11.11.2007

Er, 'tap tap' is this mic on? Man, the blog has a layer of dust on it, I'm actually impressed that I could even sign in here. Cough cough... No explanation or excuse, except perhaps that I really don't read many blogs lately, just grab music from them. Again, I have to blog during the day to get paid... so there may be something there. Let's just move on, shall we?

This Atlantic piece on quirk is way old news by now, but it came out right about the same time I was formulating a distantly related piece on the tiresomeness of preppy chic in all of its manifestations, be they leaden with irony or just part of the trend recycling game. I was IMing with a workmate the other day and all I could really offer about my discomfort with the regurgitation of preppy style was a 'I lived through high school in the ’80s so it's not nearly as cute the third time.' Something else occurred me—visiting in Italy in the mid-90s preppy chic was all the rage, because, I suppose 'grunge' and alt-rock hadn't really made the Italians hip to the fact that dressing like lumberjack junkie rent-boys was all the rage. Preppy was sort of a default setting for Europeans trying to look like wealthy Americans. {Side note: maybe these were just Italian clothes marketed to Americans that Italians also bought—I dunno} Anyway, the point being, that I associate preppy chic with a lot of political, personal and social baggage of the ’80s, which I shed to varying degrees way back in friggin' high school, then took from selectively afterward. Sometimes its nice to remember you wore a khaki uniform to school for four years. Preppiness as an attitude makes an impression that I can see from a mile way—polos and docksiders need not be involved, nor an actual prep school. Though I know punkers and rockers and grown-ups that could never shed their preppy high-school background no matter how hard they try. Of course, if you didn't feel the preppy wave in the ’80s—I was visiting the Midwest enough back then to know that it slammed the burbs of Cleveland and Chicago just as hard—than you can more easily adopt its affected, apolitical, Tanqueray-guy, false sense of superiority and be on your way—to where I don't know—Kanye's old pad maybe. It's a refreshing antidote to the nu rave style. But ask yourself this, would you be with the real preps in 1986? They were complete bastards. If not, why do you want to dress like them now? And if you think they'd have liked to have you around, you just plain don't get it.