Sunday, March 30, 2008
Tight is the new Baggy: Indivdualism vs. Individuality


Whenever I get into a discussion about communism, inevitably someone makes an argument that sounds more or less like this:
But under communism everything will be the same, everybody will be getting the same thing. What if I don't want to wear a drab grey jump suit every day for the rest of my life? What if I don't want to live in black & white?

Between this non-argument and the 'human nature' platitude, I have to give credit where credit is due. After all of these years, shitty public education and anti-communist propaganda are still effective weapons for the ruling class.

I am forced to endure these arguments because people are individualistic. Individualism is encouraged by society (how else are they gonna control us?), that is, until they need some fresh bodies to go kill some brown people in another country somewhere. Then they are waxing poetic about how brave it is to sacrifice for the common good and how you ought to think about people other than yourself. Yeah, think about people other than yourself, because, yourself…well, he’s about to die! But I digress. It always strikes me as ironic that amidst all of this individualism, there is very little individuality.

On its surface, the individuality argument seems valid. You wonder, aren’t they arguing in favor of greater individual choices, a wider political debate, and more health care and educational approaches? No, instead they are mainly talking about freedom of choice as it relates to fashion, jewelry and other consumer status symbols like cars. They don’t want to lose their choices between Evisu, Bathing Ape, and True Religion jeans. They want the choice to be rich (hows that choice coming along, btw?), the choice to be different, the choice to be consumers and have those consumer goods define them. The glaring contradiction of it all is that the people making this argument are ALL DOING, SAYING & WEARING THE SAME EXACT SHIT!!!! What they are really saying is they don’t want to change the economic system to focus on human need, because they will lose their over-priced consumer goods that make them fell good about themselves. They are essentially rebelling against rebellion. How radical?

What many of them do not realize (or care about) is that the modern concept of fashion, (clothing as a way to express your individuality) comes solidly out of corporate marketing in the early part of this century. Clothing was once just something to have you look decent and protect you from the elements. Thats until some corporations got the bright idea to manipulate public opinion by paying some famous rich people to tell you, that you're hip and fashionable because you wear a certain item. Then, once you have complied and paid way too much money for some cotton garment that an exploited woman of color somewhere sewed for pennies an hour, you can walk around looking smugly at those who aren't following the trends as closely as you. You get to pose as some kind of fashionista pioneer by following the trends of the fashion world closer than your friends. Wow! Not only do you dress better than me, but you' are also now one step closer to being gay. Congrats. Repeat cycle when your fashion gods tell you whats hot for the next season.

The fashion industry reminds me very much of the American political system. There is the illusion of choices, but they are all really all made from the same cheap shit when you get down to it. There are a million clothing lines/labels who are all making clothes so similarly ugly, it takes me a full day of shopping to find 1 pair of jeans that aren't male hip huggers with some kind of embroidered mosaic going down my leg, and 1 shirt that doesn't look like my daughters did an art project on it. Or maybe I'm wrong about this whole fashion/politics analogy and we all really do fit neatly into political boxes labeled democrat and republican? And maybe i need to cop me a whole bathing ape outfit and stop playing? Yeah, wait for it.

Nah, but honestly, I feel your pain my soon-to-be-gay fashionista friends. You're afraid that in some kind of Communist/Socialist society you wouldn't all be able to rock your Technicolor hoodies and wear your tight-ass pants down by the back of your knees, looking like a male rape victim, while you call yourselves 'young', using the identical vocal inflection of a 38 year old corporate/CEO rapper. Aside from the fact that your concerns are unfounded (who's gonna deny you the right to look like a buffoon?), I understand why you wouldn’t want some silly shit like universal health care, and free higher education, to stifle all that hyper creativity you've got going. Its like Sophies Choice, for you dudes. I guess thats how we now have a million rappers and not an original thought among them. Lots of individualism, and scarce little individuality. To be honest, I'd prefer a drab grey sweatsuit to alot of what passes for hot nowadays anyway.

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1 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I guess talking to some of these folks in society is like talking to walking puppets of the ruling class. It funny, but good grief!

I've never had a problem with communism, but felt like an outcast being surrounded by "freedom" loving individuals. Its sad when you agree more with our neighbors in the "southern" version of America than with these "northern' U.S. cats. Twilight zone, perhaps???

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