Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vent Column: Brand Disloyalty

Wow, it's been a while since I've had the chance to write a Vent Column entry. Now that it's on the web, it can be as long or as short as I like, which is nice. So, for my first blog-style entry, let's jump right into something that's bothered me for just about my entire life. Yes, I was a cranky child as well...

You ever walk down the street and see someone wearing a t-shirt or a hat with some company logo on it? You know what I mean, like some guy wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt, or a John Deere baseball cap. If it were around 5PM or so, you might even think it's some kind of work uniform, or dress code kind of thing. Just about any day of the week you'll run into people wearing clothing that is emblazoned with corporate logos of various companies. The problem I have is that I have to wonder for a short while if there is any real significant reason for them to be wearing those commercial icons in the first place.

I am not against people wearing clothing with interesting designs, nor am I against things like band t-shirts. Hell, I'm really not even against Harley Davidson t-shirts. My problem is the person wearing them. How much do you want to bet the guy wearing a H-D shirt or hat not only does not own a Harley, but probably has never sat on a motorcycle in his life? I'd be willing to bet $100 for just about every other doofus I see wearing one. I ride a cruiser, but it's not a Harley, so why would I wear a Harley t-shirt? I don't own one, I've never ridden one before, and most importantly, if I rolled up on my Suzuki wearing a H-D shirt, people would laugh at me. Wearing that particular logo does not make you cool, it doesn't make people think you're a bad-ass biker, it just makes people think you are lame and probably trying too hard. Riding a Harley, and wearing their logo, are two completely different things that carry different levels of respect. You cannot cheat and attempt to look like maybe you just happened to leave your bike at home that day.

Another corporate smear I see everywhere now are these TAPOUT shirts. Yeah, you know the ones. The shirts with the GIANT LETTERING ON THEM. I'll bet you 90% of the douche bags that wear those shirts have never been in a single fight in their lives, much less even watch the damn sport on TV.  The guys who actually do MMA fighting are probably not walking around the mall wearing their own signature line of t-shirt. Most likely they don't want to be noticed in public all that much, for fear of being hassled, or even attacked by some macho dickhead who thinks he can take them on. This obsession with mixed martial arts in this country is the result of over-stimulated, under-sexed men with testosterone to spare from their lack of ever getting laid. They have nothing to do with all that pent up energy and hormonal activity so they think they'll look cool if they can man-hug someone to the ground and punch them repeatedly in a small fenced in area. I say, give them several acres to run and hide and see how long a match lasts then. Of course you can knock someone out in a 20' ring, they've got nowhere to run, even if they ran in circles they'd eventually get tired. How hard can that be? Now, I'm not belittling the sport, or the actual fighters. I know it takes lots of dedication, time, and training, as well as several dozen doctor visits to keep from falling apart. My anger comes from the 40-something slob of a man who has never in his life lifted a dumbbell, much less ever taken any actual martial arts training, walking around with a TAPOUT t-shirt that's about 6 sizes too small for him, and attempting to puff out his chest and talk with his hands as if he's some kind of tough guy. Listen pal, the only way anyone is gonna ever tap-out with you around is if you accidentally sit on them, or run them over during your stampede to the buffet table.

While I'm on the topic, I'm sick of seeing these sluts with cottage cheese asses walking around the mall wearing pants that say "Juicy" on the backside. There's nothing juicy about you, so just stop it. In fact, you're rather solid. If anything, wear something a little more honest. Buy some pants that say "I have too much self esteem and think that everyone wants to read my ass." or "Daddy didn't give me enough attention so I'm turning the largest part of my body into a billboard."

I think self expression is a great thing, I wish more people would use their right and ability to express themselves. I just get very irritated when they do it foolishly. If you like a band and want to wear their logo or album art, then by all means, tell the world how much you love that band. I don't care what kind of music it is, even if it's something I hate, you are more than welcome to express that. If you want to tell the whole world that you spend way too much money on clothing by wearing a sweater that says "Abercrombie" on it, then they, you'll be mugged before I will, so have at it. On the other hand, if you're only wearing some kind of symbol on your clothing because you think it's going to get you more respect, please save your money, and don't subject all of us to your idiocy. Certain things happen within popular culture that make people think they want to be, look, or sound a certain way. People want to be a part of the crowd, and I totally understand that to some extent, but be you, don't be "that guy."

You wanna mess with someone to find out if they're really a Harley Davidson owner? Ask him what size radiator he has on his bike. 95% of Harley Davidson's product line are air-cooled, with no radiator. If he tries to give you any answer other than "none" he's either got a V-Rod or is completely full of shit. Ask the next guy with a John Deere hat how many acres he has for his crops. Ask the next mall bimbo what exactly about her is "Juicy" and run like hell if she begins to tell you her herpes history. Finally, the next time you see some Guido wearing a TAPOUT shirt, ask him what is so manly about 2 glistening, sweaty men spooning on a rubber mat.

Oh, and one last thing. Ed Hardy clothing should be destroyed. The t-shirts were one thing. But I've actually seen suit jackets with that logo running down the sleeve. That's nice, you wanna show up at a funeral wearing that. Real classy. All these people that want to wear tattoo designs all over themselves should just do what the rest of us do and go under the needle for a few hours. We'll see how manly you are when those liner needles start scraping into the softer parts of your flesh. You know, the inside of your elbow or the underside of your bicep near your armpit.

-Rob Acocella