June 24, 2012

Utilikilts.

Instapundit brings up the topic this morning, pointing to Manolo, who says he gets the idea:
You are the unconventional, free-spirited, manly-dude, who wishes to show the world that you march to the beat of your own Iron John drum circle, even as you not-so-surreptitiously air your junk out in public.

However...

Real Scottish kilt, worn properly = The Sexy.
Utilikilt, worn by you = The Dorky....
I learned the word "Utilikilt" on October 18, 2010, when Meade and I were "very politely accosted" on State Street (Madison, Wisconsin) by a young man with a spiral notebook who was getting people to write the answer to his question "What is your American dream?" I didn't write in his book, but while Meade was writing — "To live in freedom" — I interviewed him about his project and his attire:
I said I was especially interested in the subject of men in skirts...
Because I saw the potential for getting men out of shorts (which really are The Dorky)...
.... and he agreed to be photographed...
Photographs at the link...
... and introduced me to the term Utilikilt. There was some talk about its usefulness to, for example, a carpenter.

I observed that it would be a useful defense against plumber's crack (since the back isn't attached to the front beneath the legs, so there's no downward pull when you crouch), and he made the less subtle point that it wasn't good if you had to use a ladder.  
We talked to him about his project, and he said he was hitchhiking all over the country — would you pick up a man in a Utilikilt? — getting answers to his question, and naturally he had a website, which I linked to. The website was americandreamorbust.com, but I guess it went bust, because it's not there anymore.

Now, you might say, well, that's part of the American Dream. No safety net. You can win or lose. Free markets! Capitalism! He just lost. And hitchhiker in a Utilikilt soliciting entries to a spiral notebook turned out to be a loser. But he took his shot, and had his day in the sun. There's nothing to cry about.

But here's the mistake I see: He shouldn't have bought his own domain. If he'd gone with americandreamorbust.blogspot.com that website would still be there, and whatever the project was, it would be preserved. He paid to get a more-ambitious-looking URL, but then, he didn't keep it up, and the links that he got now go nowhere.

This is why I stay on Blogger. It seems weaker, perhaps, not to have one's own domain. But I think it's stronger. It's stable. It's a floor of permanence under your project. It's not vulnerable to the winds of change.

Beware the winds of change.



Especially if you're wearing a skirt.

38 comments:

Surfed said...

Just put down the unikilt and back away sir. No one will be hurt...

ndspinelli said...

Men love the iconic Marilyn Monroe photo akin to this. Why are so many women prudes and not able to enjoy a little beefcake? I suspect that's one of the reasons men still rule the world and own most everything in it.

chickelit said...

cc: Althouse, Ann; Hardin, RH

Midwest Airlines male flight attendants wear shorts: link

PatCA said...

I think they marched over that grate on purposes, LOL! Cute buns, actually.

edutcher said...

If a man has good, muscular legs, shorts are hardly The Dorky (we've had this conversation before and just have to agree to disagree), but the Utilikilt looks like something Hatman would wear when he's pretending he's Bob the Builder or something.

AllieOop said...

Who says women wouldn't enjoy this display, although accidental, of two fine specimens of gluteus maxima? Much more interesting than plumber's butt.

madAsHell said...

I see that your Althou.se domain is still.....ummmm....under construction.

AllieOop said...

Gluteus maximus plural= gluteus maxima or maximuses? Or maximi?

edutcher said...

glutei maximi

ricpic said...

Only drivers looking for danger,
Edge of looking to get kilt,
Would pickup a hitchhiking stranger
Sporting a utilikilt.

Allison McLaughlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

Some kilts are kind of nice.

This is a Scotts Porridge oats commercial with Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane in GoT.) Nice sporran, anyway.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There was some talk about its usefulness to, for example, a carpenter.

Oh yeah. Really useful when your skill saw gets tangled up in the fabric and gets drawn into your body and cuts off your nuts.

I'm sure the other construction workers are going to appreciate the view from below (not)as you are walking across the second floor joists.

Paddy O said...

You protect against short term change by leaving yourself vulnerable to catastrophic change.

My wordpress blog (for whatever worth it has) is backuped regularly. A record of the posts and interactions of the last 8 years is stored offline as well as online.

If blogspot is wiped clean, so is your blogging life's work. How much dare we trust The Google? Shall it endure?

john said...

I thought they called it Norge butt.

jcross1kirk said...

I have spent 30 years in a bagpipe band...the utilikilt screams "wanna-be' and 'Weekend Irish Festival'. Nothing personal, of course.

MarkW said...

Americandreamorbust is still preserved:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110209060542/http://www.americandreamorbust.com/

althouse.blogspot.com, on the other hand, is no longer being saved in the internet archive (there's nothing more recent than July 2011)

Mike said...

At San Francisco State, where I work, I have seen the occasional Utilikilt. It's sort of a running joke I have with some friends from graduate school that I'll email them every time there's a sighting. I've seen them on an aged anarchist, who manages to pull off the look because, really, who's going to tell a multiply-pierced, tattooed, crusty-skinned, ponytailed 60's relic in a dress that he looks silly?

But Ann, regarding men in shorts, I can appreciate your position in the abstract. You never saw men of my father's generation in shorts unless they were at the pool, and in my father's case that only happened on vacation.

In practice, though, I was sitting with some neighbors on a 100 degree evening out here in the California delta. Explaining why I was wearing pants I pointed out that from what I've been reading, mature men should never wear shorts. Both of them (mature men in shorts) looked at me like I was from another planet.

ndspinelli said...

Allie, Nurses are among the least prudish women out there. Law professors among the most prudish. Those 2 demographics are between pole dancers and nuns.

Patrick said...

One of my favorite, slightly off color jokes:


alcohol
A kilted Scotsman was walking down a country path after finishing off a large amount of whisky at a local pub. He felt quite sleepy and decided to nap against a tree.

As he slept, two female tourists heard his loud snoring. When they found him, one said, "I've always wondered what a Scotsman wears under his kilt."

She boldly walked over to the sleeper, raised his kilt, and saw that he wore nothing at all. Her friend said, "Well, the mystery is solved! Let's thank him for sharing!"

She took off her pretty blue hair ribbon and gently tied it around the Scotsman's endowment. A while later, the Scotsman was awakened by the call of nature. He raised his kilt and was bewildered at the sight of the neatly tied blue ribbon. He stared for a minute, then said, "I don't know where y'been laddie... but it's nice ta see you won firrrst prrrize!"

Patrick said...

Just a guess, Allie, but I'd say glutei maximi. Both the noun and adjective need to agree.

ndspinelli said...

Patrick, good joke. It's only off color if you're toward the nun/ law prof end of the spectrum. Fun people hang out near the other end.

wyo sis said...

I'd guess women's ideas of beefcake and men's ideas might differ...substantially.

Deborah McLaughlin said...

Patrick, it's also a song, famously sung by Alex Beaton:

http://youtu.be/rnfi2KAVyrM?t=2m32s

@34 sec

AllieOop said...

Patrick, good one, but then again, I am a pole vaulter, no I mean a pole dancer/ nurse type.

I appreciate bawdy humor.

Jay Vogt said...

Professor, you used eight paragraphs to set-up that punch line.

I'm impressed

R. Chatt said...

BTW, that finger (sculpture) was a pinky. See the fleshy part of the palm? Maybe the photos were connected.

Jeff Boulier said...

Some minor stalking took me to his facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/americandreamorbust/posts/212663038769414

Also a twitter account, here: http://twitter.com/#!/Dream_or_Bust

So at least as of June 2011, he was still working on it. Nothing since then, though, which is rather a bad sign for his project.

MadisonMan said...

You should print off hard copies of all your blogposts and all the comments.

I wonder how many pages that would be.

Icepick said...

I've seen them on an aged anarchist, who manages to pull off the look because, really, who's going to tell a multiply-pierced, tattooed, crusty-skinned, ponytailed 60's relic in a dress that he looks silly?

Yeah, calling him silly because of the kilt seems kind of redundant.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The Romans thought britches were feminine.

Astro said...

Donald Where's your Troosers

Dustin said...

I'm think it's pretty unrealistic to expect blogger to be around forever.

They will, one day, announce a retirement date. Or there will be another glitch, but no one around with standing to pester it to be fixed. Or some goons will hack the account via a future vulnerability and somehow ruin it.

But compared to your own domain with a bill? That would have the same glitch and security concerns. Setting up a trust would be a hassle. So I suppose blogspot is one of the least bad choices if you want your blog archived forever.

Amadeo said...

I agree with your statements re Blogger. And what's more you can open as many blogs as you find necessary, even split your current blog into two if it gets too unwieldy.

More power to Blogger!

Rusty said...

Originally the kilt was one piece of cloth,called a tartan, wrapped around the entire body and cinched at the waist with a belt. The hem should come well below the gaiters to prevent bleeding chaffing when the hem gets wet and rubs against the leg.
Me stepdad was a clan Roberts.

Biff said...

As an aside, blogs hosted with Blogger can have both a personalized, custom domain name and a blogspot.com domain name at the same time. For example, if the professor wished, she could maintain a single blog that would appear at both althouse.blogspot.com and, for the sake of argument, CitizensUnitedAgainstMensShortsandUglyKilts.com. Custom domains can be added to any blogspot.com blog by visiting the blog's Basic Settings page.

Firehand said...

Rusty, what I was taught is that the hem normally should be middle of the knee; nice thing about a belted plaid is you can adjust it higher in warm weather or lower in cold.

As to working in one, used to know a carpenter who wore a Utilikilt- the working version with hammer loop, etc.- and it has a snap front & rear so you can keep it from blowing up when you're on a ladder.

Considering it's 100 outside right now, heading to 104, several yards of wool pleated around you is kind of hot; a cotton kilt is a lot cooler, and has a lot of historical precedent.

conservativeanarchist said...

I have been asked if I go rock climbing in my utilikilt...