Ey! Oh! Hipster!

Eh! Oye! You a hipster? I sho’ hope not!


Terry Richardson & Dov Charney: Perverts in Crime

Pervert alert! Well, said alert is not really breaking news…but recently several models – including supermodel Rie Rasmusson and Jamie Peck — have come forward with frank and graphic allegations of sexual harassment against fashion photographer Terry Richardson (arguably the godfather of the VICEAMERICANAPPARELIRONICFACIALHAIR hipster ideology, along with fellow old letch Dov Charney, who I’m including in this post because they’re so similar they’re often confused with each other) .

Fake ad, real quote (thanks Lxy)

More from Jezebel:

Jamie Peck, who was 19 at the time, shot with Richardson at his studio twice. Although she was prepared and willing to pose for him nude, she writes, “This man has built his business/pleasure empire on breaking the cardinal rule of asking a young girl you don’t know to come over to your house and hang out naked: don’t be a fucking creep.”

Before I could say “whoa, whoa, whoa!” dude was wearing only his tattoos and waggling the biggest dick I’d ever seen dangerously close to my unclothed person (granted, I hadn’t seen very many yet). “Why don’t you take some pictures of me?” he asked. Um, sure.

It gets worse. “I’m not sure how he maneuvered me over to the couch, but at some point he strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis,” writes Peck.

This is where I zoom out on the situation. I can remember doing this stuff, but even at the time, it was sort of like watching someone else do it, someone who couldn’t possibly be me because I would never touch a creepy photographer’s penis. The only explanation I can come up with is that he was so darn friendly and happy about it all, and his assistants were so stoked on it as well, that I didn’t want to be the killjoy in the room. My new fake friends would’ve been bummed if I’d said no.

I must have said something about finals, because he told me, “if you make me come, you get an A.” So I did! Pretty fast, I might add. All over my left hand. His assistant handed me a towel.

While Richardson’s reputation has since been no secret (he’s been quoted as saying: “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing“), his fame and influence with magazines like Vogue and designers like Miu Miu make it difficult for young models trying to establish their careers to come out against him publicly.

I’ve also seen this skeezebag many a time walking his dog in the Soho and Bowery area (he lives on Lafayette between Broome and Grand, my roommate informs me), blatantly scoping out any and every young female passerby.

OK, Richardson’s conduct and Charney’s opinions on women are pretty vile, but so what? How does this affect us as Asian Americans (and women)? Welp, aside from this behavior being despicable in itself, unfortunately it’s not contained to photo shoots or the models they “work” with.

Every American Apparel billboard and soft-porny ad on the back of VICE showcasing a jailbaitish Asian girl with legs splayed open (which seems to be the flavor du jour) is a reflection of their pervert penchants and the huge influence they’ve had on fashion and marketing. Which — whether you like it or not —  sends the message that yellow and brown women are interchangeable sexdolls here to fulfill whiteboy hipster fantasies. We don’t just sell the product, we are the product.  That’s the message I get when I look at this, and when I look at Asian chicks strutting around Williamsburg wearing the same outfits in the ads.

Our images are not controlled by us, but by some old scumbags – including one who’s M.O. is to waggle his dick in your face and impose an HJ before having you pose nude to sell hipster merchandise. And a whole generation of douchebag yippes think this shit is cool and edgy, and this excellent portrayal of women of color goes on and on and on.

More on the Richardson allegations at Jezebel, where contributor Jenna Sauers (a former model) is fed up and offering to post accounts from anyone who’s had a similar experience.

Model Minorites: Brother Sharp

Lemme just start this post by sayin’: DERELICTE!!!

Best movie ever made aside, this is pretty unbelievable: a mentally unstable homeless man in Ningbo has unwittingly (and unwillingly, judging from his reaction to being approached by fans) become a model and fashion icon.

Specifically, thousands of online admirers — who’ve dubbed him “Brother Sharp and China’s Coolest Man” —  swoon over his rakish movie-star looks and unconventional fashion sense (marked by a splash of ladies’ haberdashery), a unique look he’s cultivated via…dumpster diving. And being starving and cold and insane.

Seriously people, STFU. This includes you, Vivienne Westwood, with your horribly tasteless “Fashion Made Homeless” runway collection.

Fashion Made Horrible

And you, scrubby, smelly, irony-obsessed, L-train-infesting hipsters.

Yeah, maybe Brother Sharp bears a passing resemblance to Takeshi Kaneshiro, and his ensemble is a cut above duct-taped garbage bags and shredded sweats, but can someone just give a flying fark about this guy’s basic needs?

Thanks Char Char!

Wes Anderson Does it Again

I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with Wes Anderson in the past, and I’ve even BcB tweeted it when I watched the Fantastic Mr. Fox. But I finally figured out why the subtle fetishizing of people of color in ALL of Wes Anderson films really bug me. Whether its the Vietnam War reenactment in a school play at Rushmore Academy or the Filipino pirates in A Life Aquatic, Wes Anderson likes to fuck with folks. He likes to joke with people in their face, and since all the characters in his movie are in the know, its all an act. BUT. One problem. The people of color in his movies aren’t given the pleasure of being on the inside of the joke.

Poor Danny Glover in The Royal Tennenbaums doesn’t understand why he’s treated like an outsider in a family he has adopted as his own. Margaret Yang would do anything to please Max, so she doesn’t realize what it means for her to don a Viet Cong outfit in his mock war play. And The Darjeeling Limited? There are four people in the entire country of India during that movie that get that their in a movie: Anjelica Houston, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrian Brody. Everyone else is one-dimensional, brown folk just there for scenery, probably thinking Anderson is filming a documentary about trains.

And what about his latest film? How can Anderson bring in some subtle racism into a stop animation film about rabbits and foxes and humans? *Spoiler* By bringing in a one dimensional wolf that is the only “animal” in the film. It doesn’t talk, it doesn’t walk on two legs, and its the scariest thing on screen. And if you didn’t get the personification of the wolf character in the film, just for good measure, Anderson has the wolf raise a fist, Black Panther style.

Why does he do this? He knows his audience consists of graduate school educated, been to Paris on holiday, McLaren car seat in the back of an Audi A4, New Yorker reading yipsters, so they can read his subtext. All I know is that its getting harder and harder to watch his films as he gets cockier and cockier. Maybe its because he moved to Paris (this goes for you too Sedaris) or because deep down inside, he’s a Texan.

Yipsters: The New Wave of Gentrification

As a trained urban planner from some very very far left schools, I am taught two major lessons: gentrification with displacement is bad but investments in infrastructure and development in poor neighborhoods is good. So I am fully aware that the very places I love to hang out are the very places that are getting gentrified (sometimes with displacement and sometimes without). We’re talking The Mission in SF, Silverlake in LA, Temescal in Oakland and wherever there’s an art show in Brooklyn. So as I’m sitting there at some new bar filled with skinny jean fitted, thick black glass wearing, Catcher in the Rye poking out of the back pocket perpetual grad students, I am fully aware that the bar just opened up where a vacuum shop once thrived 40 years earlier. And that the taco truck outside, Ritmo Latino store next door, or Chinese herbalist across the street may not survive the onslaught of graphic designers, children’s book writers, and post-docs that will soon overtake said neighborhood. So it troubles me greatly (while I’m sipping on my lychee martini, Miller High Life, or Kettle One Grayhound).

Highland Park: The York Pub (where AzN once dropped $230 for a round of 18 Jager Bombs) vs. Elsa's Bakey (I think Elsa is standing with her arms crossed, cut off by the photo)

Highland Park in LA: The York Pub (where AzN once dropped $230 for a round of 18 Jager Bombs) vs. Elsa's Bakey (I think Elsa is standing with her arms crossed, cut off by the photo, see arrow)

So the point of this blog post is really an apology to the folks that were living in these neighborhoods before urban planners paved the way for these yipsters (hipster yuppies). Yipsters are folks that have the money and youth of a yuppie, but the aesthetics and tastes of a hipster. So they might roll around with a Maclaren baby stroller, but they’re also willing to step into a Mexican bakery for some steaming fresh pigs in a blanket.

While the profession looks down on outright gentrification with displacement (can someone say China Basin or Japantown?), urban planners laud the yipster takeover. The kind that occurs when a really cool bike shop (like Manifesto near MacArthur in Oakland) or a damn good bakery (Bakesale Betty in Temescal Oakland) opens up in a really really bad neighborhood. There is no redevelopment investment or even a Starbucks. A few daring few yipsters (maybe they’re really damn smart people that made a lot of money on some business and wanted to follow their lifelong dream of opening up a hip comic book shop *COUGH* Secret Headquarters in Sunset Junction *COUGH*) decide to put a good business in an area with not much else.

I’m not sure if this phenomenon is an entirely good thing or an inherently bad thing, but I know eventually the neighborhood will turn, and the turn will be towards gentrification. Whether or not that leads to displacement is another thing (or if the residents that stay enjoy the economic benefits). But one thing is certain, urban planning folks love it cause yipsters not only spend a shitload of money on old timey bikes and fair trade coffee and furniture with tons of Umlauts, they also like the ethnic spots that were always there. And if you want proof, check out a little rag called the New York Times or a no-name nobody named Bill Fulton (planning God) writing about the next yipster neighborhood in LA: Highland Park. Fulton actually uses the term HIPSTER in all its academic glory. The End is near.

Echo Park. Check. Silverlake. Check. Highland Park? Hmmmm...

Echo Park. Check. Silverlake. Check. Highland Park? TBD.

Friday Fuckery: Hipster Bike Messenger vs Unarmed Asian Man

Because a hipster on a fixie is so emaciated from all the Coca-Cola coke and skittles he be imbibing (to fit into skinny jeans, presumably), he needs a Kryptonite bike lock (the only thing big enough to bulge out of this dude’s jorts – jean shorts) to beat up on an unarmed Asian dude on the streets of NYC. Granted, we don’t know the whole story, and the homeless Asian dude looks like he’s following him. But the (white) bike messenger looks like a cornbread, white toast, muffin (I like the high carb references to white people) biker bicyclist from Connecticut, so why he gotta be slamming people in the face with a bike lock instead of biking away? At least he didn’t have the Kryptonite lock with a chain attached

from buzzfeed.

Carnivorous Women vs Herbivorous Boys (Japan Only)

So apparently, as always, where there’s a quirky character trait that we may call out in one of our friends, like… say… metrosexuality, there inevitably is a whole movement that follows in Japan. In Japan they call it Herbivorous Boys and its old news from January that I’m only finding out about now (CNN Asia Article).

Metrosexual, Hipster, whatever the term...

Metrosexual, Hipster, Herbivorous Boys, whatever the term is...

The author who coined the term, Maki Fukaswa, says it describes men who are redefining what it is to be a man in Japan these days, where masculinity once reigned supreme (until now). They are called “Herbivorous Boys” since they are not interested in flesh. They are typically in their 20s and 30s, and usually surrounded by females because they believe that friendship without sex can exist between men and women.

There are apparently three reasons for the shift in Japan according to this article (where it is believed that 20% of the 20-30 year old male population fits under this category):  There are fewer children leading to less sibling rivalry/exam competition, they were brought up after the bubble economy of the 90s burst, and they follow the motto, “The nail that sticks up, gets hammered down”. This resulted in a population of men who were more delicate and highly averse to being hurt and willing to settle for less.

The best part has to be the rise of the female counterpart, which (surprise, surprise), they’re calling the carnivorous women. These women dress up like a famous model/actress (aren’t they all slashes?) named Yuri Ebihara (see picture below) who started a movement based on her nickname: Edi-chan. The “movement” is basically women copying outfits in magazines, following “How to get a man” guides, wearing girly pink, low-cut outfits at dating parties, and serving food all to get guys’ attention.

I'd love a bite of that. And the burger too... I'm just sayin'!

I'd love a bite of that. And the burger too... I'm just sayin'!

But apparently, all that work doesn’t work on the Herbivorous Boys, who are way more concerned with getting hurt and won’t approach females. These boys aren’t willing to take the initial step, a leap of faith (and the inevitably fall that follows).

My opinion on this? Hurray I say! Let’s flip the table on women, cause I’m tired of being the hunter. I’d rather be gathering women off the berry bushes then running around with Goose and Iceman trying to net me’s a womans at da club. At the very least, this will lead to less suicides on the Japanese subways, right? And leaves more meat for the carnivores…………..