The American Apparel ad I posted about yesterday was so outrageous that I almost thought it was a joke, but Dov Charney is such a morally repugnant tool that I was 97% sure it was legit. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t think Dov Charney actually believes that most instances of domestic violence are women’s fault (fuck, I’m sure he thinks global warming, the demise of Crystal Pepsi, and his own impotence are women’s fault), but I’m not sure anymore that I believe that there was no self-awareness involved in the absurdity of the ad (UPDATE: it’s phony, though the quote was a real one from a Dov Charnety interview. Whoever made it is a satirical genius). Wanna know why? Look at this shit:
The text: “By relentlessly pursuing efficiencies in management and production, we aim to make use of exploitative labor tactics not only unnecessary but actually counterproductive.”
Get the fuck out of here.
That, as you might have been able to pick up from the horrible diction and lack of sense and substance, was a quote from American Apparel’s head hipster sexual harasser, Dov Charney. You see, he (claims that he) hates exploitation when it comes to the manufacture of t-shirts, but he’s got no problem with exploitation in the form of using women’s body parts in quasi-pornography to sell his products. Riiight.
This ad is so absurd and displays such a lack of internal coherence that I have no option but to assume that the logical contradiction was intentional, that Charney (and/or his ad team; I’m not sure he’s smart enough to have come up with this on his own), knowing what a broo-ha-ha his ruthless exploitation of women has caused in the media (feminist and otherwise), has decided to create even more obscene and glaringly hypocritical ads in the hopes that it’ll cause an even greater furor and garner him even more publicity. Dov mistakenly thinks that any publicity, as it were, is good publicity.
He’s relying on the fact that the entirety of his target market is made up of stupid, cretinous hipsters. This kind of shit is hipsterism deluxe: empty, nihilistic, unironic irony with absolutely no point. Only a hipster could look at this ad and react with anything but a retch. Hipsters, you see, don’t actually give a shit about anything but whether they look like Urban Outfitters mannequins, whether their CD collections contain enough albums by obscure bands that are obscure because they suck (not because the world is lacking in people with good taste), and whether they’re making a big enough show of how “ironical” their taste is. As such, hipsterism, as the only visible “counter-cultural” movement in existence today, isn’t actually counter-cultural at all, but is rather founded upon nothing but snarkery and a faux-burlesque embracing of the worst elements of mainstream culture. Hipsters, idiots that they are, still think being into midget porn and talking about shitting in public gives them iconoclastic street cred, which every other dumbass figured out isn’t funny/hip/cool/rebellious/whatever about a decade ago.
So, Charney thinks he’s going to use bloggers and other media types to sell his ugly clothes to people who are too stupid to realize they’re being duped. He figures we’re all so dumb that we’ll react with outrage to the self-aware (though likely still sincere) hypocrisy in his ads and make a big to-do out of the whole thing, and that there are still enough fedora-wearing fools out there who will come running to his fluorescent-lit dork emporiums to buy hot pink leg warmers (in 2009) as a result of that to-do.
The problem is, hipsterism is about dead, is it not? It’s all but over in New York, and I’ve even noticed a drop in the numbers of people I want to slap in Atlanta lately. The other problem is, Charney is banking on the fact that no one will take what feminists have to say about his company’s practices to heart. My posts about American Apparel have been getting more hits lately than anything else on my blog, and that’s from Stumbleupon more so than it is from other feminist blogs. That means that people are paying attention to what’s going on with American Apparel; and the comments I get from them tell me that they’re not stoked about what they’re seeing. My (and others’ — word up to Womanist Musings and Uncensored Feminista for taking up the cause) suggestion that readers boycott American Apparel isn’t falling on deaf ears. If we’re urging boycotts and people are listening to us, is that really “good publicity” for Charney?
We can all tell from the text in this and yesterday’s ad that he’s a fucking dunce, but Charney has really lost the plot. He’s made a serious miscalculation that shows just how out of touch and desperate he really is. His company’s in trouble because vapid, nihilistic hipsterism is over. As misogynistic as our culture may be, he’s still found a way to scandalize a large majority of his target market, and he’s too stupid to realize that more of the same isn’t going to save him. This gynophobic, turgid asshole thinks he’s outsmarted us dumb broads, but it looks as if he just might have pissed in the chilli.
Just in case anyone missed my point, here it is: if you continue to buy clothing from American Apparel, you’re a fool and most likely a complete dick.
If you feel like contacting them and letting them know where to stick their ads, click here or write/call the following:
747 Warehouse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel. +1 (213) 488-0226
Fax. +1 (213) 488-0334
** UPDATE: Now that I know that the other ad is fake, I suspect this one is too. That may invalidate my argument that American Apparel is trying to use media outrage for publicity (or maybe not — their ads are outrageous as fuck, and there might be some self-awareness involved in that), but it doesn’t change the fact that the company’s marketing strategy is inherently hypocritical; their purported appeal is that they don’t condone the exploitation of workers, but their ads are based on nothing but the exploitation of women. And Dov Charney is still a fucking miscreant. If these do turn out to all be fakes, please, PLEASE, help me find the genius who made them.