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War, Torture, & Other Fashion Statements
P eople and you gals, welcome to Hotel Satire where gals learn their god-given roles, i.e., to service men and look good doing it.
Recently, we gals were reading all about Prince Charles and Camilla in the Sunday NYT (we hate her, but we can’t wait for the televised wedding) when we happened on a fashion article titled “Au Courant Camouflage.” It seems that Bryan Bradley, a clothing designer who caters to wealthy gals, presented a “fall collection during New York Fashion Week that included an orange camouflage vest and maroon camouflage pants.” The article asks, “Were warriors becoming fashion plates or was fashion responding to war?”
Fashion, it seems, was responding to war, as other designers have added epaulets to their jackets and blouses. Also, the U.S. Army has issued new fatigues, replacing the old green, brown, or tan with “muted shades of brown, gray, and green broken into one-centimeter segments.” The new design, according to the AP, allows them to move more easily from desert to city “in the same day.”
Similarly, Bryan Bradley’s camouflage design allows his customers to go “straight from the office to a charity ball or to a romantic dinner after a day of carpooling.” His outfit features a bright orange cargo vest trimmed with a fox collar and pants “roomy enough for cell phone and keys.” A vest dyed in a camouflage pattern is used for special occasions. The outfit, while for camouflage, is designed to stand out in a crowd (hey, we’re not making this up). The price: $80 for the pants, $2,100 for the vest.
After reading about war as fashion statement, we gals wanted to develop our own fashion statements, to help gals be gals. We rushed to get our husbands’ permission and they gave us the go ahead, as long as our “little hobby” didn’t take time away from serving their needs 24/7.
One of Satire gals, Mrs. Richard, designed what we call the “Abu Ghraib” (it comes in 16 different colors), with optional fur trim. This sells for $3,000, but includes a gift of stock in Haliburton and a jeweled handbag in the shape of an electric prod for the first 100 customers. There is a mink version for special occasions, such as Bush meetings to discuss tax cuts for the rich and privatizing everything he can get his hands on.
M rs. Geoffrey, one of our wealthier Satire gals, has designed a line of clothing under the “Hand Over Fist” label. It seems she was vacationing on Jekyll Island, Georgia during a G8 meeting her husband Geoffrey was attending. She was spending the hard- earned money that Geoffrey inherited, when she was confronted by packs of angry protestors yelling something about capitalism and something called imperialism (whatever that is, can it be bad?). She was so terrified she purchased a $10,000 armoire to calm her nerves. When Geoffrey came home, she told him about the experience and her fears that they would be reduced to a mere $4 billion a year and have to (God-forbid) pay taxes on it to boot. Geoffrey told her not to worry. “Since the Reagan/Bush years, nothing can make a dent in the amount of wealth we’ve been able to accumulate,” said Geoffrey.
Mrs. Geoffrey told him about the protestors and something called oppression (whatever that means). Geoffrey told her it was all nonsense; that capitalism was a spiritual, moral, economic system concerned with bringing universal wealth. Geoffrey explained that people don’t earn money, they deserve it so those who are poor are those who are undeserving, that’s why we can ignore them and still be caring people. Mrs. Geoffrey glowed at the beauty of capitalism. “I feel strangely uplifted,” she said, “as though God and I and my money were one.” “Bleep,” Geoffrey responded.
Which brings us back to “Hand Over Fist” fashions. Mrs. Geof- frey’s dresses are made out of money—larger bills for more formal occasions; fives and tens for casual. Men’s suits are made from stock certificates, Fortune 500 listings, and CEO salary checks. Next, because of the spiritual mission of capitalism, as detailed by Geoffrey, she designed a line of travel wear for gals, which features dresses with pictures of cash, God (a cross between Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Dwight Eisenhower), and relevant corporate logos. If a gal is traveling to India, say, she could wear her Coca Cola/God/cash dress, with matching sandals, as Coca Cola is busy helping that poverty stricken country by polluting the water, then using it all up, then selling it back to the people as bottled water (produced by Coca Cola).
third line of clothes is called: “The Desperate Mystique.”
One of our gals—Mrs. Jerry—has been keeping tabs on the
growing number of femlesgals trying to survive without being attached
to or subsumed by a man (one gags at the thought). Recently, Mrs.
Jerry informed us femlesgals were losing ground. How did she come
to this realization?
Well, two bits of news: First, Lawrence Summers, president of the prestigious Harvard University, recently attended a working lunch, part of an invitation- only economics conference. During a discussion of why only 4 of the 32 tenured jobs in science and engineering at Harvard went to women, Larry (he’s a dear friend) offered the following explanations: (1) reluctance or inability of gals with children to work 80-hour weeks (excuse me, it takes at least that much time to supervise the maid and shop for expensive items, but we digress); (2) fewer gals get top scores on math and science tests, but rather than the cause being socialization, behavioral genetics is now pointing toward, well, genetic gender differences (finally!); (3) the statistic of 4 out of 32 does not indicate discrimination on Harvard’s part, because, argues Larry, if that was the main factor, then schools that don’t discriminate (unless, of course, there weren’t any) would gain an advantage by hiring science/math gals away from those that did discriminate . Wow! Hotel Satire gals, not being genetically primed to understand science, math, or logic of any kind, don’t really get what Larry is talking about—plus who wants to work 80-hour work weeks, we know Larry doesn’t. No matter. We can see why he is deserving of such a prestigious job and the cash that goes with it.
Predictably, femlesgals responded that gals are good a sci/math. But who cares; that’s not the point. The point is that gals are not appointed to science and engineering jobs because their presence would be annoying to men. These gals would either be seducing men or outsmarting them.
The other inspiring bit of news came from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. The 9th Circuit has determined that it’s legal for a female employee to be fired for refusing to wear makeup (if her work uniform includes makeup). The ruling is not considered discriminatory because this ruling is equal to a rule forbidding men from wearing makeup.
Hey, we're not making this up. We like the ruling because it requires gals to be appreciated for their looks and nothing else.
Fashion-wise this translates into a beautiful line of clothing we call “The Desperate Mystique.” Mrs. Jerry got that name from her study of the subversive femlesgals’ book The Feminine Mystique by Mrs. what’s her husband’s name, which is all about how middle to upper class educated gals felt unfulfilled in their married-with- children suburban lives in the 1960s. Says the book, “The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century United States. Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night, she was afraid to ask even the silent question, Is this all?”
These 1960s housewives refused to be domestic appendages (albeit well educated) and they rebelled. Thankfully, we have a 2005 rewrite of the feminine mystique in that current hit TV show “Desperate Housewives.” This is a show where the female leads are all gorgeous, either by nature or appearances on “Extreme Makeover.” They’re thin, they’re wealthy, they live in a beautiful neighborhood, and they have gorgeous husbands, yet for some reason we Satire, they’re desperate. Also, inspite of being gorgeous, etc., their husbands sleep around, probably because each gal is more gorgeous than the other. These gals shop, bake, chauffeur, criticize the maid and their husbands, snipe, and never talk about world events or anything significant —ever. Audiences and critics have called this show feminist because these gals try to get their husbands not to sleep around and to sort of help with housework.
Duh!? Of course it’s feminist. That’s why these housewives are desperate. They have been brainwashed by feminism to expect a modicum of help and fidelity from their husbands. Fortunately, the Bush agenda, and efforts by others of like mind, will force these gals to realize that men need to be in charge and that, once and for all, the answer to The Feminine Mystique ’s silent question, “Is this all?” is really “Well, no, but we’ve got money and we look good so who cares.”
Fashion-wise, Mrs. Jerry has developed a look to match the malaise. It says “I’m desperate, I’m not good at science/math, I don't need a revolution, I need a man with a large charge account who can take will treat me like the passive, yet sexy twit I was born to be .” Oh, and gals, be sure to slather on the makeup. It’s the law.
Lydia Sargent is co-founder of South End Press and Z Magazine (where she has been a staff member since 1988.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.