Tag Rules The World

remember counterculture? how we are killing individualism and brain cells
 
by  p a u l   v e e

Everyone in vests? Everyone in leather? Everyone in jockstraps. Everyone spread 'em. Everyone get in line. Everyone say "baaaaaaa" Everyone get stupid. 

When I was a young lad, in the sixties, back when the world had about half as many people as it does today, some people tried to be different. Individuality was encouraged. Remember "counterculture?" Cultural rebellion was considered a virtue. Okay, in reality it didn't always happen that way. Human nature seems to favor trends and styles, seems to follow a herd instinct, even when the trend is to be yourself. The counterculture inevitably developed a uniform. Still, the surface message was "Be different, be crazy, be wild." 

No more apparently. 

It seems that individualism is dead. I suppose that the current boom economy's massive consumerism is partly to blame. The driving sentiments are more like "I want to feel good now" and "I want to fill the big empty void in my soul with shopping." TV bears much of the blame for this, as well as for the monumentally growing stupidity of people, in general, and youth in particular. SIT IN FRONT OF THE TUBE. STUFF SOME MORE SHIT IN YOUR FACE. DON'T MOVE. GET FAT. JUST WATCH. There now, doesn't that feel good? I know it does. Commercials aren't a TOTAL INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE AND AN ASSAULT ON YOUR BRAIN, they're funny and cool and the way you want to be, right? Right. 

Let me suck that lollipop. Gimme some Olestra. Fat without the fat, right? If I get too big, I'll take a diet pill and get my stomach stitched. Or some machine is gonna exercise me, just so long as it's not too much work. Or I can go to the gym and read personal columns in the steam room, then eat my way home with a chocolate bar and a can of diet soda. 

Who gives a shit if half the planet doesn't have clean drinking water today, if we're sending enough poisons and shit into the environment to ruin the only home we all have, if more species are going extinct EACH DAY at the fastest rate in the last 65 million years? Who cares if some huge clothing corporations use slave labor on Pacific islands? Who cares if India and China and the rest of the world are breeding so fast that the planet will soon be COVERED WITH HUMANS LIKE CANCER ON A LAB TEST ANIMAL'S SKIN? Who cares if the meat-driven economy is ruining the land, the rivers and people's health? Oh yeah, who cares if those cows are slaughtered in unbelievably  cruel and painful ways? No big deal, right? Just give me mine. Did you hear me, yo? GIVE ME MINE. 

I need some money. Tie into this fucking Internet boom. Oh yeah. Let's make a bundle, invest it in some tech stocks, and buy a lot of shit. Oh man, I need more. I need more. I need more. Hey yo, can you read that for me? I actually can't read. No big deal. Let's go buy some shit. "The color of stretch." Yeah, that's cool, that's poetry, man. "What's poetry?" Oh, come on. Listen, put on your pants, no, put on those new ones. Now, get those leather pants on. I know they're tight, you got to stop eating so much pizza and shit, man. You know what? Throw those pants out and get some bigger ones. Fat is cool, didn't you know that? You're not fat, anyway, you're just massive. And your girlfriend, she's not obese and on the way to a heart attack and massive health problems in fifteen years, she's just a HOT BIG BUTT MAMA. Oh yeah, don't give me one of them skinny bitches. Now pass that fucking bag of Mickey D's and shut the fuck up so I can watch this commercial. Everyone in leather. Yeah. What's that you say? 

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Everyone in slave-labor-produced tortured cow skin. Oh yeah.

Tag Rules The World

DISCUSS

Gap Commercials

Posted By: Tag Magazine 
URL: http://www.tagmag.com
Originally posted: Tue Apr 11 22:40:08 MDT 2000

Do you think the Gap commercials are a cool way to showcase a good product, or the end of counter culture?


Append: sometimes i like the gap and sometimes i hate it

Appended by: fug da gap
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 04:43:50 MDT 2000 

the gap is liek the mcdonalds of clothes. would you like to supersize your pants? How about a belt with that. What kind of socks would you like with your order. Next customer please.


Append: 

Appended by: Taena
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 11:45:35 MDT 2000 

Their commercials are lame,fucked up, out of beat and corny. 
There is no rhythm to their dancing and I notice only white people like them. Hmmmmm.........


Append: you're all idiots

Appended by: Alexey
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 12:50:40 MDT 2000 

I'm surrounded by brain dead people. They're walking around, pretending to work, pretending to think, pretending to smile. They're all fucking zombies! I'm getting out of this shithead city.


Append: Word the fuck up, i totally agree with this article. Even though this is stuff alot of real human beings know already, it must be said.

Appended by: Slayer
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 12:56:31 MDT 2000 


Append: 

Appended by: J
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 12:59:08 MDT 2000 

This is the poorest written article I've ever read. Is this guy really that educated or just a wasted youth of the 60s?


Append: lighten up.

Appended by: lisa
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 14:19:39 MDT 2000 

c'mon paul vee. not EVERY young person sucks. and not everyone who was alive in the 60's has a conscience. maybe you've just been watching too much television?


Append: Lame

Appended by: Bean
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 16:20:25 MDT 2000 

Within the first paragraph: 
"Some people tried to be different." 
That says as much about why the 60's failed as why crass commercialism previals -- 

There IS a difference bewteen TRYING to be different, and just being yourself... meditate on that one and let me know... 


Append: yes

Appended by: Paul
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 16:45:52 MDT 2000 

yes, you're all right. god bless you. 


Append: agreeable

Appended by: deftone
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 17:10:42 MDT 2000 

i could maybe agree with that...i actually like it a lot..


Append: you sensitive guy

Appended by: Olestra
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 20:44:52 MDT 2000 

Paul, why do you hate fat people so much? You pretend it's because obesity is unhealthy, but that doesn't explain your extreme hostility. This was less an article than a rant. Just because you're a hippie vegetarian doesn't automatically make you a nice person and does not let you off the hook when you slam groups of people. Nor does it make you a writer, but that's beside the point. Capri length pants make everyone look fatter. Especially the chicks in the gap ads.


Append: yes yes and yes

Appended by: Paul
Appended on: Wed Apr 12 23:59:35 MDT 2000 

Obesity is unhealthy. Great article in a recent Harpers on that, but it's obviously so much more deeply related to psychological problems of mine that, yes, you're correct. 

You're also correct in that it's a rant. In fact, it's completely a rant. Not one bit of it is article. I'm ready to guarantee that. Give you my word, in fact. 

And who the fuck said I was a nice person? A hippie, too, for that matter? I'm a bit too young to be a real hippie. Yes, I am a vegetarian, but that still doesn't make me nice. Please don't mistake me for a nice person. 

I don't care whether you think I'm on "the hook" or not, although being on the hook someone makes me feel as though I'm going my job, even if that's not true. I'm not out to offend anyone for the sake of offense. I'm just not out to blow sunshine up anyone's ass, either, for the sake of being nice. 

Whether you think I'm a writer or not is none of my business. 

And the chicks in the GAP ads look just fine to me.


Append: one more thing

Appended by: Paul
Appended on: Thu Apr 13 00:02:22 MDT 2000 

It's easy to hide behind a fake alias on a BBS post. I'd say anything, too, if you didn't know who I was. 

Real courage requires doing something unmasked.


Append: word up paul

Appended by: Trip Ones
Appended on: Thu Apr 13 00:11:09 MDT 2000 

you are the man. that was a fat article rant or whatever. i know the truth when i hear it. but to some the truth hurts.


Append: I know Paul

Appended by: inchoate
Appended on: Thu Apr 13 03:48:21 MDT 2000 

Hearing such strange debates about my friend is pretty funny. I know his writing abilites, his educational past. None of you would have been so critical if he hadn't touched a nerve. Run a search on his name and read some of his other artcles. He doesn't always rant and he never said he was perfect. 

PS It's not the capri pants that make you look fat.


Append: GAP ads

Appended by: nita
Appended on: Fri Apr 14 12:48:08 MDT 2000 

Are clever. In response to Taena above there are indeed represenative minorites appearing in the ad. I think it speaks volumes that she only sees "white people." The Gap ads have tapped into a retro culture and helped to bring the music of Swing, Country, Folk Rock and Broadway (West Side Story) to a present day perspective while at the same time reamining tongue in cheek. In addition, I will disgree with the content of the above article. Those self same radicals of the 60s are now the autocrats of the now. TV did not make this happen. Idealism is not lost between the channels only innocence.


Append: Response

Appended by: Stephanie
Appended on: Sat Apr 15 12:44:31 MDT 2000 

Paul, 
My first instinct would be to agree wholeheartedly with your array of thoughtful points, but I fear this may be some sort of programmed response foisted upon me by the culture of conformity. Perhaps, in this case, defending the status quo would be a non-conformist stance. It's all so very META.


Append: true dat stephanie

Appended by: 
Appended on: Mon Apr 17 13:56:21 MDT 2000 

i say that instead of saying how we feel about this article, we instead do the following: half of us throw our computers out the window to in order to not conform to this medium and the other half will keep their computers so as to not conform to the non-confirmists. HA


Append: BUNK

Appended by: Kathryn
Appended on: Tue Apr 18 16:46:51 MDT 2000 

Walking down the corridors of my school I feel as though I have been placed inside some horrid cartoon that some mad man created as a vision of his perfect little society. I think the gap ads are not only trying to impose a false identity on people but they make others feel ashamed of who they are if it is not what they are told to be. It is scary and i refuse to be yet another mere sheep lost in the whim of father society. 


Append: WHAT REALLY BOTHERS YOU?

Appended by: Vaga
Appended on: Wed Apr 19 20:36:52 MDT 2000 

This article is not very fair. Some people are genetically obese, so they are not to blame for their overweight. 
Now, i think it's because of people like you that anorexia and eating disorders are increasing among young americans. 
Why don't you just leave people alone. If they wanna be themselves, good for them. If they wanna be fake, too bad.If you wanna be different, be! But let the F... other people be whatever they wanna be, or do whatever they wanna do: eat MC d's, wear baggy jeans, which i personaly find nice.... 
You wanna make a difference, go ahead, but we don't all think like you, for you don't have the monopole of thoughts. 
Now, In some Countries a fat person is a very respected person and fat women are very demanded. Thus, it's not because here you put such a standing about weight that it is the right way. You may value skinny people, but for some people, a fat person is just the right one.And, you can juge a person by its body size. just let's stop the craziness. 
The part about how human stupidity is going to kill us all it very good, though. We've got to stop killing our planet. Will all the pollution, all the deforestation that is going, soon, the earth will be a virgin planet. 


Append: Yes Paul..

Appended by: Paulist follower
Appended on: Wed Nov 8 09:31:40 MST 2000 

Paul's exactly fucking right, what the fuck happened to individuality. These fucking people these days, sheesshhh! It seems as if everyone wants to conform to what they see on TV and the gap commercials. it's like the fucking matrix or something..alll these people walking around just saying "More, more, bigger, better, faster. I really refuse to believe that people get some sort of joy out of this cut-throat capitalist society where people "pretend to smile, pretend to work, and all that other good stuff, and the government just sit's back and watch and ream us out when we get out paychecks. 
I'm 25 and I remember growing up and even in school, people really going against the grain, just being themselves, and doing whatever the fuck they want. The people these days try to conform to a fuckin "Friends-type existence" and that shit don't work that way, it TV. but the thing that gets me is how blatant all that shit is today, and people still just sit back and watch. I hope this superficial, fast-paced, empty, gap wearing, single file, everbody in unison, spend, spend, spend era comes to an end real soon. i think everyone out there is pretty sick of it by now! 


Append: Yes Paul..

Appended by: Paulist follower
Appended on: Wed Nov 8 09:31:56 MST 2000 

Paul's exactly fucking right, what the fuck happened to individuality. These fucking people these days, sheesshhh! It seems as if everyone wants to conform to what they see on TV and the gap commercials. it's like the fucking matrix or something..alll these people walking around just saying "More, more, bigger, better, faster. I really refuse to believe that people get some sort of joy out of this cut-throat capitalist society where people "pretend to smile, pretend to work, and all that other good stuff, and the government just sit's back and watch and ream us out when we get out paychecks. 
I'm 25 and I remember growing up and even in school, people really going against the grain, just being themselves, and doing whatever the fuck they want. The people these days try to conform to a fuckin "Friends-type existence" and that shit don't work that way, it TV. but the thing that gets me is how blatant all that shit is today, and people still just sit back and watch. I hope this superficial, fast-paced, empty, gap wearing, single file, everbody in unison, spend, spend, spend era comes to an end real soon. i think everyone out there is pretty sick of it by now! 


Append: 

Appended by: coco
Appended on: Fri Nov 24 13:01:20 MST 2000 

there's a difference between being fat and being obese. 

obesity seems to be a particularly american phenomenon.


Append: I am alone

Appended by: Cenz
Appended on: Sat Aug 4 15:01:48 MDT 2001 

I feel that, hell sometimes I know i am the only one with a brain. Everyone i talk to is stupid and can be easily manipulated. The only time people think, is when there in a croud. Even that can be manipulated. I have exposed my closest friends who are the same higher level thinking as i am to this. I know i cant be the only one, but its hard to deal with baboons all day. Anybody agree? Are you tired with everyone thinking alike and wearing whatever is on the manican? Are you sick of being guided be comercialism? or do you like to sit back and let society take you where your going- Behind a desk the rest of your life so you can die and then wonder who attended your funeral.


Append: 

Appended by: SkiTz
Appended on: Sat Nov 17 23:01:08 MST 2001 

Yo i think thats true people sit around alot and do nothing, not me though, and people don't think much for themselves, like they just do what there friends are doing. I myself hate fat, i don't hate fat people i'm just saying fat is wack, made girls would look good if they just lost all those added extra pounds. Most people don't like to be themselves becasuse they don't want there friends to disagree, which i think if your friends wouldn't like you for who you are fuck them, do you.


Append: 

Appended by: 
Appended on: Sat Nov 17 23:03:39 MST 2001 

OH yeah and i hate those teen girl magazines, read those stupid mags. They tell you what to do to your boyfriend, what to wear, whats the new in style, what makeup to wear omg, HOW can girls read that shit.


Append: 

Appended by: [your name here]
Appended on: Wed Dec 5 17:37:32 MST 2001 

I don't mean to come off as judgemental and elist... but I'm goin to. Just about everything I read here strikes me as half-ass politics coming from people who know that the answers to social maladies will not arise from comnmercialism. I realize that most amercan's are saturated in commercial messages (propaganda) and that it is important to remeber this. However is it occuring to anyone to join up with grassroot movements, to really research the causes of the cultural mentality that that you abhore, or to look into the systems involved in global/environmental injustice and examine how your life style may be supporting it and how you might oppose it instead. I spent years angry at this abstract looming figure of global injustice and the general state of stupidity. In studying it, and it studying its oppsition I feel better. Fuck individualism. Individualism is a capitalist value, and the media teaches people to conform to it by stating that what you own is what you are. I am who I emphasize with, who I symphasize with, and i how I interact with my world. I am actively countercultural, and just because its not mainstream does not mean that all-ages. (ps I submitted an email with this post, anyone interested can feel free to contact me).

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