Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Problems With Looking American

My latest column is out.

My editor occasionally drops stuff to make the column comprehendible to people not reading my blog (I have a bad habit of narrowcasting), so a reference to My Chemical Romance and text-speak were dropped, as was use of the phrase "de rigueur," as in: "(Members Only jackets) have become the de rigueur jacket of German exchange students."

There are few things funnier to me than making fun of Germans.*

*Even though I have a German lecturer who is actually pretty cool.

7 comments:

heatherfeather said...

although i did miss your bi-weekly lovefest for the child bride, i was delighted by the following:

-They are peas that have been made even more unappetizing
-Max Bialystock
-insufferable epaulettes
-hip-hop versions of Supertramp songs

and i outed myself as surfing at work when i snorted at your dad's reaction to member's only jackets, as my dad wore his until the day he died in 2005. it was butter yellow.

Mark Leslie Woods said...

Wow, Chris, good stuff.

Members Only are retro George Michael and Pet Shop Boys, not only German high tech band wannbe wear.

I have fun laughing at British attempts to get the Aber crombie 'Cotton Boys' look right -- they just don't get it, and come out looking a strained sloppy, kinda like their artifically green pea goop.

And a lot of Yankee looks aren't even conceivable to Brits -- for example, the L.L. Bean or Banana Republic looks are unheard of, and I've had students offer to buy my Tommy Hilfiger faded jeans right off my American arse, to my shock and surprise.

And why do all the girls dress like a cross between slutty Stevie Nicks 70s denim fashions (midriffs, big belts, hopelessly furry boots) and Plastic Barbie Princess dolls? What's that all about?

But at 31 you have yet to even glimpse at ageism and its ugly youthful cynicism. Wait until your hair falls out and you start taking you mother's anti-cholesterol pills -- this is a priceless moment, trust me.

And you didn't mention the Hoodie Pakis in Cardiff and London, or the BMW driving Hindus in Versace, juxtapositions which make my Ohio-bred head reel.

Luckier I've lived in wild and free-for-all Miami for three decades, so very little shocks me.

Go to Prague -- all the males over 2 years old wear socks and sandals from May Day until Halloween -- you'll fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you seem to have got confused.

Chris Cope said...

Anonymous: Dude, you can't take issue with someone's comment and not leave your name.

Mark: I'll agree with you on people not quite getting the A&F look. Some of the kids will wear A&F stuff that I assume they bought on a family trip to Florida and everything's just a little too in-place.

Anonymous said...

Argh, sorry, that was me. Blogger hates me at the moment and I can't sign in properly.

But still! I couldn't let 'hoodie pakis' etc go by without a bit of liberal spluttering.

Jenny

Mark Leslie Woods said...

Well Jenny, I interviewed three Pakistani males on the James street bridge a few years ago. I saw them spray painting graffiti. They told me they were 'Paki', not my word.

I also interviewed the son of an Indian take-away and his friends, when I met them in Canton, washing their cars on the street. One guy's Versace jeans cost more than I make each month, I know, 'cause I have a pair at home.

I bought 3 pairs of 550 loose fit Levis at Penny's in Aventura Florida for my college mate (cost £12 each), who gave me cash to pick him up some pairs (which normally cost about £60 in the U.K.)

He wears them to class with a knitted rainbow yarn ski cap and a dress shirt and wide tie: think a youthful Mr. Bean on his way to Mosque.

I can't make this stuff up, and I discreetly photograph the most outrageous, just in case I really am, 'confused', thank you.

Sara said...

yeah you do like making fun of germans.
hard to forget the endless stream of hitler, bismarck, nazi, leiderhosen cracks you let loose on my poor prom date at prom dinner - the unsuspecting german exchange student from our rival high school. you were so busy being mean you pretty much ignored amber lucky (hee hee, porn star name). i wonder where juergen is now? possibly wearing a member's only jacket.