Last night, whilst attending an indie rock and roll show in Silverlake, I found myself surveying the crowd and noting the differences between me and the others in attendance. Here's where I diverge from the masses:
1) At least I tuck in my snap shirt
In the past couple of decades, the great unwashed have decided that casual wear is befitting all manner of professionals, in all number of situations. Why wear a stuffy suit when you can wear jeans and a hoodie? It's the cornerstone of a more broadly held fuck-it logic that, by its nature, is difficult to find fault with. Just try. Oh yeah? Well, fuck it. See how easy that was? However, I'm here to say that there is such a thing as going too far. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water, people. Style isn't about the absence of effort. It's about knowing your strengths and highlighting them. And one surefire way to accentuate the positive (if you're a tall, thin man) is to tuck in your shirt. Especially if your ass is as spectacular as mine.
2. My plastic pseudo-horn-rimmed glasses are green, not black
What fuddy-duddy declared that all glasses have to be black or brown? Whoever it was didn't know a damn thing about panache, or life, or that ineffable feeling of living like a bon vivant; what the French call "joie de vie" and what Iggy Pop refers to as "lust for life." The damn hipsters surrounding me wouldn't know fun if it offered them a bag of coke and a blowjob under the table in the corner booth at Denny's. You can just tell.
3. I'm not thinking about the music video I would make for the band onstage
There was a time when I could not make this claim. Thankfully, in my current state, I just enjoy listening to the music and am not imagining vacant barns and a dying basset hound and bug zappers flickering to the beat of the music and other such images that I was, at one time, quietly (I suppose too quietly) assembling in my mind as a potential music video.
4. When a band plays a song I like, I bop my head or shimmy my hips
Maybe you need to live in LA for awhile to understand why this makes me so unique.
5. I'm wearing hand-crafted Italian leather shoes, not Chuck Taylors
I come from a modest background. My heritage is comprised of laborers and teachers and layabouts. We never had much, except each other. And that's all we ever needed. Or so I thought. Turns out it doesn't hurt to have a pair of shoes that you really love. Shoes that fit perfectly and are comfortable and look fantastic. Life's too short to buckle down and count your pennies at the end of a long day. I feel like I've solved some equation by figuring this out, and I'm happy to share the news to everyone: buy a fucking sweet ass pair of shoes. I'm not advocating mindless Carrie Bradshaw consumerism or Imelda Marcos obsession; in fact, any more than one perfect pair of shoes would ruin the whole aesthetic. Just find a pair that shouts YOU! (or would it be ME!?) and wear them into the ground. Then get another pair. Or, if you want, just keep wearing your Chuck Taylors, cause that's really fucking original.
6. These assholes aren't worried a lick about Peak Oil
Unfortunately, this is not a positive. Yes, it separates me from the other hep cats around me, but it's not a distinction I would bestow upon anyone willingly. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Unfortunately for me, I'm thinking about $7 gallons of gas, wars in China, where to sock away my money before the global economy falters, and a feasible place and way to set up shop "off the grid." The clueless Joe Cools around me are listening intently to the band and, if there any thoughts at all coursing through their well-coiffed heads, it is a worry that their band doesn't sound as good as the band onstage, or that their screenplays and head shots aren't up to muster. I don't fault them these petty concerns and in fact envy them; ultimately, how are my worries concerning the coming collapse of our society going to in any conceivable way change the course of history? Of course they won't do a damn thing. I'd rather get blindsided by a drunk driver late at night on a country road then be tied to the tracks and watch for 20 minutes as an approaching train barrels down upon me. The fools win this battle. Will they win the war?
7. They probably have a Myspace page and are going to go home and write about the show
How pathetic is that? Writing about what you did last night on the internet with some sad hope that other people will read about your evening and find it compelling enough to add their own comments. Get a life.