional.

*"pumpkin," my foot.

Technorati tags:
, , , ,


Sine.Qua.Non said...

Ok, I love the Keep Austin Wierd T-shirt and that cool site which I bookmarked. Dress Codes. Man I hate that. I have a nekkid blogger set up on my site, that way you don't have to worry about it. Keep 'em guessing! Well, some of my best blog responses and articles have come from bed. So, jeans and a fuzzy tie...well maybe the tie...would be out of the Q. When I am at home, the first thing I do when I get in the door is to start stripping. I can NOT wait to remove the clothing from my day at work, remove all traces of makeup (ah, relief!), take a shower as a refresher and put on a clean massively huge t-shirt. That is my uniform at home and it has the effect of reducing my tension by a lot. And, if somebody comes to the door, they just have to wait for me to dress. Clothes are the one thing I do not want to wear at home...freedom is essential, not clothes, for me.

However, I also get your points.

Raminagrobis said...

Denim shirts?

What decade are we in? *double checks calendar*

fearful_syzygy said...

Haha! I was going to say!

In addition, I consider the wearing of trousers, especially jeans, without a belt to be a heinous affront to decency and taste which should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

But, you know, that's just my take on the matter.