Thursday, February 11, 2010

In college I gave a good friend, he grew up in the suburbs of Syracuse, NY, a hard time for wearing Carharts and sporting an amish-style beard. His Dad was upper-management of a big company and he had a stay-at-home mom. Called him a poseur to his face- he is a lot bigger than me and I'm lucky he didn't want to kick my ass.

I grew up working on a farm. My grandpa was a farmer, carpenter, working class guy. We wore work clothes because we worked. I felt that this guy didn't have the right to be wearing carharts to Psych 101.

I was the first person in my family to go to college. Now I have a nice job, make more money than both of my parents ever did, and live in San Francisco for godsakes. I am far from working class.

Yet the older I get the harder those blue-collar roots pull at me. After 22 years of escaping rural small town life I find myself yearning for it. Desperate for manual labor, a place in the woods, a simpler quieter life. It's nothing new. The turn of the century saw the Great Camps of the Adirondacks and Teddy Roosevelt's conservation movement and the 60's had the back to landers.

I'm a total poseur now. I have a beard, wear "work clothes", hell even wear my Grandpa's old stuff a lot. It's a style now not a way of life. Like a lot of urban men I think I am trying to reconnect with an authenticity that my Grandparent's generation represents.

New York Magazine did an article about "The Retailers of Rusticity"

The article was more of a guide of where to buy an overpriced pair of USA made goods but made me think about men's quest for what it means to be male in the modern urban environment. The comments section made me think about whether I was a poseur or worse, a hipsterwannabe ... I hate fashion but like good style. My Grandpa had a fantastic sense of style. That was the difference between low-rent and working class. We cared about how we presented ourselves. I thought about what Donald Glor, depression era farmer, carpenter, methodist, farm machine salesman, would think about me stealing his pair of Red Wings... I think this commenter got it right
Seriously, how insecure are you ? You make comments on an article in NEW YORK MAGAZINE ? It’s New York ! You could go out and find every trend possible and make an article about it. They’ll do another article about men in suits & do you think all those guys on Wall St. will get so upset that someone who doesn’t need to wear a suit for work will actually wear one for fun …….

You know nothing about any of these guys lives. Someone has picked them off the street & asked them if they would pose for a photo. Why not ? They are not wearing Gucci woodsman jeans or Prada plaid shirts. They are buying American brands & growing beards. People have been dressing like this for years. The flannel shirt was hip when punk hit New York in the 70’s, West Coast Grunge, LA Rappers & it will continue to be fashionable and practical for many years to come. It drives me crazy that people just feel the need to criticize. It is a very easy thing to do & incredibly patronizing…....Using words like “little hipsters” & “posers” is just ignorant.

I live in the country, I am a carpenter & have a small farm. I have a beard, I wear flannel shirts & dress in a very practical style. I’m quite happy that I may well be seen as fashionable for even a fleeting moment, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me one way or the other, why does it bother you ? I am sure Filson, LL Bean, Carhartt and many others don’t care who is wearing their clothing, as long as they do.

I was going to suggest heading out of the city to buy a lot of these items, it will be a lot less expensive if you do…….. but if I did then it wouldn’t be an article about where to buy these items in NEW YORK CITY, would it ?

So, I was an asshole back in college for giving my buddy a hard time. I still am an asshole but now I can afford to buy him better whiskey to make amends.


Constantina said...

Or you could get yourself a cheap, broken-ass country like some certain fucking awesome ex-girlfriends of yours.

Just sayin.

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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