collection of pieces from various dates, published 2013
extract from Thoughts on the New American Uniform
You can spot my countrymen in Europe by this
observations: Todd McEwen has given us two very memorable clothes moments on the blog – the hilarious Killer Barbie from his collection of stories, Five Simple Machines, and the curious case of Cary Grant’s suit, a way of looking at the Hitchcock film North by North-West. Just thinking about either of these two McEwen pieces makes me smile a lot. (The Cary Grant is included in this book too.) When he is on form and on target he is unbeatable: unique, hilarious, clever, thought-provoking, provocative, rude, and with a great use of language (and, evidence above, italics).
These pieces vary enormously, but the book is well worth it for the good ones. You can get an idea of this piece from the title, and the extract above. There’s another one, called Curse of the Sand People which also deals with clothes and appearances:
Everywhere you looked, people and their possessions were getting paler and paler. It must surely be counted a signally black day in the history of wester domestic ecology when people started to buy clothing that was already half washed away, half DESTROYED, by big machines, in the name of fashion, or to put it more bluntly, in the name of making themselves disappear.He certainly has his own way of looking at the world, and he simply doesn’t resemble any other writer. He writes here about his childhood, about Thoreau, about bluegrass music. And he has a nice piece called When I Become King! – we could all write our own diktats, but I did enjoy his.
My only complaint about the book is that it doesn’t tell you where the pieces originally appeared, nor does it give any dates of writing – I’m guessing this one, featuring Reaganomics, is quite old.
I really must read one of his novels next.
Although I’m quite happy to read Todd McEwen on the subject, It seemed unfair to find a picture of some casually-dressed US citizen just to mock him. So the big picture is a very unobjectionable advertising image. However it is true that men in the t-shirt/shorts combination do look like boys, so Charlie Brown seemed an appropriate image too, and so would Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes - but I explained in yesterday's entry why there can be no picture of him...