Dandyism is often misconstrued as a kind of fustian, 19th Century affectedness. It is associated with precocious am-dram students who happen to have got a part in the school production of The Importance of Being Earnest. I don’t understand how this misconstruction took hold, when there is nothing less dandiacal than being covered in dust. As I understand it, pace Brummell and Baudelaire, dandyism is about reducing inner entropy and cultivating oneself. It is not an act.
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough leisure time at present to really cultivate the tangled garden of my inner self or my outer appearance. However, if I did, I know that there is one thing that I wouldn’t change: my Casio F-91W.
The Casio F-91W is the perfect watch.* It has every feature that I need – light, stopwatch, alarm, 24-hour time, date, water resitstance – in an elegant, simple design. It is reliable, cheap, and comfortable. Any further refinement would be to gild (and geld) its lily. Dandyism, while not antique, isn’t progressive for the sake of progress either. Some may claim that it is utilitarian and dull — ha! — merely vulgar common sense.
In researching this squib I discovered that people have actually been detained merely because they have worn it. What greater indictment could there be of the Bush regime than this idiotic criminalisation of the world’s best watch.
* According to Wikipedia, the watch was released as late as 1997, which begs the question what was its pre-97 equivalent. I’m sure that a similar watch existed.