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Urban Outfitters ‘Punk’ Jacket Inspires Scorn, Amusement, Self-Pity

The really "punk" thing to do would be to pool our money then burn the thing.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

September 27, 2013 - 8:35 am
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punkjacket1

In the wake of its release, Bowie bemoaned the fact that when he performed ["The Man Who Sold the World"] himself he would encounter “kids that come up afterwards and say, ‘It’s cool you’re doing a Nirvana song.’ And I think, ‘**** you, you little tosser!”

– Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie

I can’t figure out who saw it first — DangerousMinds? Someone on Facebook? — but I wasn’t surprised when Gavin McInnes jumped on the “Urban Outfitters ‘Punk’ Jacket” meme.

Urban Outfitters, you see, occasionally sells one-of-a-kind vintage fashion finds on their website.

To the palpable disgust of many GenXers, one of these “finds” went on sale this week.

It’s the $375 “punk” jacket you’re looking at at the top of this post.

If you don’t immediately recognize all the factors that make this jacket the exact opposite of punk — and therefore a matter we all need to talk about right away and for three whole days in great detail — then I can’t be friends with you either keep reading or, well, don’t I guess.

I was particularly eager to learn McInnes’ take on this.

You may know him as a regular guest on Fox News’ Red Eye. He’s also the author of The Death of Cool (which used to have a more, well, punk title…)

Canadians of a certain age know McInnes better as a founder of the once awesome Montreal-based Vice magazine, which is now just an international “content provider” phenomenon owned by some giant media conglomerate.

In the old days, Gavin’s “Do’s and Don’ts” section, mocking street fashion disasters with exquisite, withering precision, was some of the finest miniaturist writing anywhere.

McInnes is also, like me, a former punk — although like the Marines, we tend not to accept the “former” designation with graciousness.

The temperaments and attitudes that attracted us to punk are ones we were likely born (and stuck) with, even if our hair is now more likely to be grey than green.

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All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
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You know how sick you get of Baby Boomers talking about all the important stuff they did back in the 60s? That's how I feel when Later Boomers/Gen-Xers go on about how important Punk was. Punk was something that happened to other people. They dyed their hair and acted obnoxious. So what?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, Urban Outfitters: a.k.a., Cracker Barrel for hipsters.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't worry about turning 50 Kaff. Many years ago I had a chat with Mick Jones of The Clash. I was a member of a couple of nearly-but-not-quite bands in the late 70's, early 80's and I was in some pub in South London (Stockwell maybe) and Mick was there so we chatted about picking techniques and our mutual admiration for Yes guitarist Steve Howe.

As you point out that conversation could never have happened with Sid or Johnny, never in a million years.

But don't worry about turning 50. You just get a tiny bit more irritable that's all. Now if you'll forgive me I have to reach for my shotgun. There is a small contingent of gyppoes threatening to camp in my f***ing field. This is more worrying than anything Urban Outfitters can come up with.

Happy Birthday
Pete (age 53 and 1/2)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Though a friend of mine had an interesting interaction with Mr. Lydon in 1979 in London which ended with his usual invective when he discovered my friend didn't have any marijuan. "You Yanks are always carrying it!"
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read a sci-fi story written in the fifties, I believe, in which an alien invasion was thwarted not by direct resistance but by totally compliant acceptance: Earthlings immediately surrendered, took the aliens as friends and "showed them the town", taking them on drinking parties and hitting strip-tease joints and stuffing themselves with rich fatty foods...the denouement was that the invaders were neutralized, pacified and finally destroyed by being co-opted into the reigning culture.
Pretty much the same with "punk" and "gangsta rap...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh gosh, Kathy, I hope I'm not too late to this party. (Sometimes my joy in the festivals and the Sabbath is mitigated.) A story from my home:

TV is on some nonsensical "youth" "reality" narishkeit. Son, 22, points out the return of the notorious Frankie Goes to Hollywood T-shirt design. Mother, 52 and hated FGTH with everything she had, points out that the new edition is wrong: "This one has 'Frankie Says Relax.' It was actually 'Frankie SAY Relax.' And after a couple more shirts with even stupider Frankie Say slogans, someone issued a shirt with 'Who Gives A F*** What Frankie Say,' but it was imported and I couldn't afford it at the time." Son chuckles indulgently and corrects mom: "It was 'Frankie Says,' mom." Daughter, 18: "She was THERE. You're an idiot." Mom, grateful and triumphant, "Stick to metal, son; that's your expertise." G-d bless the 80s and bless all 80s survivors.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I prefer people not to die, one good outcome to Gadhaffi's madness was to spare us any more Frankie songs.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I double-checked, apparently this is a persistent rumor.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hilarious! I'm posting this at my blog :-)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think I learned something here today.

We Americans, maybe everyone who lived in North America, never put much thought into what living in the British Isles in the decade after the end of the war in '45 had to be like. We went from gas rationing and Gold Star Mothers to a 30 year era of high speed low drag prosperity.

But Britain? Bombed. Much of London in ruins. Wanting to go back to the Britain of the 30's, but unable to sustain or recreate the old realities, they lived life as a colorless (ok, colourless) grind. Empire gone, hope for a better life gone, the stiff English upper lip insufficient to ward off the pervasive gloom.

And then the teaser 60's. Prosperous and rebellious, led easily to the left by the same sort that we see in their politics today (and ours), the Brits were shocked to find that the party was over by the 70's. A momentary wobble in the trajectory that was Maggie Thatcher, then back to full on QEII dissolution.

Punk? Punk is what you get when the players are broke and powerless. Noisy, colorful, sounding fury and meaning absolutely nothing.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
A sequel? OMG!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Brandy said it all to Steve 15 years ago.."You look like you're wearing a uniform."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r5yc8G8OiY
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Came here because of a Kathy Shaidle link. Read it, and still have no idea what the point is. Except that I've always avoided people with strong clothing prejudices of any kind, or who use clothes to "make a statement".
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
ALL clothing makes a statement. It's unavoidable.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a fan of subtlety. Noted!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Real, serious, traditional punk:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB7Zw7IZzJk

Cheers
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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