Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Holds Barred

by Blair Sabol

Blame it on the recent heat and humidity but bad taste is now at an all time high and getting higher. Actually it has become a very acceptable art form. We are way past the Jersey Shore cast ringing The Dow Jones closing bell.

Divine.
As filmmaker and "Role Models" author John Waters says: "You don't need fashion designers. Have faith in your own bad taste." And he should know. Waters has long been the king of great trash and has now established a kind of Rei Kawakubo chic for himself. Plus he gave us the actor Divine ... and how we miss HIM!
              
But if you really want to get a hit of what I am talking about go to www.peopleofwalmart.com. Here is a cavalcade of all types of "real people" shopping at "America's store"(their "natural habitat"). As the site says: "People of all shapes and sizes wearing and doing everything imaginable - all in full view of the fellow shopping public."

It must be seen to be believed. Talk about a view of the "beautiful people" across our great land. This site may be fashion porn but it stands as some kind of template. Just as we thought everyone was up to speed on inappropriate flip flops, micro minis, no underwear, fake boobs, sloppy cargo pants, baseball caps on backwards, along comes this jaw dropping documentation. And though many of my friends found it visually repulsive and depressing, the captions are a brilliant commentary on this scene and more than make up for it all.
Unfortunately, the only strap working on this entire outfit is the one holding that hideous hair in place. Los Angeles, California.
I'm not sure what kinky Bathsheba Squeal plans to do with that pie filling, but there is just something about her that tells me she doesn't bake, she doesn't watch Rachael Ray and she has no intention of using that pie filling in the kitchen. La Verne, California. So, this is either a cross-dressing nautical Popeye enthusiast OR ... well, fill in anything.
It really doesn't matter, because nothing we say will make any sense. Who lets these people
out of the house un-championed? Destin, Florida.
You have no idea how exhausting it can be putting on tight purple sweat pants!! Pensacola, Florida.
Remember this is the 180 degree view to those fashionistas who take themselves so seriously. Obviously there is a big bad world out there that doesn't care (or know) what Anna Wintour, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, or Tavi Gevinson has to say.

The frightening thing is that the People of Walmart may rule in the end.

Richard Simmons?
Check it out and YOU decide. But wait, there's more. There is promise of a book coming in September entitled: People of Walmart: Shop and Awe. Not to mention the related visually "challenged" site/links such as "Beach Creeps" and "Girls in Yoga Pants." The later finally exposes all those 185 pounders stuffed in low riders displaying their dragon tattooed ass cracks.
           
Ironically it seems that Walmart stores can’t seem to "find the right fit when it comes to selling clothes.” According to last week's Wall Street Journal the superstore just fired its US division apparel chief: "It's clothing strategy has been a dud.” It seems the store has lost its fashion mojo for the last ten years.

"The world's largest retailer can't find its own 'look',” (like Target). Maybe they should look at The People of Walmart's runaways and get a hint. The article ended with Eduardo Castro-Wright (chief executive of Walmart's global.com) saying he thought they were "still chasing too much glitter." Really?
            
Personally I am all for the superstore appeal. But my vote goes to Amazon.com. No disgusting aisles, or deaf aging "greeters." Just product explanation and helpful customer reviews. Imagine I can purchase stool softeners and stiletto shoes with the touch of my "buy now with 1 click" button. No muss, no fuss, no ugly people or rude sales help. God bless Jeff Bezos!
            
Liza Minnelli on HSN. Click above to view.
Bringing fashion to the masses is no easy job but who better to do it than Liza Minnelli. She debuted her new clothing and jewelry line on Home Shopping Network last month. It was a strange array of Bob Fosse-esque inspired black and red sequined tank tops, jackets and black velvet pants. Liza looked lost and not sure what she was doing there other than to sell "her very own style."

But isn’t her "very own style" Halston and Elsa Peretti circa 1973? It was two hours of bad studio modeling (Liza should have paraded her own stuff), faux Broadway background music, and Liza dizzily informing her callers that her "clothes don’t need selling. It sells you." To whom? In the end she didn't exactly sell out and no doubt bolted her way back to her "day job." Then again nobody does home shopping better than Joan Rivers. And she's been doing it with incredible success on QVC for over 20 years.
             
As for more recent bad taste and rage. I love my state of Arizona for becoming "this era's Mississippi." Just as everyone was becoming bored and exhausted with dysfunctional BP CEOs, terrorist threats, Lindsay Lohan arrests, and Global Warming, along comes our own Sheriff Joe Arpaio with his own kind of Wild West brazen cowboy delivery. Last week after the court ruled against Arizona's immigration stance he blew Anderson Cooper away with his "I'll-keep-arresting-illegals-as-I-see-fit" retorts.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the new law will not change his department's operations. Click above to view.
And by the way, there were signs of a revolution at the Phoenix courthouse. Typically there were more network satellite dishes than demonstrators. My state is not quite up to high end "bad taste" media savvy ... yet! But give it time.
             
Finally we have the recent "hell of Mel" meltdown. For the last two weeks the public has grown immune to Mel Gibson's disgusting phone rants to his gold digger Russian mistress.

What at first sounded like the best acting job he has done in years quickly disintegrated into the same old racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, drunken tirade. It's hard to believe this grabbed the nation's ear for as long as it did. But many women confessed to me they were interested in it because they too have experienced the same phone explosions from their own current and ex-husbands and boyfriends.

It's obvious that there are still plenty of "But-I-Love-Him" enablers around to always dismiss bad behavior (in child rearing too) with the classic excuse of "oh he's being merely ridiculous." Ridiculous? How about rude and disrespectful? What happened to basic manners and civility? We lost that long ago.
             
Once again I refer to the brilliance of Joan Rivers, who I believe in her standup act traces the successful man's taste journey through women: The first wife is usually American, the second is Russian (or eastern European), and the third is Oriental (or Asian). So Mel still has time to hit The Orient Express. In the meantime I must admit that one of Mel's desperate and gasping demands did leave me laughing and haunted: "just give me a blow job with a smile." I guess in the end that's all that's needed in our age of trash acting bad taste.
 
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