Ariel Apparel

November 28, 2009

It has come to my attention that American Apparel bras are heavily influenced by Ariel’s apparel in The Little Mermaid (1989).

An old friend of mine said that “Ariel is basically just wearing a bandeau top…except that it’s shells”.

Thus, I deduce that Ariel is wearing the equivalent of one of American Apparel’s Tube Bras (seen below).

How much, then, has American Apparel been influenced by the retroactive valuation of late-Reaganite sealife? Perhaps it indicates a neo-Freudian connection between childhood sexuality and its fashionable expression in lamé underwear. This bra is constructed of 80% cotton and 20% elastane. Perhaps this symbolises the conflict between the comfort and domesticity of childhood and the supple excitement of a new found eroticism. Or, perhaps Ariel’s bodaciousness, her slinky cavorting, influenced Dov Charney’s vision of a clothing brand entirely advertised by slightly-clad, often unconventionally attractive, rail thin, girls.

Ariel herself is a dreamer. She longs to escape the trappings of her molecularly questionable world. She has been a clear influence on the ‘teenage girl sighing and positing her eyelashes skyward’ thing- prime examples of this include every Sofia Copolla film, M83’s Graveyard Girl, and LiveJournal. With regards to the latter, there is also a clear connection with the ‘poetically misplaced semi-colon’ thing. She ‘wants to be where the people are’, just like American Apparel employees. They wear fashionable clothes in fashionable areas of London, but they’re unable to strut about those streets and have to, instead, settle for aspirationally fashionable customers and unflattering lighting. Conveniently, The Little Mermaid took $40,227,000 at the box-office, which is about as much as individual American Apparel items cost.

The film grossed over $200,000,000 worldwide. Nonetheless, it’s pleasantly surprising how a film made 20 years ago- at the birth of our current stage of commoditised culture- can still be so visually relevant. Perhaps, the fact that The Little Mermaid signalled the renaissance of the Disney franchise also signals the birth of media omnipresence, which is what we now ultimately consider culture: mass marketing, advertising techniques that straddle American sentimentality and genuine artistry, and appealing to both adults and children with the same product for different reasons.

Think about it.



November 24, 2009

One day, all of these will be collected into one of those mini-Penguin ‘Great Ideas’ books called On Being Right All The Time.

This is my review of Annie’s new album, Don’t Stop as endorsed by the beautiful people at ‘Sup.

Pride is a funny thing.


November 22, 2009

Unwittingly, he trained a dolphin to kill the President of the United States.


November 21, 2009

I saw an advert for this book at the exit for the Central Line at Liverpool Street Station early this morning. I was struck by Agassi’s earnest expression. In fact, looking at it is quite addictive.

From Ferny Gully: The Last Rainforest (1992).

The song is ‘A Dream Worth Keeping’ by Sheena Easton.

This entire scene is like a burning effigy of prom dresses and strawberry flavoured lips. An important contribution to an already overflowing bucket of romantic cliches, it has interesting themes like base morality (“ignorance shrinks you”), sexuality (fairies showing ‘a bit of thigh’), and the idea that redemptive love discolours water.

I’d love to have an exact figure on how much rainforest has been destroyed since the making of this film.

QUESTION: Do oceanic snares occlude intimacy?

Answers on a postcard, please

For mythology, just add milk

November 15, 2009

I went shopping (in Whole Foods in Kensington) and I bought some milk, and some earnestly packaged cereal.

Whole Earth cereal prides itself on being organic, ethical- implying healthy living and a sense of wellness. Where Kellogg’s cereals are explosive, multicoloured, and playful affairs, Whole Earth suggests a rarified breakfast made of natural products. The packaging isn’t garish. Instead, the solemnity of farming procedures is countered with animated adjectives like ‘crispy’ and ‘crunchy’. There is no distance between your witnessing the natural state of the corn in the packaging to it arriving in your bowl. The arrow pointing towards the corn is very important- with Kellogg’s cereals, there is no way of telling whether the corn involved is corn at all. Instead of blindly consuming ‘pseudo-corn’, Whole Earth invites the consumer to replicate the thoughts and feelings of the farmer as he surveys his crops: there is a direct connection between consumer and the product, a sensuous pride in your harvesting the supermarket shelves efficiently. It suggests that luxury is experienced by a return to a hearty, rustic, existence like the dignity of serfdom.

Whole Earth cereals are free from the burning sensation that we associate with gluten. Instead of being abrasive and sugar coated, Whole Earth cereals ease you into your morning- a breakfast show hosted by Terry Wogan rather than the Chris Moyles employed by Kellogg’s. Instead of dulling your brains or mutilating your senses with E numbers, the implication here is that Whole Earth cereals are exclusively fibrous. They will help your metabolism, instilling an order in your body, rather than declaring war on your colon. We imagine imperfect, natural, rough qualties coarsing through us. We congratulate ourselves for having made ‘the right choice’.

Ultimately, natural sense data is only afforded to the consumer if you have the money to pay for it. Health- and 4 grams worth of fibre- is for the rich, emulsifiers are for the poor and ugly.


November 14, 2009

‘We are not satisfied with the life we have in ourselves and our own being. We want to live an imaginary life in the eyes of others, and so we try to make an impression. We strive constantly to embellish and preserve our imaginary being, and neglect the real one. And if we are calm, or generous, or loyal, we are anxious to have it known so that we can attach these virtues to our other existence; we prefer to detach them from our real self so as to unite them with the other.’

Blaise Pascal is eating up my time, and he denigrates the worth of my blog.