mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In defense of denim...

Lileks has an excellent takedown of George Will's anti-denim rant. Evidently, George Will and Dan Askt hate my pants.

I'm a casual dresser. I'm at work right now, eating lunch at my desk, and I'm wearing jeans, a polo shirt, and a pair of Adidas sneakers. Because I work in desktop support, it's not unusual for me to have to move equipment across campus or crawl under someone's dusty desk unplugging equipment. So it makes sense to wear something durable, and something that I don't mind if gets ripped or dirty.

I can't remember the last time I wore a tie. I had to buy a jacket last year for a funeral - before then, the last time I wore a suit was to job interviews when I was in college. I'll even confess to occasionally engaging in a behavior that even many of Lilek's commenters regard as evil - wearing sweatpants in public (although usually it's while coming back from the gym and stopping at the grocery store or Target).

I've liked some of Will's political columns. But while I'm pretty conservative on things like economic policy and national defense, I'm pretty small-l liberal - think libertarian - on social things, and that includes things like dress and hobbies.

Will also disparages video gamers in his column, despairing that adult gamers are allowed to vote. I'm not a gamer - I don't play anything more intense than an occasional game of Wii Bowling - but if that's what you enjoy, I don't see a reason you shouldn't be able to just because you are old enough to be drafted. If anything, I think it's a sign of progress that video games and the technology that underlies them have gotten so good that they can be entertaining to someone in their 20's or 30's.

Now, I'm a big believer in personal responsibility - I hold nothing but disdain for, say, homeowners losing their homes for taking out mortgages they could never pay back. But if with freedom comes responsibility, the inverse is also true - with responsibility comes freedom - and that includes the freedom to wear sandals and shorts where I want, and to spend my free time playing video games if I so choose.

The fact that people wear jeans or play Halo isn't, to me, a sign that our culture is failing, but rather the opposite - that people have a level of individual freedom that they didn't before, freedom to enjoy life the way they want. That, to me, is exactly what's right with America.


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