Today I rip into jeans.
I own a pair of distressed jeans and sitting here in my coffee shop, watching the rain do a giant Danny Thomas quality spit take against the window like God just got the joke, suddenly, for no apparent reason I got a flash of those moth-er of all pants (which I am not wearing right now). Oh like that never happens to you.
So what is our fascination with them?
Why do we feel the NEED to look war torn and frayed?
Remember the days when a single anal thread or imperfection was enough to DEMAND your money back? Now we actually pay for the privilege of living with damages.
So what are we getting when we wear them?
When I was in London last year someone mentioned that the ripped jean trend (there at least) was a once upon a time gay thing. Jaggedly torn apart at the knees jeans were evidently a wink-wink walking advertisement of good times to come in the shadow end of the public park.
It's a fun story even if that's not true. It certainly made my knees quake. But then again, I lived in LA where pretty much everything quakes.
So, my little trendsetters, what are we advertising when we wear them? I mean when you see an actual, hard-working day laborer's torn asunder pants you don't look at them with any kind of deep envy or fashion longing.
Maybe it's all about a sense of entitlement.
Maybe they are actually rich people pants. I mean someone else had to do the work to get you the look that you are paying high end designer prices for. Basically we are ordering up yet another Zales quality diamond bauble that we want, never once giving a thought to who actually dug up the original coal or designed and built the setting. And PS: never once giving a shit.
Or maybe we are revealing our own self mutilating, inner distress.
Maybe those pants are really how we truly feel about ourselves. Look how revealing fashion can be.
Fifty Beatle ago plus, John Lennon used to mock handicapped people right there on the Beatle stage in short spastic surges. Today's PC world at one point started to revisit that behavior with a bit of rear view horror.
But here is what I know: one thing you can't hide is when you're crippled inside. Who said that? Oh. Right.
John. Hey, you've got to hide your love away. Losing your Beatle mom at a tender age pretty much earns you that handicapped parking sticker for life. Paul had one too. That kind of fractured mutual mother misery is what bonded them and gave so many Beatle songs their subtext of longing and loneliness. Happy/sad just works man. It is singularly THE most universal music that waters our soul until the dark soil sprouts a sprig of buttercups again.
So my high faultin' treatise is thus: while we think on some level that we are strutting around the Victoria Secret catwalk of life, showing off our beams of hipness, perhaps what we are actually doing is the very same dance that John Lennon did once upon a massively self loathing, broken time.
And maybe there is a divide here.
One part of the jean pool is just hiring the little people to make them look authentic and stunningly proletariat. The other part? I'm willing to bet that Bernie Sander's suits, now some sixty plus years old are fragmenting all on their own.
Socialism makes the coolest pants. (My guess? He got them at the Men's Awarehouse).
I wonder if there is a little anger built in too. Look how we tear into celebrities and politicians lately--- until they look just as damaged and full of holes as our everyday denim.
Even though I'm a writer, I am still a day laborer who sees paychecks once every leap of faith year, I am in fact a card carrying member of the part of the fashion community that simply wants to make public all my flaws---which are somehow represented by those artfully arranged leg holes which look like they were done by Patty Duke in one of the more emotional scenes of "The Miracle Worker."
Through these little Alice holes, I am blatantly touting my immediate goal in life: to be ruinously perfect. These pants are a sort of movie preview, approved for all ages, of what will be coming to the theater of my life soon: me, warts and all.
Look, if some appropriately aged hot woman (with all life etched facial lines and generous curves) suddenly looks up from her kale covered pizza slice and notices me and comes to the conclusion that I am cutting edge: I win!
But the truth, between you, me and my pants is that cutting edges on my legs are about as hip as I will get.
And let me end with this deep thought:
How come Michael Jackson never created Billie Jeans?
These are the big questions that simply must be answered. Oh. Shit. When I got up, I ripped my ripped jeans.
Now I have to throw them out.