Monday, 21 March 2011

Security in Identity

Recently, I have noticed, in a certain member on a website to which I have contributed for a couple of years, a tendency to annoy, with bluntly repeated assertions that rules (he has now taken up my suggestion of 'norms'), of masculine dress are fading and, for some strange reason, he celebrates the fact that the face of civilization is changing; even crumbling. I suspect that he is part of the designer-fashionista brigade (swinging manbags in colours complementary to their zany outfits),and that he has a commercial interest in confusing people into believing that they should be buying more and more of his mad tat. Of course, by necessary implication, he refers to 'western civilization' and that is plainly crumbling. However, it does occur to me that there are many societies across the world, apart from those in Europe and North America, in which norms of masculine dress have remained constant for hundreds of years and continue to remain constant. This evidences: confidence; security; stability, and contentment and is a better cause for celebration than is the economic and moral disintegration, which is plainly evident, all around, in the 'great western democracies'.

Reading the rambling of the fellow in question reminds me of a sentiment of George IV's only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte Augusta, that "The more that I see of the world, the less I like it."

The photograph is by Bernard Domenech, of Sheikh Hadji Attayak, who died in 2001, aged at least ninety and, possibly, over a hundred. He took part in the attack on Aqaba, with T E Lawrence and Prince Faisal in WWI. I cannot imagine him seeking variation in his traditional dress: he found better ways, during his long life, in which to spend his time.

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