Thursday, July 05, 2007

David Dimbleby's Clown Socks

I am, my wife informed me recently, the only person in the world who watches BBC Breakfast. This solves a mystery. I had been wondering for some time why Dermot Murnaghan kept saying 'Good morning, Bryan' when he signed on and 'Have a good one, Bryan' when he signed off. But the point about this show is that, to the watchful, it reveals deep truths about our time. This morning, for example, David Dimbleby was on plugging something. I couldn't work out what it was because I was fixated on his socks. They were light blue with dark blue hoops. His tie was also a bit wacky, but his suit was black and his shirt was white. Now clearly, afflicted as I am by coulrophobia, these socks were a problem. But, leaving that aside, why did he wear them? Jon Snow also goes for kooky socks and ties. Increasingly and not just on TV, I am seeing soberly suited men revealing jolly clown socks the moment they sit down. My theory is that these people have not the courage - or are not allowed - to get out of their suits. So they desperately signal their right-onness, their artiness, their all round interestingness with these appalling sartorial blunders. It is a sad state of affairs - men of a certain age trapped by inhibitions and misconceptions. But there you go. And thanks for the show, Dermot.

22 comments:

  1. Bryan, please don't feel as though you're alone. I too watch BBC Breakfast. If these feelings of loneliness persist then perhaps the answer is to start a BBC Breakfast Watchers Blog?

    As for the socks and ties it's an odd one that. I think you're spot-on about right-on. It's definitely a look at me I'm really not like all the rest of them look. A bit like Dave the Cameron and his no tie makes me a bit less like an old Etonian; clearly a feeling shared by the young Princes in the stadium.

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  2. Agree about the socks. But the smug ubiquity of these people is what really irks, as if the medium would collapse without their daily presence. In Dimbelby's case a sort of patrician tricksiness that conceals the vacuum where thought should be. If people like him can't bear life without cameras, they should take a leaf out of Clive James's book and create their own webcam station.

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  3. Is there a term for 'Mannequin Phobia'. I can't bear standing close to them - certainly not the ones in M&S in Kuala Lumpur.

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  4. Automatonophibia is fear of ventriloquists' dummies. Close.

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  5. Just out of curiosity, what's it called when you have lustful feelings towards mannequins, especially those in M&S?

    I have a friend, you see...

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  6. mannequophilia. There are treatments

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  7. It's the feelings I have about anoraks - anoraknophobia

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  8. Natrurally :) Ramblers of a certain age

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  9. i know a German girl who has a mannequin called Chloe. A strange world.

    A character of mine wears matching Mr Men tie & socks, because he's hip.

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  10. old men frequently stall along fashion timeline past 35 yo. it's the same with haircuts! turn around Bryan and show us you haven't got a mullet!

    no, I agree. folks should be free to dress to express themselves entirely. uniforms should be confined to BDSM role play and the armed forces. I feel sorry for them. Do you sense he's got nipple clamps too?

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  11. I confess that I like to wear loud socks. I did when I wore sober suits to work, and still do now that I can wear what I like.

    One or two people have made the same suggestions about me. Now of course they (and you) could be right, and at some subliminal level I may be feebly trying to signal that I am really rather groovy, from underneath my straight laced repression.

    On the other hand I like to think I just like loud socks.

    (At this point I could write something rude about half-witted armchair psychologists. But as I am usually an admirer of your writing, I shan't).

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  12. I am grateful for your admirable restraint, Luis.

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  13. no biggie, dude

    (hot damn, I am groovy)

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  14. I have always enjoyed Jon Snow's ties. He reminds me of architects. Sober suited when making a pitch, you can be sure they have extrovert socks and ties, plus outré glasses; often red, always extreme in shape, just to remind the rest of us that they are creative individuals, not to be outdone by David Hockney, because of course, they are really artists. And is there TV at breakfast time? Since when?

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  15. Architects, exactly, Mopsa. They also have extravagant watches in my experience.

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  16. What's that other guy on Channel 4 news called? He's been wearing green socks the past couple of nights.

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  17. My husband says you can tell how old most guys are by looking at their hair cuts -- it's invariably the one they had in high school.

    Is this true, Bryan?

    I don't like mannequins either. Especially not at night, in dark store windows. I imagine them walking around back there.

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  18. Sartorial bludners are virtually unforgivable and no, in response to your commenter - I do not have the same haircut as in secondary school. I now have a mullet.

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  19. Oddly enough, Susan, my hair does seem to be morphing into my schoolboy cut.

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