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January 10, 2008 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-10

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4B - Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4B - Thursday, January10, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom




Presidential candidate
fashion watch
By Kimberly Chou I Associate Arts Editor

illary Clinton has always The suit without
gotten flack for her fash- all the attention
ion choices. During the collar is too big, tu
years Bubba was in office, she was forbid - sticking
too conservative, too unfeminine, it completely del
or downright sexless. (See: the goes straightto scl
long-sleeved inaugural gowns, the for the tie-less lot
pantsuits and ... the pantsuits.) The in Grand Rapids y
haircut evolved from conservative
soccer-mom bob to a slightly spicier THE S
chop as a junior senator. Bizarrely Romney also to
then, a scoop-neck shell/blazer lared shirt with a
combo on the Senate floor last sum- jacket. Itworked f
mer inspired an intense - and hotly Michigan weathe
debated - Washington Post article more air-traffic-a
by fashion editor Robin Givhan. than commander
To be fair, the amount of cleavage But it wasn't n
shown was probably closer to Mona fashion crimes in
Lisa than Carmen Electra. But Clin- Huckabee family
tonian cleavage? Sound the alarm. Circulated by poli
And what about the male politi- like Wonkette,t
cos?WithGetty and Associate Press taken during Mik
databases expanding exponentially lier years in Ar
each day with images of Barack pound weight lo
Obama, Mitt Romney and Mike because he's su
Huckabee, too, it's time we take a and so are hiss
closer look at their sweater vest and wearing matchi
necktie choices. We must break the With stripes. Ar
sartorial double standard. Part of (Mrs., Daughter a
it is based on available options. If abee were thankfr
you're a man, it's hard to go wrong have on red zip-u
with a simple suit - until you start ever first release
experimenting with the neckwear. have been trying
spirited reminde
THE SUIT SANS TIE less-svelte self, bh
Barack Obama didn't realize what as it highlights th
kind of monster he would unleash fashion sense. Ma
with his choice of sharp, business- a gubernatorial p
casual wear. For early appearances Whatworkson
while rumors were just swirling looks good in a
about his presidential hopes, and with the tie, and
on the cover of his book The Audac- graphed more oft
ity of Hope, Obama rocked the suit- raisers - the blac
without-a-tie look. But it's rare that a never-fail with
he's seen without a tie these days per hair and Mid
- maybe because of the trend he's What works
inspired. The months following pro- Bespoke suits wil
motion for Hope spawned a number
of Obama-wannabes, some less suc- COLOR
cessful than others (re: Mr. Giuliani Blue and red ar
on a few sweatier days - or maybe popular neckwes
I'm justthinking ofthat PhotoShop- they're patriotic.
ed Radar magazine cover with Rudy, ened color-read
Hillary and Obama aping last year's power, dominan
Vanity Fair Hollywood issue cover), while blue is asso
From page 1B
another shot at reaching audiences.
And it seems we will never hear the end of "Juno,"
heralded as this year's Little Indie That Could, even
though it has enjoyed more pervasive media cover-
age than any other movie in awards competition. Its
controlled release and word of mouth has worked to
astonishing effect; the film made it to No. 2 nation-
wide at the box office last weekend, despite the fact
that it played in just more than half the theaters of
the No. 3 movie, "I Am Legend." Besides, we've all
seen those lines outside the State Theater.
It's possible these movies would have been made
and followed with the same conviction if there were
no Academy Awards. The familiar, proto-quirky con-
ceit of "Juno" seems to be invincible these days. The
fact is we don't know. The question before us now
is how the industry will navigate its self-made fire-
storm this year if the strike isn't resolved by Feb. 24,
and what that will mean for the movies next year, or
five years from now.
PAPER York Times has s
Fropa escriptions. Newsl
From page 3B have not. While a
papers spill some
and dentists stocked with maga- pages to direct
zines for quick perusal. Wouldn't websites, it will
it be awkward to whip out that see if this can b
Blackberry next to a screaming ther - news cot
baby? Pick up an US Magazine and ing detailed anal

wait your turn. their comments;
(Forgive me: Our Office of online headlinesc
Financial Aid has some of the most and the wider inc
shallow TV/celeb mags you can ble and widely tr
imagine. I won't name them here sources, to name
for fear of libel suits.) acting like separ
Obviously, newspapers as print and online shou
media are all in a tizzy over the cross-over. Slat
Brave New World of the web. Some rounds up blogg
are adapting, some aren't. The New events of the da
From page 3B
From Reagan's white "Marlboro Man" cowboy hat
(continued in both Bush administrations) to Arnold
Schwarzenegger taking office as governor of Califor-
nia; from Jon Stewart becoming a pre-eminent news
source to Oprah's backing of Obama: Now more than
ever, there's a precedent for pop-culture politics.
The appropriation of pop culture to politics does
not weaken the system, nor does the incorporation of
a common symbolic language make the political world
anyless significant. The simple recognitionthat a cam-
paign is subject to further examination than political
science theorists can offer is a starting point to fully
realizing the extent to which politics operate within a
particular social environment.
So how much influence do the entertainment and

the tie look draws
to the shirt, and if
oo pointy or - god
out over the lapels,
Meats "sharp" and
ok while stumping
pped atie and col-
sweater and light
or this week'smild
r, but the look was
meets-Mr. Rogers
in chief.
early as bad as the
the now-infamous
Christmas card.
itical gossip blogs
the family photo
e Huckabee's ear-
kansas (pre-100+
ss) isn't shocking
rprisingly heftier,
sons. But they're
ng denim shirts.
nd elbow patches.
nd Pet Dog Huck-
ully spared - they
ps instead.) Who-
d this photo may
to make a mean-
r of Huckabee's
ut it hurts doubly
e family's horrific
aybe we can blame
ersonal shopper.
Romney: The man
suit and tie. Stick
try to be photo-
en at various fund-
k tux and bowtie is
that salt-and-pep-
western appeal.
on Huckabee:
1 do him wonders.
e not just the most
ar colors because
For the enlight-
er, red signifies
ce, hawkish-ness,
ciated with peace,

intelligence and trust. (George W.
Bush, in particular, seems to favor
a paler blue.) Notice what color ties
the male candidates wear at the
Michigan primary next week, and
the color of Hillary's pantsuit.
What works on Obama: He sticks
to the light blues, sometimes ven-
turing into a silvery blue or a darker
color with a subtle stripe. Obama
gets bonus points all around when
accompanied by outspoken - and
well-dressed - wife Michelle. And
pearl necklaces are quintessential
First Lady.
Unless Hillary's wearing a pat-
terned jacket like in New Hamp-
shire - a Clinton favorite, if the
bloggers ever saw one. She wore the
earth-toned jacket with a high col-
lar, embroidered with various foli-
age. The look, I think, was supposed
to be mature, subtle. Unfortunately,
she just looked like a Napoleonic
carpet bag. At least when she wore
it last in December, she paired the
jacket and pants with yellow point-
ed-toe kitten heels. Kind of sexy.
What works on Hillary: Higher,
structured collars. Maybe try some
stand-out shoes.
There is no greater social magni-
fying glass than campaign season.
From late-spring murmurs the year
before to the final wave of attack-ads
in November, campaign craziness
lets us see our potential presidents'
entire range of emotions and then
some. On display, in newspapers,
on television and YouTube, we get
America-loving and terrorist-bash-
ing (McCain sometimes, Giuliani all
of the time), shows of faith (Hucka-
bee, and in red states, Romney),
near-tears (Hillary Clinton after
Iowa) and real tears (Ed Muskie,
1972) and even too much enthusiasm
for the cause (a banshee-screaming
Howard Dean four years ago). With
the major fashion weeks coming up
just as the primary season heats up,
why don't we pay attention to their
clothes, too?

Duringthe last writers' strike in 1988, the Academy
Awards went ahead, but that was because the stars
were in attendance, which is unlikely to happen this
year if the WGA promises picketers. In 2003, after
the American-led invasion of Iraq, the show went
ahead without the habitual glamour parades, only
to return to its fevered, outrageously overanalyzed
roots the following year. If the year-end landscape
next November and December isn't too damaged by
the widespread production halt precipitated by the
strike, perhaps next year will follow suit.
But for unheralded character actresses like Amy
Ryan ("The Wire"), a hot item for best supporting
actress this year, and the movie that got her there,
"Gone Baby Gone," the damage will be done. And can
"Juno" remain the unlikely touchstone of the year
without the Oscar confirmation from its predestined
best original screenplay and perhaps an even better
While smug bloggers and disillusioned moviegoers
everywhere revel in the fallout, the Academy Awards
are still set for Feb. 24. It remains unclear if anyone
- including host Jon Stewart, a WGA member - will
show up.


TOP:"'This tie makes me look like an Iraq war opponent."
BOTTOM: "Oh my God, I'm so happy."


een a rise in sub-
papers as a whole
most major news-
ink on their front
readers to their
be interesting to
e taken even fur-
amentary involv-
ysis of blogs and
more space for
on the front page;
lusion of reputa-
'afficked blogs as
a few. Instead of
ate worlds, print
.ld have broader
e.com routinely
ers' opinions on
ay. Who's to say

mainstream newspaper readers
don't want to see the same thing
in print?
What I don't foresee happening
is the reverse: Websites creating a
print edition to supplement online.
As an admitted paper lover, that's
not as saddening as the death of
paper as a whole, but it does reflect
the general direction the medium
is heading: online. What remains
to be seen - indeed, what remains
to be done - is exactly how print
media outlets are going to con-
solidate the vast frontier of online
(a world they are finally starting
to throw their weight around in)
with the daily paper edition, the
backbone of their enterprise.



This is not Ann Arbor.

advertising industries really have over politics? If you
consider the union of charisma and dollar signs, nei-
ther public arena is all that removed from the other.
You might turn the channel on Oprah, but for millions
of people, the woman sells. Maybe Glamour's news
spin seems frivolous, but for thousands of subscribers,
it's what readers want. The level of political interest
only matters to a point. At the very least, information
that can feel complexly esoteric is, in some form, avail-
able to a wider audience that might not have otherwise
made time to understand the political climate that
surrounds them.
The TV viewers, the magazine readers - every-
one who walks through their day inundated with ads
- they aren't just consumers. Many of them are also
Wanna feel Chavez's muscles? E-mail
Hartman at carolinh@umich.edu.

From page 1B
and told fortunes; teenage boys
danced in crisp rhythm to Chi-
nese rap. These people were as
much a part of the streets as the
vendors selling fried rice - they
belonged there. They added a
touch of variety, a different envi-
ronment to streets that, with-
out them, would have just been
grimy and loud. In a way that
wasn't easy to understand: They
give the city a different dimen-
sion throughtheir art.
The art of China doesn't stay
locked up in its museums or in
its exclusive, red-carpeted music
halls. It spills out onto the street
in every possible way. The street
artists and their performances
are just as much a part of the
culture as the temples or the
rickshaws. They're invaluable,
inseparable. They give every per-

son - from the poorest noodle
vendor to the black-suited busi-
nessman - a chance to have a
taste of their own artistic culture
just walking down the street.
When I came back to Ann
Arbor this fall, just a few days
after my last stroll through the
streets of Wuhan, I couldn't help
but notice the difference. For a
city that's touted as multicultural
there's not a lot of anything on
the streets of Ann Arbor. Some
American cities offer more,
certainly: New York City, San
Francisco, Chicago perhaps, but
where else? In China, even the
smallest towns have a few men
sitting in the town square strum-
ming their huluhu (a gourd-like
stringed instrument).
Slowly but surely, art in Amer-
ica is becoming the realm of the
educated, the people with the
extra cash to attend $80 concerts
and the desire to put on a collared
shirt and visit the Met in New

York. We're drawing in on our-
selves, listening to music from
our earbuds rather than expe-
riencing it as a living breathing
So where does this leave us?
With a culture that's obsessed
with art galleries and concert
halls and ticketed admission,
is it possible that we're robbing
ourselves of our own art? If noth-
ing else, we're limiting it. We're
confining art to a tiny part of
our existence, and art should be
throughout all of it. It's like put-
ting all the great Americanlitera-
ture in a bank vault instead of a
After six months back, it
doesn't bother me anymore. I
hardly think about it most of the
time. Still, I can't help but walk
down the streets of Ann Arbor
without wondering, where are
the three blind men, and why
are the streets simply grimy and

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