29 January 2009

Girls on Film (Duran Duran)

Eton Wall Game (1921)

My research at the BFI National Archives has uncovered footage of the Eton Wall Game from 1921. Played at Eton College every St. Andrew's Day. Note the slim physiques, proper haircuts (minus facial hair), and bone structure of the young chaps at play. I can imagine some of Evelyn Waugh's contemporaries amongst the spectators.

American Patriot

I like to imagine this angry young American is wearing a pair of black longwing brogues, perhaps from Alden, J.Press, or J.Crew. The specs and short-sleeve dress shirt, of course, I can do without, and so can you. However, it is what appears to be an Americanised version of the OE tie that would cause me to cross the street to avoid running into this irritated fellow. It's simply not on.

28 January 2009

The Matador

27 January 2009

The Four Yorkshiremen

The Four Yorkshiremen, with Harry Enfield, Alan Rickman, Eddie Izzard, and Vic Reeves. I watch this video regularly and it never fails to crack me up. If you don't understand it, you can be forgiven. If you do and you still fail (or refuse) to emit at least a chuckle, then you are beyond saving. Classic. Enjoy.

22 January 2009

Tintin et moi (Hergé documentary)

"This drawing is printed in my consciousness" (5:06) 6/8








Kerouac (en français)

20 January 2009

Black Tie Affair

Tonight I co-hosted an investment seminar at a local beach resort. It was a casual event. I wore a lightweight Paul Stuart tweed coat in a tan and green check pattern, charcoal worsted trousers, black tassel loafers, ecru OCBD from Brooks Brothers, and a black knit tie. I normally don't wear knit ties, much less one in black, but I thought it was a subtle enough acknowledgement of the significance of the day. In other words, my very own black badge of resistance. I held court admirably, I think, as a mass of retirees, local executives, and business owners pressed upon me their concerns for the future. If one looked closely, one could see real fear in their eyes. It would have been quite a sobering experience, I imagine, if I had not downed so many whiskeys.

19 January 2009

Born Mufti: George Adamson

The photograph (left) depicts George Adamson (1906-1989), the renowned East African game ranger, conservationist, author, and film maker. Born in India and educated at public school in England, at age 18 he went to British East Africa (Kenya) to work on a coffee plantation. After trying various professions, he settled on a career as a game warden with the Kenya Game Department. He retired in 1961 to a reserve to care for his growing collection of lions. His life with these animals resulted in, amongst others, the well-known movie Born Free. Adamson was assassinated by Somali bandits in 1989. In the illustration he is depicted wearing what appears to be a tweed jacket in a tickweave pattern, a shirt with a spread collar, grey flannel trousers, and the tie of the East African Wildlife Society. If a rugged chap who spends his life in the bush with lions can look presentable, surely we can too. What is our excuse?

pensées corsaires

"Les actions les plus efficaces, c'est-à-dire les actions d'avant-garde, ne furent pas menées l'insigne à la boutonnière et le drapeau au vent, mais en civil. Pour prendre une image militaire, elles furent conçues comme des opérations de commando derrière les lignes, mais avec le soutien de la population. Quant à l'esprit et à la technique, leurs instigateurs furent les Robins des bois qui précédaient l'arrivée du Roi Richard.

L'idée doit donc être de susciter quelque chose qui soit en même temps possible et juste et aille dans le sens voulu, mais sans l'encadrer directement. En d'autres termes, si l'on essaie d'être une avant-garde politique et sociale et non des chefs de bandes, des marchands de votes ou les roitelets mendiants de ceux-ci, on ne doit pas s'occuper des retours immédiats, de l'utilité directe, de la gestion personnelle de ce que l'on suscite. On doit agir, un point c'est tout. Et on doit le faire bien, autrement c'est inutile."

Gabriele Adinolfi, Pensées corsaires: abécédaire de lutte et de victoire (Les Editions du Lore, 2008)

Club Colours

15 January 2009

The Bloody White Baron

13 January 2009

Head Dress (Amazing Baby)

Video removed.

This is what I am listening to now.

12 January 2009


As you may have heard, my new editor just bought me a Bedouin keffiyeh, or shemagh, to help me cope with the recent cold, damp weather here in Southern California. This particular item was exported directly from the souks of the Near East and sports large, long tassels at each end. I owned a keffiyeh when I was younger. Like my schoolmates and friends, I occasionally wore one in London as a schoolboy; they were particularly popular amongst European students. The special forces in Britain and Australia wear the keffiyeh on campaign. Today I wear it to ward off the chill of a winter climate. I tie it around my neck ascot-style, stuffing the ends down the front of my Filson flannel shirt-jacket or Brooks Brothers tweed coat.

11 January 2009

Young Fogey Trio

As you know, the climate here in recent weeks has been positively freezing, with some nights actually dipping into the 40s. Arctic conditions require warm gear and naturally I have turned to my meagre collection of cardigans and Fair Isle knitwear. The rare photo (above) depicts the type. For pipe and pint of bitter, one may substitite cigar and whisky. Pensive gaze, optional.

06 January 2009

Under My Flag, I Am Free

04 January 2009

Western Star Blazers

...Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

- Ulysses, Alfred Tennyson

03 January 2009

Chap Shop

Pop the champagne! The gents at The Chap journal have set up a shop (here) selling, amongst other things, brogues, trilbys, and cravats. In their own words:

The Chap is constantly being asked such plaintive questions as "Where can I buy a decent trilby?" and "Which shops sell sock suspenders?" We have therefore decided to open a modest little general store for gentlemen. The Chap Shop contains six departments, each serving an essential area of the gentleman's wardrobe. These items are currently only available to residents of the British Isles.

The Chap has painstakingly combed the aisles of the remaining British suppliers of gentleman's necessities, to find what we consider to be the very best items available at the most reasonable prices.

It's a promising enterprise and I for one will drink a celebration toast with a glass of Veuve Cliquot. Best of luck to them.

A Perishing Model

"...The Western way of life is less and less likely to become the leading model.

There are meaningful warnings that history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen. There are open and evident warnings, too. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.

But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their decisive offensive, you can feel their pressure, and yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?"

A World Split Apart, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Harvard University, 8 June 1978

02 January 2009

India (Roxy Music)

Out With The Old Brogues, In With The New

I delivered an old pair of Loake brogues to a local cobbler two days ago. It was my first time inside this particular shop. I requested a re-soling. The Asian proprietor grabbed my brogues and examined them, turning them over and over in his hands. He called to his colleagues to have a look (or so I surmised). They gathered round, peering at the shoes, and congratulated me on having such a nice pair of shoes. It was an unexpected event.