Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Right! The lyrics are plebian, but those who can recall the sixties will know immediately that they come from a hit song of The Kinks.

Yes, I know you are surprised that I know this. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I recall this to be true. I remember it mainly because it has always struck me as symptomatic of modern (and for that matter post-modern) man: we are dedicated followers of fashion!

What alerted me to it was something I read in a copy of The Los Angeles Times (please, no letters about my reading material! It was lying on the seat of the plane I flew in recently). I saw an article about the great British gourmet dish, The Chip Butty. Culinary aficionados will know what this is: French fries in between two slices of bread. For a nation that lives on "the bun" I am surprised this little dainty hasn't made it big in America. I grew up on it.

The article was about the return of "carbs". Carbs are back! It's OK to eat carbs (well, a certain amount). It's all about proportion, it suggested. And then gave a full paged spread to the British love for bread.

Modernist culture has always been about fashion -- brand new fashions; postmoderinst culture keeps recycling the old (which is equally about fashion). What goes around, comes around.

It is, as Paul says in Ephesians 2:2, an example of how man follows "the course of this world," dedicated to mimic its obsessions, resigned to be the bondage of the new in the name of liberty.

Now, it is well past lunch time and the internet is at last up and running again and its time for some real food.

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