The Rise Of Modern Prep: MRket Trade Show Recap

modern-prep-mrket

The concept of modern prep may really be nothing new. Use the term loosely enough and you could say it goes back to the 1920s, when the Ivy League Look first began to codify.

A couple of weeks ago saw another edition of the big menswear tradeshow known as MRket, and this time there was a new section of the show floor called Modern Prep. Given that there’s an enormous area devoted to Italian style, I thought it was a great move on behalf of the show producers to recognize American brands flying the tradition-with-a-twist flag.

The very “Rowing Blazers” image above was used throughout the show on signs and other marketing materials. It was also part of the show guide/brochure for Modern Prep:

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… which included a long article:

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… juxtaposing a vintage Weejuns ad with the guys from the wildly successful Country Club Prep:

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As for the show itself, here’s some of who was there, starting with Collared Greens:

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Bird Dog Bay:

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High Cotton:

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These cool sunglesses from Red’s Outfitters were a kind of cross between the P3 and keyhole-style shades:

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Black Watch vest and white winter cords from Castaway Clothing:

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York River Traders was also there with its nautical belts:

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Elsewhere on the show floor were trad stalwarts such as Alden:

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And Southwick, which had a pair of cool stark white signs like this:

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Utterly pointless photo of straws and matchboxes at Southern Proper:

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And for a parting shot, the lounge area was called “Aprep Ski.” — CC

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110 Comments on "The Rise Of Modern Prep: MRket Trade Show Recap"

  1. NaturalShoulder | February 9, 2015 at 9:33 pm |

    I do like the Red’s sunglasses and will keep those in mind for the future. The Southwick 3 patch jacket looks great.

  2. Question-preference for the club here on tie widths-anything wider than 3 1/2 inches looks too wide to me. . .

  3. E.Conrad Urquart | February 9, 2015 at 10:23 pm |

    A tie should never be thick like that. Refer to the ties of the 50s and 60s, that 1940s/70s tie are awful.

  4. Whatever happened to this blog being changed to “Ivy Aesthetic”? I briefly remember seeing the banner of this blog change to ivy aesthetic, and a post about it. Then it changed back to ivy style.

  5. DGB, I’d say it depends on the man. Factors include his age, height, weight, and also what everyone else is wearing. Being of slight stature and slender, I stick with 3″ to 3 1/2″, with 3 1/4″ my favorite, but tall and/or heavyset men would look better wearing something in the 3 1/2″ to 4″ range.

    As you know, ties & lapels were narrow in the late 1950s–early 1960s, and wide in the 1970s, so most men looked better in clothes that reflected those trends, without necessarily aping them. I’ve seen vintage Brooks Brothers long ties measuring less than 3″, as well as ones approaching 4″, so not even the trad-est were immune to fashion.

  6. Reactionary Trad | February 10, 2015 at 5:48 am |

    That top photo made me think of Talleyrand:

    “Surtout pas trop de zèle:
    Above all, not too much zeal!”.

  7. Just got an email from Brooks Brothers, an ad for Red Fleece: “Dress in Ivy style for spring.”

  8. @Tom and AA406- You guys know that was a joke, Right?

  9. WhollyRoamin | February 10, 2015 at 8:50 am |

    Ditto NaturalShoulder on the 3-patch jacket. Excellent piece.

  10. I think the boys at the top just sold May #11 Sugar. But I could be wrong. Anyway, they all look very sweet.

  11. Oversaturated. A little off. Opportunistic. Less than high quality. Irritating. Unoriginal. Supply without demand. Kicked.

  12. AEV’s onto something, there’s an awful lot of Southern start-ups pushing pretty loud stuff, especially ties. At what point does it become a glut?

  13. @Bags’ Groove

    Could you please explain what “May #11 Sugar” to someone who thought he was literate?

  14. “…what “May #11 Sugar” means…”

  15. @DCG

    I asked one of them about that very thing, though I don’t exactly remember the response, which means it wasn’t particularly unusual. Actually those made-in-the-US tie brands all said they’re doing quite well and growing, so they haven’t reached glut yet.

    Maybe at retailers across they country they’re making way for this over other kinds of ties and accessories, which would be a good thing.

  16. Agree about 3 1/4″ to 3 1/2″–for both tie blade width and lapel width. The magic number. I’m not sure why, though. It resists the “Whoa, that’s a 70s era tie, right?” response, as well as the “So, you’re a hipster obsessed with 60s style, eh?” response. Lots of my 80s era neckties are 3 1/4″. Match with oversized p3 tortoise frames, tassel mocs, Tucker Carlson hairstyle, and old Brooks sack suit for full 80s preppy effect. I predict this is the next big thing.

  17. While I think the “Ivy” Style is becoming overplayed heavily, I will point out that Bird Dog Bay (pictured in the post above) is a wonderful company. They are based out of Chicago and are owned by a gentlemen who used to design ties for BB or Polo…I can’t remember which exactly. I started buying their ties back in 2008 and they are really solid…made well, last a long time, and the designs are a lot of fun but tasteful.

  18. Charlottesville | February 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm |

    @S.E. “I predict this is the next big thing.”

    From your lips to God’s ears. That was (and to some degree still is, allowing for a bit of hair loss) more or less my general description. I would love to have the BB sack available again, and it would be quite a novel experience to be au courant.

  19. @S.E. & Charlottesville

    I thought that is what we were all into now? I do hope it goes big though.

  20. @DCG & Christian

    It is impressive that so many of them are doing well. I rarely ever see anyone wearing that type of tie. I had been wondering how many “Vineyard Vines” the world needs? Fun seems to be well covered. Who wants to serve the squares?

  21. How much of the old “go to hell” style is in preppy style?

  22. Bags' Groove | February 10, 2015 at 3:13 pm |

    My dear Etymologue, I imagined a chap with a name like yours would be near-omniscient.
    May contract. Cane sugar futures. And having Googled by now, perhaps you can tell me where #11 comes in.

  23. @Oxford Cloth Button Down

    Curious. What would you like to see? Traditional striped repps?

  24. Charlottesville | February 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm |

    Dear OCBD,

    Indeed! I agree that most of us here, and on your own esteemed site, are much in agreement on tie widths, BB sacks and tassel loafers, even if all may not share the 80s connection and need for eyeglasses. I heartily cheer your hope that it goes big.

  25. For decades, Brooks offered the #1 repp in a profligate array of colorways. Nowadays, the #1 returns year after year in the same five colorways. Sad.

    I wonder what would happen if someone approached this most classic of stripe designs as Mr. Mercer approached the Brooks OCBD.

  26. What irritates me – among many things – is that what’s driving the growth of these upstarts is marketing, combined with a lazy, uneducated consumer. Not especially high quality production/craftsmanship. Not wholly unique styles. Not demand, per se. Not utility. Not value. Not service or knowledge. Marketing, to be sure, always plays a role….but usually in conjunction with other positives.

    A wide range of well established companies/shops already sell a wide range of these exact products.

    Fun ties? Brooks Bros. RL. J. Press. Ben Silver. Paul Stuart. Andover Shop, dozens of UK brands, Hermes, Etc.
    Oxford/poplin shirts in dozens of colors? Brooks Bros. RL. J. Press. Ben Silver. Paul Stuart. Lands’ End. Mercer. O’Connell’s.
    “Fun” accessories, like belts, ties, pocket squares, socks, cufflinks, and so on? Brooks Bros. RL. J. Press. Ben Silver. Paul Stuart. Lands’ End. Mercer. O’Connell’s. Leatherman Ltd. Hell, even J. Crew.
    Outerwear? The same list again, plus L.L. Bean, Orvis, Barbour and others

    Rather than promoting these copycats with little to add, this blog should be calling them out. Exposing the needless markups, the overt copying, and so on….

  27. AEV-

    Your post of 8:42pm is the best comment I’ve read in a long time.

  28. S.E. – for what it’s worth, the Brooks #1 Repp tie is currently available on Brooks’s Web site in 8 colorways; 9 in the only slightly different “mini” Repp #1 style. I have as much beef with Brooks as the next commenter on here, but having 8-9 different color options in the same tie style isn’t one of them…..

  29. We can all wear our #1s up to Henry Kravits’ place on Park Avenue Wednesday for the Jeb Bush time. 100 grand a ticket!

  30. Never trust a Bush.

    Speaking of which…

    AEV, you still haven’t responded to the comment where I clobbered you and debunked your baseless claims. Care to give it another shot, or can I take your silence as an admission of defeat?

    Comment 94 here.

    (I also posted the first comment in that thread, which starts the same way as this comment.)

  31. @Bags’ Groove

    Thank you.
    I admit complete ignorance about contracts, cane sugar, and futures, and a total lack of interest in any of them.
    For those readers who are perhaps fortunate enough to be as ignorant as me, here’s what Google told me about #11:
    http://www.wikinvest.com/futures/Sugar_No._11_Futures
    I can assure you that I will immediately forget all of this.

  32. Bags' Groove | February 11, 2015 at 5:25 am |

    Thanks Etymologue. I know a bit about currency futures, so the boys in the candy-stripes (sugar, geddit) reminded me of these: http://www.richardbaker.photoshelter.com/image/I0000BRtItPUhqI4
    Though upon reflection, it was a tad too esoteric. Though if I’d mentioned Brooks Brothers…..

  33. The same few colorways have been offered year after year for many years.

  34. The fellows in the photo resemble a pack of wild cafones if you ask me.

    As a southerner and a Gulf Coast native, these lifestyle brands are out of control. While touting quality and a host of other kitsch marketing superlatives these fellows are simply cashing in on an aesthetically “grounded” way of life; primarily driven by the modern fraternal credo of “zero f***s given.” Hence the overt reliance on GTH design and an existence that can be summed up in one, overly edited photo of a bronzed, smiling, sun glassed, garçon insouciant aboard a boat with his sea salt sprayed, devil may care comrades. Oh and they’ll all cheerfully claim RL as their Svengali. It’s all superficial and aspirational. Fussell would have keen insight. I hope Patrick Khiels, or whatever his name is, does not take offense. I’m sure his bracelets are an exception.

  35. @S.E.

    Re: “The same few colorways have been offered year after year for many years.”

    That, sir, is called tradition

  36. The look that made the Brooks look so Brooksy–the gray flannel sack suit, the repp stripes, the button downed shirt of heavy oxford, the plain front pants–can, I think, be easily described as sober yet relaxed. Plenty of nods to country wear. No heavily padded shoulders that ascend and extend beyond the shoulders; no billowy pleats; minimal shaping that renders ease of movement, and, well, comfort.

    The Victorian frock, fitted and long and formal, gives way to the lounge suit. The ascent of the sack coat, informal among higher-ups but what the farmer would likely wear to Sunday worship. Country wear for gentry, still yet ready-made (mass produced) workwear for the multitudes of clerks. Inherently casual, but acceptable for work for the masses. As the 20th century begins, the lounge/sack has displaced more formal suitings. Deemed acceptable for day (business) wear. Brooks leads the way.

    Thus the (for some) perplexing paradox of the style–one that has been much discussed. Just enough informality to raise the eyebrows of the bankers and lawyers and brokers who want the tapered, heavily padded “power suit.” Just enough formality to offend the guy who wants “casual Friday” (complete with Target polo shirt, Dockers, and Topsider knock-offs) to extend to the remainder of the work week. Plenty of the former surrender all pretense after 5:30 p.m. They retreat to jeans, sweatshirts, and New Balance sneakers.

    What’s interesting about this neo-prep stuff is it doesn’t work particularly well in either setting–casual moments that cry out for a pair of broken-in khakis and a decrepit OCBD, and work settings that inspire clients to believe you take yourself seriously. Seems to me they’re going after the college guy who can afford to dress up for fraternity parties and game day. Not much else.

    Look at the goofy chaps in that first pic. Goofy. Hail Fellow Well Met gone very, very bad.

  37. One might imagine that these new brands exist because their creators were unable to find jobs after they graduated because of current economic conditions.

    One might also imagine what exceptional skills, abilities, and initiative the creators of these new brands have, and how much they could have contributed to any businesses that had hired them.

  38. AEV,

    I think Brooks and J. Press sell some fine “staple” tie designs, but other than those their tie selections are terrible. Brooks in particular sells some very low quality ties.

    I can’t get ties like I the ones I have from Bird Dog Bay, that’s why I buy them. They are of good quality, they age well, and the designs are creative and fun unlike anything you’ll find at Press or Brooks.

    *I suppose since I’m “selling” Bird Dog Bay hard here, that it should be noted that I have no affiliation with the Company other than as a customer.

  39. Seve –

    The average Brooks Bros. shpo sells literally hundreds of different tie designs – the majority of which are made in the USA and are of very high quality (esp. for the relatively low price point). Additionally/similarly, J. Press sells some of the most unique motif/emblematic ties on the market. And, like I’ve already said, numerous other established shops/makers, from Paul Stuart to Ben Silver to Hermes have been selling unique, fun, widely varied tie designs for decades…..im some cases at prices far lower than many of these upstarts.

    I appreciate that you have a loyalty to Bird Dog Bay – but it seems to be partly born out of a lack of knowledge re: the existing market.

  40. Interesting, short piece on Brooks Bros.’s NY-based tie manufacturing operation…..

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2009/09/behind-the-knot-a-quick-tour-of-brooks-bros-nyc-tie-factory.html

  41. I have a wardrobe full of nearly identical navy blazers, herringbone and houndstooth jackets, grey flannels, Oxford cloth button down shirts in only two colors, virtually indistinguishable navy grenadine neckties, and repp ties in navy-and-white, which only differ by virtue of manufacturer and the width of their stripes. Am I the only one who feel no need at all for “creative” and “fun” ties?

  42. Charlottesville | February 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm |

    AEV — Thanks so much for sharing the piece on the Brooks tie-making process, circa 2009. Do you know if the Makers ties are still manufactured in Long Island City? As you point out, it is worth remembering that, while there is much to lament, BB is still okay at some things. I know that many here disagree, but I also think their US-made, heavy-weight OCBD is a good product, if perhaps not quite the same as in days gone by. And, particularly during the frequent sales, it is a good buy. The custom shirt department does a good job on club collar and tab-collar shirts as well, for those like me who enjoy such things. Perhaps the Southwick-made custom sack suits and sport coats are also of high quality, but I have not yet tried either.

  43. AEV,

    “I appreciate that you have a loyalty to Bird Dog Bay – but it seems to be partly born out of a lack of knowledge re: the existing market.”

    I used to work at Brooks Brothers while I was studying in Boston. I may not have the time to study company catalogs but I don’t think I’m lacking in general knowledge of Brooks Brother’s tie offerings.

  44. C’ville – yes, Brooks still makes many of its ties in Long Island City.

    Seve – you suggested Brooks and J. Press mostly made only ‘staple’ tie styles and that many were ‘low quality’. That’s simply not true. Extensive catalog research isn’t required – just spend 3 mins in a store. Even if it were, it remains the case that many other established shops have been selling a wide range of tie designs (in patterns/styles similar to Bird Dog Bay) for decades….many of which are priced better too (and are made in the USA, unlike Bird Dog’s).

  45. It’s not that the neckwear selection is “terrible” in terms of quality of tailoring or cloth. Brooks uses Stephen Walters, Vanners (mostly), and a few other sources for silk and silk-cotton and silk-wool blends. As a point of reference, I think J. Press has relied heavily upon Vanners, whereas Ben Silver sources their famous regimental striped fabric from Stephen Walters.

    The Irish Poplins are woven/made by Atkinsons. Years ago, the J. Press selection of Irish Poplin ties was better. As in, more.

    What’s “terrible” is that the buyers don’t get creative (and yes, one can be both traditional and creative) and ask for new designs and color ways. We can rest assured that Atkinsons, Stephen Walters, and Vanners would be happy to oblige.

    The weavers and mills are out there. The problem is with the buyers. No imagination.

  46. S.E. – I was just on the Brooks and J Press sites. Their tie selections (which tend to be even more expansive in their shops) are huge and unique. They have all sorts of new designs that were new to me, in a wide range of colors. The motif tie selections alone are very large – silk – and blends – in dozens of designs. I just don’t agree with the opinion that they offer limited or only staid options.

    And, again, Brooks and Press aren’t the only established, long running options. Both Ben Silver and Paul Stuart (to name just two) offer hundreds of unique designs.

  47. Bags' Groove | February 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm |

    It has become blatantly, nay blindingly obvious, even to this numbskull, that you can never, not ever, not under any circs., not in a zillion years, mention Brooks Brothers enough times on these pages.

  48. Yeah, there are plenty of places to get decent ties. Don’t forget O’Connell’s – lots of nice items there at a variety of price points.

  49. Anglophile Trad | February 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm |

    @Bags’ Groove

    The reason for the frequent mention of BB on these pages is no mystery. Brooks continues to have a certain je ne sais quoi that is responsible for the legendary loyalty of its customers.

  50. Reactionary Trad,

    A rather better translation of the Talleyrand quote than your literal one might be:

    ‘For heaven’s sake: too much enthusiasm’ which applies rather well to the above picture of sweaty chaps in vulgar pink stripes. Metal market traders by the look of them, certainly barrow boys who did not go to a prep school in England , at least.

  51. Another point is that I don’t think you would trust any of those stripy gents with a loaded shotgun, in spite of whichever amendment allows any of you access to an inappropriate level of military ordnance, should, heaven forfend, we English fellows attempt to tax you again.

  52. Bags' Groove | February 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm |

    Anglophile Trad, I think your certain je ne sais quoi could well be Proustian: A la recherche du temps perdu.

  53. If I want American ties, I go Robert Talbot. If i want something very nice, I go Hermes.

  54. Bags' Groove | February 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm |

    Ethan, if you want to be a little more adventurous with your ties, check out this fantastic collection: http://www.vandafineclothing.com

  55. Redcoat, the Second Amendment reads as follows:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    A militia (i.e., citizens with arms, or citizen-soldiers) is a military force and therefore should have military arms.

    Perhaps it is the simplicity of this reasoning that makes it so hard to understand. As a foreigner, I don’t expect you to know or understand the Second Amendment or its implications; what’s worrying is how few Americans understand.

  56. Thanks for the suggestion Bags’ Groove… a couple of the patterns caught my eye.

  57. Where can I find the Castaway Clothing blackwatch vest??

  58. Henry –

    You left out – as most gun nuts do – a key piece of the Second Amendment. The full amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, **being necessary to the security of a free State**, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The middle section, re: the “security of a free state” makes it clear that the intention of the amendment was to ensure that our fledgling nation was able to cultivate and maintain a “regulated” Militia to protect itself from external, would-be invaders (e.g. the British). How this very obvious and historically unique amendment has been manipulated and interpreted by many to mean that any person can (i.e. is entitled to) have nearly any type or amount of guns they’d like, for whatever purpose or reason they’d like, is insane……insane, and clearly very, very dangerous. And, the hypocrisy of strict constructionists who choose to bend this single amendment’s obvious meaning while railing against those who would see the Constitution as a contextual document is alarming.

    Perhaps it’s the simplicity of the word ‘regulated’ and ‘necessary to the security of a free State’ that make it so hard to understand.

  59. AEV,

    The Constitution was a document that outlined the laws/rules between the U.S Government, and its “citizenry”. The second amendment had little to nothing to do with outside invaders, and more to do with ensuring self defense against tyranny (Foreign or Domestic). The context of the second amendment is its in the “Bill of Rights”… These “rights” were about protecting the citizens against Government tyranny… these have nothing to do with outside threats but internal threats against Liberty. Shit, I didn’t even go to Law school…. have you ever read the Constitution? Obviously not.

  60. Ethan –

    Oh my. “Foreign….tyranny” – your words, not mine – certainly implies a foreign, not internal government, threat – no? Yes, as is widely understood, the origins of the “well regulated militia” were mainly two-fold: 1. to guard against the potential threats of a federal, standing army and, 2. to protect the fledgling nation against external threats/emergencies until an adequate standing army could be raised/funded/organized.

    Neither of these realities imply or grant that private citizens have the right to collect, own, or use any type or amount of arms for whatever purpose they’d like – e.g. hunting, collecting, sport, protection from perceived individual threats, etc. (with little to no regulation to boot). This interpretation is a modern one that has developed for mostly political reasons (effective gun industry lobbying, fear mongering, rural politics, machismo, activist courts, etc.).

  61. Ties are one item that I have no issue sourcing. Between Ben Silver, J.Press, O’Connell’s and even the occasional Brooks Brothers tie (they have more tie option in-store than online in my limited experience).

  62. AEV,

    Foreign or Domestic was my add. It’s not in the constitution. What is clear is the second amendment is in the Bill of Rights which outlines the roles of Governemt and Citizens… There’s nothing in there to suggest it had or has anything to do with threats outside of our nation.

    I’d suggest that your interpretation is part of a very modern argument, historical precedent is on the side of the “gun lovers”.

  63. Ethan-

    So, you wrote/included the ‘foreign tyranny’ piece but you don’t believe it?

    As I already said – and is so generally accepted and understood I should have to stress it – the origins of (state based) militias, and the rights of them to bear arms, are indeed grounded in protection against foreign threats (as well, as I’ve already said, against internal ‘tyranny’). Our fledgling nation, having just fought and won a war of independence against Britain, realized that a federal, standing army was needed for protection against external threats. They also realized such an army would be costly, time consuming, and somewhat risky to organize…meaning we could not wait for the next external threat to develop before we organized a way to protect ourselves. Hence state based militias and the rights granted to them to bear arms.

    Neither this reality – or, even, defense against internal tyranny – give private citizens the right to collect or use any type or amount of guns they’d like for any reason they’d like. This belief/argument is a modern one.

  64. I would add that many gun nuts believe that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to take up arms against the government. This logic is, however, rooted not in the constitution but in Shay’s Rebellion (against the government of Mass. in the 1780s). This logic could not be more twisted – the need for regulated militias was in part a direct response to threats like Shay. And, were it not, the 2nd Amendment would violate the Constitution’s very own definition of treason, which is: to take up arms against the government. – ! I give the Founders more credit than that….

  65. Charlottesville | February 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm |

    Why do we always seem to get here? I thought we were talking about ersatz prep, faux rowing blazers, and the approaching saturation point of whimsical ties from southern startups cranking out Vineyard Vines knockoffs (as well as the usual wallow in Brooks nostalgia, of which I am the chiefest of sinners). If the pros and cons of the second amendment are your interest, by all means make your reasoned arguments or vent your spleen as you see fit, but perhaps the websites of the Brady Campaign, the NRA, The Nation, or National Review would be a better venue. I have my own fairly strong views on the subject as I am sure do many or even most of the other commenters, but must we dump them all out on Christian’s nice, ivy-covered lawn? As to whimsical ties, I own a couple from VV and a couple from BB as well as one from Perlis in New Orleans; I like them but wear them rarely. Within a couple of blocks of my office there are two separate, stand-alone, brick-and-mortar southern prep purveyors, and how they stay in business is anyone’s guess. The local men’s shops offer examples from similar collections among their ties. I bear them no ill will, but they are unlikely to get much sustenance from my direction. And now, I suppose, back to politics.

  66. The more I look at that illustration, the more offensive I find it.
    One wonders whether they’re watching the hanging of a White civil rights worker in the 60s or cheering on the participants in a gang rape.

  67. AEV-

    I try not to get involved with the political arguments that frequently occur in these pages, but your diatribes are too illogical to go unanswered.

    Ethan has already pointed out the central fallacy of your argument, which is that the Constitution was written as a guide for how to govern. In fact, it is a contract between the State and the People. The 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, which were written specifically to govern the relationship of the State to the private citizen. This makes it abundantly clear that the amendment was written with the fundamental right of the private citizen in mind, not as a stipulation of service to the state, but partly in fear of the tyranny of the state itself. One must bear in mind how strongly anti-establishment the Founding Fathers were. It was a mighty struggle simply to get some of them to agree to creating any form of Executive branch at all, because of their fear of power, particularly vested in the hands of one man. See also the creation of the electoral college.

    All of this is to say that your understanding of the Constitution and of the mindset of the Founding Fathers is hopelessly wrong, shaded as it is with your progressivism, and belief that the federal gov’t exists to control (benevolently I’m sure) the people. This is the exact opposite of the thoughts of those who created the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

    -Zach

  68. Zach-

    I stated – more than once – that it is w/o dispute that part of the second amendment’s goal was indeed to guard against tyranny. That was not its only goal. It’s other goal – which is not my opinion but rather historical fact – was to ensure our infant nation could protect and hedge against emergencies and external threats. The amendment itself makes this abundantly clear: “…necessary to the security of a free state…”. If you choose to interpret this as only meaning ‘security’ and freedom from itself – in some sort of paradoxical way (reminder: the Constitution defines treason as taking up arms against the state), than there’s nothing anyone can do to convince you otherwise.

  69. @Zach

    Are these the people that the Founding Fathers had in mind?

    http://rvamag.com/sites/default/files/articles/inline/screen_shot_2014-07-02_at_9.47.50_am.png?

  70. I don’t know how this discussion veered off into constitutional issues . . .

    But you guys are throwing around the word “State” a little freely. Discussing the US constitution coherently is impossible unless you draw a distinction between the State governments, and the Federal Government.

    The first ten amendments, the so-called “bill of rights” were written as limitations only on what the Federal government could do. Thus, the 2nd Amendment literally says that the Federal Government cannot ban, suppress, or outlaw, the militias maintained by the State governments. The 2nd Amendment does not say that States, or local governments, cannot ban weapons. It says exactly nothing about what State or local governments can or cannot do.

    In this day and age, with a professional standing army, and the state militia systems effectively disbanded, the original import of the 2nd Amendment literally doesn’t apply. It refers solely to a social institution that has entirely disappeared.

    If you want to claim that that individuals have a right to bear arms, outside the context of a state militia, then you need to turn to the 14th Amendment, which effectively says that States can’t abridge the rights outlined in the bill of rights, any more than the Federal government can.

  71. Thank you, Zach and Ethan, for pointing out the obvious and numerous flaws in AEV’s position. (By the way, AEV, I take your continued silence on the Bush League thread as your concession.)

    The very fact that AEV uses pejorative terms like “gun nuts” shows his bias. Also, the observant reader will see that I quoted the Second Amendment in full, with its official punctuation, so there is no basis for AEV’s assertion that I left something out.

    Militia means armed citizens; a militia is a military force. Therefore, the citizens have the right, as affirmed in the Constitution, to military arms. It could not be clearer. While there might be certain reasonable restrictions, like not letting private citizens own tanks, fighter jets, or nuclear weapons, there is no Constitutional basis for restricting the number of rifles, pistols, shotguns, etc., or the number of rounds of ammunition a private citizen may possess.

    As has been observed many times before (but probably not here), well regulated does not mean “controlled by the government” but “in proper working order.” You can read what scholars say about it here and here, and even on Wikipedia, for starters.

    AEV, as is the case with many others, misunderstands the intent of the Second Amendment. It is not primarily about keeping the country safe from foreign invaders (though certainly it is a part); the primary purpose is to keep tyranny at bay, and to ensure that the We The People can overthrow a tyrannical government. Having just thrown off (what they perceived to be) a tyrannical government themselves, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that their posterity could do the same, should the need arise. This is also well-attested in the historical record, contra AEV’s assertions otherwise.

    AEV opines thus: “Neither of these realities imply or grant that private citizens have the right to collect, own, or use any type or amount of arms for whatever purpose they’d like…” How can you possibly square that with the clear language of the Second Amendment, the last part of which reads as follows: “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”?

    AEV, you are knowledgeable when talking about clothes, and I always enjoy your take on FEC. However, on weightier matters….

  72. @cameron- +1

    Zach, it is not progressives who believe an exceptional and outsized role of the federal government is a robust, organized, and proactive national defense. That belief is, ironically, a conservative, modern day GOP one. Moreover, that same modern Republican Party is who strongly supports the police and security state we find ourselves mired in. So, if you believe your personal cache of guns is keeping you safe from ‘the government’, you’d be better off truly understanding who and what you’re voting for.

  73. Charleston, while I agree with you that the picture of the “bros” is offensive, there is no need to ascribe racist tendencies to them.

    I think that one of the strengths and attractions of Christian’s nice, Ivy-Styled lawn is that we aren’t prohibited from exploring different parts of it. The conversations here develop organically, and meander where they may. I found the Muffy discussion on the UVA post of no interest whatsoever, and did not read it; I suggest that those bored or uninterested in the non-clothing comments do likewise.

    Remember also that more comments means more traffic, and more traffic means more advertising revenue, which means that Christian gets paid to keep the site up and running. He will use his editorial powers judiciously to remove egregious comments, but I admire him for giving us nearly free rein.

  74. Cameron
    Nice theory concerning arms, but you might peruse resent SCOTUS decisions concerning the 2nd Amendment.

  75. Bags' Groove | February 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm |

    Henry, I agree.
    Let’s hear it for Christian.
    He puts up with stuff I’m sure many would censor. And I must include myself among the miscreants; but only minor misdemeanours, eh Christian?
    An apple for the teacher, la la, la la, la la…….

  76. @mac- the current Court has done more damage to the reputation of the body than any in history. Scalia’s majority opinion in Heller, among others, is patently incoherent…numerous conservative judges have criticized it and few legal scholars can make sense of it.

  77. @Henry re: UVA thread:

    Ignorance is blisski.

  78. You are all too young to remember that ‘the personal is political’, or was it the other way around? Anyway, I just wouldn’t trust those chaps with a loaded shotgun.

  79. Boston Bream | February 14, 2015 at 2:01 am |

    @Henry

    Sir,
    The sane among us would argue that “gun nuts” is an objectively descriptive term, rather than a pejorative one.

  80. @AEV and what would you call Ginsberg’s comments in regards to the US Constitution to Egypt? The nearly incoherent back and forth of Sotomayor during the Hobby Lobby decision? Liberals need to get there heads out of their asses and stop thinking their holier and smarter than though. Just as conservatives need to stop saying they’re small government and free market when they support the banning of abortion, same sex marriage, and stem cell research. As well as supporting the Democrats major bailouts… Also the second amendment is just as sacrosanct as the first, stop being hypocrites.
    Reading this thread of political commentary (which roots from a picture and article about style) shows how incoherent and misguided both sides are. Northeastern and west coast liberals are so far from reality in how they view the world, and mid-western and southern conservatives are so closed. I’m from New England and live in New York, and have to say the elitist attitude displayed by the “progressives” who undoubtedly are from my region of the country just shames me. If any of you are WASPs you should learn from your fathers and grandfathers humility and eloquence…

  81. Also excuse my grammatical errors, and mis-used words such as their in place as they’re. Proof reading is not something I do for online forums.

  82. Boston Bean

    FYI, a sack jacket is perfect garment if you carry. 😉

  83. Boston Bream,

    That sanctimonious attitude is responsible for the death of politics. No longer are there different approaches to the same goal. Now, all we have—according the left, anyway—is the One True Approach to Everything. The left has a monopoly on Truth, and any disagreement with it is due either to ignorance or bad intentions. This is why people who disagree with the left are instantly branded as “racists” or “haters” or some similar term.

    The pejorative “gun nut” is part of the same phenomenon. According to the left, the only correct position is for the state to wield a monopoly on power, and for the people to be unarmed. This leaves the people unable to meaningfully oppose the state, which is exactly why totalitarian regimes start by disarming the populace. It is from these and similar facts that the following expression was born: “inside every leftist is a totalitarian screaming to get out.”

    If you can’t disagree without being disagreeable, then you aren’t capable of engaging in discusssion as a rational, mature adult. Find errors in facts or logic, or present a compelling alternative approach.

  84. @ D.P.S.IV, it sounds as if you are saying that all male WASPs are humble and eloquent and have a monopoly on these traits. I am genuinely curious about where this notion comes from.

  85. Boston Bream | February 15, 2015 at 1:31 am |

    @Henry

    I can assure you that I am anything but a leftist. I am a civilized, dyed-in-the-wool Republican who is disgusted by the fact that I have no choice but to vote for the same party as an assortment of racists, misogynists, and gun nuts.

  86. @MAC

    Re: “FYI, a sack jacket is perfect garment if you carry.”

    I would like to believe that gentlemen don’t carry.

  87. Henry –

    What elected/leading member of “the left” has suggested that the only solution is that the, “…people be unarmed.”? That’s absurd – no one on the left (certainly not any recent Democrat President or any leading, elected Democrat voices) says that, and, if you actually believe that anyone on the left holds that position, it’s not wonder you find yourself voting for racists and misogynists.

    Re: your earlier retort, yes – you did technically type the part of the amendment about “security of a free state”, but you then ignored its obvious meaning when rationalizing your opinions surrounding the larger amendment.

    You go on to ignore the 3-4 specific instances in which I very clearly agreed that a main purpose of the amendment was indeed to guard against central government tyranny. “A purpose” to be sure….but not the only purpose. Moreover, I never stated that I believed “well-regulated” meant “controlled by the State”. Even if I agree that “well-regulated” simply means “proper working order” (a vague term to be sure), that certainly means that states (who controlled state based militias in the 18th century) have leeway in regulating their armed militias to ensure security, safety, preparedness, alignment with the rest of the Constitution, etc. Many of today’s leading conservatives – and the influencers of them – believe that “proper working order” means next to no regulation at all around gun ownership and, somehow, argue that endemic/epidemic gun violence is indeed “working order”. Only a nut would believe either of those things.

    So, while it may be convenient for argument’s sake to parse and cherry pick my comments, as well as ascribe extreme, non-existent platforms to my beliefs – all in an effort to paint me and “the left” as extremists – it’s simply not accurate, productive, or honest to do so.

  88. @Boston Bream

    Shame there’s no third party for the fiscally conservative and socially liberal!

  89. @DPS IV –

    “As well as supporting the Democrats major bailouts…”. Huh? The GOP’s problem – for the last 15-20 years – is an absence and total manipulation of the facts. “The bailouts” – e.g. Bear/JP Morgan, TARP, AIG, Auto – were all devised and signed into law by Republicans (Paulson and W. Bush chief among them), not Democrats. How have you arrived at a place where you believe – and argue – that the bailouts are Democrat policies?

    When your understanding of politics and policy positions start from such an obvious misunderstanding of the facts and recent history, it’s no wonder you find yourself equivocating the major parties. I’m not holier than anyone – but, you creating your own false facts and narratives doesn’t make you humble or eloquent either.

  90. @MAC –

    The comments section in that “blog” do I better job than I ever could framing what is meant by “gun nut”. Holy smokes.

  91. whynot- I am not saying they have a monopoly, to say I said that is a straw man argument. However where I grew up and with who I grew up those traits were practiced at least publicly by all, where as here I would be hard pressed to see many doing that. There are jerk WASPs and many at that, however humility is a or at least where I’m from highly valued trait.
    AEV-
    Auto bail out? You mean what Joe Biden and Obama continually praised and bragged about during the 2012 election or do we have selective memory. “Osama is dead and GM is alive.” The bailouts came in 2008 when the Democrats controlled both houses of congress, if they did not want it passed they could have easily prevented it. Also Ben Bernanke was Fed chairman, not Paulson he stepped down in 2006. Maybe read something beside Salon and MSNBC? Bloomberg, WSJ, and CNBC some sources I would recommend you add into your daily blog readings.
    Bear Sterns went defunct in 2008 and then sold for scrap to JP Morgan Chase, are you old enough to remember that, or have you just learned about that from your college social justice professor who has never worked outside of the public sector?
    If I may quote myself “shows how incoherent and misguided both sides are. Northeastern and west coast liberals are so far from reality in how they view the world, and mid-western and southern conservatives are so closed.”
    Do you need someone to help you with reading and reading comprehension?
    Also in reference to Democrats and bailouts what about Solyndra? They get $2billion and close their doors shortly after, and Obama was president during them.
    Honestly, your comment was humorous, you attack me for being misguided but do not know when the bailouts happened, who the fed chairman was, who controlled congress at the time, or the companies involved….

  92. @AEV- Excuse me I misspoke in regards to Paulson and Bernanke. I’m aware Paulson was the treasury sec. at the time. It was just the rest of your comment was so misguided I had a brain fart in regards to that, it’s hard to think you can be right about anything when you the person you’re arguing with does not know who is in charge of Congress.

  93. Boston Bream,

    You left me little to go on. Regardless, the assertion that the Republican Party is the party of “racists, mysogynists, and gun nuts” is straight out of Democrat talking points.

    I would like to ask you to define what you mean by those epithets, but let me guess.

    “Racist”: Perhaps you mean, opposed to granting residence and/or citizenship to illegal aliens, the majority of whom happen to be, by reason of geography, Mexican. That’s not a mainstream Republican position, but it gets more traction there than among the Democrats, who would love to add more Democrat voters by amnestying Mexicans and other Central and South Americans, who vote overwhelmingly Democrat. It is not racist to want our laws obeyed and enforced; we do not decide who chooses to break our immigration laws.

    “Mysogynist”: Perhaps you mean, opposed to requiring the taxpayer and/or insurance companies* to fund birth control, which is not (with very rare exception) used for the treatment of disease. In fact, birth control, which Chesterton trenchantly observed leads to no births and no control, is used to interfere with the normal function of a healthy body. The entire “war on women” idea is a leftist talking point designed to demonize rational opposition to the left’s agenda (SOP for the left).

    “Gun nuts”: Perhaps you mean, in favor of taking the plain language of the Second Amendment at face value and allowing people to defend themselves legally, especially in light of the fact that criminals write themselves their own concealed carry permits any time they please.

    So if you honestly believe that the GOP is as you have branded them, you have swallowed the left’s lies about the GOP, hook, line, and sinker.

    * Soon to be one and the same thanks to Obamacare, which is designed to put insurance companies out of business, but slowly, so it would be harder to for the average person to see the connection.

  94. Boston Bream | February 16, 2015 at 1:04 am |

    @Henry

    Thank God, sane Republicans are in the majority.

    Unfortunately, in order to win elections, the GOP needs the votes of gun nuts, misogynists, and racists, along with those of anti-semites, homophobes, and other assorted crazies.

  95. Boston Bream, since you believe the Democrats’ lies about the Republicans, it mystifies me why you vote for them at all.

    For my part, I agree with Howard Phillips, who observed that “the main difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats would take us over the cliff at 80 miles an hour; the Republicans would stay within the speed limit.” The important point is that while the Democrats and Republicans are headed towards the same goal, the difference is in the lawfulness of the Republicans versus the lawlessness of the Democrats, which includes the proven and time-honored leftist tactic of massive, systematic lies.

  96. My apologies for the length of this response, but AEV is a master of packing volumes of libel and misinformation into relatively short comments; demonstrating his ill intentions and correcting his misrepresentations take more space than his glib propaganda pieces.

    AEV, in politics, what matters more than a politician’s statements are his actions. It is universally acknowledged that the Democrats are the party of gun control; here are some representative actions they have taken.

    * Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., all Democrat strongholds, have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Actions speak louder than words.

    * California, also a Democrat stronghold, is one of the few states that does not recognize out-of-state concealed carry permits. Furthermore, California is one of only seven states without “shall-issue” concealed carry laws (Connecticut and Delaware, though technically “may-issue” states, are de facto shall-issue states). Actions speak louder than words.

    * Hawaii, whose government is owned and operated by the Democrats, is a may-issue state, but is a de facto no-issue state, as permits are rarely, if ever, issued (the five applicants in 2012 were all denied). Actions speak louder than words.

    * Dianne Feinstein, upholding the double standards the Democrats are infamous for, banned handguns in San Francisco as one of her first acts as mayor, but had a concealed carry permit herself (she has since stopped carrying). She is also the author of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (assault weapon: liberal-speak for “scary-looking gun”). Actions speak louder than words.

    These are a few representative actions; countless more could be added. Many leftists are up-front about their desire to disarm the people; they have been successful most everywhere except America. The rolling back of restrictive gun laws is just about the only success the non-liberals have enjoyed in the past few decades, and it is the one that will be decisive when the liberals finally overplay their hands. (Lest anyone think I relish the prospect, I despise the left for making civil war and bloodshed almost inevitable.)

    As for my alleged “dishonesty” regarding responding to what you wrote, why don’t you go back and read what you wrote yourself? In your first remark to me (2.12.15, 8:25), you go on about the militia being necessary to defend against would-be invaders, but do not mention guarding against a tyrannical American government. You did mention the latter in subsequent posts, but forgive me if I am unable to follow your incoherent position on it: you say that’s one reason for the Second Amendment in one post, then deny that in another. Which is it?

    “…it’s not [sic] wonder you find yourself voting for racists and mysogynists.”

    On the one hand, you get in high dudgeon for my ascribing to you “non-existent platforms” to your beliefs; on the other, you have no problem doing that to me. This accusation is of the “are you still beating your wife?” variety. Finally, I hate having to defend Republicans—I assume that’s who you mean, because the lie that Republicans can be described by the names you called them is popular on the left—but I did just that in a response to Boston Bream.

    Regardless of my voting preferences, you still call people names, rather than address issues. This is typical of children and those who think like children; it is also popular with those who have no real argument to fall back on. There are two legitimate debate tactics: show where someone’s logic is wrong, or show where their facts are wrong. You cannot show where my logic is wrong (you don’t really “do” logic), and as for facts, the best you can do is point out how I can’t follow your self-contradictory position.

    As for “endemic/epidemic gun violence,” perhaps you should take a look at who’s committing that violence: for the most part, they are criminals who often have unregistered, stolen, or otherwise unlawful guns. Gun violence is mainly committed by gang members and other criminals, as well as the mentally ill (who, at the behest of liberal mental health professionals, have been booted out of state-run institutions and are free to roam the streets, where some of them pose a threat to themselves and others). Those who want to carry a weapon legally are responding to the anarcho-tyranny around them (anarcho-tyranny being the late Samuel Francis’ coinage that refers to the authorities’ unwillingness to enforce the law (or imposing minor punishments) against lawbreakers in serious matters—the anarchy—combined with their enforcement of intrusive regulations in trivial matters on the law-abiding—the tyranny).

    I think we’d all agree that America was significantly more conservative and traditional five or six decades ago. In a coincidence that surprises no one, there was also much less crime, including gun crime. No one was pressing for concealed carry laws back then because there was no need for them. People were safe enough that not only did they not need to carry a gun, but they didn’t even need to lock their doors or take their keys out of their cars (depending on location, of course).

    Since then, the left has gained more and more power, and now, even the “conservative” Republicans embrace (or do not oppose) positions that would have been seen as radically leftist just a couple of decades ago. It is during the period that the left gained power that gun violence has increased to “epidemic” proportions. Fortunately, violent crime has been in decline in recent years; much of that decline can be ascribed to improved policing techniques, such as New York’s application of the “broken window” theory of enforcement and similar programs elsewhere, as well as to the increase in “shall-issue” laws. Statistics show a decrease in crime in states after they pass “shall-issue” concealed carry laws. Criminals might not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they generally want to stay alive, and realize that their chances of doing so go down if they might be resisted by citizens bearing arms.

    So, as is so often the case with AEV’s claims, he misrepresented the facts and maligned those whom he opposes.

  97. @Henry – that reply makes me sad…..you had been hanging in, but that’s so off the rails I’m speechless.

    @DPS IV – To be clear, you still believe the bailouts (the ones I mentioned, not Solyndra – which wasn’t a bailout at all) were passed by Democrats, don’t you? That’s some scary shit.

    The facts: Bush was President until January 18th, 2009. So, things that happened in 2008 happened under his watch (and the watch of his Treasury Secretary). Are you old enough to remember that? Dick.

    1. The $17.4 auto bailout was devised by and signed into law by George W. Bush in December of 2008. Yes, Obama supported it – and tweaked it – while running for and assuming office – but, that’s irrelevant. It was devised, funded, publicly announced/rationalized, and passed by Bush (and then handed off to Obama).

    2. The Bear Stearns bailout and subsequent fire sale to JP Morgan? Again, funded/passed in 2008 by the NY Fed.

    3. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (providing $700B to purchase distressed mortgage assets)? Again, signed by Bush in 2008 and devised and publicly rationalized (to Congress) by Henry Paulson.

    4. The $85B bailout of AIG? Passed/funded in Sept. 2008 – devised by the Fed (i.e. Bernanke, a Republican nominated by Bush) and Paulson.

    None of these bailouts – as obscene as many of them are – can, at all, be considered “Democrat bailouts.” You attempting reframe them that way shows an utter lack of perspective, knowledge, and honesty.

    And, to be clear – since you decided to make this very personal – I’ve never taken a ‘social justice’ course, am probably older than you, am not a Democrat, I work for a large, for profit, conservatively managed manufacturing company, I don’t read Salon or watch MSNBC, and have a master’s degree in Economics. Get your facts right before jumping in the ring.

  98. Dear Henry and AEV, May I respectfully suggest that you guys please somehow exchange contact information and make arrangements to continue discussing what appears to be irreconcilable political differences offline. As Obama did in the Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy, have yourselves a “Beer Summit.” I strongly doubt that no matter how much written debate you are both willing to engage in here, there will not be a resolution to your differences. 😉

  99. Boston Bean
    What other civil rights do gentlemen abstain from? I was unaware that being a gentleman was part of a suicide pact.

  100. No subtantive response, just condescension. How typical of AEV.

    A Fortiori,

    I know I will not convince AEV; that is not my goal. I hope to keep others from falling into the same pitfalls he has fallen prey to.

  101. Henry, Well, while you are in the mood to be convincing, try to convince the “Aldrich’s” to truthfully answer the questions posed to them back in the infamous UVA post. You’ll win the Nobel Prize for Convincing if you can accomplish that. Then go back to working on the goal of convincing others, except for AEV of course, to share your political views. 😉

  102. But Henry said he didn’t read that comment thread. Didn’t anyone like my quip “ignorance is blisski”?

  103. I did, but there’s no “like” button on the comments.

    AEV, I’m still waiting.

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