My senior portrait is a lie.
It features a me with a haircut far shorter than I wore it in those days. I had to get it cut before they put me it in the fake tux shirt and the hideously royal blue tux jacket, lest the high school journalism adviser cull my portrait from the yearbook. That's the yearbook that's stacked under some afghans and Halloween decorations in the front closet. It's pretty pointless as a memory of those days.
I should have kept my hair like I wore it, left the yearbook in the box and relied on Kodak moments, though my parents, ever celebrants of conformity and short haircuts, would have been embarrassed. (The, uh, haircut in photos of my dad's retirement party are not particularly indicative of how I wore my hair around that time of my life either.)
I thought of all that when Christine called my attention to these guys, who have contended all summer in "Letters to the Editor" that how they dress does not affect how they learn.
The pink ties and orange belts are their way of expressing their individuality. Power to the people, young dudes!
Maybe the lesson in nonconformity you're teaching yourselves is more valuable than the decorum of appropriate collars and pant-leg lengths could ever accomplish.
Maybe it will remind you to speak out when you learn your government is controlled by lobbyists paying fealty to the congressional leaders--too-long-entrenched and deaf to constituents--who demand it.
In a wonderful interview with actor/writer Ethan Hawke on a recent Studio 360, the host's comment prompted him to spout a few lines from his turn as Mikhail Bakunin in Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia.
I can't help but think of that remark now. "To be answerable to authority is demeaning to man’s spiritual essence. "
Maybe we all need orange ties and pink belts, eh?