Thursday, 5 February 2009

The arbitrariness of antiquated clothing items

Are the fires of hell a glowing? Is the grizzly reaper mowing? Yes! The danger must be growing for the rowers keep on rowing, and they're certainly not showing any signs that they are slowing…

> Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I was watching this magic show last night and the magician does the usual trick of pulling the rabbit out of the hat. The hat is a Top Hat of course as its large dimensions make the trick look good. Whether the rabbit is actually pulled out of the hat or it’s just an illusion I don’t know. I’m not a magician.

And just like magic, Top Hats are never worn anymore. But over 150 years ago they sold by the million. Now, though, they are only used by magicians to pull rabbits out of them. Change is relentless. Things come and things go. I’m not sure if there is any sort of overall plan or logic to the change. I suspect not. It all seems pretty arbitrary to me. I mean, if there really was a piece of clothing that we could have assigned to the scrapbook of history then why not the nasty old neck tie instead? Cos let’s face it: they are a pain to tie, are the cause of many a lost top shirt button, and serve no function whatsoever other than to somehow give us a (false?) air of respectability.

But I could be wrong. Perhaps we will no longer wear trousers instead?

Wonka Wonka was of the old school and loved a Top Hat