Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ankles, socks and a hint of silliness

As cores do Fabrizzio (2) As cores do Fabrizzio

These shots are not new. I posted them on June 13th, 2011, after taking them in Madrid a few days earlier, on June 10th to be precise. The first conclusion – somewhat unflattering for myself – is that, on the day of Portugal and Portuguese Communities, I was walking around the capital of the kingdom that most attacked our national independence. The second one – seemingly insignificant but of a surgical relevance on these days – has to do with the relationship between Fabrizio's spring/summer look and his time in Madrid. According to the weather report, at 11:59 a.m., at the time I took these pictures, it would have been 21° C. The maximum temperature in Madrid, on June 10th, 2011, would reach 25° C .

The order of the photos in the original post is exactly the opposite to the one shown in today’s post. Because visually speaking, the detail does not overlap the whole. And because, in human terms, no matter how impressive the shoes, the identity of the person who chose them mattered more to me than the choice itself. Today, circumstances have changed. Last week was probably the coldest that Portugal has experienced so far this winter. The contingency plans for Lisbon and Porto have been activated last night, it’s been snowing for several days in Madrid and I believe that, by now, Fabrizio’s arms and feet are protected accordingly.

The other day, I was in the Oriente Train Station (Lisboa) waiting for the train that would take me to Porto. In front of me, I had several people muffled up in every possible way. Beanies, gloves, stoles, scarves. High-necked sweaters, corduroy trousers, sheepskin jackets. Some of those who wore these warm clothes surprisingly donned naked ankles. In some cases, with short socks (whose end I could glimpse, between the shoes and the skin), in others I had the feeling they were wearing no socks at all (but I give it the benefit of the doubt: the socks would be short enough not to be seen underneath the footwear).

Each of us has a very personal perception of what is hot or cold and of how we experience heat or coolness. Each one has its thermometers and thermostats (there are even those who remain indifferent under extreme temperatures) and anyone of us has already felt over or underdressed for the occasion, be it social or meteorological. But it is not at all what this is about. This is about a visual trend of clothing that, for many people, overlaps the ‘raison d'être’ of the clothing itself. I ventured to ask some questions about naked ankles in the depth of Winter... The answers alternated between the negationist current ("no, I am not cold at all ") and aesthetic enslavement ("I cannot see myself any other way"). What do these two questions have in common? A slight feeling of discomfort when they are asked. Generated, I believe, by the inner recognition of how ridiculous it is to embody this visual expression under near zero temperatures.

There are more serious scourges in the world than part of mankind pretending not to feel cold in the same spots that it has so often taken care to protect? Certainly. Provided they are not responsible for the congestion of hospital emergencies or the collapse of the National Health Service, the ankles of a few do not interfere with the lives of others. And are not these people free to do what they most want? They most certainly are. But when millions of people around the world, for reasons of a strictly visual nature, "cease to be cold" in the same area of the body that they tried so hard to protect their entire lifetime, something is wrong. It is curious that in times of unprecedented freedom and self-determination, we all behave like sheep and ... forgive me those who are dear to me and those whom I have never seen before ... are so profoundly silly

p.s. – Despite the irrelevance of these facts, I share them here. Twenty years ago, there were no short socks. I remember folding the conventional-sized socks - when I wore shorts – to avoid the bar of the sock showing above the tennis shoes, which, voided of function, was left to the status of visual noise (cancelled by the said fold). I did not say it? I will say it now. Most of my socks are short. But I repeat: this is not the point (I think I insult the reader more by feeling the need to explain myself than by taking the risk of calling him an idiot). I also have a bunch of beanies at home and that is no reason to wear them to the beach in the peak of summer