Goodbye Mork

August 11th, 2014 by LB

Shazbot. Sad loss of Robin Williams today. Thanks for the many laughs.

Robin Williams Mork

And Robin before a Senate committee on preventing homelessness

A friend put this captioned magazine page through my mailbox

May 29th, 2014 by LB

death of design

This made me laugh quite hard.

Also, courtesy of the enjoyable fuckyournoguchitable tumblr: antlers, actual real taxidermy, fake taxidermy, steer skull and cardboard antlers.

Meanwhile, as Vancouver’s historic Chinatown gets very quickly gentrified–evacuations of historic businesses, sales and demolitions of buildings, and the erection new glass luxury condos—we see it  filling up with upscale little restaurants and cafes full of… antlers. This white man’s pioneer or settler style, circa 1890s, sits aggressively in Chinatown, which was itself founded in the very period these antler references hark back to, if not decades before. It’s as if Chinatown never happened.

For a critique of the Great White Hunter/pioneer/frontiersman/settler thing, please see Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

 

The Hitler Youth haircut

May 26th, 2014 by LB

hipster and nazi hairstyle

Google Hitler Youth haircut. You get “About 50,300 results” and most of the hits are articles about the contemporary version of the Hitler Youth undercut (or “curtained“) hairstyle.

look at this fucking hipster

The abrupt turn to the right in the 2014 European Parliament elections, including massive gains for the far-right anti-immigration National Front in France, the anti-immigration and racist UKIP in the UK, and a far right party in Denmark (among many others) seems to signal what we’re headed for. Then there’s the right-wing nationalist Navendra Modi’s win in India, military coups popping up in other places… And by way of observation I wanted to mention the UK study which found that although people born between 1980 and 2000 are more progressive around issues like gay marriage and euthanasia, they vote markedly further to the right than either their parents or grandparents did at their age.

I know I’m not alone in finding this haircut and all its variants chilling.

For a more extended argument on why historical styles probably can’t entirely be detached from their original historical referents, especially if the histories they refer to involve violence and oppression, please see this not-unrelated post on the settler/pioneer/colonial style known as the heritage hipster. Different style, but similar trajectory. Hypermasculine, white…

Fashion is always a bellwether.

hitler youth haircut then & now

hipster haircut

hitler youth haircut - poster

Hitler Youth haircut brownshirt

hitler youth haircut

For fun, the overgroomed douche variant:

hitler haircut douche version

Then there’s the other shaved-sides dictator style, the Kim Jong Un. Supposedly this cut is now mandatory for all males in North Korea (and, apparently, for plenty of males in my own social circle):

kim jong un mandatory haircut

Kim Jong Un haircut

Just no. Enough of all this masculinity in crisis and all this aestheticization of fascism. I’m glad my grandfather who landed in Normandy on D-Day to fight the Nazis didn’t live to see all these twerps dressing like Hitler Youth. Seriously, let’s come up with something else. If people need an edgy joke haircut, I’m sure they can come up with a fashion joke that perhaps mocks power instead of victims of genocide.

See also:

How to ask for a Hitler Youth Haircut

Every Dude You Know Is Getting This Haircut

The 20 Most Controversial Men’s Style Trends of the Past 20 Years

Comeback of the Hitler Youth haircut worries Jewish and progressive groups fearing intolerance

or search Hitler youth haircut on Tumblr – here’s a journalism student saying “I got the Hitler Youth haircut I always wanted”

nazi youth haircut vancouver
Howe Street, Vancouver, May 2014

hitler youth haircut

hitleryouthhaircuttumblr

PS Thanks to Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Romania for going left in the 2014 EU elections.

Next in this series: more trendy male styles from other specifically conservative decades. See Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

 

 

Navajo chief’s blanket ends up on Antiques Road Show (2004)

May 23rd, 2014 by LB

first nations/American indian weaving

This is for those who haven’t seen this decade-old segment which for some reason has been making the social media rounds again.

It is so nice to see a truly beautiful textile get this sort of attention (and from men too, which speaking as a textiles person rarely happens in North America, in contrast with other parts of the world). Of course it’s partly the Navajo chief connection and the reference to Kit Carson that garners interest here, but it’s still nice to see the attention to the extreme fineness of the weaving.

I’ve never seen a Navajo blanket I like more than this one.

More information at PBS and click here for a better version of the video without dumb text at top (video that can’t be embedded except on Facebook, annoyingly) on Vimeo.

Easybreath mask and snorkel innovation

May 21st, 2014 by LB

masque-facial-snorkeling-easybreath-innovation by Tribordeasybreath-see-and-breathe-underwater-as-easily-as-you-would-on-land-1

After many years of few changes in the old mask and snorkel setup, this is an interesting innovation. It just won the 2014 Oxylane Innovation Award (I have no idea what that is, but I suspect it’s just the first of many awards for this contraption).

The French company Tribord has come up with a way to allow snorkelers to breathe by both mouth and nose and without fogging the mask, as well as allowing diving without water entering the snorkel at all. This means you can swim and breathe more normally, see better and dive up and down easily. And the snorkel bulb above water makes you visible to boats.

The strap is also far better in design. A regular mask’s single strap constantly slips especially if you like me you have long fine hair. This 3-strap fit looks way better. But these aren’t available in women’s /teens’ sizes yet, nor are they available in N. America yet. In the UK they’ll be carried by Stockport.

I’m not very acquisitive and I seldom appreciate new gimmicks but this goes beyond gimmickry and I would very much like to have one. It’s the first innovation in a while that has interested me.

Having been snorkeling lately while visiting friends in Ecuador I had a cheap snorkel with a faulty valve that let in more seawater than it let out every time I tried to clear it. An old fashioned non-valve snorkel would have actually been better, but those are primitive and hard to clear. Even with a good mask and snorkel it’s generally a constant struggle to maintain a clear mask and an empty snorkel.  This is the first time I’ve seen anything innovative along these lines.

(To read the English subtitles on the video you may have to disable the Italian titles – go under the CC closed captioning button):

Mick Jagger in Peru

May 16th, 2014 by LB

Cuzco - woven mantas in antique weaving shop

Cuzco Mick Jagger textile shop

I was talking to the very knowledgeable owner of a shop of antique weaving in Cuzco, Peru, and after a while he mentioned that Mick Jagger had been in the shop two years before. When I asked if Jagger was in Peru to do a gig, he said no, he had come to see Machu Picchu. I guess he he missed it the first time he was in Peru, when he came to shoot Fitzcarraldo with Werner Herzog in 1980. Sadly—or not depending on how you feel about Jagger’s acting—he didn’t make it into the final film. Jason Robards had originally been cast as Fitzcarraldo and Jagger was to play his sidekick, but when Robards developed amoebic dysentery and had to bow out, thus delaying shooting, Jagger could no longer continue because the Stones were cutting an album. In a way I’m glad because I think Robards was spectacularly wrong for the role. Watch the video if you want to see his hammy and lightweight performance. But Jagger seemed promising as the simpleton sidekick. Some disagree. In the end it was probably fortunate that the role went to Kinski, and I can’t imagine Jagger tolerating Kinski’s on-set tantrums and quasi-criminal manic episodes.

The textile collection in this shop should be in a museum. The Peruvian government should consider paying the market price for its entire collection and displaying it all. It’s a crime that these pieces are slowly leaving the country. They represent multiple eras from every region of the country, and every one contains a message. What appear to be geometric designs are often animals representing family and cosmological origins and relationships. There is so little hand weaving left in the world. Much as I would like to collect more of it myself, it seems wrong to see it scattered to the winds even if that means Mick Jagger’s place.

Fitcarraldo - Mich Jagger and Jason Robards inIquitos

Peru Cuzco textiles shop weaving

Fitcarraldo Mick Jagger and Jason Robards in Iquitos, Peru

Jagger playing the fool in Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo