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Kurt Cobain’s suicide note printed on tacky tee shirts
01.13.2015
12:29 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana


 
I’m probably not alone in this opinion… but making money from a person’s death in the form of a tee shirt seems pretty low to me. Even if that person was a world famous rockstar… it’s still incredibly tacky, IMO.

But someone—based out of Thailand with the name “Nuchyk”—is doing just that by selling tee shirts on eBay with Kurt Cobain’s suicide note in its entirety printed on the front. Apparently this has been done before on Etsy with Cobain’s letter on shirts and baseball caps. Etsy quickly pulled the items from their site due to overwhelming complaints.

You can click here to read Cobain’s final letter.

Via AV Club

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Poverty Chic: $20 zippered change purse makes you look like a homeless beggar
01.08.2015
03:48 pm

Topics:
Class War
Fashion

Tags:
poverty
homelessness


 
We here at Dangerous Minds are big fans of tacky, tasteless and kitsch, but there are pink flamingos (classic, respectable, fun), and then there is Poverty Chic (boo, we’re socialists!) These change purses are designed to look like the generic coffee cups that the homeless use to beg. If that isn’t enough, they go for $20 a pop. Don’t believe me? The designer dubs the accessory, “The Lucky Beggar.”  (At least the Museum of Modern Art had the good sense to rename the thing “New York Coffee Cup Pouch”!)

Check out the description:

George Skelcher was inspired to design the Lucky Beggar coin purse after seeing people using typical New York coffee cups to panhandle on the Bowery. This supple stitched faux leather purse mimics those cups and in turn helps the people who inspired them. Part of the proceeds of each purse sold is donated to HELP USA, an organization that has helped the homeless since 1986.

The Bowery is an area of downtown NY known for its homeless shelters and flophouses

Note the the vague allusion to charity to alleviate their obliviousness—though they’re not quite clear exactly what portion of the proceeds go to the homeless. Convenient. I can respect tacky crap, but when you start charging $20 for it, you clearly suck. And when the novelty of your ostensibly luxury product is “tee-hee, poverty,” you suck even more.
 

 

 

 
Via Aisha Keller

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Millions Like Us’: Mod revival box set captures an alternate pop universe
01.07.2015
11:07 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Mods


 
This is a guest post from Jason Toon
 
Forsaken by its godfather, derided by critics, dismissed by the music press that inflated it into a phenomenon in the first place: the late ‘70s “mod revival” never really became the Next Big Post-Punk Thing. It never produced another band with the depth, range, and wider appeal of its biggest inspiration, the Jam, let alone ‘60s originals like the Who, the Small Faces, and the Kinks. After boosting bands like the Chords, main Jam man Paul Weller took pains to distance himself from what he saw as an unimaginative horde of louts in parkas.

And yet… though its attempt to take punk’s short-hair-and-sharp-songs aesthetic back toward the ‘60s was commercially doomed, the mod revival left behind a pile of great singles. It laid the foundation for C86, garage rock, shoegaze and other strains of ‘80s UK indie that eventually coalesced into Britpop. And after the mainstream attention faded, mod went underground, where it has survived to this day.

Cherry Red’s new four-disc Millions Like Us: The Story of the Mod Revival 1977-1989 is the best document yet of the mod revival. It’s missing the Jam, and leaves out Two-Tone ska, which offered a more socially relevant (and danceable) way for the kids of the time to engage with ‘60s style. But paradoxically, it’s actually stronger for it: without anything that a non-enthusiast would ever have heard before, Millions Like Us feels like a pocket universe of unknown pop hits.
 

 
Much more Mod revival, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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10 minutes with Tony Hawk
01.06.2015
09:37 am

Topics:
Advertorial
Fashion
Sports

Tags:
Nixon
Tony Hawk


 
Tony Hawk is synonymous with skateboarding, a living, breathing human trademark for his sport. An icon, he’s also a brand, running a business empire with tentacles in video games, amusement park rides, action sports exhibitions and his new YouTube channel, RIDE, which features Hawk himself in “Tony’s Strange Life.” He’s also known for his philanthropic activities, helping to build skateparks in low-income areas with his Tony Hawk Foundation, which has given away more than $3.4 million to help construct over 400 parks around the US.

We sat with Tony Hawk and asked a few questions about where he’s been and where he’s going next.

I’ve read that you were a really hyperactive child and that discovering skating helped you burn off that excessive energy. Is this why it’s so important for your charity to build skateparks in needy communities? So that other kids might find that same kind of focus you found through skating?

Tony Hawk: Yes, but it’s also important to me because I grew up near one of the last remaining skatepark of the ‘80s and I only realized later how lucky I was. It was a huge part of my life and gave me the opportunity to practice my passion, while spending time and sharing ideas with other skaters. I want to help provide the same type of opportunities and facilities for youth in difficult areas.

How do you tame that same hyperactivity today as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in sports? What keeps you centered and on target at this stage of your life?

My kids. Keeping up with them while trying to manage a career in skateboarding is a constant challenge. But I enjoy the challenges that being an “elder” skater and entrepreneur provide. It’s a whole new era of skateboarding and I am living the dream.

Sponsorships are obviously a large part of the business of Tony Hawk and you’ve always had A-list companies behind you. Tell me about some of those relationships. For example, you’ve worked with Nixon for a long time. How did that come about?

I have always admired Nixon‘s products and marketing, even before I was sponsored by them. I might be the only skater that begged my way onto the team, and I am proud to fly the Nixon flag in all my endeavors; they truly understand our culture. 

What’s the project that’s currently got you the most excited?

My next video game, coming out in late 2015 for newer consoles. It’s already looking on point.

Sponsored by Nixon

Posted by Sponsored Post | Discussion
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Totally 80s: Haysi Fantayzee is Big Leggy
12.31.2014
09:15 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Haysi Fantayzee


 
From the Dangerous Minds archives…

Quirky early 80s New Wave act Haysi Fantayzee consisted of co-lead singers Jeremy Healy and Kate Garner—who looked like Dickensian “Huckleberry Finn” white rasta versions of Raggedy Ann and Andy—and Garner’s boyfriend, producer/manager Paul Caplin, who had previously been in a New Romantic group called Animal Magnet, but detested performing and preferred to be thought of as the group’s behind the scenes “mastermind.”

They were known as a very London fashion/dance act and could roughly fit into a grouping of UK acts including Culture Club, Bananarama, Duck Rock-era Malcolm McLaren, Fun Boy Three and Bow Wow Wow, post post-punk pop performers at the dawn of the video age when the visual presentation was becoming as important as the music. Although Haysi Fantayzee will forever be thought of as a fluffy, lightweight “totally 80s” act, their music was actually quite innovative, and wholly original for the pop charts of the era, incorporating country, dance beats, cartoony sound effects, dub reggae and cheeky/childish double entendre sing-song lyrics about backdoor sex and “chizoola” (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds dirty). I loved them then, and I still think their records sound great.

I can vividly recall one day, just after Christmas of 1983, being in the Fiorucci store in London, on King’s Road—I was the only one browsing in what was a small store—and in walked Kate Garner and Marilyn, the “gender bender” “friend of Boy George” (for that is how he’s always described). Two things: One, they were just laughing hysterically and throwing things on the counter—piles of expensive stuff—without even bothering to try them on (obviously someone else was going to be picking up their tab) and 2.) OMFG was she HOT. If you’ve ever been suddenly confronted by an impossibly gorgeous creature at close range, unexpectedly, and your guts just FREEZE, well, this is what happened to my 18-year-old stomach that day when I made improbable, fleeting eye contact with the delicious Kate Garner. “Good times come to me now…”

Haysi Fantayzee only lasted a couple of years before they split up, leaving behind one album, Battle Hymns for Children Singing, four singles, b-sides and 12” mixes. Jeremy Healy went on to be a well-known producer, DJ and club promoter; Garner—who still looks great—became a top celebrity photographer and Paul Caplin is now the owner of Caplin Systems, a successful financial trading software company.

“John Wayne Is Big Leggy,” a paean to America’s wild west, racism and Greek sex:

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Booze shoes: FINALLY liquor-concealing lace-ups! (Unfortunately they’re terrible)
12.30.2014
07:52 am

Topics:
Drugs
Fashion

Tags:
shoes
liquor
Johnny Walker
whisky


 
As a lover of both drugs and fashion, the idea of booze-filled shoes fulfills a sort of James Bond fantasy of mine, wherein one—that would be me—gets to pretend they’re being classy, but ultimately they’re just getting secretly, stylishly sloshed. Unfortunately, these “Johnnie Tan Leather Brogues” fail in both form and function. First of all, the shoes do not conceal the liquor! Not only is there a peekaboo window on the bottom off the heel, the neck of the mini-bottles poke out from the back! For $489, I want to be able to go to church in those things!

There are aesthetic issues too. The shoes are a promotion for Johnnie Walker (Scottish shoes for Scottish whisky), and while the classic shape of the shoe is pretty unobjectionable, the branding is really heavy-handed. In addition to two mini-bottles of liquor sticking out from your feet, you got the “JW” in large, high-contrast stitching on the back heel, plus the Johnnie Walker “Striding Man” logo on the outer heel. Even if I liked Scotch (which I strongly suspect is actually just a plot to pour bog water into good whisky), I think this would be a little too much of a “walking” advertisement for most people (get it?).

I’ll bet I could produce something more covert (and cuter) by hollowing out a pair of wedges for mini-flasks (and at less than half the price!), but if you’re willing to forgo subtlety altogether, may I suggest a jaunty chapeau de la brewski instead?
 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Making Waves with Rob Machado
12.24.2014
06:52 am

Topics:
Fashion
Sports

Tags:
Nixon
Rob Machado


 
Rob Machado is best known for his casual, Zen-like flow and abilities on a surfboard. He has been entrenched in the business for the better part of his life, giving him not only strong perspective on how it’s evolved, but also on the ripple effects of the sport and the different things it impacts. We sat down with Machado to hear more about his life at present, and to reflect a bit on all he’s learned over the course of his career.

We asked him to tell us about how he has been able to accomplish many of his milestones and goals, in and out of the water. What makes these things possible? How has he been able to reach his goals? He noted that one skill he has really mastered is that of acquiring sponsors, which has helped fund and bring notability to a lot of what he’s done. How does he evaluate which companies and corporations he’s willing to work with?

“Over the years I’ve learned how to identify the goals of a company, which is a huge part of the evaluation process.  I definitely have to work alongside brands that share my passions towards environmentally friendly practices.  It’s not always easy: take surfboards for example.  The main tool for what I do is probably one of the worst out there [environmentally], but it’s all about balance. Most of my sponsors I have had for the majority of my surfing career; by this point we’re in sync and work on some cool initiatives together. “

“Working with Nixon [Rob’s longtime watch sponsor] has been amazing. I’ve watched the brand grow from a garage in an alley to what it is now and it’s been fun to be a part of the ride.  They pay a lot of attention to detail and treat their athletes better than anyone I know. And at the end of the day, we have fun.”

His focus on the environment and on working with like-minded companies and individuals eventually impacted Machado’s desire to found and run a charitable organization focused on water availability, environmental impact, and caring for those in need. When he started his charitable foundation a decade ago, he was right in the thick of his busy professional career. Did the North County, San Diego local ever imagine then that he’d be spending so much of his time today being the leader of a clean beaches/fresh water advocacy organization?

“No—to be honest I didn’t really set out to be a leader,” he says. “I set out to make a change I was passionate about like lessening single bottle plastic use. I knew I eventually wanted to put my time and energy into the foundation because I had goals and projects that I wanted to see through. I knew I wanted to grow and accomplish more each year, but honestly it’s been a blessing to have completed this much with the foundation and of course the people who want to help and be a part of it as well.”

The Rob Machado Foundation distributes reusable water bottles to kids and installs refill stations at San Diego public schools and beaches.

“My brother, sister-in-law and Mom have all worked within the local school system so I always seem to be at one of the schools for one reason or another,” Machado explains. “I couldn’t believe that the drinking fountains were the same as when I went to high school and that’s when I thought, why don’t we install new drinking foundations that the kids would want to use. We approached my sponsor Hurley’s H2O program and created Hydration Nation and the reusable water bottles were created to help eliminate the need for plastic. The whole goal is to eliminate plastic bottles from the schools; because fewer plastic bottles means more clean water for those in need. Hydration Nation works to install the water filling stations at schools, and then encourage the use of reusable water bottles. 

The foundation’s local initiatives in San Diego also work in conjunction with others to bring fresh, clean water to places that don’t have it.

“Sale profits and donations is what allows RMF along with Hurley H2O to deliver water filters to places with little to no clean water.  We work with my friend Jon Rose and Waves 4 Water and we’ve done some amazing trips. Every time I’ve gone on a trip to help deliver and set up filters I want to do another immediately after. To see people without one of the most basic necessities, water will inspire you for sure” he says.

Which brings up the question, what’s more important, local or global activism? Machado’s seen both.

“I’m not sure if one is more important than the other,” he pondered. “On one hand you have the importance of global activism which raises collective awareness which is massively important and helps build a large team of like minded doers.  Eventually it can lead to better resources and funding if needed. 

But to me, local activism is where it all starts.  Small groups and communities taking a stance in what they believe needs to be changed or bettered.

Really though it all starts with the individual.  It’s important to me to look after my home community, my own back yard. The foundation is a lot of both actually.  We do so much work locally with schools and beaches in the area, but then we have some global outreach through the Hydration Nation program.” 

Machado has taken his passion and transformed it into something larger, finding an ability to directly make a difference in people’s lives via his foundation. Even so, he knows his roots and has stayed true to the lifestyle and values that shaped him.

Sponsored by Nixon

Posted by Sponsored Post | Discussion
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Satanic Christmas sweaters let you flip the bird (or the goat horns) at the holidays


 
The ironic phenomenon of ugly Christmas sweaters hit shark-jump levels of cultural saturation so rapidly that I actually can’t even remember any early window of time when it wasn’t irritating (though in all fairness, I get irritated pretty easily). Entirely apart from its annoying ubiquity, the whole thing feels kind of shitty, like it’s not really mocking Christmas to wear them, it’s more like mocking people who just happen to like gaudy sweaters. And is that not punching down?

The upside of this dopey annual crap-pageant has been the profusion of cheeky takedowns. The Descendents have been making awesome gag Christmas sweaters for years, and now, the twisted bastards at Middle of Beyond have given the world outright Satanic Christmas sweaters. MoB, regular DM readers may remember, are the preposterous visionaries who gave the world devil tarot card throw rugs and winter gear patterned after the carpeting in the Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrik’s film version of The Shining. I actually plunked for one of those Shining scarves, and to my horror, I found, when it arrived, that it was 100% acrylic (my own fault for neglecting the fine print). But for Christmas sweaters, that material isn’t just a requisite, it’s positively a boon. Designs include a straight up old-fashioned Satanic goat head snugly nestled in a red pentagram, Cthulu, Krampus, and a zombiefied Santa Claus festooned with braaaaaaiiiiiiins. So why settle for giving Christmas the finger when you can flash it the goat horns?
 

 

 

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Merry Krampus: ‘horribly distasteful Christmas sweater’
Righteous Motörhead Christmas sweater

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Idiotic hipsters complain about the font of ‘I Can’t Breathe’ protest shirts


 
A new entry of the annals of monumentally missing the point…

“I Can’t Breathe” may be the sentence of 2014. They are, of course, the last words, uttered many times, of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old NYC Department of Parks horticulturist and occasional loose cigarette salesman whose inexplicable death by police chokehold in the Tompkinsville neighborhood (where I lived until quite recently) last July has led to a great deal of outcry.

The sentence has achieved the ultimate that can happen in our society—it has become a free-floating signifier in social media, just like Paula Deen’s supposedly homophobic fried chicken recipes or something. This past week several prominent athletes in the predominantly African-American NBA, including the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, the Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, and the Nets’ Deron Williams, have warmed up wearing T-shirts heartbreakingly emblazoned with that simple message of solidarity with a blameless victim of police brutality: “I CAN’T BREATHE.”

All across America, a small minority of observers reacted in the expected way: they tut-tutted the shirts’ choice of font. The shirts, while admittedly embodying a courageous stand against the combined forces of intolerance, had committed the unpardonable sin of violating a bit of design etiquette.

Among people who take design very seriously, the Comic Sans typeface has been a bête noire for at least a decade, because it is often used by “design-blind” “normals” outside of its optimal range of uses, frequently lending an unserious air to messages of stern import. Designed by Vincent Connare, Comic Sans was released by Microsoft in 1994, which surely contributed to its popularity.

For instance, Tony Seddon named a book after it (Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: 365 Graphic Design Sins and Virtues: A Designer’s Almanac of Dos and Don’ts) in which he calls it “arguably the most inappropriately used typeface in history” (although a page later he sort of takes it back).

Eventually, on the McSweeney’s website, Mike Lacher defended the honor of the typeface with “I’m Comic Sans, Asshole,” which contained the immortal line “I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.” The piece simultaneously seemed to agree with the design critics’ peeve while putting them in their place.

On the T-shirts, for instance, Caroline Fredericks, of “California/Alabama,” tweeted, “how many people will be able to look past the choice of comic sans?” Ryan Hubbard, of Kansas City, tweeted, “Who’s giving all of these NBA players “I can’t breathe” shirts set in Comic Sans? I love that they’re wearing them, but come on, man.”

The New York Times report on the shirts emphasizes the outsize efforts of Jay-Z and others to replicate the gesture made by Derrick Rose of the Bulls and makes no mention of Comic Sans or any other aspect of the shirts’ design, except to note that “Rameen Aminzadeh, a member of Justice League NYC, drafted a simple design for the text of the T-shirt, which other members of the group approved sometime after 1 a.m. [referring to late Sunday night/early Monday morning].”

Here are a few of the tweets—there’s plenty more where these came from.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Vocativ

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Hilarious holiday T-shirts mimic awful Christmas sweaters with pot belly, chest hair
12.09.2014
06:51 am

Topics:
Fashion

Tags:
Christmas
t-shirts


 
I really dig these crass Christmas shirts. They’re the perfect holiday garb for anyone who’s too cheap to spring for an actual ugly Christmas sweater…..
 

Hairy Belly Poinsettia Sweater T-Shirt, $17.22
 

Christmas Frisky Deer Faux Sweater T-Shirt, $21
 

Bad Santa T-Shirt, $17
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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