Friday, February 15, 2008

A plethora of people

It still amazes me to encounter the variety of characters that exist in this world. At times I'm saddened by it, other times overjoyed, and in the last couple of days I have just been perplexed. Maybe it helps that many of these perplexing people are out on the streets, but I am amazed at how people survive, how they actually stay alive in the winter streets of Boston (and everywhere else in the world).

A couple nights ago I went for a walk out to the Charles. It was snowing and the atmosphere just felt right for an evening stroll through the powder white streets. It was snowing a little heavier than my ideal conditions, but nonetheless well worth it wandering that evening. During this walk, however, I encountered some of the strangest people I'd ever been near. They were a couple old men, must have been at least 70 each, and they were standing in the doorway of a store, just out of the snow. They looked normal enough, almost what I would picture as the standard fellow in London a hundred years back in terms of garb. But one was snarling, almost like a dog. Just standing there, like a rabid animal, a man of some 70 years. What can I feel about his situation, because I was definitely lost for words. To think that this man has lived to this age, and something in that time has created who he is now. An old man snarling like a dog in the snow in some closed store's doorway. And right behind him another man stood, speaking random things, occasionally singing. After we had passed, I turned back to look at them, and the more sane [?] man was peering out from the doorway, looking quickly back and forth and then withdrawing back to shelter.

Unreal. The other person I was walking with thought that perhaps they were intentionally trying to weird people out. I feel different. Society does not always work for people. People grow up and are molded by their environment. But what happens when their minds fight back against what society is teaching them? Is that what happened to these men? When did people know they would be doomed to such a life? Did their relatives once take care of them and then, upon passing from this life, leave them to their own confused lives? I don't know why the world works the way it does, but it boggles my mind. I can only hope that I maintain my own hold on society. I care about these snarling, confused men, and what does it mean to share or not share their fate?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Rules of Fashion

So every once in a while I have to stop and stare at the people around me, because people dress so amusingly (here's one of my "usually amusing muses"). Like, just last night when I was walking home from the gym, I saw this kid across the street and his beanie looked like he had pulled it too far down, as it more than covered his ears and hair, and it looked as if it was even over his eyes. But I considered it only a trick of the light and the distance. Until I realized that he actually had his neck craned back. He couldn't look straight forward without tilting his head back to see from under his beanie. That, my friends and readers, is stupid. It reminds me of one of the characters from a comic book, I think one of Harvey Pekar's tomes, if I recall, with a character so strangely stylized as to have his beanie pulled down over his eyes (but if I recall correctly, he also had holes in his beanie).

But let us move on to gangstas. Gangstas, so called because they are incredibly hardcore, have often been spotted wearing airbrushed giant t-shirts of Captain Crunch and Mario (one of those two famous brothers) blinged out. This is clearly a sign of subtle corporate branding that was somehow successful when they were little children. And now that they aren't little, they see these commercial icons to be role models of cool. And Mario and Cap'n Crunch are cool, but we respect their coolness by eating their cereal and crawling through sewers. Hmm, Nintendo cereal, sounds fantastic.

And then we get to the main focus of my post on fashion. Girls who wear EVERYTHING. There seems to be this trend, intensifying since probably about 2000, where we no longer create anything new. Thus, instead of new styles (architecture, clothing, movies), new fashions, our fashions are the remixings of previous eras. And this, my dear readers, has ended in disaster. There are certainly people who know what they are doing when they select from their variety of clothes and create an intriguing ensemble. But the majority of people don't know what the fuck they are doing. Hell, I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to keeping up appearances. Just please, people, clashing clothes are, almost always (in fact, let's just say always), unpleasant to look at. Don't wear clothes over other clothes that aren't intended to be layered.

And for heaven's sake, just think about how you want people to see you. I don't care, much of the time, so that's why I wear the easiest thing I can find. If it's clean, I'll probably wear it. And that's how my rule of fashion works. How do your rules work?