Neutral news, everyone! “The Monocle is Back.” At least this is what a New York Times trend piece is presently claiming, tapping us excitedly on the shoulder.
We roll over on the sofa with a heavy sigh. “Go home, New York Times trend piece,” we mutter. “You’re drunk.”
“No,” the trend piece goes on. “I’m telling you. The monocle is BACK! It’s what the well-dressed man is wearing! They’re not just for English lords and Prussian generals and peanuts any more!”
I’m amazed the monocle took so long to return. A fashion accessory/vision aid that doubles as something you can very, very easily drop into your soup? That was a niche that needed filling.
A monocle says, “I could have chosen to look any way I wanted, and I opted for the look that brought me closest to a creepy ventriloquist doll or a Batman villain raised by penguins. I would rate squinting with one eye somewhere between an “interest” and a “hobby.” Does anyone have a cane I can twirl?”
If you are wearing a monocle instead of glasses, it is proof historically that something is not quite right about you. Glasses might be “a wheelchair for the eye,” in the words of “Veep,” but the monocle is the eye’s ivory-tipped cane. If you actually need it to lean on, it’s a terrible choice.
Then again, I really should not talk snidely about old-timey fashion, because one year I insisted on a top hat and cane for my birthday so I could try to teach myself this song-and-dance routine to “Shine on Harvest Moon.” I wish I were making this up. (On rewatching it just now, I have no idea why I thought a top hat and cane were the required accessories instead of a bowler and a suitcase, but there it is.) My parents never had the heart to tell me it wasn’t 1939. It would have ruined my childhood and thrown me into despair.
So maybe we should embrace the one-eyed monster. Yes, this piece has me more than ever convinced that there are a total of three hip underground bars that writers visit whenever they need to be hooked up to a new trend, and that the people in those bars are just messing with us at this point.
Next we just need to bring back the farthingale and those long pointed shoes whose tips had to be fastened to your knees. My general goal, as far as fashion is concerned, is that I want everyone to have to look equally ridiculous after a similar amount of effort. If ladies can’t get away with looking as though we’ve just fallen out of bed onto a rumpling machine, then men should have to spend half an hour every morning carefully pouring themselves into their cross-gartered stockings and making sure their monocles sit right under the brow.
Let’s believe in the trend and see where it leads. Sell monocles at Urban Outfitters! I don’t think I’d be able to keep the dang thing in my eye, but you’d be amazed what can get stuck in your eye and never leave. I’m still trying to unsee parts of “Se7en.” Besides, it can’t look much worse than Google Glass.
Why mock the mote in your neighbor’s eye when there’s a monocle in yours?