My life has been both supremely mellow and intensely hectic this semester. I'm not even talking about a bi-polar kind of oscillation either. I'm talking BOTH at the SAME TIME. Anyone familiar with the Buddhist concept of NON-DUALITY? Me neither...
Anyway, I apologize to all my friends who came to enjoy Internet Vibes. I enjoyed writing posts and corresponding with you all. Maybe just check it once a week. Who knows? You might find something!
Today I want to talk about something very personal to me: PREPPY CLOTHES.
Some time in high school I started having strong feelings about Lacoste shirts. My friends and I used to go to the rummage sale at the Congregational Church and find great old Izod/Lacoste stuff probably last worn at the Glen Ridge Country Club's '87 Fourth of July Gala.
I mostly liked Lacoste shirts because of the alligator; an image at once quirkily powerful and powerfully quirky (NON-DUALITY). I soon realized that the quirkiness was lost on most people. A substitute teacher saw me wearing a turquoise Lacoste shirt with a popped collar and said "You look like the bad guy from a John Hughes movie." He was probably right, although I'm not blonde.
The ICONICITY of the Lacoste alligator is both appealing and repelling. On one hand it is beautifully simple and weird. On the other hand, it lends itself to CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION (which is a state of mind and NOT an absolute action). In recent years, Lacoste has made sweaters and t-shirts in which the alligator is monstrously enlarged to cover one's entire chest. This amounts to a crass FETISHIZATION.
Unsurprisingly, RALPH LAUREN (ne Lipschitz) has done the same thing with his POLO LOGO. I've always been kind of out with Polo although I've recently come around to it. There is something MASTERFULLY SUBVERSIVE about a Jew from the Bronx starting THE preppy clothes company and picking a logo as over-the-top as a polo player on a horse. Ralphie must have been smiling as he designed it.
MAN, I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY! This is the problem with Internet Vibes, everything turns into a novel. Let me just wrap up with some quick bullet points:
- PREPPINESS & AUTHENTICITY - "Do not pop your collar if you don't sail."
What is authentic for a guy like me? Fourth-generation Ivy League, deracinated, American Jew born on the UWS, raised in NJ to middle-class post-hippie parents with semi-Anglophilic tendencies AND propensity to put on Eastern European accents and use obscure Yiddish phrases. The obvious answer is that I, like all of us, should be a truly post-modern consumer, taking the bits and pieces I like from various traditions and cultures, letting my aesthetic instincts be my only guide. In fact, all of my friends (even the children of immigrants) seem to be in the same boat. We are BOTH disconnected from AND connected to EVERYTHING. Now we've transcended mere clothes.
A few weeks ago, a girl at a party was giving me a hard time for wearing my very-beautiful Sean John jacket with fur collar. I could probably write a novel about that. I'll let you fill in the blanks to relate this anecdote to the rest of the post.
-PREPPINESS AND COLONIALISM
While walking around Shimla, a mountain town in India which was formerly the Summer Capital of the British Empire, I came to a Pringle store. Pringle is a super-nice Scottish sweater company. This was right on the main drag in Shimla; a town where the honeymoon suite at a hotel costs $10 a night. This story has no point.
MADRAS, perhaps the most conspicously preppy fabric because of its bold ugliness, is of course from INDIA. In an effort to thoroughly de-preppify the nation, the city of MADRAS is now known as CHENNAI.
Let's not forget that there are NO ALLIGATORS in FRANCE. ALLIGATORS live in the swamps of FLORIDA or CHINA. Also, don't forget their brothers, the CROCODILES, who chill out in the "HEART OF DARKNESS" itself.
THERE ARE NONE.
Wait, take a look at these pictures. They might help you to FEEL MY VIBE.
Scottish Taliban? Best of Both Worlds? In this L'Homme Run promotional photograph, my ideal alter-ego takes form.
In this picture, I am melancholically pondering issues of identity and authenticity. Note the popped collar.
I've never felt super connected to JUDAISM, but I did go to HEBREW SCHOOL and I had a BAR MITZVAH. Growing up Jewish, you are presented with three images of your people:
- DESERT NOMADS BUILDING PYRAMIDS
- EASTERN-EUROPEAN SHTETL-DWELLERS WITH BIG BEARDS
- AMERICAN LIBERALS WHO EAT CHINESE FOOD ALL THE TIME
Now do you see where I'm coming from? Interestingly, Christianity teaches us that THREE can be ONE. I guess you would call that a theory of NON-TRILOGICITY??!?!?