Oh, the comedy of reality. Check this out.

“Affliction embodies our generations fast and loud
attitude and lifestyle. We take all of our inspiration from music, art,
culture, sports, etc and shove them straight in to your face through
contemporary fashion. We believe in standing out from the crowd and
being heard. Affliction stands for living to the fullest and not
stopping for anything or anyone. Live fast. Die young.”

This is the mission statement of Affliction, a California-based clothing designer. You’ve seen their stuff – it’s those sanitized shirts and hoodies that look like they are band shirts, without actually being band shirts. A lot of celebrities who act like douche bags where them. I’ve always thought Affliction’s clothing was lame but when I saw the above paragraph scrawled on one of the tags close up I doubled over with laughter.

“We take our inspiration from music, art, culture, sports, etc.” – So basically what a way to try and include everyone in their *cough* belief in standing out and being heard! Ha. Haha. Hahahahah.

Stop it, you’re fucking killing me here….

Okay really though, I love that line about ‘standing out from the crowd’. Why does individuality have to mean conformity? The company even has a myspace page showing you all the big bad rock stars and actors who wear their shit. “Stand out from the crowd – dress just like Douche bag A from stereotypical black metal band B”. And way to proclaim yourself the embodiment of a generation. What the fuck does that even mean? Is there some stoned 12th grader somewhere who would like to show this mission statement to his parents so they might try to be able to understand why he has a stupid haircut, wears jeans three sizes too small for him and listens to re-hashed garbage?

Not to mention it’s pretty hard to ‘stand out’ as a generation when most of their t-shirts cost close to $50 and their jeans run around $200. Seems to me this ‘generation’ is one without that kind of money – oh wait, right, might I suggest an addendum to their statement? How about something like,

‘We take our inspiration from music, art, culture and debt and shove them straight onto our credit cards so we can stand out from the crowd and placate a dirty and corrupt system that uses our fast and loud attitude to deprogram any imagination and capacity for original thought and make us economic slaves who perpetuate the line between the rich and the rest of us”? Might that not be a little more accurate there, afflicties?

And the designs – really?

Trite? Yes.

Boring? You better believe it buddy.

Fast and loud? The golden girls dressed faster and louder than this. Have skulls seemed fast or loud since the 80’s*. Most of Affliction’s designs look suspiciously alike and pretty darn close to either A) old metal concert shirts or B) posters I used to see in my high school girlfriend’s stepmother’s FingerHut catalogs**. I mean, wolves, skulls, wolf skulls. Sheesh – talk about ‘etc’. It’s really ‘standing out from the crowd’ by putting the same shit everyone else puts on their clothes now. Walk through a fucking Sears – this kind of thing permeates. I see 8 year olds with this shit on.

Live fast. Die young. We can only hope.


*Anyone else have parents who were afraid to let their kids where Bones Brigade shirts because they had skulls on them? But I guess once Ozzy became a safe, household cultural icon, everything else was bound to follow. Is there any mystique left to anything?

** FingerHut, for anyone that doesn’t know (and why pray tell gentle reader, should you???) is a mail order business that sells a lot of what most mail order businesses sell – JUNK. Think home shopping network for white trash that can’t afford an antenna to pick up channel 60. They always sold things like blankets, mirrors and shirts that you would only ever see people who arrived at your annual garage sale in conversion vans owning.