Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Some of us feel like saying GTH..." and Whistler Nocturnes

Commenting anonymously surely gives folks an extra bit of courage right? Strident assertions with a side order of hubris. I really don't get many ugly comments or personal attacks here at my little corner of the drivel depositing world and the ones I do get that call me out on things I do or wear usually make me laugh and declare touche'. I like the fact that when I'm aggravating my cousin TinTin over at The Trad-he knows the incoming SCUD is from little ole me. I wouldn't think of doing it sub rosa. Actually, I've never commented anonymously but after the fun I've had writing this post I might start doing so. 

This anonymous comment isn't that malicious but after I laughed at it's impertinence I decided it was worth an additional comment or two. Statements with this much depth-gravitas and relevance deserve  comment. I mean come on ... there can't be much in the world less pertinent than GTH pants so why would I expect anything but profundities such as....  

"Some of us feel like saying GTH to people who wear such things, I assure you, because that's precisely what you're saying to us."

Au contraire my overintellectual-underemployed Starbucks fancy coffee order caller outer. The fabric of your existence is just as provocative...just as impertinently GTH as my garish patterned togs.You know who you are-the guy whose parents are still wondering why they paid over a hundred grand for the private university experience that manifested the current you-the you subsequently adorned with a GTH undergraduate degree...something like Russian Lit. or  Pacific Rim Job Anthropolgy. Degrees that would have been fine if you'd gone on and become a full fledged academic. But no, that would have interfered with your Grunge Band-Garage Noise making practices. 

Wow that felt good! Now I know why anonymous commenters comment anonymously. You can mount baseless personal attacks that release a cascade of dopamine, GABA and other primal neurochemical goodies. I might get hooked on this because I've just thought of another round of personal attacks for our commenter. I could go on with a Janis Ian..."those of us with ravaged faces....names never called when choosing sides for basketball" kind of a thang about the guy/gal and his/her childhood but I won't. But if I did I'd comment about how they probably didn't get to be on the Safety Patrol or the Audio Visual Club in elementary school or damn...the Yearbook Staff in high school. But I won't because that just wouldn't be nice.
And all of this over a pair of britches. So in closing my anonymous reader, let me say that I hope that you'll always come back and leave a snarky comment or two between band practice and your Starbucks shift. You'll also be pleased to know that because I have you in mind specifically when I choose trousers, I've renamed my yellow corduroys in honor of you-just for you. They are my....Kiss My Ass pants.
J.A.M. Whistler, the American expat painter in London took on such anonymous commenters for sport. Nineteenth century London didn't afford anonymity when critics posited on the works of artists and Whistler fought them head-on...Often times to his detriment. He won his action against Ruskin but was awarded only a farthing damages. Ruskin in his dotage commented stridently and harshly about a Whistler Nocturne on display at the Grosvenor Gallery in New Bond Street. Ruskin's comment had something to do with impertinence and arrogance. Similar to the arrogance and impertinence manifest in wearing paisley or batik print cotton pants. With his pride restored and a farthing in his pocket-bankrupt as a result, Whistler decamped to Venice for the dual purposes of sulking and etching. Hell, Whistler was such a bellicose little scrapper that he wrote an entire book on the subject-not just a letter to the editor now and then. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies is Whistler's tome on the subject.

Now on to the Master....

Thanks to the original gifts of Charles Lang Freer and to your current Federal Tax dollars, I can get within twenty minutes from my nest... visual medicine...soothing salves to make my days less hectic and my life back in balance. I'm afraid I take our DC museums for granted and admit that we locals are spoiled. One of my favorite things to do is head over to the Freer and go directly downstairs where the gift shop and restrooms are located. For on a wall downstairs is always a slightly askew Whistler display. Usually not robust enough to warrant a showing upstairs but thematically meaningful to us Whistler fanatics. They had on display down there for years, the three paintings that Whistler requested be in his view as he lay dying in his Chelsea house. 
Currently, they have Nocturnes. Examples in drypoint-etching-oil and watercolour of Whistler's gift for creating the mood and ambiance of evening-of declining light. The oil above is from the Cremorne Gardens. A seedy amusement venue just a few minutes walk from Cheyne Walk/Lindsey Row where Whistler lived and frequently the subject of his work. His pigments-colors-shadings that in aggregate created the mood of his nocturnes was often so attenuated with spirits and thinners that he called it his "sauce". He was known to put the board or canvas flat on the floor in order for the watery layer of color to actually stay put.
I love many things about Whistler and one is his ability to create visual treats using diverse mediums. (I would love an anonymous round of venom taking me to task for not using "media" versus "medium"in the previous sentence) He could with needle and plate create a drypoint nocturne. When he decamped to Venice to create the etching series known as The Venice Set he also returned to London with scores of little oils and pastels. It is rumored that when it was a bit to chilly for his liking he would set aside his needle and plate while etching and instead would pick up paper and a box of pastels and do little drawings of sites until it suitably warmed up to accommodate the feel he needed from and etching needle.
And....the bravest medium of all. Watercolour. Artist using oil paints can literally take a palette knife and scrape off a mistake and go again. Fumble with watercolour and it's time to start the whole damn thing over.
The Thames....a favorite Whistler subject. The Greaves brothers...especially Walter...neighbors of Whistler...used to row him out on the Thames so that he could catch  his desired glimpses of the river and the Thames side villages. Often at night.

Have a blessed Sunday. I'm off to select for the day...a pair of trousers-provocative togs-pissy pantaloons. Then it's over to Starbucks to order one of those Oh-da-doo-dah-day lattes with an extra shot of E-I-E-I-O.



Laguna Beach Trad said...

"Kiss My ass Pants"...classic! Please post more photos of GTH items. They're a much-needed flash of colour in an increasingly dull, homogenised, corporate world.

The comment in question wasn't from me, BTW.

James said...

I personally like the phrase anony-mouse. One took a shot at our pal Brian,and I'm not very bright but if ya don like it read sumpin else! What's the fun in being a bitter jackass? The reason I have some GTH clothing is I can't find a "Back off I just farted" tee shirt in my size, maybe your poster could loan me his?
At any rate , I enjoyed the part on Whistler.

Jeff, Jill and Erin said...

Excellent post! I got a great laugh reading your response to anon. Starbucks may be a stretch for this clown as they require hires to have a personality.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your on line world,

Anonymous said...

ADG --

I enjoy your posts and am sorry to see one of yesterday's anonymous posts get under your skin. Your take on clothing differs from my own and for that, I find this blog both entertaining and informative. Have a good day.


Mrs. Blandings said...

I like the summation of you commenter's accomplishments to date; I always assume mine are other bloggers. I just can't imagine a regular reader being so invested in my dining room.

And thank you for the Whistlers - a dreamy escape from my own snowy hell.

Suburban Princess said...

Oh my goodness that was awesome!
I, for one, love the way you dress. I dated a man with very similar style when I was in my 20's and seeing your ensembles always takes me back!

ilovelimegreen said...

ADG - I've expressed my fondness of GTH-wear more than once. I would say something more emphatic than "Go to hell" to this anonymous commenter and don't lose your spunk.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to pay a long overdue visit to the Freer - like you, I take the DC museums for granted and need to revert to my Baltimore days when I would travel to DC SPECIFICALLY to visit the museums here.

Pacific Rim Job Anthropology - oh my...why I am not surprised to read this here.

LPC said...

I hope you never think of that anonymous commenter again. I find that I didn't mind being called a status mongering whore but I have hated being told that I don't exist. Largely because I know the first insult was claptrap and I suspect the second may be true.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - re: Anonymity - Does that mean I have to kiss your ass too ?

Anonymous said...


It's a good thing, I suppose, that you're not professionally involved in intelligence or detective work.

I graduated from a mid-West Land Grant college in 1975, having majored in English, at a time when that meant that we studied Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Alexander Pope, etc. (Now it's possible to get a degree in English, having only taken courses such as "Lesbian Poetry", "Science Fiction", etc.)

I try to teach the rudiments of English to grad students at a metropolitan Eastern university. Yes, graduate students, who need to take remedial composition courses. I can assure you that some of the name caller-outers at Starbucks have far more on the ball than many of my students. I don't frequent Starbucks, as their calling out people's Christian names is almost as disturbing as some forms of garb.

Grunge Band-Garage Noise?
Nothing newer than Baroque, I assure you.

I regularly follow some blogs and am pleased to report that I have recently come across other people who only wear navy and white, who think that Oxford cloth shirts are only appropriate in white, blue, or white with blue stripes, and who would no sooner be caught in GTH trusers as in polyester PJs.

Anonymous (or "Unanimous", as some of my students spell it).

Debra said...

A person who would take someone else's clothing so personally and actually be offended by a pair of trousers is someone who must be carrying some heavy baggage. I think his anonymous commenting gives insight -- he doesn't have the courage to wear anything like GTH pants or to back up his words with his name.

Referring back to the elephant book post, I suspect teachers sometimes consider a "parent torture factor" when assigning projects. Our most recent is developing a "probability game" that my son insists must include a platypus (his current favorite animal). Needless to say, it's still in the development phase.

I love your style and your stories about LFG. Thanks for taking the time to write!

Anonymous said...

Aren't all of these clothing blogs produced by and read by people who take clothing personally, who judge others by their appearance, and who want to be judged by their appearance as well?

BYW, I'm also upset by people who use expressions such as "carrying heavy baggage".

Preppy 101 said...

Hello to one of my favorite bloggers! I 100% agree with Debra's comment about anony.
I must confess I would be interested in knowing what GRADUATE program in the US has a remedial composition course??!! That may be my biggest surprise today. :-)
Mr. Preppy 101 wore GTH pants with pride! GTH pants show the ultimate fun, love-life aspect of the wearer.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them. Have a great day.

Summer is a Verb said...

Hee hee...XXOO

Paul said...

You'll probably delete this - but here 'goes!

A couple of us have this saying when we don't give a shit what people say or think. It goes like this:


And they could be your FTFF pants!

delete away!

Toad said...

It would be fun to consider a meet your maker get up. Would you want to meet him in GTH pants? Be great way to start the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Toad --

Good point!

When a guy's spent years cross-dressing from his waist to his ankles, he's sure to have LOTS to talk with St Peter about.

St Peter: ADG, about those pants ...

ADG: Hey, big guy, did I say anything about YOUR rig?

Anonymous said...

Unlike Anon, I would have said "who take clothing seriously", rather than "who take clothing personally", but, if I understand Anon correctly, I would agree that many blog producers and blog followers consider what they wear to be not only a reflection of, but also an integral component of their personalities, their inner selves. That being so, it is not at all odd that they should be disturbed/offended/upset by what others wear--just as they might be by their actions or speech. This doesn't mean that they want everyone to dress in the same way, but that some ways of dressing appear to be an intentional slap in the face of propriety, and, as such, may generate hostile reactions from those who abide by more traditional tenets of proper attire.

ADG said...

TradCodrington...Of course the comment wasn't from you-the words that you assemble are much better constructed.

James...If I don't do a damn thing this week I'm gonna get me a "back off I just farted t-shirt".

Jeff...back at you.

MW...thanks. I wrote something a while back that addresses my philosophy on respecting the differences in people. Tolerance is a huge part of my approach to the world but when you piss me off......

Mrs. Blandings...Spring...I think...has permanently sprung around here so I trust that it's on the a consistent yours. I agree re "invested/interested in your dining room" but hey, these anonymous cats are experts on everything.

SuburbanPrincess....thanks. And to add to the allure of GTH pants, I rarely wear anything other than a thong under them.

LimeGreenGal...My spunk would have to be surgically removed and I'm not signing up for that procedure. are one of the most brilliant assembler of words.

AnonEng...I'm gonna grant you a reprieve from butt smooching-mine and everyone else's.

AnonEnglishGradTeacherGTHPantHater...Godspeed as you work to stamp out ignorance at the graduate level.

Debra...."Probability Platypus"...that's sounds brilliant but also mind boggling as one speculates on how to contrive such a process. Sounds like a drinking game from college or an index one might utilize to determine if they might get lucky tonight.

Preppy101...Glad that you have find memories of Mr. Preppy 101. How about something....a pocket square made of something he owned...adorning your son's breast pocket as he walks sister down the aisle. That way, daddy will be with both of them during the walk. ole Mexican Sun Cheater you. How's that full back camo holding up?

Paul....we used to say the same thing but added..."and feed 'em fish heads"...

Toad...I'm wearing a tan gabardine-NOTCH lapel(I know-it ain't my usual) two piece suit to that meeting. White shirt and suede brogues.

Anon...I won't talk shit about St. Peter's rig till I'm on the other side of the Gate!

OldTrad....all very good points.

Anonymous said...

Ah now, I am no lover of the American, all too often the opposite but thats what makes us what we are, the difference. That being said, I am a lover (not in the literal sense) of people that care for their sartorial appearance, care for your appearance does not meen 'conform' nor does it mean 'Gay' or 'show off', it just shows you care. Its important to care. Through more than 2 decades of British military service I persisted in wearing the difference rather than the norm (T-shirt/jeans/desert boots) and was constantly reminded of the difference, not in a harsh way because all the chaps were too goon natured and I was who I was, which made them be nice. So, yelow trousers, red trousers, jackets/blazers and pocket squares with everything made me (and eveyone else it seemed) a happy man. Let them scoff let them comment, bring them all to the party, I love it. I did once say to a young man in my employ (after retiring from soldiering) "Do you not understand that what you wear is equally bizzare to me as what I wear is bizzare to you?, and as an asside, sportswear is for the gymnasiam" As expected, it fell on stoney ground. Difference is, people around you take heed prior to commenting because they have to face the outcome, people who only write seem to develop balls of steel, based on the anonimity of the internet, let them live as they choose. Or, shoudl you wish, give me a shout and I will happily fly across and hunt the villian down, I could, by threat or use of violence force him to wear something suitable. What we should do with his own clothes is a mistery that I will leave to others. I love to write but am not a blogger, my moment in print to you is the first and possibly the last but fair is fair, I read your blog, cant help liking it and felt I should offer solidarity.
An Englishman in Africa.

longwing said...

Wasn't me. But I still think it's a disgrace to wear summer colors in winter. And drab winter colors are far more hellish than those cheery summer colors.

Turling said...

HA! I'm going to have to come back several times to reread this one. Brilliant. I may steal some of your lines for e-mail replies when I get into the office today. It is Monday, after all.

Proprietor said...


The yeller pants are the epitome of irony... Yellow, the color or cowardice, yellow pants, the pinnacle of courage, or, more accurately, the confidence in you that allows you to dismiss the opinions of others...

Only one question: does anyone still make the batik trousers (other than the pair at jcrew, which probably are too "low" rise for me)?

Thanks - nothing better than a bit of entertainment for a Monday morning (especially after the "historic" passage of that crap, I mean legislation - tangent: will this help or hurt the day time gig?).

ADG said...

Longwang...I know it wasn't you and I respect your color/season mantra. It's all good.

Englishman in Africa....thanks. I understand clearly your points and appreciate your perspective. No need to assist in hunting the varmint down. Like most of these adversaries, they generally just run themselves out of steam before any serious artillery is required.'s all yours. Steal away my friend.

Proprietor..."the confidence that allows you to dismiss the opinions of others..." You hit it dead on my man. That is the essence of wearing anything edgy. I've said it when I've written about other items of dubious just have to posses a strong element of not giving a shit in order to pull it off.

Re the Batiks...JCrew had a pile of that stuff in seasons past and Ralph has had a smidge or two over the last few seasons but I see less and less of it now. God only knows where we will land upon something like it this year. I'll keep you posted.

Re the Healthcare if anyone gives a hoot about my opinion...I give Obama an A+ for the courage and commitment to address head on a problem that if something isn't done, will destroy our society and I'm dead serious about the societal destruction point. The perverse economics of healthcare delivery are mind bogglingly complex and must be remedied. I give Obama and the Democrats and F- on what they've crafted for a solution because the root causes of the perversion still stand. As for my'll be a couple of years before we know how it will impact us.

Anonymous said...

GO? I've been there and back.

ADG, I do hope your post on gth and your reply have left you happy. Now and then an articulate (or reasonably close) attack is worth it just for the improved blood flow.

I was having a cheeseburger on Saturday with some folks I know when their daughter walked by, notebook in hand. I asked to borrow it, typed in your address, and then asked her to show it to her father. His reply? "That's my old room mate. He gave me lots of his suits and he pretty much kept me alive during law school...." Fun and funny to make the connection- and greetings from John and A.

take care,

Your (other) pal in Cola Town.

Anonymous said...


I'm afraid that I can't identify the East Coast metropolitan university at which I teach remedial composition courses to "disadvantaged" students who were admitted to graduate programs on the basis of supposed potential/promise, rather than on the basis of undergraduate achievement. I can assure you, however, that this phenomenon is not as rare as you might wish to believe. The course is referred to as "Bonehead English", when students aren't around.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes he is!

Love you, D

Anonymous said...

Nailed it. The "Au contraire" paragraph had me rolling around on the floor giggling my ass off. I've got to say it, you've inspired me to go and don the most garish rig I can find just to get 'em boiling. In fact, I think we all should.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful paintings.

I visit your blog with some regularity, and I always find it to be a treat.

I comment on occasion, always anonymously. The reason is not for anonymity. The reason is that I am an old fart with very limited technology skills. I am a recent comer to e-mail and learning to send an attachment is an achievement for me.

I do not and probably never will have a blog, and I'm far from ready to explore what "Google Account," "Open ID," and "Name/URL" are all about.

The word ignorant can be deservedly applied to me, or at least slow learner.

I appreciate that you make it possible for people to comment anonymously. It gives me some odd sense of inclusion or connection.

I'm sure this is far more information than you care for, so goodnight.

ADG said...

Anonymous Old Fart....I will ALWAYS have an option for people to post anonymously so I hope you'll always do so when feeling compelled.And don't be so self deprecating...blogging is easy and fun so you should give it a try.

David...thanks. I'm not proud of being this juvenile in stirring crap up but I have to admit that it sure feels good. It's a dopamine thing-I'm convinced.

Anonymous You Tube Link Person....thanks! I LOVED the link and will use it in another you props for sending it along. Freakin' brilliant...mainly because I LOVE the Kinks. After I looked at it I spent an hour at Wikipedia re-educating myself about the wacky Davies brothers and their minions. Made my night...that and the Stoli.

ADG said...

OH I FORGOT ONE.....AnonInColaTown....What a small world? I'm gonna quote JCP in a post sometime soon. His father is a cool guy as well...he made lead toy soldiers as a hobby for years. His older brother was in my wedding and his oldest nephew is my first God Son...but you are now probably caught up on all of that. Oh shit, I just remembered...I think...JCP was my little brother in the fratty. I gave him my KA ring when I graduated. Ask him about when he totaled his dad's pristine little old KarmannGhia!

Cannonball said...

about the britches, I say let your freak flag fly, and to quote the late, great Warren Zevon, You've got to enjoy every sandwich.....

Anonymous said...

Although . . . I just listened to it through again and realized that it's missing the polka-dots and stripes verse - which is kinda what made it so absolutely perfect for your little self. Ah well. I must have been Stoli-fied (or some reasonable approximation) when searching it down.

But that's not what's important now, is it? I'm just so very tickled that it re-opened a box for you to explore with such delight.

Anonymous said...

The Bonehead English course for graduate students at the major metropolitan university on the East Coast is called "Communication Skills".

tintin said...

You know I have no problem with your GTH kit. But if you ever post a picture of your bare feet again without some sort of warning I'm calling my lawyers.

ADG said...

Cannonball...I love the freak flag characterization. Life's more fun with a little edge ain't it?

Anon...I found the PolkaDot version on YouTube and posted it in that last post. LOVED loved loved reading about the Davies bros at Wikipedia...I forgot how rowdy they were.

Anon..."Communication Skills" it.

TANGTIN....Very fair admonishion on your part. Feet are rather ugly. Of all the things a man can develop a fetish for in a many delightful curves, departments, undulations,touchpoints etc. ...I've NEVER understood the foot fetish thang. Please keep your lawyers at bay. Their brethren in tort down this neck of the woods have already taken a big part of my ass.

Anonymous said...

You're so very sweet.

And speaking of the rowdy sort, have you picked up the latest romp about Peter O'Toole and his deceased drinking buddies?

If you're looking for more good times, brother, look no further . . .