Tag Archives: music

A Perfectly Good Bag

About a month ago, I was in Shanghai with my father. We met there on my way home from Australia. On one of our days in Shanghai, we ended up at a wild place known as the Fake Market. I never expected it to be what it actually was—an entire mini-mall full of stalls selling unbelievably high-quality knock-offs and faked goods. Names like Marc Jacobs, Burberry, and Chanel flew past us at high speed from the mouths of sellers advertising their stalls to us in very well practiced English. While I was uninterested in purchasing anything from a black market, my dad insisted that we leave with a “Chanel” purse as he’d scored an incredible deal and wanted proof of the ridiculous ordeal we had just been through to get to the room where the “real good stuff” was being held. I’m literally talking tiny doors, walkie talkies, and long dark hallways… a story for another time. So now this Chanel bag lives with me here in America, on my floor, or sometimes beneath a pile of laundry on my big chair

I feel bad for the bag. I feel guilty for supporting a rip-off industry (for many reasons) but now with the bag in my presence, I feel even worse for not using it. After all, it’s a perfectly good bag. Yet daily I leave the house with my canvas Amoeba Music tote swinging from my arm; a bag whose all-but-lost functionality depends entirely on a series of well positioned safety pins.

When it comes down to it, I simply cannot bring myself to wear the Chanel bag because I don’t see its point. I’ve never understood the purpose of high-quality fakes. All fashion is essentially knock-offs but at least there is some dignity maintained in being upfront about that rather than aspiring towards full fledged fake-dom. Why not just make a cute leather bag and leave the logo off? Or spend your money supporting an up-and-coming designer with equally inspiring stuff. While a real designer bag may run you upwards into the thousands, a good fake can actually still cost a couple hundred. Essentially what you are paying for is the brand. To get further down into the nitty gritty— you are paying for status. You are paying for the image that you have the money to afford a high caliber of luxury, when really you don’t. This to me is like people who spend all their money on a nice car but have no place to live! I just cannot wrap my head around the point.

Then again, this kind of mentality seems common with my generation right now. Movies like Project X and Spring Breakers celebrate excess, as do videos like the one for Miley Cyrus’ new single “We Can’t Stop.”

The whole video is a pointless in narrative but perfect as an omage to everything that looks cool. She’s there with a giant teddy bear bouncing on her back and gold caps over her teeth. It seems fun. The images on screen have nothing to do with the song, but admittedly I am transfixed. The video leaves me pumped, but with a twinge of something else—anxiety. Suddenly the chill Friday night I had planned with doesn’t seem like enough. I’m feeling like I should go to the mall, blow my money on a new outfit or a crazy colored lipstick, and then go somewhere to rage all night with my fakey Chanel hanging from my arm. I mean, YOLO, right bitches?

Now it would be a lie to say that I haven’t been to plenty of parties like the one in Miley’s video. But when you see a guy jump off of a roof into a pool screaming “I am a golden god” for the millionth time whilst thirty people capture it for Instagram, the whole thing starts to feel a bit jaded. We begin to lose ourselves when “YOLO” starts to mean less about living life for the moment and more about living life for the story and image later—and that is the difference, written in fine print. That is the difference between buying a fake Chanel bag because it works and because it looks good.

So I leave you with this. Lorde. I like Lorde for the same reasons I like my Amoeba bag. She is fresh, open, honest, and real. I appreciate Lorde singing to us in her plain white tee. Suddenly my heart is breathing easy as I begin to feel pumped again about my chill Friday night with friends. I don’t know why I was even fooled for a moment into thinking that I wanted anything more. The Chanel bag may have its moment eventually; after all it is a perfectly good bag. For now it sits on my floor, a beautiful menace, reminding me that life is a dichotomy between having actual substance and a well-calculated image. When we get the balance right, the result tends to be aspiration, and that is a good thing. So dress for success and fake it till you make it, my babes, but don’t ever forget how to keep it real.

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…It’s what today?

For the first time in my life, I had actually forgotten that it was going to be Valentine’s Day. I can probably thank the fact that this is the first year in my life [that I can remember] where I have not been in school making Valentine’s Day cards to pass out in class, or attending the typical collegiate “F*** Love I Just Wanna Rage” type kegger. I was reminded though when I saw the incredibly long line outside of See’s Candy. Anything that thwarts my ability to obtain chocolate usually catches my attention. Anyways, I thought I’d post a few Valentine’s Day-related things that have already made me smile today.

1. Google’s Valentine’s Day homepage cartoon.

As most people know, Google likes to have fun with it’s homepage banner by switching it up according to holidays or notable events. These switch-ups can be hit or miss, but today’s is a huge hit. The Valentine’s themed animated short (co-animated by Michael Lipman) features a young boy trying desperately to get a young girl’s attention by bringing her endless gifts of the typical variety (chocolate, flowers, etc.). The girl, preoccupied by her jumprope, can’t be bothered by his romantic dallying until the boy comes up with a new idea: instead of trying to impress her with material items, he goes for common interest. He succeeds (:

Besides the splendidly heart-wrenching crooning of my favorite standards man, Tony Bennett, what I like most about this cartoon is the ending, where we are shown a montage of images featuring happy couples: a cat and a dog, a spaceman and an alien, etc. Amongst this bunch is an elderly interracial couple and two tuxedo clad men embracing. I love that the message is subtle and not overwhelming. The bottom line: All people deserve love! And like the many things that Google knows, Google knows this too.

2. Out Magazine’s LOVE issue with partners David Burkta and Neil Patrick Harris on the cover

Let me get this off my chest: I suffer from an acutely problematic syndrome known as NPH. Symptoms include mildly obsessive adoration, and attraction towards gay males. Severe symptoms include being one of the few people not alive for most of the 80’s whose still seen EVERY episode of Doogie Howser ever (despite the fact that that show is admittedly CRAZY BORING). But really, who doesn’t love Neil Patrick Harris. He sings, acts, dances, plays “straight” incredibly well, and was even once a board member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles (Chris Angel, what you got?).

So of course I am icnredibly stoked to see that Neil and David are featured on the cover of Out Magazine for this V-Day, looking stunning in Calvin Klein no less.

 

And lastly, for those NOT celebrating Valentine’s Day I give you the final thing:

3. Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself”

As I was listening to 95.5 KLOS this afternoon, DJ Cynthia Fox made a cheesy remark telling all single people who may be taking themselves out to dinner alone “not to get fresh!” At first I thought this was really corny and kind of a jab, until she queed up Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” It took me a second, until I realized Cynthia I see what u did thur. In case you haven’t noticed, this song is about masturbation, people. Happy Singles Awareness Day.

See you next love day.

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Australian Invasion Starts Here

I am officially [accidentally] Australia obsessed.

I can’t stop listening to Gotye. I believe the man is a creative genius. He is able to pull off a 70’s almost Motown vibe on tracks like “I Feel Better” while making an intelligent critique on today’s state of music with a track like “State of the Art”– referring to the good and bad of relying on electronic devices and software to create pleasurable listening sounds. His most popular song “Somebody I Used to Know” is a simple but perfect ode to the wrenching experience of breaking up. And his music videos ain’t bad to boot either. They’re all different, and all just the perfect bit of weird. Gotye recently played at the El Rey in Los Angeles and is slated to play at Coachella in April.

The second bit of Australia currently manifesting in my life is Brisbane-based company Black Milk Clothing. I’d been eyeing the clothing line for several months, lusting after a pair of galaxy print leggings but wondering if the international shipping was justifiable. Verdict: Heck Yes. I didn’t end up ordering the galaxies, but instead bought a Cathedral print skirt which I thought was brilliant and a great addition to my mostly non-color wardrobe. It’s a good thing that I jumped into the BM bandwagon ahead of time because just two days ago on Tuesday, they exploded with the release of their new Hot Little Bosses collection. I’ve watched their Facebook page grow– with over 2,000 new “likes” incurred in a mere two day span. The shop even made a wise but appropriate business choice to shut down the website in order to fulfill the first batch of orders, leaving many fans waiting eagerly for the online re-opening scheduled tentatively for Tuesday. Not bad a for a company whose designer was still sewing in his kitchen just two years ago. The hot item of discussion across the net are the new “Muscle Leggings” which have some groaning with disgust and others with joy– with both parties referencing the likes of Body Worlds and Dr. Slim Goodbody. I myself picked up the Retro Gamers and Circuits, both of which should be arriving in my mailbox shortly (a graduation present to myself, the only non-Aus trip spending that I’ve allowed). Check out the BM community for yourselves– full of a wonderful caring staff and fans who refer to themselves lovingly as “Sharkies.”

The Notorious "Muscle Leggings"

On a travel related note, I picked up a new version of my birth certificate on Tuesday and I’ll be going to the Post Office to apply for my passport either today or tomorrow. Did you guys know those things cost $140? Oy vey… But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And hopefully, she’ll do it in Nylon tights.

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