Apocalypse Soon?

When American fashion designer, Rick Owens, displayed in Paris, 22 January; he seemed to be delivering a message. A message reminiscent of what Moe Lane had to say to Martha Coakley – DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMM!!! Details of how Mad Max could spiff up his survival-wear follow below.

Overall, the collection, with its asymmetrical hemlines and great floppy flaps of fabric, looked like the kind of wardrobe the father and son in Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic fable “The Road” would have fashioned out of found detritus. (HT: AP)

In general, the fashion community doesn’t exactly corner the market on prescience. Often, I even ignore their suggestions regarding the betterment of my sartorial elegance. Given a genuine, fire-breathing apocalypse, my look would involve a faded, retro-looking set of my old Army BDU’s, complemented with long underwear in case they were right about the Nuclear Winter stuff…

Joking aside, the fashion movement does give an accurate portrayal of fashionable zeitgeist. Their current lines may strongly suggest that their mommies dress them rather oddly, but they do give a pretty good read on the public mood. The mood that the Rick Owens collection suggests is detrimental to the commonweal.

This feeling may be negative and may cause us even more grief than the actual reasons to be bummed themselves. However, it’s hard not blame people for thinking the next few years won’t be happy. Aside from honest-to-goodness positive news, our nation lacks two other things as well. We fundamentally distrust our institutions and we don’t believe leadership is arising to tackle the current crisis.

We distrust our societal institutions because, quite frankly, they don’t help or trust us. 22% of our people can’t find work. They tell us our unemployment rate is barely up to 10.0%. Our religious leadership tells us the Haitian earthquake was a form of payback for the pact Toussaint L’Overture signed with the devil. And don’t get me started on The Educated People,® it ends in distortive rants like this, and this. I wouldn’t follow our institutional leadership to the men’s room to take whiz. The people in charge right now are genuinely that bad.

So aside from emptying all the canned goods, medicines and shotguns into your cart at the Super Walmart, what’s a poor, right-wing crazy like moi to do? That one is easy. Reject the Zeitgeist. David Owens’ clothing pretty much sucks anyway.

I don’t think his attitude is a significant improvement. Moping is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m convinced Tiger Woods never walked into a dive-bar, oops; I mean walked onto a golf course thinking, he would lose. Similar statements could be made about Scott Brown, Joe Montana, Kobe Bryant or Elvis Presley. Winners don’t mope.

Barack Obama actually made one honest statement during his campaign for office. Accidents happen, even to The Won. He said. “I believe we have a divine wind blowing at our backs…” The man is too solipsistic to mean anything other than he would win another election and further over-inflate his Zeppelin-like ego. But he spoke a greater truth.

We do have such a wind at our backs – all of us. The potential is there. I don’t know most of you from Jack, but I do know, whatever it is, within obvious reason, you can do it. You don’t even have to look up a Haitian Witch-Doctor and sign a pact with the devil to get rid of the French.

And while all of this is nice-sounding and cheery, it also represents a major pain in the butt. It implies a responsibility on our parts to un-ass from the sofa and make this happy-happy-joy-joy stuff actually happen. After all, look at what all the hard work accomplished for us up in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The Cabots may speak only to the Lowells, who in turn, speak only to God, but this week they both voted Scott Brown.

Now as we look at our own states, which probably don’t consistently vote D+26, what’s our excuse for not doing what was done in Massachusetts? I ask this not to impose, but rather to point out the potential good we can accomplish with the right internal drive.

The Apocalypse is still scheduled for 2012, and Mr. Owens can sell you a very chic look in which to be buried in. Or, you can take charge, you can make a difference, and you can cancel it – like Scott Brown just may have done with ObamaCare. It all depends on how you see the world, I guess.