". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, December 27, 2009

NY Times Gets its End-of-Year Michelle Obama Hate On

Sarah Palin's the working woman's everywoman in terms of style and presentation -- how we all want to look. Who knew?

Michelle Obama (and, of course, Desirée Rogers) are the elite haute couture snobs that no one can emulate.

Particularly nasty is resurrecting this MO quote, in the same edition of the NY Times in which Nicholas Kristof has a column that speaks to the one sixth of the world's population that go hungry everyday, and the epidemics of child malnutrition around the world:

Anyway, Mrs. Obama has made it clear that her well-stocked closet is her business. Last March, in an interview about the new White House organic garden, she took a playful poke at her husband. “He doesn’t understand fashion,” she said. “He’s always asking, ‘Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.’ It’s like: ‘Why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.’ ”

They do not leave out the White House bête noir of the old guard:

 In Mrs. Obama, the fashion industry has found a woman it can admire but cannot completely possess. That’s because she doesn’t favor only one designer or a clique, as her predecessors did. Also, she avoids the appearance of being cozy with designers. That’s why she’s often described in terms reserved for a 1930s screen goddess: “regal” and “dazzling,” a woman not to be contended with so much as worshiped from afar.

But make no mistake: the Obama White House has its fashion addicts. When Robin Givhan of The Washington Post asked Ms. Rogers if her dress at the recent state dinner was by Comme des Garçons, she replied, “Of course.” Of course because her dress was kooky Comme? Or because Ms. Rogers is in the club? Maybe a simple “yes” would have been better.
The article concludes with a major, razor, cat clawing:

Fashion is message. Do I look rich? Do I look available? Do I look like I get it?

Fashion is also context. And in the year since the industry placed its absurdly bright hopes on Mrs. Obama and her wardrobe, much has changed and dimmed. Is this how a modern, educated, working woman wants to be viewed in her first historic year — as a maven, an icon? Who’s Barbie now?
In the Sunday New York Times Style and Fashion section today.

Whee!  I was able to write today.  Nearly 12 pp. of da List's Reading - 2009 essay.  Hopefully I can cut it down.


K. said...

How about "of course" as in "hey, you got it" or as in a exaggerated aside. Sheesh. Don't these people have anything better to do?

Foxessa said...

They do not.

Not even in this economy.

Love, C.