The Washington Post, ordinarily all too willing to worship the Empire, ran a story today (front page, albeit in the Style section) about the Grand Vizier's choice of, ah, couture during the Auschwitz commemoration. Photographs show Dick Cheney wearing an olive fur-trimmed parka and a ski cap, standing out like a sore thumb in the crowd of black-clad European politicians and camp survivors. The parka was embroidered with Cheney's name; the ski cap bore the inscription "Staff 2001." The Grand Vizier also wore brown lace-up hiking boots.
Now I know the age of dressing properly has passed like the European civilization with the Great War - and more's the pity - but there are still some standards about dressing for solemn occasions, at least for State rulers and their coteries.
Was this a "wardrobe malfunction"? Ms. Cheney was dressed appropriately. Did someone lose Dick's formalwear bag? Or is it simply that the Grand Vizier of the American Empire lacks the sensitivity to dress for the commemoration of mass murder of unprecedented scale for any one place? It's not like he's been bothered by the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths he is responsible for, one way or another. It's bad enough the horrific anniversary is being used as an occasion to worship the modern state (a concept without which the Holocaust could not have happened). Everyone could have done without Dick dressing up as an Ugly American.