Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jon Stewart Should Cover Up

Jon Stewart needs better, that is, higher, socks. 

In a segment Tuesday night, the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart lampooned CNN for making its morning anchors “go to the couch” to present some features. During one of his more uproariest tirades, Stewart kicked up his heels, and revealed ... skin of his shin ( Now, it was only for an instant, but it’s my firm belief that any male worthy of public exposure should not expose his legs, at least while wearing business or formal attire. 

You might recall that one of my first blogs, the tenth one in fact, back on September 21, 2009, excoriated President Obama for displaying his shins during an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulus of ABC News. Under the title, "Shins of the President," I wrote, “Sitting with his legs crossed, Obama showed viewers several inches of bare skin where his pants leg did not meet the top of his socks. 

“It is inexcusable, it’s a fashion faux pas, especially considering his wife’s keen fashion sense, that the commander-in-chief of the United States does not wear knee-high socks when he is dressed up.

“Indeed, anyone, anyone who is in politics, in business or in any way in a public situation, should wear knee-high socks. There is nothing appealing or sexy about seeing a man’s shin-bone skin.”

Someone in the White House, perhaps his fashion-conscious wife, must have noticed because Obama has been more properly attired since that faux pas. Stewart would do well to follow the president’s lead. Buy the knee-highs. Cover up, please. 

(For those wondering how a journalist writing under a no-socks-needed-anymore banner could demand proper hosiery, let me point out that one, going sockless is a sign I no longer need to dress corporately, and two, I really hate not wearing socks.) 

As long as we’re talking about The Daily Show, have you noticed the Mass Mutual ad that runs on the program picturing a father and son eating out. When the bill comes there’s an awkward moment when each contemplates who is the proper person to pay. I had such a moment with my father.

It was back before our children were born. It was Father’s Day, so Gilda and I took my parents to a restaurant in Greenwich Village. When the bill came I reached for the check. My father said he would pay. I said it was Father’s Day, let me pay. He reiterated he would pay. I said no. My father reached across the table ... and grabbed the tie I was wearing, choking me. Okay, Dad, if you want to pay that much, be my guest.  

Now that Bill de Blasio has been elected mayor of New York City, we’re in for non-stop pictures of his son Dante and his Afro, which I must say, is quite impressive.

Each morning as I coif my hair, I reach into a bathroom drawer to take out a Black Power steel hair pick I bought back in 1974 in New Haven when Gilda convinced me to shed my old-fashioned hairdo in favor of a more modern look. For years I had been trying to deal with my naturally curly hair by brushing it to the left while wet and then violently brushing it to the right. My barber in Brooklyn gave me razor cuts to weed out the curls, which, according to my recollection, showed up when I was about three years old after letting my sister Lee play hairdresser on my locks. I’ve never forgiven her. 

Anyway, Gilda importuned me to change. We had just moved into New Haven from nearby Seymour. Walking around the Westville neighborhood, we passed a unisex hair salon. It took all of her persuasive powers to get me inside, especially when I discovered a woman would be cutting my hair (remember, this was almost 40 years ago when I was but 25, so cut me some slack, please. For the record, my haircutter for the last 30 or so years has been a woman, Rosie.). 

To get back to the story, from the get-go I liked my Afro. One of Gilda’s favorite pictures of me was taken shortly thereafter in the newsroom of The New Haven Register. I’m sitting, my left knee akimbo atop the plane of the desktop, my head flush with a bushy Afro. Not as well-cropped and rounded as Dante’s, but as much a statement of my liberation from my childhood years as any I could make.