Yesterday, I was talking to Anthony while receiving Barnet maintenance and, being the philosopher that he is, he was reflecting on the way in which the internet is changing the world. The man in the sharp suit but with an empty head used to be able to get along rather well, simply by looking perky when the boss was in the vicinity. The dishevelled oaf who went to Dickie Moore’s, but who had a head full of bright ideas, was never allowed to shine. Now, so says Anthony, the sharp-suited man competes unfavourably with the man who never leaves his living room and doesn’t even bother putting on his trousers. What is to become of the empty-headed sharp-suited man? And what should we make of our bare-legged house-bound go-getter of the future?
I do not know this person, but assuredly he is succeeding from home
Musing on these fragments relating to sartorial attitudes leads me to the following: while we used to have standards, looking the part often superseded being the part, and if we have made a meritocratic turn, so much the better; then again, if the meritocratic turn has come at the expense of all standards, then we have turned too far. There is, I conjecture, a balance to be struck. People can go to work in appropriate attire and be good at their jobs. And people who stay at home and make fortunes by manipulating the ether can don a collar and tie just because it feels good to look good.
Incidentally, in answer to the question posed by my former boss I pointed out that I have a certain amount of self-respect to maintain. I did not say ‘How about you?’ but it was probably understood.