Sunday, September 14, 2008

If you've been trying for years, then we already heard your song

I stumbled across this quote in some high-concept fashion magazine I was leafing through (okay, I'll be straight with you) poring over the other day while waiting for my hair appointment. Brought to you by fashiony fellow (and head of Yves Saint-Laurent) Stefano Pilati, it is as follows:

The last outpost of punk is to accept the situation and work within it individualistically, rather than complain and consider no solution except annihilation.

To be honest, it's been awhile since I've given any serious thought to this type of musing over something so besides the point as clothing, though I do find clothing and its language fascinating, and will admit to agonizing over the silhouette/message/frisson of anything I happen to be wearing.

I totally heard you think that terrible word about me just now as you read that. But that's okay, I understand, under the circumstances.

In any case, I got to thinking about that statement (as I was sitting in a tr├ęs chi-chi hair salon in the Hollywood Riviera* anyway, I figured why not?).

Is that really the last outpost of punk? So far as I know, punk died a long time ago, nearly as soon as its voice was heard. Its mission was, if you'll pardon the expression, to shock and awe; it did so, and then it wasn't shocking anymore. So whatever still looks and sounds like punk is a tribute, to put it kindly. Adolescents scream and yell to be heard, and then they are heard, and then they grow up. Or anyway, that's the way it's supposed to work. It's the only logical step; the natural progression of maturity.

Of course fashion is absurd all on its own, yes -- but Pilati's statement struck me as particularly obtuse. No one, save a few of my middle-school aged neighbors, thinks punk is still a thing. And even those of us who were (ahem) paying tribute ten years too late, in our early, awkward, tentative steps to catch up with our future selves, are now in our thirties. So what we're left with is something spoken by a man old enough to know better, saying something obvious about growing up and perhaps attempting to excuse the inevitable softening of his own life. Which is happening, will happen, has happened, to us all. All in a giant pull-quote splashed across a spread several pages long.

Up next: No Santa Claus, grass is green, and drinking water is good for you. I mean, really. Meanwhile, people starve. How thoroughly out of touch can a person be?

But, but, but... I know that I will continue to read these silly rags, because they make me feel like I am twelve years old again, planning my next haircut and next pair of Doc Marten's. It's lovely to take thirty minutes and have a vacation from reality. It's a nice place to visit. I just couldn't forgive myself if I lived there.

*Given that Redondo Beach is a good 25 miles from Hollywood, this nickname strikes me as absurd.


Frida said...


Well said.

Emma said...

Hi, Frida! Thank you.