D for Don’t. Sorry, Buddy.

When I gazed over my shoulder on that sunny September afternoon, I spotted the paparazzi- fully equipped with his wide-angle lens. Was the bastard taking my picture?

I gave him the hairy eyeball and went off.  I thought little of it. After all, I was wearing what I normally wore at that time: jean cut-offs, a second-hand button-up with a Mayan-inspired print, and my ‘lighter vest’, accessorized with white n’ blue wayfarer sunglasses, and my cow-print-bandana-as-a-headband.

“Whatever,” I thought.

Union Square park is not a place to judge- silly stuff happens ’round those parts often.

Months went by.  I got a call from a friend…

“Have you seen Glamour?” She asked.


“Well, you’re in it.”

“Ugh- I’m a ‘Don’t’ aren’t I?”

I knew it. After I hung up the phone, I scootered to 7/11 to pick up a copy (or 10).

There I was, on the last page along with Snoop Dog and Brad Pitt- but in the ‘Don’t’s Smacked across and unflattering view of my face was a black bar and a caption reading,

“Rambo Headband: Rated D for Don’t. Sorry, buddy.”

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Worship Celebrity

Christianity’s a fallacy
Vanity’s our prophecy
Worship celebrity
World devoid of lord…
Shepherd or warlord?
Worship celebrity
Holy is inequity
World devoid of lord

Internet Jesus

Dear Jesus Christ,
I’m the antichrist
Here is my word
To the lord:
Satan, I pray
My agenda’s gay
The world’s at stake
Chosen by mistake

Jesus died for our sin
You’d need some thick skin
To take such a place
Yet it seems in this case
I’ve been sent from above
To replace evil with love
Follow me and you’ll see
Worship celebrity

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Fascist Fashion

Hitler is probably the world’s most influential fashion figure. He had a plan, and it backfired. He had intentions to whiten the world, and he did so- not with death camps… but with hipsterdom. One chooses to conform or rebel and Hitler wanted conformity through dictatorship. But is hipsterdom rebelling or conforming? Are there was to rebel without being a ‘such a hipster?’

Once World War II broke out, fashion stood still. Sure, nobody strut the street naked, but times were changing and fashion was less relevant. It was all about rationing: food, funds, and fashion. In the United States, laws regulated yardage, hemlines, styles, and fabrics of the mass-produced garments. Minimalism mirrored the times – not like in the 90s, but in the age of Hollywood glamour, American sportswear was born. The fashion capital moved from the then Nazi occupied Paris, to New York City and Los Angeles.

Women join the workforce as men were off to war. For the first time factories were run by women. Change is constant, with major crisis comes major change. Just like World War I brought out the roaring 20s, the second world war brought two kinds of dictatorship: fascism and fashion.

The second world war broke out on September 1st, 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. Hitler meant to exterminate Jews (among others) and in the process, he brought fashion to its knees. There was “not much time for fashion. Pure function was the rule of the day,” (Murray 108).

What was wartime wardrobe? It’s no coincidence that come World War II, militaristic influence fled into the industry. In fact, fashion fascism was an ever-looming theme until the war was won. “Governments controlled all apparel manufacture. In America, price controls were enacted in 1943, and prices were frozen at that level. Style restrictions and rigid measurements were also imposed,” (Murray 108). According to Murray’s Changing Styles in Fashion, yardage was also restricted. According to Murray:

“Under L-85, as the law was known, there was a total ban on turned up cuffs, double yolks, sashes, patch pockets, attached attached hoods, [among other things]. Skirts could be cut with just many inches of circumference. Coupons were needed to buy shoes made of leather. Handbags and costume jewelry were heavily taxed. The fledging nylon industry vanished overnight, and with it the adorned hosiery that had replaced silk and rayon. Rubber disappeared and zippers were in short supply,” (Murray 109).

American designers were clever to find ways to deal with yardage, material, and silhouette restrictions. Basic pencil skirts and close-fitting suits became all the rage- but this fashion dictatorship must have been uncomfortable.

That said, it was the golden age of Hollywood. People flocked to the movies to escape. Where would we be without the glitz and glamour from the big screen? Though many movies made life look marvelous, it was a tough time; while movies showed sweeping dresses, the uniform of the World War II was primarily a tailored, form-fitting silhouette- or literally a military uniform.

In an interview with an eighty nine year old woman, the interviewee said,

“We wore Sharpie coats… it was like a twill, like a white coat, People would write their names on them. Saddle shoes [too]… We painted on our legs, we had to make a mark up the back [mimicking a seam]. We used to wait in line at Filene’s… Down the street and around the corner to get stockings,” (5/11/13 Edson).

What’s the deal with Sharpie coats? What came first: the Sharpie or the coat? Why conform so blindly to feel you must paint your legs and even go as far as to paint a faux-seam?

In an interview with a seventy two year old woman, the interviewee said,

“The ladies wore pom poms on their head. The skirts were pretty long [about calf length]. No kid would ever wear pants to school. Never, ever. The boys wore knickers. [Because of the war] they couldn’t get silk. There wasn’t a lot of cotton. My grandmother used to make us skirts out of grain bags… The ladies wore house dresses,” (5/11/13 Rindone).

Who cares what you look like when nobody’s around? Maybe it is that house dresses were ‘in’ when men were out of the country.

Times of trouble and turmoil turnover chances to change. The occupation of France “Paris fashion functioned in a curious limbo,” (Batterberry 330). Haute couture was slim-pickings. The fashion capitol switched from Paris to New York City and Los Angeles. Patriotism was the name of the game, and fashion reflected it. Like any war, militaries were furiously inventing weapons and defense- and fashion reflected that too. Synthetic fabrics were introduced. Though on the whole people were reluctant to accept man-made textiles into their wardrobe (and furniture, etc.), synthetic fibers were in high demand in the forties (Murray 111). “Costume historians and psychologists maintain that after any cataclysmic event, fashions change radically, usually becoming more seductive. They reason that this is nature’s way of ensuring the continuity of the human race,” (Murray 110). A change after D-Day was inevitable. And so it goes… Dior became the new dictator of fashion, “snatch[ing] the crown back from America,” (Murray 109).

Christian Dior showed his first collection on February 12th, 1947 and women sucked in to fit into “The New Look” which brought boning back after its decline in the twenties, revived the petticoat at the waistline, lifted and rounded the breasts, and made the shoulder pad passé.

“Christian Dior’s reputation as one of the most important couturiers of the twentieth century was launched in 1947 with his very first collection, in which he introduced the “New Look.” Featuring rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and very full skirt, the New Look celebrated ultra- femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. After years of military and civilian uniforms, sartorial restrictions and shortages, Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook,” (Charleston).

Perhaps Dior was trying to exemplify the female figure, since the boys were home from war and the baby-booming was about to begin. Maybe Dior, the Dictator was trying to reverse the damage of his predecessor Hitler by increasing the population the same amount Hitler decreased the populous.  If “this is nature’s way of ensuring the continuity of the human race,” (Murray 110), Dior did a good job. Especially since our boys overseas had every chance to get gay with each other and give up on their wives back home in dowdy house dresses.

Dior quickly became the dictator of fashion- and in doing so, conformity was king. However, wherever and whenever there’s a mainstream… there’s a counterculture.

Before, during and especially right after the war, Parisian writers, poets, philosophers, musicians, and artists ate existentialism right up. Soon enough, the Beat Generation would be a full- scale rebellion to the mainstream. If it wasn’t for the reign of Hitler, though, would the existentialists have been so existential? According to Batterberry, “To be Beat meant: leather jackets, jeans, and workman’s shirts- and black,” (Batterberry 354). Is this a correlation or a causality? Is Batterberry saying that beatniks, hipsters, and hepcats would be squares if they didn’t wear the official Existential wardrobe?

Perhaps people ought to rebel against fashion dictators on all fronts- people are not the clothes they wear. Who’s worse: Dior for making women squeeze into uncomfortable waists or Hitler for mass murder? Hopefully your answer is Hitler, but they both had something to do with fashion fascism. Both Hitler’s survivors and Dior’s models look malnourished. Hitler hoped to gain power from killing people; Dior gained profit from killing animals for his fur.

Who is the current dictator of fashion and where is fashion going? A Jew named Marc Jacobs is arguably the most powerful face in fashion. The fashion capitol is both New York City, and Paris, and as the wars in the Middle East are wrapping up, let’s keep a keen eye on current trends (or not). After all, conformity is so mainstream, but let’s not rebel to be a recycled, watered-down re-appropriation of the term ‘hipster.’ Instead, let’s push it forward into the realms of the avant-garde. That is, until Kim Jong-un drops his bomb on us. After all, change is forever, fashion is constantly changing, and rebellion in a conformist way is totally hipster-y. But everything under the sun has been done… so let’s call the whole thing off.

Works Cited:

Batterberry, Michael, and Ariane Ruskin. Batterberry. “Wartime: The Tightened Belt.” Fashion, the Mirror of History. New York: Greenwich House, 1982. 329-33. Print.

Charleston, Beth D. “Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” Christian Dior (1905-–1957). N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2013. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/dior/hd_dior.htm>.

Edson, Peg. “Interview With An 89 Year Old Woman.” Personal interview. 11 May 2013.

Murray, Maggie Pexton. “The 20th Century.” Changing Styles in Fashion: Who, What, Why. New York: Fairchild Publications, 1989. 107-11. Print.

Rindone, Carole. “Interview WIth A 72 Year Old Woman.” Personal interview. 11 May 2013.

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Natural Selection- Purgatory Vacation

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Coming Soon…

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Why Do Hipsters Stink?

Where do hipsters come from? And, why do they stink? You could say the hipster is just a result of the Internet, and just another piece of history repeating… But who are the true people that did this all before it was cool? Let’s take it back now, to the French Revolution. The sans culottes wore trousers instead of knee britches… And as a result, hipster biddies are really bitches. I tell you true! Just like fashion comes from Paris, the concept of counterculture arose right around the time they were cutting off Marie Antoinette’s head.

First, there were the sans culottes, followed by an underlying tone of Bohemians, “hip” hit the scene at the turn of the century, then the 1940s and 50s there were the beatniks and hepcats, followed closely by hippies, next came punks… Pre- Internet club kids flocked to New York City to attend clubs and bizarre costumes. After the introduction of the Internet, all subcultures melded into one. Re-claiming the term “hipster” to describe any and all people that don’t follow constructs of the normal dress and culture of the mainstream contemporary society is both silly and wrong.  Now, using the term “hipster” to describe people that try to achieve this attainable indie aesthetic is perfectly okay- if they stink as people.

Ya see, it goes beyond the cut of your denim. But, seriously- why do hipsters stink? Former US President Reagan famously said, “A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.” If there’s some correlation between hippie’s stink and hipster stink? If all things are interconnected, is there a difference between the hipsters that stink and hipsters that don’t stink?

I guess it all depends on whether or not you’re a good person. If you look hip and you don’t stink you’re not a hipster…right?

We re-claimed “hipster” in the 1990’s. The umbrella term does not seem accurate today when hipsterism is as wide-spread as it is.  There ought to be new terms to be coined. Just like Herb Caen invented the word “beatnik” to make fun of members of the beat generation, people in the internet age ought to describe the crap they see in their lives  freely- without “hipster” spewed all the time.  Hipsters are stinky- not all people who are hip stink up the scene.

The term “hip” as an adjective was first published in Oxford Dictionary in 1904… and the suffix -ster is defined by Oxford dictionary as “a person who is connected with or has the quality of.” But I think it ought to be just that those connected to hip-ness and not those that merely hold the quality of hipsterdom that ought to be praised.  Hipsters: bad, but- those who naturally connect with hipness can be very well-connected, no? Maybe the line between hipsterism and non-hipsterism-while-still-being-hip is knowing what is and isn’t cool without blindly conforming.  Conformity is the essence of the mainstream, isn’t it?  Perhaps the faux-bohemianism separates the conformists from the people that “did it before it was cool”- but let’s not make it a contest (that would be super hipster-y of you).

In 2007, Time Out New York published an article called “Why The Hipster Must Die” and describes two types of hipsters: there’s the hipster, and the “Mainstream Hipster” who is “not an artist or a musician. He has an office job, and wears one hat to work and another at night…latter is a trucker—or a porkpie—hat.” It is those hipsters that choose when to be hip and when to conform that are the stinky-fungi-hipsters. Time Out NY’s article discusses hipsterism as a sort of not-excusively-white whiteness, but in 1957, Norman Mailer described hipsters in his controversial essay “The White Negro” as “the bohemian and the juvenile delinquent came face-to-face with the Negro, and the hipster was a fact in American life. If marijuana was the wedding ring, the child was the language of Hip for its argot gave expression to abstract states of feeling which all could share: at least all who were Hip.” According to Mailer, there are hipsters and squares- just like today there are those that are hip and the mainstream.  But do you have to be caught in a cloud of pot smoke to be a hipster? Is marijuana the perfume de Hipster? Can a scent be trendy?  Are pheromones ‘in’?

Before the birth of “Beatnik” Jack Kerouac ‘reps a scene in On The Road saying: “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”  It seems as though his peeps are the hipsters that don’t stink- regardless of how they smell.

Let’s look at the birth of the counterculture.  According to Survey of Historic Costume, the sans culottes  were men associated with the French Revolution that wore pants instead of knee britches.  Their dress ‘flagged’ their ideals.  Much like how the contemporary hipster wear flamboyant bandanas.  Common hipster knowledge tells us that hipsters appropriate elements of poverty into their lives- so does stink make you think “hipster?”

Let us pretend for a moment that showering is totally mainstream (only).  Hipsters know that green is the new black- so maybe showering little shows of their hip-ness and shows that they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. But is it the stench of hipster that stinks? I believe that it is merely the hipsters that blindly conform to what is hip that are the only stinking ones.  Then there are other classifications of -ster that do not fit within the confines of “hipster”. Perhaps coining terms like avantgardster and newster is the way to go.  We must open our vocabulary for ways to describe those that are hip without stinking.

Perhaps you get up in the morning, take a shower, and dress to impress with your quirky style.  You’re definitely hip… but does it mean you’re not a hipster?  Indeed- it does. A person with quirky style that is following the beat of their own drum is a quirkster, not some stenchy hipster. There can perhaps be infinite amounts of -sters, can you “dig it?”

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All Animals Exposed

Fungi-hipsters with plenty-o-money to spend on clothes become fashion dinosaurs. They’re hardly animals at all. Fashion dinos come in all different shapes n’ sizes n’ situations.  A fashion dinosaur is a common breed around fashion students/designers/moguls… But a meat-eating fashion dinosaur is the bad kind. A meat-eatin’ stinkin’ T-Rex can be those hipster biddies with mo’spenive clothes, fashion designers that make bad clothes, or dumb/rich “socialites.”

A fabo’ plant-eating fashion dinosaur is a person with good morals and good clothes (and maybe some extra dough), a fashion person with good taste, or someone that loves fashion/dresses well/mixes high end with thrifty-wifty thrift shop finds. In short, a fashion dinosaur can be a good thing or bad.

Don’t confuse a fashion dinosaur with newsters, though. A newster is a trendsetter in their own way.  Newsters can be high-end pastipsters, using second hand/old/thrift clothes in new proportions/concepts/ways to accessorize/combinations. You don’t need new clothes to be a newster; howevzies, if you dress with a futuristic edge… you’re a futurester.

Hiptestors follow the hippie strain, but are New Generation-al. Hiptestors have strong beliefs.  They dress to protest. Closely related to hippiesters (which are hip hippies), this phylum of animal likes to go to events wearing their ideals not just on their sleeve, but all over!

If one’s clothes are pushing the walls of normalcy, you’re probably an avantgardster.  Unless you’re just a tryster-avantgardster.  There’s a fine line between avant-garde and avant-stupid.

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Notez From J@1L pt. 13

Hey Birdman,

As a child I was content – wait, that’s a different story, sorry.

So, a lot’s been happening, huh? I’m glad you have such fond memories of me, even though I never let you give me head! ; ) I bought some phone cards to and tried to call down to Carmen in Mexico, but no one ever answers. That would be sweet if you could send me those pix-that’s all I have of her anymore.

Why did you drop out of school and enroll in another? Are you looking for business classes for course requirements or to start your own business? It’s cool that you’re getting along with your folks. Now if you could start spinning on cops, maybe even stay out of jail! What did you need bones for in Birdman? I don’t remember that scene. Did els get nekkid?!?

That’s cool of els has a BF, but I was bummed I never got the surprise that she said was on the way (over the phone). I always thought that I’d have more luck with writing to Lauren, but I guess neither of them really wanted to write to me.

Ricky Jackson got 15 years in state prison. Rizzo’s still firing lawyers to stay here longer. As far as my freedom goes, my Superior Court got dismissed so I should be out of here within the next couple months. I’m not sure yet if I want to get out on probation now, or go to Billerica for 6 -12 months with no probation. Not having a definite place to crash makes it scary to just hit the street. Send me your # so I can call you if I get out soon. I mean it’s all up to me – I can get out this week if I give my employer the okay to take a deal, but I’ll know what to do (???)



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Thanks to the internet, we can see what’s up ‘round the world.  You can see what your dorky DJ friend is listening to in Denmark, then download it if you dig it.  Maybe one might find a friend frolicking through fields on Facebook.  Perhaps people you know are playing games from beyond their time zones.  Bloggers bitch and whine and blog their ideas while they wine and dine.  Clothing from high end to homemade is available to anyone willing to cough up the dough if they dig the threads.

We are now all one web-o-sphere on this once-divided chunk of land and ocean… trying to find what we like.  Clothing captures this idea of internet-ification.  We appropriate different styles and trends into our own wardrobe willingly or subconsciously.  Clothes cause us to carry ourselves differently, depending on the occasion.  Knowing that the ultimate melting pot is the internet, know that you should always dress to impress.

You never know if you’ll be in the background of an Instagram, or the subject of a quick pic if you’re dressed outrageously.  Maybe one day you’ll run into a fashion blogger but fashionlessly broke the biggest rule and left your house in PJs.  Opportunity missed.   Since our culture is globalized, get on Google and google yourself- you never know what your gonna find.  It may be flattering.  It could be incriminating.

Every culture is filled with subcultures and counter-cultures alike.  Each sub- or counter-culture has limitless societies.  Even those that try to avoid association with a group or society fail in their attempts to be separatist.  There’s most likely a separatist that believes what you believe- making y’all separatists together- unless you’re a hermit with no computer, handheld device, tablet, phone, email, or the like.  It’s silly to say you’re an individual when all you know is a result of what others have shown you, or what you’ve found on the internet-ified world.

So, check your Facecrack.  Enjoy Intagram.  Search Spotify.  Do what you will to make yourself you, but know that whatever you’re doing, we are all one to the Googlement and a pawn in the globalized world.

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Femsters and Butchsters

Break out your number 2 pencils, lil Darwins, ‘cuz it’z time for a vocabulary lesson.  Add this to your Natural Selection Dicktionary… Femster/Butchster.

Butchster (Buh-tsch-st-er)- a plant, animal, or fungi that uses “masculine” (whatever that means) clothing to present themselves to the world, despite this person’s (current, partial, or past) vagina.

Femster (Fehm-st-er)- a plant, animal, or fungi that has/kinda has/had a dick but dresses in dresses, skirts, blouses, and the like.

Butt, you don’t gotta be queer to dress beyond today’s restrictive gender rules/guides.

If you’re a newster with some women’s clothes in your closet, and your outfit is at least 60% “women’s” clothes, you’re a newster-femster for the day.  By the way, same is true for female assigned peeps that bind, pack or simply wear loosey-goosey “men’s clothes.”  Finally, no matter your gender fluidity (or lack thereof) if you dress to impress and you’re a dude in a dress, no need to feel gender dysphoria.  It’s a New Generation (duh).  Forget the Old fashion habits!  Hop on the hip train called Tranny Express and express your sexuality in a sexy way, no matter what that silly tag on your shirt says.

Men?  Women?  Unisex?  Fuck that “American” Apparel bullshit (Did you know that the CEO of “American” Apparel is actually Canadian?)!  It’s all about fem/butch/genderless.  Dov Charney, CEO/Founder of “American” Apparel is so Old Generation.  He is SUCH a RICH fungi-hipster (but does that make him a fashion dinosaur?  Is Dov a Dove or a Dino?)

When Natural Selection launches as a store, the binary will be blurred.  Femsters will not be forgotten and butchster will be beloved. As I say, “Why be the next Marc Jacobs (or Dov Charney) when you can be the next Charles Darwin?”  And as James Dwynn says, “Dress up, dress down, n’ tear down that messed up gender binary.”

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Dressing Beyond The Binary

You get up, probably shower, hopefully brush your teeth, pick pieces from your wardrobe, and head out the door almost every day. This habitual set of happenings seems to be sacred everyone around the first world.  There are other ways of adorning the body, though. Tattoos tap Into the surface of the skin and surreptitiously take a mark in branding oneself. Toothpaste tingles and tastes sort of trite but, if you don’t want stinky breath you better brush-up. Accessories act as a set piece in this stage of the grand façade that is your wardrobe.

Everybody has their own system of dress yet we all came into the world the same way: naked, crying lil’ babies with little genitalia (except for the lucky ones) and big eyes.  It was then that doctors assigned us a gender based on what was hanging beneath our waistline… and for the most part, most of us follow preassigned roles based on the genitalia out we were given at birth. Seriously, though. Fuck it. If you’re a “straight” dude, why not dress like a total fag?

Just like corsets shaped the way “women” wore clothes over the years, underwear shifts the breasts and creates muffin tops, or tight-y whities scrunch the genitalia for “men”, the gender binary squeezes and pulls what people feel they can and cannot wear.  What will the future bring for the gender binary? I hope it diminishes completely or that people begin to realize that it’s much more of a cycle than the human concept of a straight line. Perhaps the gender binary is already disappearing. Why can’t it be that fags and straight people alike throw on some lipstick with their skinny jeans and flannel?

Maybe in the future boys will wear blue and big tutus and girls for wear pink and stuff cucumbers in their pants if they wanted a dick.  Perhaps the gender binary will turn into an infinity.  Maybe everyone will be gender-fluid. What if women wore pants and men wore skirts? It sure would be harder to tell who “wears the pants” in the relationships.   And isn’t that happening already?

Dress up, dress down, n’ tear down that messed up gender binary.

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