Speaking of Casual by Ken Myers

Speaking of Casual

Not long ago, I had occasion to look at my high-school yearbook (no, Facebook was not involved). It was remarkable how many people who signed it with great affection and commitment are now mysterious strangers (demonstrating that faux-intimacy is not just a Facebook thing).

The most remarkable discovery in reading the comments of those signatories was how many of them—apparently lacking any real shared memories to commemorate—took the opportunity to celebrate one of the great achievements of our class (1970). It was on our watch—and due to our tireless efforts, I was reminded—that the school dress code had been eliminated. And just in time for the fashion explosion of the 1970s. Were we lucky or what?

“If someone were beamed forward in a time capsule from 1950 to today, the most notable thing would be that everyone dresses as if they just rolled out of bed.” So Mark Oppenheimer once commented to me in an interview about the cultural consequences of the 1960s. Oppenheimer, the author of the 2003 book Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, insisted that the most decisive cultural change of that tempestuous decade—coming to a close as I was getting ready to graduate—was the advent of a regime of informality.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

16.4—May 2003

Common Sense

Chesterton & the Aristotelian Tradition by Patrick Henry Reardon

31.1—January/February 2018

Beggars Before Christ

on Taking the Measure of the Deserving & the Undeserving Poor by Martin Bordelon

32.3—May/June 2019

Theodicies & Messy Desks

on the Infinite Problem of Goods & Evil by Hugh Hunter

00