I USED A HAIR DRYER
So the Dig has had those extremely sketchy American Apparel ads (all AA ads are extremely sketchy AA ads, I think) on the back page of late. This was, according to my ex who worked there, why they went to a glossy cover last year; more advertisers. You can imagine someone sitting in a back room, shirt open to the waist, chewing a cigar, saying, "No, no, no. This newsprint just isn't creepy enough. And get me a model who looks more underage. Hey, tits! It's late for my 2PM blow job."
But I digress. What caught my eye this week was this: they have brought back the Hypercolor t-shirt. Their own updated generic version, yes, but if you grew up when and where I did, a Hypercolor t-shirt is a Hypercolor t-shirt. I guess if the only place you can move on from aping the 1980s is aping 1990, the only way you can push past postmodernizing abstract styles is postmodernizing actual sui generis fads (or, if you want to be more charitable, objects).
As a way of looking at my childhood I find this striking. Maybe there was a point when I was too young to understand it where you stopped having a role -- which member of the Breakfast Club are you? -- and started being a collection of attitudes towards products. For example, here is the actual reason I posted anything about this: the greatest picture on Wikipedia, ever. In an alternate universe, I could be a hipster dumping this on my tumblr without commentary. Frantically collecting objects as a definition of myself, but wearing something from AA that fetishizes a generic past, a past we can make ironic because it is so malleable.
Borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered, as a great man once put it. I do honestly believe that all the fetish imagery AA deals in is really about that, and not sex. When we were that old, sex was something else entirely.