Tag Archives: Useless Consumption

Genuine Crass

15 Dec

It is often pointed out that “hipster” culture is more about buying a certain image – “grittiness,” “authenticity,” “creativity,” etc. – than anything else.  I think this is largely true and nowhere more nauseatingly evident than at Free City.  This bullshit “art collective/fashion house” sells things like teal t-shirts with the words “BIKE FRIEND” on them for $135, and orange parachute pants with what appears to be a mash-up of the Twitter and City Sports logos for nearly $300.  If you thought American Apparel was grossly underpriced, Free City is for you.

I’m quite sure that this is some kind of joke being played upon vapid saps of Southern California.  I refuse to believe that it could be anything else.  That being said, I think as my next/first performance-art-slash-get-rich-quick scheme, I would like to take this nonsense to the next logical step.  If the rich A-holes fashion savvy consumers of Orange County want to pay real money to look like fake drug addicts, I’d like to provide them with something even harder: MURDER SHIRTS.  If you’re willing to drop hundreds on some manufactured tatter, wouldn’t you spend thousands for true grit?  Not the impression of authenticity, but its actual stanky DNA: a homeless guy’s old pants, a military-style jacket some unknown musician overdosed in, shirts off murder victims.  Why revel in the illusion of seediness when you can buy your way into so much more?  Be the envy of even your “hardest” hipster friends as vagrants recognize your outfit as something they think they used to have!  Watch girls in thick glasses and arm sleeve tattoos swoon when they find out that your slim fit v-neck tee is speckled with SOME BRO’S ACTUAL BLOOD.  “Dude, some dude fucking OD’d in this shirt!”  “Sick man, let’s drink a Pabst!”  Plus paying local house-unencumbered artisans and bereaved families to unload their dirty laundry on you reeks of “social consciousness,” a necessary veneer for any successful business attempting to sell hipness to rich people.  As soon as Taylor Momsen or James Franco is seen in one of these babies, this will be the thing.

The realest fake authenticity money can buy, soliciting investors NOW.

"Ryan Gosling helps the homeless" could soon be "Ryan Gosling IS the homeless." Think about it Ryan!

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SkyMall’s Greatest WTFs

30 Nov

In other news, eating Domino's makes you hot.

SkyMall is my favourite part of most plane rides.  It’s like reading 1,000 tiny infomercials, which doesn’t sound fun, but is if you find rubbernecking on the sheer stupidity of post-industrial life fun, as I seem to.  SkyMall is free to take with you out into the real world, so intones an attendant at the end of each flight, just in case you’re tired of sorting through different Hammacher Schlemmer and Sharper Image catalogues in order to find the world’s most exclusive pointless crap to divert your income to.  If you really want to know what banal evil lurks in the heart of the Modern Machine, it’s SkyMall: the most frivolous consumerism imaginable, reduced to sad little sales pitches designed to make peeing statues sound like high art and dog ladders sound indispensable.  SkyMall is what it’s all about people, the resource wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, derivatives speculation, the endless parring down of social services, infrastructure, education, and the arts.  SkyMall is the antithesis of conservation, culture, and taste.  SkyMall is what happens when drugs and sex are either punished or marginalized, and adult humans develop a desire to get their rocks off by purchasing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville-brand tequila shot chiller ($250) 30,000 feet in the air.  SkyMall is waste porn.  To wit (click on any picture to enlarge):

Hey world's dentists, SkyMall just made you IRRELEVANT.

Stop worrying about your fucked up teeth and just pop these bad boys over your grisly nubs!  No one will be able to tell the difference between real, healthy teeth and these expensive versions of Halloween vampire teeth, which everyone knows are very comfortable and stay in place, like, no problem man.

Also squeezes tear ducts shut.

“Look 15 years younger by holding a prosthetic face over your own! No one will be able to tell!  Murder Talk to pretty girls again!”  Well, not quite, but almost.  At first I thought this ad was for some miracle pills or creams or something.  Turns out, it’s for an “invisible” harness to physically wear around your face.  No one will be able to tell your face is being physically stretched back by a harness around your head.  Swear to god.  And if they do, just play it off all cool: “oh this? what? did you hear about Mary’s oxycontin addiction?”  Feel your best every morning as you tape your skin back in a desperate attempt to be someone else.

Make believe this doesn't cost the same as a new iPhone.

Jesus Christ Jane, with a name that boring you could at least have interesting status updates on Facebook.  And what kind of idiot wants to watch Netflix on this $200 digital picture frame?  Especially when…

With free internet included!**

… there’s this must-be-some-catch MacBook Air rip-off for $250 on the next page!  **Free internet limited to 30 hours per month, which should be just enough to check your AOL and myspace page.

Patented "Italian" design.

Dude, Rodan’s “The Thinker” pose is totally not making that look any less stupid.  And rocking that apparatus on your head after a hard day of male modeling definitely sounds way more fun and relaxing than drugs.

Finally, you can listen to records in your car! What's that you say? No one wants to listen to records in their car? Uh, shhh...

Now I just need to wait for them to make records even slightly portable.  That technology is advancing fast these days, so, shouldn’t take too long.

"After I wake up from this luscious nap I'm totally going to bang one of those air waitresses"

Teal body pillow? Check.  Purple Hawaiian shirt? Check.  Unlike nearly every other product in this catalog, this product appears to be for those who DON’T GIVE A FUCK what they look like.

What TV? Where?

Do anything? Wear anywhere?  As badass as it looks to chill with some brooding rockstars in footie pajamas, this advert does and IS in need of some major copyediting.  “Cute” and “playful” aren’t opposing concepts at all.  Would it be proper to say “this product looks undeniably embarrassing, yet boasts a tacky style”?  Also, I’m really not sure if “playful pajama attitude” suits literally everyone, especially that girl scowling in the corner.  You can’t look that self-serious while modeling Ed Hardy-inspired footie pajamas for adults.  You just can’t.  I do commend the makers of “Jumpin Jammerz” for coaxing Chris Gaines out of retirement though.

New goal in life: see one person actually using this, stare.

Their unique solution to the misplaced cell phone: CHAIN IT TO YOUR FUCKING WRIST WHEREVER YOU GO.  What about when you wash your hands?  Or go to the bathroom?  Or when you have to do ANYTHING with your hands for that matter?  If this doesn’t scream “I don’t have my shit together in the slightest,” I don’t know what does…

You think it might be fun to get drunk and hook up with this girl. IT WON'T BE.

… okay, maybe this.  “Sure to get noticed” is a vague notion and a slippery slope SkyMall.  Lot of things are “sure to get [you] noticed,” like wetting yourself or yelling on the bus.  It’s not clear that’s always a good thing.

Racisty!

I don’t know about you, but I’d feel kind of extremely weird eating off the back of my fake Japanese man servant.  The perfect coffee table to sit around and discuss Pearl Harbor with your militia friends.

This does not in any way look like a comfortable way to sleep.

Daaamn, her posture is so bad.

A fair number of products in SkyMall seem to be designed solely to make breasts jut out.  Suspicious…

This is MY meat.

To take the time to heat up your personalized branding iron in order to sear your initials into your dinner so you can.. see your initials on your dinner before you eat it.  I don’t know whether this is more dumb or sad, which is why I prefer psychological dominance of my food.  No branding necessary, my frozen pizza knows who calls the shots around here.  JSB, that’s who.

This is actually kind of cool, provided you never actually use the words “lip ticklers.”

It’s worth mentioning that half the products in SkyMall are variations of spy technology, hidden cameras, data monitoring, etc.  The other half are mostly to hide your real self from the world or to make your house look like a Thomas Kinkade gallery.  Paranoia, self-loathing, and useless consumption makes your lifestyle healthy!