August 2011

Go Forth

What you really want - in fashion, advertising and film, but probably not in love, because that would be tiring - is to be ahead of the zeitgeist. Just. If you are on it, there’ll be a hundred other versions being pulled from the air of the collective consciousness at the same time and everyone will think you’ve copied one of them.

Levi’s …. is sometimes on, sometimes behind, sometimes a tiny bit ahead. (Adidas makes zeitgeists, but that is another post).

Now, Levi’s have just been awarded the greatest accolade in advertising. Getting your ad banned. Just ahead of the zeitgeist this time, they have made a global campaign that was supposed to run from the 15 August 2011. It was pulled because it is, er, rather, thought to be, incite-ful (another great accolade, a brand that can make yout’s revolt against their silver-spooned govt). Whether it is or not, it serves its purpose even better if it won’t air on the television, but goes viral online.

As they do in poetry, identify the poet by the first line:

Your life is your life/ Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission

Yes. it’s that old man so loved by young men - Monsier Bucowski - encouraging chavs to steal from High Street.

The campaign has been running for a while. In this one (2009 I think) we have Walt Whitman inciting the ‘Youths/ Western Youths’ by calling: O Pioneers! My Pioneers/Come my tan-faced children.

And here we have an actual movement, where the CSI programme and ad were made together. The difference is, I feel, in the authenticity.

Whether you wear their pant or not, whether u think it’s wankery or not, at least it reflects a little bit of the Western world zeitgeist of now.

Staring at the Sun

I loved The Face. I loved Miranda Sawyer. I wanted to be a journalist, I wanted to write about the anthropology of modern culture for magazines.

Then, when I turned the giant 30 (which my mother assured me would be the best of the best times of my life) I would start writing books. Because, surely, only people who have crossed the line of 30 would be wise enough to do big things like write books.

Here is Miranda Sawyer on turning 44. She mentions Staring at the Sun by someone called Irvin Yalom. It’s about not being afraid of dying. I look him up. You can too (the byline is rather dread-ful, if you’ll excuse the joke).

But most of all while contemplating how fleeting yet awesome life really is, I want you to listen to this song. And I want you to try and use your voice to sing the high wailing bits. And, while you’re at it, drum your hands on your knees. There you go :)