Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – John Horvat, the author of Return to Order, is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Let me talk to you about a piece that you wrote for The Imaginative Conservative and your site last week, “The Emperor Is Wearing Pajamas: The Decline of Dress.” I was waiting for someone, or for others to pick up on this. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: John Horvat, the author of Return to Order, is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Let me talk to you about a piece that you wrote for The Imaginative Conservative and your site last week, “The Emperor Is Wearing Pajamas: The Decline of Dress.” I was waiting for someone, or for others to pick up on this. I think that this is such a huge part – we don’t think that it is, and you point this out in the first paragraph of your piece. I went: Wait a minute, that’s what I’ve been saying. Or maybe I heard what you said in 1986 and then I repeated it. We’ll go with that. I’ll just read it to you:
The modern attitude toward dress is that it has little effect on the way people function. In fact, people are advised that the more comfortable they are, the more efficient and happy they will be. People generally respond to such advice by collectively retreating into a shabby array of blue jeans or shorts, T-shirts or sweatshirts, and sneakers. It really does not make any difference what you wear. It is all a matter of personal preference.
Such conclusions do not coincide with those who study attire . . .
Mike: Then you cite a professor at the Yale School of Management that actually studied this. I went to go download the study. I didn’t have access to it, so all I could read was the summary of it. What did you find out when you actually – there’s actual evidence that men that dress better and have more dignity and respect in their dress actually perform better.
John Horvat: That’s it. Not only – it’s quantifiable. They did a test with somebody dressed shabbily and another in a suit and did a deal. I think the one with the suit came out $100,000 on top on this deal. It’s not something that’s just sort of nebulous. It’s really quantifiable. It’s the way it is.
Mike: When we look back, if you go – I used to tell my children, I’d show them scenes from an Orson Welles movie or something like that, made in the ‘40s or early ‘50s or whatever. I would tell them to pick out a couple things that stood out to them. Without me even instructing them, the first thing that came up was: Well, first of all, everyone’s dressed up. I’d say: They’re not dressed up; they’re dressed properly. They’re in public, for Heaven’s sake. The second thing they noticed was there was a dearth of obese people. I said: Well, people had different (I won’t say correct), different priorities then. Certainly the degradation in dress is something that has coarsened Western civilization and certainly American society and culture. To me it is one of the joys of my day when I see people that are returning to that order of dress.
Horvat: Right. It’s something very fundamental. In fact, just after the book was published, I took a course on radio, how to do radio, radio talk shows and things like that. One of the things they said was dress well. You don’t just sit back and give an interview. You have to be energetic. You should be standing if you really want to. Dress well because it makes a difference. They can’t see you, but the way you feel and the way you see yourself comes through.
Mike: I come in every day and we do our show live on YouTube. We do an hour live preview on Facebook Live now. My kids ask me: Dad, do you dress up like that every day? I say: I’m on TV every day, of course I do. I hope this is starting to sink in to some. My wife bought me a new assortment of bowties to begin the business year. I received this in the mail, and, after reading your piece about “The Emperor is Wearing Pajamas,” I thought God works in mysterious ways. The Holy Ghost certainly has a way of tying things together for us. I received one of the bowties yesterday. It came in a brown envelope. I was shocked by what I found inside. It’s by a company called Lord Wallington, San Diego, California. This particular tie – by the by, if you’re watching me on YouTube, this is the Lord of Wallington tie, made in the US, if you can imagine that. Lord Wallington is described – I’ll show the TV audience this beautiful little box, which is monogrammed or stamped on the outside of the box “Lord Wallington – Immanuel Ontiveros.” Then we find this description. There’s a little card that’s in the envelope, John. I’d like to share with you and the audience the first paragraph of the card.
What began in 2012 in San Diego, California by Navy Veteran Immanuel Ontiveros with a passion for the aesthetic, has grown into a full fledged lifestyle brand that redefines the modern gentleman. Today, Lord Wallington stands for American Nobility by way of an exceptional collection of fine products and Butler services for today’s modern gentleman.
As an evolving men’s lifestyle brand, Lord Wallington introduces men to a long since forgotten tradition—taking pride in the way one looks and lives . . .
Mike: That’s what “The Emperor Is Wearing Pajamas” is all about.
Horvat: That’s right. I wrote this down. That sounds great. It’s true, very, very true. That article, at the end of the article, it says what people are wearing out there are pajamas in public. That’s how far we’ve gone.
Mike: Your publisher at The Imaginative Conservative, Stephen Klugewicz, found a picture, a photograph of Ryan Gosling, the famous actor, dressed in pajamas at an award ceremony.
Horvat: Right. And they’re fashion pajamas, not just your ordinary, off-the-shelf stuff at Walmart. It’s big business now.
Mike: Fashion pajamas, the high variety of fashion.
Horvat: Designer, yes.
Mike: Designer pajamas. There are so many parts of this, not just dress, but behavior. I think the other part of this equation – I think that as men we have to, as always, as men, as fathers, as church leaders, or as leaders at our churches and parishes, we always have to bear in mind that we perceive ourselves as just being us, unless you are filled with pride. If you did this out of a sense of pride it wouldn’t be genuine anyways. They’d go: Nobody is looking up to me. The proper way that a gentleman, especially a Catholic / Christian gentleman ought to think of it, is that everyone is looking up to me. Don’t disappoint them. That’s not a statement or pride. That’s a statement of modesty. I don’t want my public lack of kemptness, or my lack of dress and modesty and decorum to become picked up on by anyone else and repeated. To me, it’s not an act of pride. It’s an act of humility.
Horvat: And an act of charity. You don’t dress that way for yourself. You dress out of consideration for others.
Mike: Thank you for saying that. That’s what I was leading towards. Yes, it is an act of charity. Equally, though, and I think this is where gentlemen have to lead and we can pray and hope that the ladies and our daughters, and our sisters and their daughters, and our brothers and their daughters follow. There is a stunning, shocking lack of modesty and charity in female dress today. I don’t have the solution to this, but I can tell you this. I interviewed Anthony Esolen from Providence College. He and I talked about this infatuation that the progressives and unfortunately too many other moderates and even moderate Catholics have with the acceptance of homosexuality. Anthony said: Mike, here’s what I’ve found. He’s found that men, homosexual men, will respond to guidance and charity from heterosexual men. They do. They’re far more likely to take it as charitable advice: Hey, man, you really shouldn’t do that. You should pray upon that and I’m going to pray for you. He said that women cannot, homosexual women, or those tending to homosexual in women cannot be influenced by men. They can only be and will only accept advice from women. I don’t know. Have you seen, are you aware, are there women out there writing about a return to modesty?
Horvat: Definitely. The movement is out there. You see it in homeschoolers, at traditional masses. There are definitely a lot of people that do it and do it quite well. It is out there. There are modesty websites and all sorts of – it’s a niche out there. It definitely is out there. I think there are a lot of enthusiastic young people that are involved.
Mike: John Horvat is the author of Return to Order, my guest here on the Dude Maker Hotline. You can find his book and sign up for his daily email newsletter at ReturnToOrder.org. Switching gears for a moment, that’s another area where I think we should see a lot of hope, and that is, I think the energetic force behind the resurgence and insurgence of the traditional Mass and the ascendant of some old orders, some ancient orders – I say religious orders – that is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, this is all driven by a very active, very devout, and very energetic young people.
Horvat: Exactly. They’re going to the mass that predates them. It’s always existed. They really didn’t have exposure to it. It’s just amazing to see some of the responses. I’ve met young people that say: I never imagined this existed and all of a sudden I saw it and said, “Yes, that’s what I want.” It is really something to see.
Mike: It is something to see. I’ll tell you somewhere else we see it at. You’re going to see this in about two and a half weeks when the national March for Life occurs in Mordor on the Potomac River. Anyone that’s gone to the march in the last couple years will bear witness to this. You will see that vast, overwhelming majorities of the people that now pour into the Mall and the events surrounding the march are young people. I’m not talking about 20-somethings. I’m talking about ten-something, children. They come from schools all across the country.
Horvat: And you sense that they’re not there just for the field trip. You talk to them and interview them and things like that. They understand why they’re there. They want to be there. They’re enthusiastic. They go through a lot of sacrifice to be there. A lot of them travel halfway across the country just to be there. It is – there is something of authenticity in this whole movement.
Mike: What’s fascinating about that, it’s almost as though it’s a pilgrimage of sorts.
Horvat: Right. It definitely has a very Catholic overtone. I think I went to the first one in 1977 or ’78. You could barely find a bishop or anybody like that. Now there are so many there. It’s just amazing.
Mike: You could barely find a bishop.
Horvat: It was pretty much Protestant at that point. There were all sorts of Protestant groups. There was maybe half and half, something like that.
Mike: I was talking about this – I gave a talk to the Monroe County Michigan Right to Life Committee in October of 2015. I have prayed upon this and thought about this. I went: How am I going to address this? These people know pro-life. What can I possibly tell them that they don’t already know? Here’s what I came up with. The speech is still in audio and written form on the website at MikeChurch.com. You just mentioned ’77 and the Right to Life March, which would have been four years after Roe v. Wade became horrific law, a law that only an apostate could possibly endorse and find any truth in it. In those early days – of course, this is after the turmoil and upheaval of the Second Vatican Council. The traditional mass and the traditional orders were told to basically go pound sand. The new kids on the block were here. Things were all going to be great. There weren’t a lot of devout souls that were to be found publicly advocating the historic and traditional role of the Church. This is to be lamented still to this day. If they had been there, I think things would have turned out very differently, John.
Mike: I talked to this Monroe County Michigan Right to Life Committee. I told them: The fundamental mistake that was made by Catholics, and this lays at the feet not just of the clergy but certainly the laity, is that we adopted this policy and this plan that we were going to rely on a political party, namely the Republican Party, and that we were going to elect them in our secular elections. They were going to nominate secular judges that were ultimately going to get this thing overturned. While part of that is laudable, that it did need to be overturned, what Catholics should have done in 1973, as soon as this thing was passed, is we should have, and we should today, turned to the highest authority that there is, that needs no vote. I don’t need to read the results of a ballot initiative to know that Almighty God has declared that all life is precious, and that it has to be protected and defended, and that’s all that I need. I have all the authority that I need when I say, as St. John the Baptist told Herod: I am here basically on the authority of God. No, I won’t take a compromise. There is no compromise.
I think that we’re at the end of that mistake. Brother Horvat, we have people that want us to make the exact same mistake. I don’t even think they hold out that the Republicans are going to do anything about it. I think they just want us to surrender when it comes to this madness about mutilating children, changing their gender, and about telling everyone and anyone that walks that if they choose to be homosexual, bisexual, trisexual, quadsexual, all is right, they are loved by God, and there’s nothing to see here. Christian citizen, move along.
Horvat: That’s it. It’s a process. They won’t stop abortion or homosexuality or even transgender. It’s to say: Well, I’m God. That’s where it’s going to end. I’m my own God and I don’t need any authority, any restraint, any sexuality. I can determine what I can be, when I can be it, and however long I want to be it.
Mike: This is, I think, what has to be vigorously, with as much charity as we can muster, opposed.
Horvat: Absolutely. It does. We can’t just let it go. They are intolerable when you come down to it. They will not tolerate any type of opposition. They’ll put in laws. They’ll put in everything to where you can’t have any opinion.
Mike: That’s right, they are intolerable. Final question for John Horvat, author of Return to Order. I don’t need to describe to you folks the book because, if you’re listening to this show, you already know how the order ought to be. John writes about it in book form. You can get it and sign up for John’s newsletter at ReturnToOrder.org. Through all this, are you encouraged we have an incoming administration, Donald Trump – his wife, Melania, is a baptized, I think in Serbia, a baptized Roman Catholic. Kellyanne Conway, who’s named as his top advisor, we all know that Kellyanne is very devout, a mother of five. She’s said to be a daily mass-goer. Stephen K. Bannon, which I didn’t know this, is Catholic. He is bringing a contingent of Catholics into this administration. This could turn out really well or this could turn out really bad. What would you say to a person out there that is contemplating this and may be praying upon it, a course of action – how are you going to monitor this? How are you going to treat that?
Horvat: I think the best word for it is monitor. You need to just be watching, to be constantly watching and saying: Well, our moral values, which is the most important thing, they are the most important thing. We don’t want you to forget them. The moral values of voters are the first to be called upon and the last to be remembered. That’s the way it’s been. I hope that this will not continue. The fact that he has Catholics entering in the administration, I think, is a good sign. When you get down to these moral values, we have the most consistent view. It eventually leads there. You will eventually find a Catholic, even in some of these – in a lot of organizations, you find they have a lot of Catholics there because when you go down to the final consequences, the Church is there.
Mike: That’s it. You have to know what the final consequences are.
Horvat: That’s true. And a lot of that comes from hard knocks, too. You just go from one to another and finally you figure it out. You get hit so many times you say: Wait a minute. The Church has had it right for 2,000 years. Maybe I should listen.
Mike: Maybe I should listen and not worry about what revolutionaries crave, right?
Horvat: Absolutely, yes.
Mike: He is John Horvat. He and the website is ReturnToOrder.org. John, a thrill-packed, I think, productive 30 minutes. Thank you, sir.
Horvat: It’s been great. Keep up the good work in 2017.
Mike: You as well, and we’ll talk again soon. That’s John Horvat, everybody.
End Mike Church Show Transcript