Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Does My Mortgage Look Like a Slag in This?

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  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I think there's a bit of an ideal-world/real-world dichotomy happening in the conversation. I think pretty much everyone here has agreed that it is every woman's right to wear whatever they like, wherever they like, for whatever reason. And it is every woman's right not to be harrassed, assaulted or worse.
    However, there are a number of unenlightened types out there, who become less enlightened when they drink and travel in packs. It has been pointed out that its not just women who can be targetted through no fault of their own.
    In the real world, however sad it might be, it makes sense not to wear a pork chop around your neck if you wander through places where hyenas lurk.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 842 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    In the real world, however sad it might be, it makes sense not to wear a pork chop around your neck if you wander through places where hyenas lurk.

    Please, Jeremy, please, tell me you didn't just compare women to meat? :-)

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Who advertises for grunge?

    Well, Subpop for one. But nobody has to be profiting off one part of a Look for it be profitable to sell the Look as a whole & Looks are very much sold to the public. Yes, the public has to buy, and I'm sure the precise interaction among consumers, capital, and peer groups is fascinating, but fashion (or, rather, Yoof Culture) is business, even the nice op shoppy bits.

    (But yes on the general point, `it's all the brainwashing ad agencies' isn't a very good explanation.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But nobody has to be profiting off one part of a Look for it be profitable to sell the Look as a whole & Looks are very much sold to the public.

    By whom? It seems to me that certain looks originate within groups and than spread.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    It seems to me that certain looks originate within groups and than spread.

    But the spread is mediated by capital almost always; yes, that isn't the whole story, but if you think emo reached New Zealand by word of mouth from Washington DC I think you are hugely optimistic.

    Now, I am no expert on this; but, anyway, my personal (generalising, not very good, simplistic) model is that there is an originating scene, which tends to be quite innovative and radical. This scene is often altruistic etc., although you have to be careful about assuming that. This then grows and becomes commercialised, at which point it becomes a trend and a marketable commodity and goes mainstream, and then you have successfully turned rebellion into money. You can skip the altruistic bit if you want, and just go straight into the commodification, which is called pop.

    Of course, you then get subversion and so against the commodification, and it isn't as dull as I have made it sound.

    It is vanishingly unlikely that you personally will ever be at the original scene, unless you live in a couple of cities -- London or New York basically. Then, it is merely very unlikely. So in almost all cases, there's a profit motive driving the pick up of whatever.

    Which isn't to say that NME cares if flares are in or out, but rather that NME cares that flares be in or out.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1389 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Who advertises for grunge? For petticoats worn over regular clothes? For black leggings and three layers of old knitted jumpers? Do you think it's all a conspiracy from Big Op Shop?

    While some fashions don't start in big corporate, often they're picked up. Not everyone who dressed like Eddie Vedder got their clothes from op shops. Often they shelled out hundreds to upmarket stores to look like a $2 fill-a-bag.

    And while indeed there are some fashion trends that are entirely unrelated to advertising and making money, a whole heap are, and they do influence a lot of the population. The whole seasonal/yearly nature of the fashion industry, where something is "so last year" seems designed to encourage consumers to throw away prefectly good clothes and buy slightly different ones.

    (With a head nod to advertising influence being interactive and not entirely one way as people have noted above).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6221 posts Report Reply

  • Logan O'Callahan,

    "attractive" = likely to receive attention. That is the meaning of the word.

    "unwanted"= a state of mind only known after communication

    Communication's not always black and white. Some of you might be ignoring the part clothing, body language etc plays in communication.

    Without a bit more persistence past the first verbal rebuff a fair few long term partnerships would never have happened.

    Not excusing anything, just expanding the discourse.

    ------

    When I was a lad the usual concern was getting wasted and waking up next to someone you'd rather not have, or without memories of parts of the night before, or having spoiled the living room carpet/front doorstep/bed.

    Now its guest starring on youtube.

    If these things become a bit regular for someone maybe they lose the fear factor?

    Since Apr 2008 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But the spread is mediated by capital almost always

    Capital can provide the vehicle, but not necessarily the motivation.

    Fashion is a rich exchange of meaning, one of the most concentrated that humans have developed. We have always liked to communicate, and to make sense of life.

    an added wistful sign

    I thought Giovanni might enjoy that typo.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Now, I am no expert on this; but, anyway, my personal (generalising, not very good, simplistic) model is that there is an originating scene, which tends to be quite innovative and radical. This scene is often altruistic etc., although you have to be careful about assuming that. This then grows and becomes commercialised, at which point it becomes a trend and a marketable commodity and goes mainstream, and then you have successfully turned rebellion into money. You can skip the altruistic bit if you want, and just go straight into the commodification, which is called pop.

    Hard to quarrel with, very nicely put.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I thought Giovanni might enjoy that typo.

    Verily! I think we've just invented the Foucaltian slip.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, and what Jolisa said, too.

    We're all in the grip of something that I can only conclude has some obscure evolutionary purpose as well as infallible capitalist logic.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Sorry for the jack, but Teddy Kennedy's just died. I might have deeply disagreed with him politically, and the man had a lot of SOB-ness in him, but you had to respect him on some level.

    The Chappaquiddick incident will always hang over his legacy*, and his I don't think he should ever be forgiven for that, but to focus on that entirely would be to ignore the fact that most of the good and great progressive legislation passed through the Senate had his hand on it in some way- and there were fewer more tireless champions in the house of LBGT rights (and civil rights in general) and environmental protection than him.

    He also earns a lot of credit for calling bullshit on the Iraq War long before most of his fellow Dems, as well as for leading the (failed) fillibuster against GWB's warrantless wiretapping.

    In all his flaws and triumphs- and he had many of both- he was a giant of US politics.

    I guess the news of his death shouldn't surprise- after all, he had been sick for a very long time- but his passing is significant, not just because he was a Kennedy, with all the baggage that entails.

    *There's also other stuff that could make one queasy, such as his donations to the IRA during the 70s and 80s, although to be fair, he became increasingly cool on the organisation as time went on. As I said, a complicated figure, but a giant all the same.

    (Btw I'm not really responding to your post as such Craig, more adding my own tribute :) )

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It is vanishingly unlikely that you personally will ever be at the original scene, unless you live in a couple of cities -- London or New York basically.

    Last decade, I had the privilege of stumbling into what I'm told was the second biggest drum'n'bass scene in the world - in Auckland. Admittedly, London was first as you say but I believe New York barely rated.

    With Pasifika arts and suchlike, it's most likely we will always lead. Unless we piss around unambitiously and let the Aussies catch up.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    /correction to the digression on Ted Kennedy

    *There's also other stuff that could make one queasy, such as his donations to the IRA during the 70s and 80s, although to be fair, he became increasingly cool on the organisation as time went on. As I said, a complicated figure, but a giant all the same.

    Okay, it should also be mentioned that he was vocal against their terror acts and had a hand in the 1998 Easter Agreement, but still, his dealings in that quagmire were...complicated.

    /end digression

    Last decade, I had the privilege of stumbling into what I'm told was the second biggest drum'n'bass scene in the world - in Auckland. Admittedly, London was first as you say but I believe New York barely rated.

    Just as an aside, has there ever been a more insular musical movement than drum 'n' bass?

    Really, its moment to go big- as in mainstream supernova big- passed more than a decade ago, and yet it still keeps rumbling and cropping up in the least expected places (it seems to be big in ChCh, or at least it was a couple of years back), even as its offshoots--grime, dubstep, whatever you want to call them --get more mainstream/aternative press and bigger sales and maybe even bigger gig turnouts. It just doesn't go away.

    It boggles the mind, really. I mean, you could call it a sleeping giant were it not for the fact that sleeping giants usually wake.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Agree it never took off - but some of the production styles and knowledge sure seemed to sweep through hip hop and other forms. And it featured in adverts and background music on tv shows because of its general lack of vocal distraction. Perhaps that silence was part of its failure to go big, even in the face of some very average and even flaccid rock at the time?

    And I'm led to believe that Christchurch was always disproportionately active, more than Welli despite their love of the dub.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It is vanishingly unlikely that you personally will ever be at the original scene, unless you live in a couple of cities -- London or New York basically. Then, it is merely very unlikely. So in almost all cases, there's a profit motive driving the pick up of whatever.

    I was near-ish to the scene for acid house in London -- the wave after the original couple of suburban clubs. And even then it was being shaped and commercialised, but at a Camden Market level. There were choices made by a couple of entrepreneurs that the look would be the smiley face, t-shirt and bandanna, and that's what the markets were full of in 1988. The general look of popular culture started to change.

    I was personally stoked to be there for what I recognised was a great British popular culture thing. I think it was altruistic that year (except for the drug dealers), but by the next year, with the M25 parties, you were starting to get wide boys running things. And from there the dance thing went legit, major-label and global. And then, eventually, back to being indie.

    OTOH, whatever guided us as New Zealand schoolkids to embrace punk rock, short hair and narrow trousers wasn't really what the man was trying to sell us then either. We dressed out of op shops and felt some cultural connection with what was going on, even if we did get all our hot news three months late via surface-mail NME.

    So I don't regard commercialisation as proof of inauthenticity in fashion or culture, but a case of diminishing returns. Entrepreneurs give scale and vitality to new ideas -- but successive applications of commerce will eventually shut them down.

    Cool thread. How did we get onto this then?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Agree it never took off - but some of the production styles and knowledge sure seemed to sweep through hip hop and other forms. And it featured in adverts and background music on tv shows because of its general lack of vocal distraction. Perhaps that silence was part of its failure to go big, even in the face of some very average and even flaccid rock at the time?

    Yes, there's something in what you say there. I think the fact it's a very fragmented form of music had a lot to do with it. That and the fact that the longer it's continued, the more insular it seems to have got as a scene.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Leave a few cultural theory junkies to it for a while and we can turn most threads. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Verily! I think we've just invented the Foucaltian slip.

    Bravo, mon brave! But I'm not so sure it's not Saussure?

    I wonder what particular combo of fingers and facial expression would constitute a "wistful sign." A gallic shrug?

    (Which sounds like an item of clothing I'd buy, if they made them... oh look, they sort of do! I'll take three in different colours.)

    Meanwhile, Malcolm McLaren joins our discussion in a timely fashion, or a fashionly time.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Of course Emma can do that on her own, to be fair.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Leave a few cultural theory junkies to it for a while and we can turn most threads. :)

    Off the top of my head,this thread has included discussion on feminism, advertising, the state of the Listener, dressing up nicely, the Tui ads (and commercials in general), drum n bass, grunge, acid house and Ted Kennedy.

    Anyway, what were we talking about?

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Bravo, mon brave! But I'm not so sure it's not Saussure?

    Ah, but what about Les Mots et les choses? The early Foucault positively outsaussures Saussure. Plus Foucaltian slip sounded better.

    Cool thread. How did we get onto this then?

    Emma is fifteen different kinds of awesome.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    A wistful sign would have to be Sartre or suchlike?

    Someone pointed out to me recently that my visiting Existentialism lecturer Robert C. Solomon was in Linklater's Waking Life and caused some stir by dying at Zurich airport. I didn't notice it was him in the film, but he changed my life many years earlier.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Emma is fifteen different kinds of awesome.

    That's a better way of putting it. I hereby outsource my thinking while I soak my brain in a jar of brine.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Foucault - let's dance...

    I think we've just invented the Foucaltian slip.

    is that slip worn over, or under, garments?

    did anyone mention $600 belgian jeans
    that are "grunged" to the point of throwing
    out before you even buy them...

    or McLaren and Westwood...

    the market is mercurial,
    (and I ain't talkin' Hermes)
    it will always flow and find its level,
    and short stuff out on the way...
    step right up to
    the bust conductor
    your ticket is clipped...

    ...confined in cliques,
    it acts as a social barometer
    and we are so vane,
    weather it...

    yrs a la mode
    Karl Lagerfellow
    he shrugged and flared...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

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