Deviance can be nice when done right. Trouble is, most social boundaries have already been crossed; no longer is anybody impressed with piercings, tattoos, motorcycles, colored hair, sadomasochism, drugs or anything else you can find on an Eminem album. Our acceptance, or at least tolerance, of rebellious behavior makes life hard on deviants, because they now have to work so much harder to shock. But, for the rest of us, this means better access to “risqué” products that, in some cases, have been tamed for easier consumption.
For example, if you want a tattoo but don’t want a lifetime commitment to the other side of the tracks, then head to your nearest OfficeMax (or www.officemax.com) and purchase temporary Tattoo Inkjet Transfer sheets (five tiny 4 inch-by-5 inch squares for $9.99). That’s right, use the home computer to “express yourself with exciting body art tattoos!” The packaging features two little smiling kids sporting images of kitties (purrr-fect) and football helmets with absolutely no hint of irony.
If you need something to cover all those outrageous temporary tattoos but still want to maintain that tough guy/girl image in public, go to www.dalinkwent.com for some new threads. If you have difficulty spelling (and what true delinquent doesn’t?) or just want an urban fashion ensemble, Dalinkwent Wear clothes may be up your (dark) alley. At first glance, these clothes are indeed different, as each shirt features a different poem that “stems from the core of today’s inner city” (i.e. the Crazy Dalinkwent T-shirt, at $22.50, reads: “I don’t act the same and refuse to change/I don’t drink, smoke, sniff, puff or inhale/I don’t commit crime”). According to the Web site, these uplifting messages have crossed “all racial and social-economic backgrounds.” That’s all fine and good, but who’s really going to believe in a delinquent image that refuses to depict violence, alcohol, drugs or sexism? Oh, that’s right, I forgot about the Fonz.
OK, so drugs are bad, or at least that’s the company line. But how are we supposed to believe that drugs are so bad when people go through all kinds of hassles to get them? This can’t make any sense to kids. It’s this dark, confusing allure of drugs that may explain the prevalence of hemp products.
Many pot advocates seem to believe the best way to legalize marijuana is to prove to the “straights” that hemp is this great fiber capable of solving all kinds of global problems. Then, stage two: Once everyone starts to wear hemp shirts, legalization of the kind bud will be no problem, man. As a result, we get bong loads of dumb hemp products like the Govinda Foods Ziggy Marley Hemp Protein Bar ($1.99 at health food stores). Of course, “This Product Contains No Form of Marijuana.” And, of course, it tastes like shit. So, the lesson at hand is be happy with your cigarettes and liquor, or quit wasting time and money on hippie gear and form a political action committee to buy new laws the old-fashioned way.
Imagine you’re just killing time and thumbing through a copy of Newsweek and, all of a sudden, you come across a two-page spread featuring the image of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, in all their Easy Rider glory, zooming down the highway. That’s cool, dude. Look to the right half of the ad and see the words “Travel in Good Company” and nod your head thinking, “you bet your ass I’d be travelin’ in good company with these two crazy hippies!” Now, looking down, you see the image of the Diners Club International card and a Web site address (www.dinersclubus.com). Thinking logically, you visit the site in order to find out how someone could transcend time and reality to go for a ride on Fonda’s “Captain America” motorcycle. Or maybe the Diners Club could hook us up with Jack Nicholson wearing a football helmet, smoking grass around a campfire. Or maybe the Diners Club could get some rednecks to blast us with a shotgun so we can return to reality and find that Diners Club is only promising to “present a charge card which is ‘Recognized, Rewarding and Relevant.’”
I feel so cheated; they lure me with deviance and all I get are three lame R’s.What grabs your attention? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org