Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Baseball is finally back.
As you might recall, we spent last week counting down to MLB’s opening day with a how-to on catching a foul ball, an homage to Satchel Paige, considering the meaning of baseball caps and reminiscing over The Sandlot…
And now we’d like to celebrate our favorite baseball tradition of them all: throwing out the first pitch. Naturally, over the years, more than a few style icons—from JFK to Eddie Vedder—have taken the mound for the inaugural heave, and we’ve rounded up some of the most stylish non-belly-itchers of all time. So, without further ado:
It’s a big day for basketball, with March Madness finally kicking off this morning.
And it’s been a big week for basketball here on Kempt, with our own bracket pitting icons of the sidelines against one another in our quest to name the most stylish NCAA basketball coach ever. You can catch up on the first-round action here, the second-round action here and yesterday’s Final Four here. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the grand finale…
Tonight, President Obama’s State of the Union address is supposed to inspire progress and federal stimulation. But often, our focus tends to drift to the hapless sea of baggy, demure suiting filling the audience. It’s a sad sight, really—save for our one beacon of sartorial hope, Vice President Joe Biden. (We’re also giving Obama a pass here, since he’s never given us reason to fret in the past.)
If we were less civic-minded, we’d skip the whole thing and fire up a few episodes of House of Cards—if only to be reminded how a well-put-together politician actually looks (a lot like Kevin Spacey, incidentally). In fact, Hollywood seems to be the only place turning out politicians we’d actually want representing us. So, in hopes of moving a few congressmen to up their style game, we present:
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the president’s shoes ever since we heard he’d decided against going full-Americana during his last inauguration. He’s long been a Hart Schaffner Marx man in the suits department, and his overcoat and scarf were Brooks Brothers, but for some reason he stopped short at the shoes—electing for a pair of probaby-not-made-in-the-USA Cole Haans and creating a small scandal among sartorially inclined patriots.
In so doing, he broke with tradition: ever since the Reagan era, every president has taken the oath of office in a pair of Wisconsin-made Allen Edmonds—until Obama snubbed them in 2009. And early reports from this morning’s festivities indicate he’s forgone them again. There’s still a chance he slips into a pair for the inaugural ball—you know what they say about Wisconsinites and their dancing shoes—but it’s still an interesting choice to note.
Luckily, he’s still got four more years to get it right.
Barack Obama’s status as a pop icon has already been solidified, but here’s some more icing on the cake.
Terry Richardson—the closest thing fashion photography has to an Andy Warhol—has just unveiled a vintage photo shoot that starred the president himself. Judging from Obama’s more youthful visage—notably the lack of gray—we guessed that Richardson has been sitting on these photos for a few years (and they most definitely were taken before the “Uncle Terry” scandal), so we did some light research and found that they were taken during a Vibe magazine photo shoot in 2007. Start making room in your reelection scrapbook…
We’ll assume you either ended last night enjoying the sweet taste of victory, or in kind of a weird place… You also might’ve caught the presidential election.
We came away from the whole thing longing for the days of yore, when this great nation was ruled by men as grizzled as their jawlines.
Not since the likes of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, a fellow by the name of Honest Abe and just about every US president in the second half of the 19th century have we had a president with some sort of facial follicle to pensively stroke while guiding this fair land. Back then it was more unusual to run for president and not have a crazy-ass beard.
Sure, the whole thing is about electing a president for the next four years, but there was plenty more going on yesterday during the quadrennial festivities known as Election Day 2012. Here’s what we saw.
No, we’re not talking about Obama’s hair color.
We’re talking about suits. So far we’ve seen a lot of navy on the campaign trail this election season, but the equally “safe” suit color of gray has been totally avoided on stage. It was once a White House favorite (see President Truman and his gray-swathed Cabinet above). But politicians have been afraid of the gray debate suit ever since an ill-fated Nixon showed up to the first televised debates in a light charcoal suit that looked so much like the stage backdrop on black-and-white television, the producers quickly repainted it minutes before airtime (the paint was still wet, and Nixon still faded away).
But we think today, with the debate stage backdrop usually some form of dark blue (and you know, color TV), showing up in a gray suit would have the opposite effect—leaving the candidate in the navy suit to fade into the background. (Perhaps a Reagan-esque brown suit could be even more impactful.)
Though you’ll still have to choose your tie color wisely.
As you may or may not have noticed, the first presidential debate happened last night.
And while we’ll leave the parsing of half-truths and double-talk to the pundits, we noticed one glaring difference between the candidates: their tie knots. Obama’s was a study in the perfectly dimpled knot—it’s hard to tell whether it was a half-Windsor or just a masterful four-in-hand, but it was textbook, symmetrical, some might even call it professorial. On the other side of the aisle, Romney went with a taut four-in-hand with no dimple—an old blue-blood affectation that felt unfussy and verging upon Kennedy-esque—another surprise, considering everyone expected him to show up and pull a Nixon (which he managed to avoid). In other words, the ties told the whole story: Obama played it safe while Romney came off surprisingly slick.
Remember, ties have been a major stumping point this election year.
Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx, Palm Springs, CA, 1954
It may prove a bit tricky to duck out of the office this week for a twilight round of golf, given that we’re coming off a 10-day Fourth of July sabbatical. To tide you over, we now present, in no particular order, 18 photos of style icons spoiling a perfectly good walk.
Richard Dawson, the Kissing Bandit, has died.
As you may recall, Kempt recently sauntered back to the Golden (Brown) Age of Game Shows, a glorious, sepia-toned era of wide lapels, sexual innuendoes and long-stemmed microphones gracefully held by extraordinarily tanned and charismatic gentlemen like Richard Dawson. “The way he was on [Family Feud] was the way he was in real life,” said Dawson’s son, Gary. “He not only wanted people to win, but to have a comfortable, great experience.”
Click here for a comfortable, great experience (survey says)…
In the process of researching our game show story last December, we stumbled upon this clip of Dawson’s estranged sons surprising him, on air, for his birthday. We’ll go ahead and call it the most poignant moment in game show history.
Manchester City wins the English Premier League title, May 11, 1968
They hadn’t won a championship in 44 years. Down 2-1 with time running out, it seemed Manchester City would once again concede the English Premier League title to its crosstown rivals, Manchester United. Then, the impossible happened: Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero scored back-to-back goals with seconds remaining in stoppage time—and the city of Manchester partied like it was 1968.
In addition to crooning love-makin’ ditties, the president of the United States demonstrated over the weekend that he can deliver a joke—even if that joke refers to him eating dogs. Yes, we know it’s super cool for journalists who weren’t invited to condemn the White House Correspondents’ Dinner these days, but we’re still fans. After all, in what other setting can you catch the leader of the free world attempting, and failing, to wink.
It’s time for your Monday morning update, starting with a recap and two hours of Radiohead from Coachella. Also, a few good Secret Service may have been dallying with prostitutes in Colombia, and some sick bastard stole five of Tom Petty’s guitars…
The world lost a veteran newsman and the most lucrative painter in America this weekend. Also, we’ve got the most beautiful shot of the Masters and the story of an unusually optimistic cruise ship that’s retracing the exact voyage of the Titanic. (Except for, you know, the iceberg part.)
Monday’s reentry comes slightly sooner this time around thanks to the daylight savings shift—which, as MSNBC’s Joyce Cohen explains, is a more unpleasant adjustment than the one in the fall.
Vladimir Putin was reelected president of Russia on Sunday by a wide (though suspect) margin. As the Moscow Times reports, though, he never really left in the first place. And if he wins the next election, he will have been in charge of Russia for over 20 years—longer than Stalin. Other stories to assist in your Monday morning reentry…
Last week, Arizona State Senator Lori Klein proposed a law that would make it a fireable offense for K-12 public school teachers to repeatedly swear in the classroom. “These are young, impressionable minds,” she explained. “We want to fill them with the highest ideals, values and education that we can.” Yes, we agree. (Who doesn’t?) The issue we respectfully take with Senator Klein, though, is that a distinction must be made between teachers swearing in front of students and teachers swearing at students.
If a second-grade teacher, say, channeled Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket by telling his students that they “had best unfuck themselves” or he would “fuck them up,” we’d assume he’d be dismissed.
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