Fashion Quandary for Conservative Event

So I’m going to the Hoover Institution reception in Washington tonight.   Hoover’s Christmas card this year featured a picture of the medal that President Bush awarded them in November.   The reception should be double knee deep in True Believers and NeoConservatives.  

Luckily, people generally have low fashion expectations of freelance writers.   I’ll wear  a coat and tie – I expect that will do no permanent damage.

But the quandary is: what lapel pin should I wear?

I could wear my old hand-me-down Boy Scout pin.  Problem is – there might be other people there sporting Boy Scout lapel pins.  And I recall Maureen Dowd’s recent piece about how traumatized Laura Bush was when she wore the same $8,000 “unique” dress that 3 other women donned at some recent event.

If I don’t go with the Boy Scout lapel pin, the only other option is the pin  Al Jazeera gave me after they interviewed me in London last May.    I think it has some Arabic words on it – not sure, since my Arabic is even worse than my French.

Who knows?  Wearing an Al Jazeera lapel pin to a DC conservative gig could be a good icebreaker and spark some lively conversations.



24 Responses to Fashion Quandary for Conservative Event

  1. Sunni February 27, 2007 at 12:20 pm #

    Well Jim, it must be The End of the World as We Know It, if you’re seriously pondering matters of fashion.

    Too bad it’s such short notice; I have several snake pins and would be happy to lend you one for the occasion. Would seem to be a fitting metaphorical statement …

  2. Jim February 27, 2007 at 12:23 pm #

    Sunni, heck, I’m not pondering that hard.

    The snake pin would be appropriate – esp. with a Gadsden (sp?) flag.

  3. Jim February 27, 2007 at 1:13 pm #

    Claire Wolfe kindly blogged on this at her superb site here. []

    Claire’s advice: FASHION ADVICE FOR HOBNOBBING WITH NEOCONS. You should definitely go with the Gadsden snake, Jim. If you wear that Arabic Al-Jazeera pin, you might end up needing this fashion advice from Patty Neill.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to hang out with the people Jim Bovard has to cozy up and cocktail with.
    Cozying up?

    Wearing an Al Jazeera lapel pin in DC is like trying to cozy up to a prosecutor by wearing a Fully Informed Jury Association t-shirt.

  4. W Baker February 27, 2007 at 1:42 pm #


    You might think of renting some sort “skin” suit. You know the kind that folks wear which has fake parts shown in paint. Although I’m not intimately familiar with these sorts of things, surely a town like D.C. would have them around.

    Anyway, the fashion statement – if you were allowed in and asked – would obviously be, ‘I’m so infatuated with our emperor, I wanted to dress just like him!

  5. Jim February 27, 2007 at 1:45 pm #

    Wes, thanks for the suggestion, but…

    Have you seen pics of Bush-worshipping women lately?

    I don’t want to encourage anything.

  6. W Baker February 27, 2007 at 1:52 pm #

    No, Jim, pics of women worshipping bush (Dubya, I mean) have not crossed my radar screen lately! But I will follow a link, if sent one!

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist the risqué response!


  7. Jim February 27, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    If I posted links to such pictures, I could be accused of contributing to the delinquency (or maybe depravity) of a non-minor.

  8. Debra February 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    I suggest a kilt and blue face paint ala Braveheart. Aw, heck, skip the paint and just go with a kilt. 🙂

  9. Jim February 27, 2007 at 4:18 pm #

    Debra – thanks for the suggestion but my kilt is at the dry cleaners until Thursday.

    If I could do the blue face paint with PhotoShop, that would be worth a go, but I haven’t figured out how to make the color stick after applying it on the computer screen.

    I suspect a bandoleer wouldn’t fly tonight, since there are sometimes jumpy Secret Service agents running around these events. But at least their presence guarantees that there will be trays heaping full of donuts in every corner of the room.

  10. Sunni February 27, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

    Y’know, of all the snake stuff I have, I don’t have a Gadsden pin—nor a Gadsden flag, for that matter! ‘Tis a sad thing.

    For the record, I’m cool with the kilt suggestion too, as long as you have the knife that’s the traditional accompaniment. But I don’t think that would look good with your “railroad” cap I saw you wearing at the Freedom Summit.

  11. Adam S. February 27, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    Why you should wear a matching tin foil pin and hat! It would go hand in hand for dinner with the Borg!

  12. Tom Blanton February 27, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m not much on fashion, so I would wear a plain simple orange jumpsuit with maybe a clip-on bowtie.

  13. Jim February 27, 2007 at 10:33 pm #

    Sunni – I was going incognito so the railroad engineer/peach picker hat was verboten.

    A very clean cut crowd.

    [redacted comment]

  14. Jim February 27, 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    Adam – the tin foil hat did not make it through the metal detector.

  15. Jim February 27, 2007 at 10:36 pm #

    Tom – I checked at my usual sources and all the orange suits were sold out.

    One of the sales clerks said that there has been a rush on them, pending the announcement of the Libby verdict and additional indictments.

  16. Orville H. Larson February 28, 2007 at 12:16 am #

    You’re going to a gig at the Hoover Institute? Pardon my incredulity, Jim, but don’t you give a damn for your reputation? You can’t afford to consort with lowlifes, you know!

  17. americanintifada February 28, 2007 at 2:52 am #

    Jim – I have two pins that may be fashionable. One is an imitation traffic sign with “STOP BUSH” in white letters on a bright red background. The other shows a picture of our Fearless Leader with the caption “Daddy’s Little War Criminal”. I will be more than happy to FedEx whichever you choose as an accessory.

    However, if you choose the more appropriate Al Jazeera pin, just tell the Hoover thugs that “Al” is your long-lost Arabic cousin and that the translated inscription says “USA Forever!” They’ll never know the difference!

  18. John Lowell February 28, 2007 at 9:45 am #


    I’d forget the Boy Scout or the Al Jazeera pins, the event will be awash in neocons. Better to wear a swastika lapel pin emblazoned with the words, “Die Fahne Hoch”. And at every introduction to someone not previously met, to make them more comfortable with you – after all you are full bearded – point to the swastika pin and and tell them that it was given to you by Richard John Neuhaus.

    John Lowell

  19. Jim February 28, 2007 at 1:49 pm #

    Orville – that’s probably the same thing some of the people at the reception thought when they saw me there.

  20. Sunni March 1, 2007 at 9:33 am #

    So how did the event go?

    [I guess asking is pointless if he’s cooling his heels in jail for wearing that Al Jazeera pin.]

  21. Jim March 1, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    People were pretty much oblivious to anything that wasn’t free food.

    The Al Jazeera lapel pin jolted a few heads but it did not show up on that many radar screens. (It is actually pretty large). A few people were mildly stunned after I explained what it was – I reckon the AJ emblem is not often shown on Fox News.

    Talking with folks there, it is clear that DC conservative (and @libertarian) intellectuals and activists remain as blase about the torture scandal as the average Rush Limbaugh listener.

  22. Sunni March 1, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    Sad, that, but not too surprising. Glad you made it through safely, my friend!

  23. Alpowolf March 1, 2007 at 5:12 pm #

    I don’t know that I would worry about neocons showing up wearing Boy Scout pins, unless there have been big changes since I was a Scout. In my day Boy Scouts were taught to be self-reliant, an idea quite contrary to the neocons. Also, we camped in the woods, cooked our own food, dug slit trenches for latrines, and so on. I can’t see neocons doing such things or rubbing elbows with the commoners out in nature.

  24. Jim March 1, 2007 at 7:21 pm #

    Back when I was a scout, I don’t recall any catered meals. Definitely not like a Washington social event.

    We hiked across fields where there was real BS, not the far more expensive Washington kind.