340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I subscribe to a rag, part V.

There are no persons capable of stooping so low as those who desire to rise in the world.
- Lady Marguerite Blessington , "Desultory Thoughts and Reflections," (1839)

The story around Michael Ignatieff's political ambitions haven't really penetrated the periphery of my thinking; his trajectory will likely take him--for better or worse--deeper into my consciousness during the next few months, but for now the narrative is just noise to me. The only signal that I've really been allowing in has been emanating from Hurricane Eye, who's parsed it better than most.

To be frank, every time I've tried tuning in to Ignatieff's signal I've been hit with a blast of pretentious static so thick it almost (almost, mind you) drowns out the squawking pundits who're practically molting, they're so fucking excited. To wit: the editorial in today's Gazette from one Barry Cooper, outta U of C: "World lost a scholar when Ignatieff became an intellectual."

I don't blame Cooper for the stilted, meandering article I read: frankly, it comes off like the result of an editorial hack job, all gristle and giblets with nothing edible left clinging to the bone. I'm sure the original draft actually had a, y'know, point. Cooper seemed to be drawing an interesting distinction between the 'scholar' (navel-gazing and vaguely pretentious but ultimately benign) and the 'intellectual' (ambitious, superficial and potentially dangerous), but the article kinda starts to collapse about halfway through and is pretty well mush by the end. What a waste of three minutes of my morning commute.

* * *

Meanwhile, on the same page I get to savour a blistering dressing down of the self-righteous jagoffs who've been gleefully nipping and barking at Kate Moss' heels for the last few weeks. Dianne Rinehart, former associate editor of Flare, rips these jerks a new one in a good-to-the-last-drop rant about hypocrisy and the filthy intersection of Sexuality St. and Commerce Blvd. Those with glass bongs shouldn't persecute the stoned...

Rinehart manages to finesse a tight, lucid and witty essay out of her indignation; in the spirit of the best rants, she sublimates her anger into something wicked and superficially casual.

I'll leave the entire text here for a few days:

Don't blame Kate Moss

Supermodel Kate Moss knows what the industry wants.

One of my favourite lines in a movie is delivered by Sean Young to Kevin Costner in the movie No Way Out as they are going through security gates to attend a high-powered Washington political party.

"Good thing this isn't a bullshit detector," says Young of the metal detector, "or none of us would get in."

She was talking about life in politics, but she could just as easily have been talking about life in the fashion industry if super model Kate Moss's dramatic fall from the catwalk, over her alleged snorting of cocaine, is any indication.

This is not about defending drug use. Snorting drugs is nothing to sniff at, clearly.

And, of course, no one wants a fashion icon portraying drug use as chic to her young fans, do they?

Hello? That's what she and countless other super models have been being paid to do for the last couple of decades.

And how loud were we screaming when some of the biggest names in the fashion industry in London, Paris, Milan and New York were hiring the biggest names in the advertising world in London, Paris, Milan and New York to deliver the biggest names in the modelling world in London, Paris, Milan and New York, looking like they were stoned out of their minds?

And how much are we all spending on perfumes variously named Opium, Addict, Crave, and Rush? Did we think they were named after flowers or birds?

No, it's not what Moss was doing on her own time that was selling the idea that doing hard drugs is chic. She actually looked scuzzy snorting coke through a 5-pound note, and ironically might now - with a reported $9 million U.S. in annual contracts at stake - become the poster child for Just Say No.

It was what she was hired to do during her working day by some of the very fashion houses that are now pretending outrage; that is the height of hypocrisy.

Here's an idea: how about any one at a fashion house who demanded an advertising agency deliver a "heroin chic" look to a fashion spread or television ad resign?

Aren't they the ones - not Moss - promoting heroin chic? (Not to mention starvation diets.)

And how about those icons in the advertising industry who put together the bids that the fashion houses bought. And what about those who promised that "heroin chic" sells, and promised they could put together a team of art directors, photographers, makeup artists, stylists - and, oh yeah, models - who would deliver the dilated-eyed, slick with perspiration, crazed I'm-ready-for-sex-because-I'm-too-stoned-to-say-no look that the powers that be in London, Paris, Milan and New York obviously feel sells a lot of clothes for a lot of money.

And why would anyone feel that Moss should be fired as a bad influence because of her drug use when we have Parti Quebecois leadership favourite Andre Boisclair admitting that he used cocaine when he served as a cabinet minister and U.S. President George W. Bush leading the world's most powerful nation - and powerful youth cultural influence - although he has never come clean, so to speak, about repeated news reports alleging he used cocaine.

No, it's no surprise that some people in the fashion industry - like some of those in our cabinets and boardrooms - do drugs.

What is a surprise is the hypocrisy.

Which reminds me of former U.S. presidential hopeful Gary Hart who denied he was having an affair and challenged the media to catch him - and they did on a boat (why is truth stranger than fiction?) called Monkey Business, indulging in some ... monkey business.

How about some shots of the heads of those fashion houses or their art directors doing what they do in their spare time? Why do I think it's not going to be playing croquet while sipping yogurt drinks?

Moss is a beautiful and talented model - it takes talent to look beautiful for hours as you are pinned, prodded and poked by stylists and photographers - who has had a penchant for abuse. And it is nothing to be admired or imitated.

But it was widely known. And it was sometimes why she was hired. What better person, after all, to deliver the I'm-drugged-out-of-my-skull look than someone who knows what it feels and looks like?

No, the big surprise is that anyone who fired her could pretend they didn't know about her reputation (she entered rehab in 1998) before they hired her and then went home and sip, swallow and inhale their own drugs of choice without choking.


Post a Comment

<< Home