Thursday, June 4, 2009

What is a man to do?

Was it inevitable? Have I been predisposed to such failure because I grew up in an age of heightened technology and telecommunications? These are the thoughts I ponder when I look at the course of my thoughts and actions over the quarter. All of my green-speak and virtue came crashing down yesterday as I for some reason compelled myself to buy a new dress shirt and tie. Sure, the new classiness was a multi-use function; it is for fraternity formal, graduation and subsequent weddings. Yeah, its pretty nice if I do say so myself, but that is far from the point. As soon as I took of the new threads for the night, I began to think why exactly I bought it. Why do we do such malarkey? Buying new clothes for ‘special occasions’ doesn’t seem quite rationale when you think about it. I mean, it would certainly be fine to look presentable in the same nice shirt and slacks. But for some reason, we tend to correlate the new, crisp shirt with being classy. I think we buy new because it makes us think that the people around us will approve of us more, thereby reinstilling us with a fluffed up fabricated self. Here, I find it interesting that I find myself reverting to high school mentality; especially since I am graduating in a week. Perhaps it is because I just got finished watching a new episode of ‘Glee.’ This is an awesome archtype of teen fashion. Anyways, High school is all about hot trends. Why? The answer here lies in the topic of the week for this course which is institutions and networks. Through our interaction with the world wide media and peers, we get an idea of the newest acceptable perceptions. In Dorinne Kondo’s article, “The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Identity in the Fashion Industry,” we get a great sense of how the fashion and economic industry has a counterbalancing effect in east and west markets. New fashions have adverse affects on old fashion textiles and markets, which impact subsequent styles and marketing. Who knows, western, wool or a combination of both may make a huge comeback in the not so distant future? The consumption of trends is also illustrated in Claire Dwyer’s piece, “Tracing transnationalities through commodity culture.” Here, we see how transnational identities and interactions all revolve around the consumption of one pop culture. The commodity culture coincides to what is now and fashionable. Hence, it is a domineering influence amongst the teen populace. I am reminded now of McDonaldization in sociology, and how culture and fashion both use this force based in efficiency and popular taste.
We can make the argument that contemporary institutions and networks in fashion, economics and various other cultural products, have and will continue to use, the ideal of McDonalidization in order to mass produce an overly consumed persona. This is why we desire so much, and how conspicuous consumption comes full circle. Through this process, teens are socialized to subsist within the interconnected world of media and fashion in order to remain in the ‘cool’ group and be considered fashionable. So, while I will have lamentors remorse for a couple more hours and continue this walk of shame down the fashion runway, the new methods of how to be and sustain a green/compact livelihood will consume my mind tomorrow. Tomorrow begins the new endeavor; Fashionable or not…such a subjective perspective really is moot.

“Glee” Hulu Retrieved 30 may 2009. .
Dwyer, Claire. “Tracing Transnationalities Through Commodity Culture.” Class Reader, Valverde, ASA 189B Spring.
Kondo, Dorinne. “The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Identity in the Fashion Industry.” Class Reader, Valverde, ASA 189B Spring.
“McDonaldization” Google Images. Retrieved 27 May 2009. <>.

Michael Silvernail
Blog # 5

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