Weekly Web Boners Vol. 24

Drug busts, job cuts, fashion faux pas and RIP American Apparel

By Max Dylan Lazarus

So much has happened since my last weekly boner; I’ve had to be very selective otherwise this would be just the longest write-up of all time! I tried to put everything from the last week into one long verse like Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire, but I couldn’t think of anything to rhyme with Springboks, Jürgen Klopp or The Great South African Bake-off. Anyway, here are your Weekly Web Boners.

Daisey’d and confused

We laughed, we loved, and we lost. Oh Daisies, you hit it right out the park yet again! Over 20 000 attendees and 150 acts, you really are getting more and more impressive by the year! Or so I hear at least, I wasn’t there – I go to festivals for the acts, The Kooks as headliners didn’t particularly tickle my fancy, and I almost strangled a group of 16 year olds from Riviersonderend two years ago for incessantly screaming that disastrous “Alan! Alan! Steve! Steve!” meme. Dawkins would be so proud. “But Max, Daisies isn’t about the line-up consisting of bands that peaked 10 years ago supported by others that had a hit single feature on last year’s edition of FIFA, it’s about the vibe and the gees and the jol!” You don’t say? R55 000 worth of drugs caught by the cops up the road? One Muizenberg woman was stopped in her old VW beetle with 95 MGMTs, 100 Es, 50 LSD strips, 23.5 grams of crack, and two sachets of DP zol (God I love you Cape Town, 10 subtlety-points to you Madame, trekking up to the festival in your very own dwelms-mobile). Clearly a jol was had and the gees was felt. Count me in for next year, you can catch me at the New World Styrofoam Recycle-a-thon Stage!

Stripped of your big boy suit

I’m not exactly sure how schools will run after World War III ends. Will there be adults around to run classes or will everything just be self-taught on Kindle-like devices. Perhaps that’s optimistic, assuming that we won’t be thrown back into a new Stone Age once the impoverished, disenfranchised masses break through the underground bunkers separating them from the world presidents, masters of industry, heads of media and Bono. Either way, we’re certainly on our way, and with the constant barrage of 24-hour news, it’s getting harder and harder to ascertain what stories are significant and what’s just angry noise, but every now and then an image pops up which just looks so powerful, so representative of the narrative of our time, that I think to myself that it simply must be included in future history textbooks. This week, Air France announced that they were going to cut 2900 jobs, including 1700 ground staff, 900 cabin crew staff and 300 pilots. In response, a horde of furious workers stormed Charles de Gaulle airport and violently attacked management, resulting in images of flabby, overfed fat-cats in ripped designer suits clambering up fences trying to escape from the crowds of recently unemployed, furious men. I’m not condoning the violence of course, but the images are pretty fantastic. I mean, all of these jobs are pretty specialised are they not? Flying a plane. Oh Air France can’t keep pilots in their jobs because French people can’t afford their prices because French people are losing their jobs? Chase all those overpaid idiots over the fences, that’s what I say…

If you wanna sell basics, stick with the noodz

RIP American Apparel, the company described by ThinkProgress.com as “the go-to clothier for the shopper progressive enough to seek out sweatshirts made in the sweatshop-free USA but not so progressive as to be repelled by the ick-factor of the retailer’s (recently removed) founder Dov Charney”. The famous brand this week filed for bankruptcy, and marketing tutors in universities across the globe shed single tears in unison. Never has there been a better example for the immense power a label holds. In the cold light of day we can now conduct a post-mortem: that is a plain white tee, that there is a pair of normal leggings, and over there, that’s just a beanie. But under the crisp, counter-culture banner that was the American Apparel brand, they all represented imperfect, hypersexual youth culture. A brand association that's minimalist, beautiful, and probably willing to indulge in a quickie during smoke-breaks, American Apparel had it nailed down, and swiftly lost it when they thought they could steady the sinking ship by toning down their personality.  

Where were you when the bombs came down?

So the United States bombed a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. There were no terrorists there. It was a no-risk area, a refuge for the sick and dying in a country that’s up there amongst the shittiest to exist in at the moment. Every day since the bombing there has been a new official explanation coming from the US, but the basic gist has been, “we did a woopsy, soz!” I don’t know what you think, but in my mind the country with the most advanced military in the world shouldn’t really operate in woopsies. Hospitals do not get bombed by mistake, and if they do, the people who allow such an accident to occur must suffer the consequences of their neglect in a military tribunal. That’s what the good guys do. Obama has personally apologised, but Doctors Without Borders say it is not enough, and that the attack is equivalent to an attack on The Geneva Conventions, calling for an independent investigation from a long-existing but until today unused International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. 12 medical staff members and at least 10 patients died in the airstrike.

Rest your chin on my perineum for easy avant-garde!

“Rick, everything is sorted, the outfits are prepped, the models are ready, we’re finally sorted for your SS16 show!”

“I don’t know, I feel it’s just not subversive enough, where’s the social commentary?”

“Well I dunno Rick, I guess everyone looks like a diabetic version of Kurt Russell in Escape from New York. Perhaps it can be perceived as a nuanced nod at the fact that we’ve already entered our dystopian future, and that minimalist, urban camo is the new aesthetic we embrace, for both stylistic and practical reasons. The monochromatic element running throughout combines with the unsubtle presence of toggles and straps to make a subtle but effective statement on the immense pressures and struggles felt by young people today – impoverished financially and emotionally, alone spiritually but never physically.”

“F**k subtle statement! F**k nuanced nods! I’m f**kin’ Rick Owens! I had models walk the runway with their cocks out a year ago! I had to punch my muse last time around for threatening to kill Angela Merkel on the runway! It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the narrative, this isn’t about fashion – this is art! You’re the worst assistant ever Pascale!”

“Well what do you have in mind, my liege?”

“Backpacks. Human backpacks. Covering my models. Because feminism.”

Honestly, f**k this guy.

“Oh geez!” Fargo season 2 kicks off

This has been a bit of a hit-and-miss year for series after the fantastic peaks reached in 2014. So far Game of Thrones had its poorest season, while True Detective tried its hardest to emulate the success of its first season by making everyone a brooding, drunken, woe-is-me abysmal mess. Some good shows have shown up like Mr. Robot and Narcos, but the difference between an accomplished mini-series and a genre-breaking success is the show’s ability to maintain and improve quality over several seasons. It’s a tough ask, yet for some reason I’m hugely optimistic for Fargo. For those of you who didn’t watch it, please go do so. It’s just fantastic: the television equivalent of a collision between an old-school American school bus and a violently swerving cattle-cart on its way to the abattoir. Also it’s filled with chainsaws. Season 2 is set a few decades prior to the last one, and stars Patrick Wilson, Kieran Culkin, Brad Garrett, Ted Danson and Kirsten Dunst.