Fri, 06 Dec 2002
Dear Mr. Wonderful,
I've noticed that there seems to be a sudden fad of wearing brand new jeans that have a worn-out look to them, where the companies have been selling them with faded front and backs to them. Who came up with that idea? Who decides these things? Why would they want to do so in the first place? Why did it catch on so quickly everywhere (I noticed it when last I was in Chicago, about 9 months ago)?
New Shouldn't Look Faded, Or Am I Jaded?
Dear Grim Fandango,
Wow. Did your family lock you in the fallout shelter, or were you just busy Dungeon Mastering a "Keep On The Borderlands" adventure through the whole of the 1980s and 90s?
Unless I'm the one who's been under a rock and there's some sort of apocalyptic ripped-crotch hobo-smell renaissance currently on the market, I'm certain this "new but faded and worn" look you speak of has been around at least since Levi's did that stone-washed thing. Probably longer, but we were distracted from the malls for a few decades while developing Tear-Away Trousers.
I can't believe you don't remember this. Think back. Bruce Willis was on RVTV singing about Golden Wine Coolers born in the U.S.A while Annie Lennox and Boy George exchanged zipper pants, and the Queen was giving band aids to Ethiafrica, and you could, like, totally play Pac Dug and Burger Kong at the same time if you went to the convenience store and had 50 cents and felt reasonably ambidextrous, and everyone, I swear, was buying these massive comfort-fit "stressed" stone-ground button-fly leg warmers. It's like it was yesterday to me.
Then again, yesterday I doing shots of hemlock.
Anyway. Point is. People buy the stuff that's on racks. Nobody asks for stuff. It's just there, and if you take it, they make more. If you don't take it, they randomly put something else up there. Like Evolution. Not the movie, which, y'know, nobody took to, but the biological idea. Successful stuff isn't better, or the result of design, it's just what survived. In socio-politics, this is the Coprophage Principle: "The More You Eat Shit, The More They'll Serve It."
Mister Wonderful suggests that you protest Consumer Culture by making a placard reading "NO TO NOT-NEW NEW" and prancing through the Mall of The Americas on Christmas Eve. Nude. With a midget.