Sunday, October 26, 2008
After the last few months, this bit of satire at The Onion (hat tip EU) is probably applicable to much of the rest of the world. Here in late-2008, swaggering is way down everywhere.
Admittedly, it is increasingly difficult to do so, but it is still important to maintain a sense of humor these days.
NEW YORK—According to an alarming new study published Monday in The Journal Of Applied Behavioral Science, the time-honored American activity of swaggering, an extremely arrogant manner of walking, has dropped by nearly 90 percent since 2007.While the studies cited must be bogus (it is The Onion, after all), the gist of this is probably quite accurate. Much of the swagger seen in America prior to 2007 - when all we had to worry about was a war that was going badly - it's all gone now.
The severe economic turmoil of recent weeks and the United States' diminished credibility and moral standing on the world stage are just two of the major factors named in the study as contributing to the precipitous decline in self-important locomotion.
Dr. Thomas Ewell, an expert on boastful walking styles throughout American history, said he is not surprised by the overall decline in public swaggering. According to Ewell, pompous walks have always been adversely affected during times of national turmoil.
"It's cyclical—different modes of presumptuous sauntering come and go," Ewell said. "For example, popular 1920s walks, which included cavalier watch-chain-twirling, the hooking of one's thumbs into one's suspenders, bowler hats cocked to ridiculous angles, and exuberant heel-clicking—both single and double—were more or less eradicated by the Great Depression."
This week's cartoon from The Economist: