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zombie Orthodox chic

September 10, 2014

GQ: “The Orthodox Hit Squad” by Matthew Shaer, about violent squads of Orthodox Jews that force men to participate in religious divorce ceremonies when their wives want out:

While Ben watches, the men prepare their work clothes. Some wear black ski masks. Some have bandannas pulled over their faces in the manner of Wild West outlaws. One man is wearing a zombie mask, another a black Metallica T-shirt. A third has yanked a big trash bag over his torso—perhaps a blood-splatter prophylactic, in case this particular get requires leaving a mark after all.

The story is old news but the pictures are GQ commenting on Orthodox fashion? Black suits and white shirts are totally in this season. And long side burns with the unshaven look. It’s Orthodox-chic, plus the gang-criminality so it’s like Soprano’s-style mafia-chic without the Jersey Shore colors. Look like gangsters and black and white is just so in right now. It’s like fashion is revealing our desire for stark contrast. If only world politics were so simple, but violence and religious law are complicated issues.

gq orthodox chic

What color suit will President Obama wear tonight? Tan created a lot of buzz last week so perhaps GQ might suggest a black suit and a white shirt if he plans to go beat up the deadbeats. NYdailynews: “President Obama’s tan suit draws ire from critics, Twitter” by Annie Karni, BUT “Obama’s Tan Suit Applauded By Fashion Industry” by Kim Bhasin:

Joseph Abboud, fashion designer and chief creative director of Men’s Wearhouse, praised Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit … “I applaud him for wearing a tan suit,” said Abboud, who previously made clothes for Obama as head of suit-maker Hart Schaffner Marx. “You don’t want to look the same every day of your life. It’s boring as hell.”



Maybe President Obama could wear a zombie mask when he addresses the nation tonight. That would be funny. Or maybe he is the zombie mask, as worn by violent religious gangs (aka multinational corporations) that demand that either our brains or our signatures are on this social contract. Is ISIS or ISIL or whatever, fear tactics, terrorists, new political party in a foreign land? Washington Post: “Everything you need to know about the Islamic State — from America’s top comedians” By Jaime Fuller:

Colbert tries to scare the Islamic State Orson Welles-style with a fake radio broadcast. It involves Zombie Reagan.

Reagan also wore tan suits:

And recall the Amish zombie beard-cutting gang, and other zombie gangs. Gangs exist in all cultures. Including our own political culture. It’s important not to over-emphasize these unusual instances of criminality as statements about the entire culture. We need more stories about fringe groups that display their virtues. Instead these kinds of gang instances demean their whole group.

Violence of any kind should be deplored. And all societies face the problem of how to stop the violence without further violence. Consider again whether Superman had to kill Zod (recall “Why ‘Man of Steel’ Could Learn A Lesson From ‘Day of the Doctor’” by Alex Zalben). And yes, Clark Kent has worn tan suits. I think it’s more often blue or grey, but according to TVTropes, this tan suited Christopher Reeves image is the prototypical “Clark Kent Outfit”:

tan suit clark kent

Notice the GQ article also mentions a Metallica tee-shirt. Heavy metal music is associated to zombie themes. The season finale of the HBO show “The Leftovers” used an orchestral version of a Metallica song as part of decision-making for gang violence. That HBO show is not a zombie show per se, but the themes of memory and departed in a surreal world make the show related to this zombie culture. It’s about how we remember the past.

Tomorrow is 9/11, so are we all supposed to wear white and chain smoke? Will President Obama announce air strikes to keep the memory alive? Drone fireworks to commemorate the holiday? Or can we find a way to remember without adding more violence? Can there be divorce without beating each other up? Can people move on, detach, forget and learn to live together for the future? Or will the war in the Middle East continue forever?

We need a superman. “The Leftovers” offers a tired Police chief.

We can’t expect President Obama to suddenly swoop in and save us by sorting out problems into clear black and white. Life is more complex than black and white, a whole rainbow of colors (which can be composed by the three primary colors of Superman’s traditional costume). But not this fashion season, see E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: Best Street Style” by Lindsey Sirera:

There’s one common thread that strings these sartorial looks together though—a monochromatic color scheme.:

But also E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: The Best Shows of Day One” by Emily Popp:

noticed some trends cropping up right off the bat: soft color palettes being one of ’em. Plenty of designers opted to work in pretty pastels instead of saturated color.

You have to admire an industry that’s showing me fashion from the future instead of arguing about the past. That kind of forward thinking is precisely the kind of time-travel President Obama needs tonight. And the Twitterverse will know as soon as they see his outfit because “Nothing Else Matters“.

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From → criminal, obama, politics

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