You stupid suckers

You stupid suckers

The case against your new pair of pants

Mark Driver

Published on September 19, 2001

AH YES, FASHION. That temporary cycle of poop. That finger in your eye. That sharpened screw twisting meanly in your gut. Are you stylish? Do you keep up with the times? Are you consuming correctly? Is your image flawless and impenetrable? Do you have all the garnishing, all the accouterments, all the ducks of your hilarious facade in place? Are you a respectable representative of the social sub-group that you identify yourself with? Did you follow the instructions on the box? Yes? Well done, you stupid, stupid sucker.

This obsession with your image: You all want to be movie stars. You want to be the sleek perfect people on the Tee Vee. You want to seem greater than you are. You want people to respect you, to think you’re cool, to have sex with you. And because it’s much easier to pretend you’re worth respecting by manipulating your image than it is to actually become someone worth respecting, we end up with an entire society of resource-leaching fucks who add nothing. But they look nice.

But that’s not you, is it? No, because the sort of person I’m talking about doesn’t read free papers they find on the street. You’re no slave to the runways of Milan, you prefer the other sort of fashion. Grassroots fashion, the self-perpetuating viral contamination with its regional anomalies that spreads appropriate tattoos and hairstyles like ebola at a family picnic.

You use fashion to define which social sub-group you imagine yourself to belong to. Roll call! Everyone with cornrows and puffy winter jackets over here, everyone with 1977 Shawn Cassidy/Iggy Pop hairdos and sleeveless shirts over here, everyone with a short sleeve golf shirt tucked into blue Dockers shorts over here, everyone in a dark blue jean jacket who thinks they’re in the Make-Up over here, everyone who uses a lunchbox for a purse over here, everyone who pretends they live in New York over here, everyone who pretends they lived in New York 20 years ago over here. These looks are all very tiring, they are all the same sort of idiocy. “Expressions of personality” through laughable conformity. Can everyone be exactly like the person standing next to them? Apparently so.

Look, you scared little wimps. Don’t bother with fashion. Nobody is cool. You’re lucky if you’re only mildly intolerable. Here’s a better fashion guide: Clothes should be cheap to buy and hard to destroy. Shoes should keep broken glass out of your toes. Pants should cover your genitals, shirts should cover your nipples. Heads should be shaved once a year and hats should have beer holders and straws. Anything else is masturbation.