The Fetish Diary: American Apparel

The Fetish Diary: American Apparel

Consider American Apparel. Notice something: The clothing is hideous. Ill-fitting, lumpy, revealing of the wrong aspects of the anatomy, short-changing the best, whoring the remainder. A retro among many retros, that recalls nothing more than a bad Sigourney Weaver movie from the ’80s. You would think that this brand was a failure, a joke.

But you would be wrong.

American Apparel is not a clothing company, but a sprawling meta artwork. The Millenial Era expression of one man’s antisocial personality disorder.

Sex plus product is a trackworn formula. The appeal of the ads goes deeper than that. If the models are appealing but the clothing is unappealing, what does it say if the overall ads are appealing? It says that the models are winning.

Theirs is a temporary victory. An anxious, uncertain victory, as their facial expressions — always their facial expressions, in every ad — beg us to consider. They are winning against the clothing.

They are beautiful. Strangely. Tragically. Momentarily. For just a fleeting instant — so the narrative of the artwork shouts — in the first flush of youth, they are for a manic, over- and underconfident, fast, lost moment precisely Good Enough.

They are prey.

The American Apparel narrative is art, horrible and total. One man’s view of women as objects. Objects to be taken, used, discarded past their shine — much less their usefulness.

Look at this waste. This trash. Stare for a moment. Look what I’ve done to it. What would you like to do to it? Fine, it’s all yours. It’s almost over anyway.

Sartre’s hell can’t hold the man for whom there are no other people.

The Fetish Diary: Bandage Fetish

By now a well-known Japanese fetish, based on the injured Rei Ayanami character from Neon Genesis: Evangelion with a dash of Southeast Asian bird flu chic, I find I can’t get behind this one. Perhaps it’s meant to inspire sympathy, a desire to care for — nurse a potential mate back to health and reap the benefits, but I’m always reminded of the line from William Gibson’s Neuromancer: “Beyond them, at another table, three Japanese wives in Hiroshima sackcloth awaited sarariman husbands, their oval faces covered with artificial bruises; it was, he knew, an extremely conservative style, one he’d seldom seen in Chiba.”

The Fetish Diary: School Girl Complex

There’s no nudity, but I can’t quite call this photoset safe for work either. If anyone understands why that is, please let me know. (The same if anyone with a bit of Japanese can help give proper credit to the photographer.)

The Car

Unable to find work in LA these past four months, I now have to move back East. The following are thoughts I should be dissuaded from…

  • The value of having a car is c, which is undefined.
  • Flying back to Maine costs about $201.
    • A flight from LAX to BOS costs about $160.
    • One checked bag costs $15.
    • The bus from Boston to Portland costs $26.
  • If I get the asking price, I will lose $600 on the car.
    • I paid $1900 for the car.
      • The purchase price was $1150.
      • The new radiator, belts and tires cost $750.
    • I am asking $1300 for the car.
  • Driving back to Maine would cost a minimum of $562.64.
    • Replacing the rear struts would cost about $310.
    • Gas would cost about $252.64
      • The average fuel price is currently $1.855/gal.
      • The driving distance is 3,158 miles.
      • A 1991 Geo Prizm averages 23 MPG highway.

QED: If I sell the car for $1300, I will lose approximately the cost of the trip, plus c.

Unfortunately, this decision has more or less been made for me; whatever I can recover on the car is cash in hand that I’ll need to get through the next few months in Maine. On the other hand, if I’m still unable to find a buyer after another week or so…

So Sick of T-Mobile

The T-Mobile call centers seem to have been fobbed a new policy requiring everyone to be more chatty, informal and energetic. Much, MUCH more chatty, informal, and energetic.

This is even more irritating than it sounds. We’re not at a party. I’m not trying to hook up with you. I don’t even know how cool the handset is, because I don’t have it yet. That’s why I’m calling.

Rewind. I ordered a new phone for $18 at the end of September and signed up for two more years of service. Note that the phone was “free,” except for an $18 fee, which wouldn’t have been incurred by simply using my current phone for two more years. We, as a society, are drowning in bullshit.

I checked UPS.com last week to find out why the phone hadn’t arrived yet. They had no information about the order, so I called T-Mobile again. The ridiculously chatty, informal and energetic representative informed me that it hadn’t shipped yet, but would the next day. I verified that it was coming to my new address in LA, not my old address in Boston, thanked the representative and hung up.

Fast-forward to last night. On a whim, I checked UPS.com again for the shipping status. The phone was in Chelmsford, MA, and scheduled to be delivered today. I called T-Mobile back.

Chatty, informal and energetic Esther told me that the phone was back-ordered. No, it’s aready been shipped, I told her, and gave her the tracking number. She verified that as true, and finally gave me a number to call — which I realize now she must have gotten by Googling the UPS Store in Cambridge, MA. I was told to call and cancel the delivery. Once the phone got back to T-Mobile (whenever the hell THAT might be), they would reprocess the order and send it out to me in LA. I called the number, got a machine, and left a message.

I checked UPS.com this morning. The phone has been delivered. To my old address, on the beautiful North Atlantic.

I’m about to call T-Mobile for round three.

2008 Resolutions

  • Catch up with at least one person/couple per month with whom I have not recently spoken.
  • Escape from this cyclical Blue Collar hell.
  • Learn to type right. Again. And make it stick.
  • Enough with the drama queen bullshit.
  • Find true love? Nah, better hold off on that one…

You Can Put a Pig in a Dress, Too

This weekend, as part of my ongoing project of pretending to be my age, I picked up my first decent coat in Freeport, Maine.

Now to do something about everything else. This could take a while. Maybe I’ll start with the hair.

It’s a Record

My roommates have gone through an entire roll of toilet paper in one day. Ladies, if any of you are looking for a nice young man to settle down and, I dunno, move in with… let me know.

Mid-Coast Preschool Services Development Screening Interview

Child's Name: Matthew Rasmussen Age 4yrs 4 mo. Date Dec 6, 1984

Four Years

Social:

1. How much does your child do for himself in dressing and washing up?

[X] Unbuttons and buttons clothing

[X] Washes hands and face

[X] Toilet trained day and night

[X] Cares for self at toilet mostly

2. How much does your child do for himself in eating?

[X] Spreads with knife soft things

3. Describe how he/she plays with children. gets upset w/ younger children interfering

[X] Understands taking turns/sharing

[X] Group play (2-3 children)

Gross Motor:

1. What does your child do when playing outside? Pretend play – Boats, Little puppy or Sandbox

[ ] Bounces and catches large ball -no

[ ] Pedals tricycle turning corners no – big wheel too large – snow on ground now

[X] Runs and climbs

[X] Hops on one foot

Fine Motor:

1. What does your child do with paper and pencil?

[X] Copies +

[X] Copies []

2. What kinds of toys does your child play with?

[X] Imitates bridge

[ ] Completes 6 piece puzzle

[X] Builds tower of 10 blocks

[X] Cuts with scissors

Mid-Coast Preschool Services

Developmental Screening Interview

Four years

Page 2

Language/Concepts:

1. How much does your child talk? very verbal

2. Can you give me an example of the kind of sentence he/she uses? Noah and Ethan are my very best friends

3. How well is he understood by others? very well

[X] Relates experiences, describes activities

[X] Names 3 Primary colors

[X] Says most sounds except r s th and l

[X] Repeats nursery rhyme or song for others

[X] Understood by strangers

Carolyn Rasmussen

Interviewer