Friday, 7 January 2011

What has it all come to?

I have been sent the above images of a recent formal dinner in London; admittedly, it was a dinner principally for students but what on earth are they playing at? Surely, better by far a requirement for lounge suits and ties than suggesting that guests pitch up half-dressed and even in braces at the dinner table. It must have been intended and arranged; otherwise, how would so many people have appeared like this? I know that the Royal Navy devised Red Sea Rig long ago and dispensed with coats for evening wear but just because of the intolerable heat: not something that is ever likely to afflict Londoners.

The older generation (in the top picture), who encouraged this nonsense, need a jolly good talking to! If black tie is to go the way of all flesh, because people cannot be bothered with the time and expense involved and mastering its slight mysteries, that is just another part of our civilization that slides into the abyss, but dumbing it down like this is appalling:

"Sink me the ship, master-gunner,
Sink her, split her in twain:
Fall into the hands of God,
Not into the hands of Spain!"

(From Tennyson's The Revenge.)

As with everything: either do it properly or don't do it at all!

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