Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Cute Is Dead"

I walked past these shirt today, on some CBD princess and it was like a mexican-skeleton hello kitty shirt on pink background, and despite its bold declaration was still a cute design on a cute pink shirt on a cute little asian.

By the way, I don't find cute attractive. But this shirt, among other things tweaked my annoyance at the proliferation of 'coolness'. I'm not sure if I've done the 'everyone-is-a-fucking-designer-now' gripe post yet, I must have because it was my biggest gripe within 3 months of coming to Australia, but it still ticks me off.

When I was in Thailand, there were some pretty cool shirts, that you saw over and over again at every second street vendor, such that they became incredibly uncool, very quickly, but one might think 'but you cant get them in Australia, so I'll buy them, take them home, and I'll be the only one that has them.' Only first hand experience told me this doesn't work. When me and the supremely uncool damo walked around IH sporting the same t-shirts.

Threadless, Typetees and whatever has basically turned the english speaking world into the streets of Bangkok.

Over the past ten years the rise of Apple in sales has meant now that pretty much everyone is a designer. The internet means street scenes are the same whether they are the streets of San Francisco or the streets of Daylesford, Victoria.

Everyone has an Iphone, black ray ban glasses, a 'designer' t-shirt, either jeans or shoes from Japan and well, I hate to employ the term 'try-hard' but I feel like the world is shrinking, and somehow, its shrunk me from the streets of Melbourne back into the streets of Ballarat.

Where on a weekday, everyone under 18 wore pretty much the same thing to school with slight colour variations. Then on the weekend, everyone wore pretty much the same thing only with slight colour variations.

These people, in a nutsack, wore Rip-Curl, Quicksilver, or the twilight years of my Balifornian residency, 'Roxy'. I hopefully don't need to describe surf wear to you, but its pretty much the least inspiring use of 3 colours on any article of clothing ever.

The haircuts similarly came in scarce varieties, there was for women 'short' or 'ponytail' and the ponytail came in 'bleached' or 'unbleached'. For guys the haircut came in 'Joey', 'Ross' or 'Chandler' although nobody could really tell the difference. Then likewise it came in 'bleached' or 'unbleached' with the default for some years being pretty much 'bleached' for both boys and girls.

Now you may laugh at our Hayseed ways, but back then, around 5-7% of every year level bought their clothes from Op-shops. The Op-shops weren't called 'Savers' or 'Episode' but 'St. Pauls' or 'St. Vincents' or the like, the clothes came from actual dead peoples actual wardrobes and an op-shop find was really actually an op-shop find. They didn't have tuxedo shirts on order from some factory.

One could actually, instead of ironing or drycleaning, throw your shirts once a week into a St. Pauls bin, then turn up in 3-4 days time and buy each shirt for 50c from the Op-shop. No $30 bullshit like there is at op-shops now. But I guess that's just supply and demand.

Then in Balifornia, you had some Goths, there was Garth, Garth 'the Goth' and he used to play cello or something for the Ballarat symphony. Except nowdays I see him wandering around the streets of Melbourne, confirming my suspicions that the world has shrunk me back into the seeming monoculture of Balifornia.

It's repressive, I don't like it, I hate it and I'm sick of it. My message is simply this:

Quit with the purchasable lifestyles.
Quit with the mother-fucking purchasable lifestyles.
Quit with the purchasable lifestyles.

If you aren't a messenger, don't buy a fixed gear. If you don't have something interesting or important to tell the world every 20 minutes, don't buy an Iphone or Blackberry. If you don't work at a draughtsmans table all day, don't dress like a designer.

If you aren't interesting, don't try and conceal it with interesting clothes.

In short, don't try,

just be.

You may find just being hard, if you do, something is wrong with your life. Here is where you normally try to purchase something to fill that gap. This has to stop.

This has to stop.

Instead, go about changing your behaviours to effect real change in the consequences of your being existant.

If everyone ends up the same, concealing the fact that they are... well we don't need you do we. We can keep what 1 in 1000, 1 in 10,000? I don't know. But I do know the people of Melbourne CBD probably have a much higher carbon footprint than say... the people of the state of Kerrala in India. So really with the fight against climate change being the most pressing moral concern of our or any era. There isn't much point to keeping a bunch of homogenous consumers alive?

Hey I just ask the questions. I don't have the answers.

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