Starting with His Red Tie
It was early in the morning. I had brewed a pot of coffee, added a creamer, and went to work in front of my computer grading term papers. After a couple of hours, I needed a change. With ADD, my concentration is severely limited. Therefore, a change in activities is often beneficial.
I decided that since Christmas was coming up soon that I should take some time to finish up my Christmas shopping. That task is not difficult nor is it time consuming since most of my family wants money. Nevertheless, I buy Li Bien Christmas ornaments for each child, grandchild, a couple for my friends, and one for myself. I have given Li Bien ornaments for many years. This is some of my collection.
Although, Jack and Owen, my two preschool grandsons, want fossils and Hot Wheels. While shopping at the mall, I happened upon some men's neckties. Of all the ties that I own, I love Jerry Garcia brand ties the most. He was born only a couple months before I was. While I totally lack any musical ability, we both love art. He actually studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute, and I have taught art history while in college and have also taught art history for much of the past two decades at three different universities. Interestingly, Jerry Garcia started his own brand of neckties about a half dozen years prior to his death. The photo below is most of my ties and most of them are Jerry Garcia ties.
However, while going through some of the newer Jerry Garcia ties, I happened to notice another brand of neckties, Donald Trump's brand. They caught my eye due to most of them were solid colors, which is absolutely the opposite of Jerry Garcia ties, which contain a half dozen colors per tie. The one that stood out of the Trumps collection was a bright red one, which I bought. It makes a statement, a direct, and emphatic statement.
When I returned home, I put my Li Bien Christmas ornaments and my Trump tie down on my desk as I checked my emails. Realizing that I needed to get back to grading the remaining term papers and finishing up a couple articles, I made another pot of coffee and went directly back to work. I remained focused for a couple hours floating between term papers and my own writing. However, after a couple of hours, my mind drifted off again.
Therefore, another change of pace was necessary. I attempted to clean up my office, which needs that regularly. I decided to reorganized my cabinets, bookshelf, and desk. I started to rearrange a cabinet, which contained several dozen children's books. However, it was not long before I was musing over all the various children's books. Some of the books were read to me as a child, some I had read to my children, and those that I read to my grandchildren.
Then it happened again as it has for the past six months when objects began talking to me. This time it was one of the books, Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes.
"You have had this book read to you by your parents, and, in turn, read it to your children and grandchildren. You can't believe all the people who know this story since Hans Christian Andersen wrote this book neary two centuries ago. How much do you know about The Emperor's New Clothes?"
I confessed that I did not know much about the book beyond the general storyline of The Emperor's New Clothes and knew that the author was from Copenhagen, Denmark. Andersen also had written several collections of children stories. About the only other thing that I knew was that Søren Kierkegaard wrote a review of one of Andersen's novel. I told the book that Kierkegaard was called, in Copenhagen, the dismal Dane. Additionally, I never understood why the dismal Dane would review an Andersen novel.
The book responded, "I had not heard about Kierkegaard writing a review. Nonetheless, I noticed that you had written about Robert Schumann's Kinderszenen, which means Scenes from Childhood. You mentioned that Träumerei was one of thirteen pieces of suite for children. Andersen's Fairy Tales Told for Children was a type of literary suite, which was published in 1837.
I told the book that I would appreciate his understanding on The Emperor's New Clothes, since I merely knew the storyline and not the backstory.
"Well, the storyline is fairly simple. Essentially, he hired two clothiers to make him a new outfit, which would appear invisible to anyone in his kingdom who was a good person. Therefore, when the emperor would walk among his subjects, the emperor's subject acted as if they admired his new clothes to indicate that they were good people. They did not want to be sent off to the guillotine, as it were, if they mentioned that he was running around naked."
I replied that I got the storyline, but why did Andersen tell that story in the first place?
This was the book's explanation. "There are two reasons that are interrelated. First, Andersen did not like the rich putting on airs; that is obvious. Second, Andersen was a commoner among the Danes. He was excluded from some of the uppity places where the rich would frequent. He felt, to use your society's term, discriminated against."
I responded that I understood the book's explanation.
Then the book added a postscript. "I bet that you never read that Andersen gave his publisher the final draft and right before the publisher was about to print the story, Andersen rewrote the ending of The Emperor's New Clothes."
I told the book that I had not ever read that, to which the book replied, "Most of the literary scholars believe that the little child who yelled out that the emperor had no clothes was in fact a metaphor for Andersen because of the wealthy holier than thou attitude. Since he was discriminated against by the upper class by not being allowed into some places for dinning or drinks that this is to show them that he was as smart as in the young child in his book who announced that the emperor was naked."
I had never known about Andersen's adding his personal ...anger.
Then the book asked me a question, which initially caught me off guard. "What is the meaning of The Emperor's New Clothes in today's world. We have dissected in the world of Denmark nearly two centuries ago. What is its applicability to today's world...from your point of view?"
As a pondered for a moment, I didn't say anything. Apparently, the book was interested in pushing his point with this addendum, "What's with your red tie?"
I told him that I had been out shopping for Li Bien Christmas ornaments for my family and some friends and notice some ties. I mentioned my love for Jerry Garcia ties due to the use of a various mix of colors.
The book retorted, "Use of a various mix of colors doesn't apply to your red tie; does it?"
I replied that I noticed a tie by Donald Trump and just liked it and showed him the backside of the Donald's tie.
The book's next couple questions indicated that he was aware of it being the Donald's brand and his questioning seemed like his disdain for the Donald.
The book then asked, "Where are you when it comes to the Donald?"
I paused for a short moment, fearing that if I did not reply quickly the book would have lost its patience. Therefore, I responded, "Well, I am caught between dissing Trump's stupid comments on the one hand and on the other hand dissing all the radical right republicans for their stupidity. Then I clarified that Trump is not stupid. However, by making these stupid statements, manipulates the radical right to support him."
The book then uttered, "And...?
Finally, I understood where the book was going. I replied, "He is the emperor without any clothes on and the people aren't able to understand he isn't naked."
The book then uttered, "And...?
I support the Donald by sending him his necktie. Maybe running around intellectually naked with a red tie will waken his followers.
This is a video of the Donald intellectually naked.
Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Talking with Objects page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.