On Film, Tasteless Fad, And Fashion,
How the Nineteen-Empties became the undoubted, bar nothing, butt-ugliest decade of the entire 20th century
Once upon a time, someone asked a question of a mailing list . . . .
Soon after, there was an answer . . . . .
At 19:19 1/5/2003, Someone lit a fuse with:
>who the fuck ever thought that loafers without socks was a good fucking idea?
These would be the people who are genuinely accustomed to wandering around on the sometimes soaking wet deck of a small power or sailboat, where having socks on as well just leaves you with perpetually soggy wet feet . . .
Of course, as anyone who is sane or possessing of taste will do, once off the boat one takes the loafers off, leaving them on the boat for the next use, and at that point, one then puts one's socks and land use sneakers or boots back on before leaving the dock area.
Editorial note: Nearly a century after "boat shoes" were invented, and after a century of development, of growth, what do America's Cup sailors wear, aka actual sailors instead of pretentious losers wearing weird bits of costume? America's Cup sailors wear sneakers.
>Probably the same ppl that thought giving Debbie Gibson a recording contract was a good idea too.
Well, now Those entities would indeed be the yuppy-preppy types---editorial note, later known as hipsters---spawned by the joke book called "The Preppie Handbook"---it was always only found in the humor section of a bookstore--- . . . Seeing as YPs have no sense of humor and even less of a clue, when they got a hint that someone might be stupid enough to mistake the pretentious as being anything more than the dregs of one class or another, that time is when the rest of us then found ourselves surrounded by the undoubted, bar nothing, butt-ugliest decade of the entire 20th century . . . with shoulder seams at the elbows, necklines that started at the nipples, waistlines dragging down to the knees . . . Football pads piled on football pads piled on football pads, Like dude, look at me, I'm Being Seen Wearing a Tie!!! . . . the baggy, pleated pants which are best remembered as that fat people's clothing, Etc.
That bit about all the costuming---not clothing, Butt Ugly Costuming---that might have looked like retreads of the 1930s and 1940s? Now That would be from the summer of 1981, where a couple of geniuses named Spielberg and Lucas wanted to remake the adventure serials that they grew up on, and made Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones movie . . . Which is a damned good movie, and is set in 1936, so of course all the actors are dressed as if they were running about in the 1930s . . .
On The Other Hand, on the amateur and no taste or talent end of the screen, by the fall of 1981, as I recall there were three television series that involved someone in a fedora and leather jacket running around in jungles for the few short weeks before at least two, if not all, got cancelled for lack of inspiration or having a point . . . following such cancellations, however, it was out on the sidewalks when one then started seeing 1) bomber jackets on non-1930s sidewalks, where the actual bomber jackets are what were worn by ROTLA era bomber and fighter pilots as a solution to some of the cockpit atmospheric conditions they were having to deal with, 2) Gee, after awhile, like 30 or 40 years, any such original jacket is going to look really beaten up and tattered, so of course one that is brand new is going to look the same(???!!!!!!!!), so of course 3) all of the '80s knockoffs wound up getting made to look like they'd been dragged through a gravel pit on the way out of that closet, with non '30s and '40s detailing and design to boot, thus screaming to all that the wearer is a clueless and pretentious git that would like to fantasize that he/she/it is capable of being mistaken for having taste and being successful . . . . and 4) By The Way, big surprise, this exact time is exactly when the first Banana Republic stores open, solely because the P.T. Barnums of the age had indeed noticed the interest in ROTLA "inspired" Stuff and because the "preppie" spasm had already irrevocably demonstrated that YPs Are indeed just stupid and numerous enough to fall for all this and make it profitable . . . .
Oh, all those football pads? Now That would have been from 1980's American Gigolo, with Richard Gere dressed up as a bus, where a whole bunch of movie viewers followed, uh, suit, where the ROTLA fads wound up segueing right into that and continuing on downhill with even more pretentiousness to boot. After all, why face the reality of being that clueless when even the latest political and economic headlines were emphatically proclaiming Increase Spending!!! Cut Taxes!!! Budget??? What Budget??!!! So yes, the early YPs found it much easier to claim that they should be considered to be stylish and have a clue, and after dear old Reagan proclaimed it was "Morning In America", oh boy could we see the morning after hangover on the sidewalks after that . . .
In turn, after several centuries of having a clue regarding how to put clothing together, How did we wind up watching the totally distorted and warped seams on what has been ludicrously proclaimed to be clothing? That would be from 1983 and watching a woman named Jennifer Beals while she was in a very lightweight movie called Flashdance. In Flashdance, Beals' character regularly went about in sweatshirts at least three or four sizes too large, with the neck facing deliberately ripped out, leaving garments which are always going to be sagging here, there, and everywhere, solely because of the size differentiation and not Because They Are Designed And Made That Way . . . . only again, those on the front side of the screen had serious comprehension problems, and so the same sidewalks began to also start seeing what became formally known as "unconstructed" clothing . . . . In recent years, style has finally been coming back after the long darkness of the nineteen empties---err, eighties---and from what I've seen, Giorgio Armani's company seems to have indeed finally started producing clothing. HowEver, for entirely too long, that phrase of "unconstructed" was simply the universal and despairing code word for This extremely overpriced assemblage of cheap looking fabric is guaranteed to never fit and always look totally tacky no matter what size you get it in, so don't even try to find wearable clothing these days unless you have your own private tailor.
By 1986 and the Peter Wang movie A Great Wall, the entirety of the clueless, pretentious, brainless masses of the 1980s were summed up in just two lines, without any need whatsoever for distortion or exaggeration. As a lack of response, from mangled hair to "vertical food" to SUVs, at no time whatsoever have any of said losers and their lack of any culture whatsoever been able to even begin to offer any sort of any rebuttal. In A Great Wall, an uncle in China asks his daughter just what is the costume being worn by his visiting, American born nephew? As she had been wondering that herself, and had already asked him the same question, from exactly the same bewilderment, she repeats the nephew's answer; That's "Style"!
The uncle grunts and then continues, as best as I can recall, with;
My nephew's jacket is made of burlap, and he's wearing castoff army pants. If that's the best my brother-in-law can do to dress his own son, he must be pretty bad off.
The uncle then asks his daughter if she thinks their cousins need a donation of the uncle's old Communist China, People's Army uniform.
Soooooo . . . . with a decade that started with the pretentious claiming that "deck shoes" must be seen on sidewalks without socks, and then claiming from there that such who are naive enough to fall for that must be considered to be upper class and "obvious leaders of society", were or are they such leaders? Uh, well, no . . . . Of course not.
Think about it . . . . A man, or woman, takes up plumbing or carpentry, and is really good at it and keeps being really good at it and is thus able to choose just about any job at will and charge fees to match the skills. In time, such a person doesn't even need to state I am a Master and you will acknowledge that, such a level of respect just is, anyone of importance will recognize this, and anyone stupid enough to claim otherwise is an idiot, can be ignored, and is guaranteed to fail anyway. Such a master is the height of the working classes, always has been, and always will be.
Exactly in turn, a man or woman takes up accounting or computer programming, and is really good at it, and, in exactly the same manner, working with brain cells the way a carpenter or plumber works with tools, this master is the height of the middle classes, always has been, and always will be.
On the other hand, since the beginning of the 'Empties, we have been deluged in reality and in the media with masses of stereotypical YPs and rappers all screaming that they are the best, see the costume, see the jewels, see the fine wines, I am important, see the jewelry, I demand respect from everybody, see the house on Long Island, get out of my way, I am seen being seen in expensive nightclubs, look at all my money, gimme gimme gimme, . . . . .
Dudes, if you were the least bit capable of any of that, whether YP Or rapper, you would just reach out and receive whatever you might want or need. You never need to scream for something you already have. Actual masters just get what they want, without a fuss. That's how and why they are masters. Wannabes, losers, posers, can only paw for something they have been told will make other people think they might be seen as important.
Have you ever noticed that both these YPs and rappers are all wearing the same costuming with the same labels that are all required to be on the outside of the costuming, instead of quietly and with assurance being on the inside, as occurs with clothing? Consider costuming; A big heavy duty coat, boots and protective hat, and you are seeing a firefighter. A pastel outfit with simple pockets and mebbe a mask, and you are seeing a medical worker. Baggy, pleated pants that really don't fit, funny looking shoes, any of a variety of really bad hair, and sometimes still with a collar that has gone up on end, and you are seeing a circus clown. Or a standard, witless, posing YP or rapper, where a firefighter can fight fires and save lives, and a medical worker can fight disease and save lives, and all that the posers ever do is babble as loudly as possible about how obviously important they are and how obviously everyone else sees them being important . . . .
Babble very loudly at that.
As noted, they were and are completely the opposite of masters.
Recently someone commented to me about someone she knows who got his B.A. from Harvard University, and then also got an M.A. or Ph.D from Harvard as well, and he went to Harvard, and he does whatever he does now, after going to Harvard, and so forth, and did he tell you that he went to Harvard? Yeah . . . and does Harvard University really like someone clearly being so insecure about what he thinks people should think of him that he comes off as being an insecure, pretentious twit who, by the way, went to Harvard?
Masters don't babble, masters don't loudly claim they are so important, masters don't worry about what they are seen doing or who does or does not see them doing anything. Masters just do things, and don't have any personal need to talk about what they do. These YPs and such, thus, obviously aren't masters, aren't capable of anything, except being loud, tacky and incompetent. They aren't upper class. They aren't even upper middle class.
Who is the type to fall for the idea of "deck shoes" without socks, to think that people will be impressed by someone with a mass of garish jewelry? The bottom of the classes, not the top. At the lowest of the middle classes are the "Professionals" allegedly driving their urban only jeep, then it was the BMW or Volvo, now SUV. At the lowest of the working classes are the "Being Real" wannabe (seen as) thugs . . . As Aaron McGruder noted recently in his quite excellent comic strip The Boondocks, wouldn't it be great if every rapper who claimed to have beaten up or murdered someone, raped a woman, robbed someone, actually did genuine prison time for the claimed crime, instead of just being just another typical, failed, poser with a microphone? In the same vein, wouldn't it be great if more people actually went to some restaurant, some show, had some wine or cheese, only because they actually wanted to, instead of in the hopes that someone would be impressed, and, by the way, also getting in all of our faces and wasting our time and energy to show that they have to be seen doing this?
Being of one class or another is just a detail. It's just a description, where at least in America and some other places, one may genuinely decide who one wants to be . . . But at the same time, when these . . . . types . . . the ones who make and keep themselves the utter lowest of their class start their screaming, embezzle from the employee retirement funds, demand the shiny jewelry, stage insider stock trades, look at me, gimme that credit card, all they are doing for the rest of us is taking up our time, making us pay for their messes, making us note that yes indeed, all they are is the lost, the losers, the pretentious, the product and definition of the 1980s . . . .
>jeebus, the 80's. Perms, jelly shoes and glam rock, oh my!
Oh my, indeed.
© Cassiel C. MacAvity