I think David Lynch may be one of the best looking men in America. His hair helps a lot. So does his role as America’s leading surrealist, an iconoclastic visionary across multiple media who somehow makes works of art that speak directly to the absent core of the American sublime.
One of the greatest strengths of the original Twin Peaks was how it managed to operate on so many levels simultaneously. It was never cute when it was aping soap operas, yet it never felt contrived when it would jump cut to images of pure unvarnished terror. The image of Ronette Pulaski walking out of the woods is as jarring as Dale Cooper’s love of diner coffee is hilarious.
So let’s jump cut to this outfit and maybe I can make my point:
David Lynch is notoriously reticent to extemporize on the meaning of his work, and I am going to take a page from his book. I won’t tell you how I went to the Polo Store looking for shorts to exercise in, how these shorts seemed vaguely athletic to me, how they were on sale, how there was a matching top, and how the matching top was also on sale, and how it really seemed a shame to split them up.
I don’t need to let you know that I imagined photos from the glorious era of the French Riviera, when American expats in woolen bathing suits sat in the sun and splashed in the surf (I won’t mention Fitzgerald again, but he was there), or how I imagined I had seen a picture of Picasso in an outfit similar to this (a quick Google image search of “Picasso onesie” fails to verify) or how fun I imagined lounging around the house would be in this set.
Let’s just say that this outfit operates on multiple levels of ridiculousness.
Nothing like the sober uniform of David Lynch. His look – a white shirt buttoned to the neck, navy jacket, ursine-fitting khakis – is as staid as his work is wild. The mild manners and that Missoula-drawl combine to make the whole Lynch persona one of the most engaging of our time. So it was somewhat inspiring to see Lynch in the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life as a young man experience some style growing pains of his own.
Now we come to the deeper level, the camera moves to a macro shot of the grass. Reality is revealed working just beneath the pristine surface. I’m not excited about the new Twin Peaks. Lynch hasn’t made a movie in over ten years and his last venture – 2006’s Inland Empire – should serve as a cautionary tale to the excited fans waiting for the streaming to begin. I love the man, but fair warning, he may have lost his shit.
What has happened to me that I am more excited by a man’s haircut than I am by his films? In some odd sense, like a Lynchian twist that is better left unexplained, the surface has become the reality. And the surface is a matching set of striped shirt and shorts.