(for those of you wondering, I am writing this alongside my iPod of ‘barnstorming philosophical’ ideas, and I have decided that none of those posts would have been any good, so this piece comes from a friend of mine)
Ties. Look at them. Look at them! They wrap around our necks like serpents of Capitalism, and are simultaneously expected to be sombre enough to fit into the contractually-obliged boring ‘adult’ world, while being interesting enough to have patterns and swirly bits on them. They’re just confusing as far as I’m concerned.
With my passage into my final year of school, my teachers have started treating us like ‘adults’ (because people who work for Barclays really get shouted at for not highlighting a worksheet in the correct colours, right?), and a part of that is our new freedom to wear ties of our own choosing. We’ve worn our own suits for three years now, but our ties were still limited to being indicators of rank: prefects wore prefect ties, athletes wore sports ties, and chess players wore stupid ties. Recently though, these restrictions have been lifted, and a veritable rainbow of neck-based apparel has sprung forth, in scenes that closely resemble this one from TomSka’s excellent asdfmovie series.
As a result, the total idiocy of these serpentine bits of fabric has become apparent: it’s no longer a matter of being forced into wearing these things, but now we are choosing to do so. Obviously, our school requires that we wear some form of tie, but the shift in onus to them being our ties would suggest that the school is trying to force some acceptance of mainstream banker attire onto us, attire that is being sadly accepted.
I see people discussing ties they’re wearing, and planning in advance the colours of their ties so as not to clash with people in their form or people they sit next to in lessons; I see people with ironically tasteless ties, boasting to people of their self-parody and trendiness; and there’s one twat who’s worn nothing but an Arsenal FC tie for a week now, showcasing a brilliant lack of taste, and lack of appreciation of his lack of taste, making him perhaps the first finalist for the annual ‘James Casey “You Are A Bastard” award for services to quickening the inevitable destruction of our species’.
Just think about ties for a minute: while other clothes are grounded in practical purpose, such as keeping us warm or hiding the ugliness of our genitals, ties are entirely superfluous. You could say that they contribute to fashion, which has replaced beard length as the primary superficial means by which male mates are selected, but I’d argue that most people associate ties with snobbery, wealth and excess, the latter two the majority of people could do with a bit of these days.
I’d even go so far as to say they are dangerous; they are the capes of the normal people, and, as we learned in The Incredibles, capes are nothing but a bad idea. What if you try to operate a blender wearing a tie, and end up being strangled by the garment, or even dragged into the blades as they revolved and pull your stupid, tie-wearing neck into their hug of death?
They are also stupidly complicated for what they are: they are functionally unnecessary, and require the dexterity and spatial awareness of a particularly flexible individual who can beat Tetris by contorting just one toe in the general direction of the D-Pad. It took me until I was ten to learn how to tie a tie, leading to perpetually awkwardness after primary school PE lessons as I searched around for peers to tie the damn thing for me.
I recognise there will be a need for formality, and to forsake personal choice for social norms, at times: I doubt I’ll wear a mankini to the funerals of my relatives. However, I don’t see why this prioritisation needs to come in such a daft form: is it not enough that I wear boring, grey clothes to reinforce the mundanity and horror of daily work, but that I have to wear boring, grey clothes that flap about in the wind too? What a world we live in.
And for those of you interested, I wear a black suit to school: a black jacket, black trousers, black shirt and a plain black tie that came from a funeral. I appear to have got into the whole ‘wearing black clothes and listening to My Chemical Romance’ about a decade after it was actually a thing, and about five years later than most people do. At this rate, the inevitable depression and helplessness of my University life will be compounded by a biological urge to listen to Black Veil Brides and cut my wrists. I’ll probably blog about that and all.