Research on defanging

I’m a little bit fascinated with the idea of going over to hipsters’ houses when they aren’t around, and rifling through their pop culture possessions.

It seems like if you read all a hipster’s books, watched all her movies, listened to all her music, played with all her toys, and looked at all her web bookmarks, she’d have no way to show off her cultivated taste and connections. I think of this as a defanging. “I’m not much for using media consumption for cool points” is how I characterized this fascination over on MOG.

I haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of this defanging fantasy yet, but this CPU post about creating The Nod has at least given me a solid idea about a website I could make to express my troubles.

Sit in a cafe with a Mac PowerBook, and chances are you’ll get The Nod… Display GNOME on your ThinkPad and you’ll get The Nod. But run Windows on your Dell and you won’t.

Why do some things get The Nod but not others? And isn’t it really the user that gets The Nod, and not the product?…

The Nod is a way for one user to tell another:

“We’re smarter.”


“We’re risk-takers.”


“We’re more indie.”


“We’ve been at this from the beginning (unlike these clueless newbies).”


Gross! I do love that this article was written for marketers, and I think that’s what unlocked my articulation on this issue. It sounds catty and obvious to declare that it’s shallow and maybe vain to use commercial products to proove your identity, but somehow hearing marketers make up catchphrases about it (“The Nod”?) gives me the necessary boost up onto my high horse.

So this defanging website, to express my troubles. I tried out several previous possibilities on Galen, but they all seemed doomed to hypocrisy.

My latest version is this: it would be fun to interview people about what they like to do and how they spend their time, and simply refuse to print any anecdote containing a brand name, a catchphrase, a club affiliation, or the like. Basically anything you could get A Nod about would be blanked out. Maybe even retroactively, if something you mentioned was easily imitated and sparked a trend. It could be sort of a Last Person Standing competition in inimitability.

It ties a little into this quote I read in the beginning of an Ansel Adams photography textbook. I think it was originally about Mozart, and it said something to the effect that “It’s no great accomplishment to be the first to do something. What we should aim for is to be the last; to do something so extraordinary that it can never be repeated.”

Namin’ names

  • Someday, maybe I will start a sysadmin dance band called Deee-link.
  • I hope someone starts selling eels or eggs online, before it becomes completely gauche to add ‘e’ to the front of a word, to denote online commerce. would be pretty awesome, probably.

Jellyfish couture still ascending

Jellyfish dress by Valentino

I bought some thrift store yarn in Sidney last weekend (three bags of matching nubby grey cotton), and it gave me fashion monkeybrain. I drew a lot of silly outfits in my notebook when we got home, mostly still in the vein of jellyfish couture.

There are two jellyfish garments in particular that I think really need to get made, after looking at the initial Fall 2006 runway photos on (which is something I apparently do now). The spirit of the times, it is a spirit of jellyfish!

First, I have some sheer, iridescent red fabric that used to be bed curtains, earmarked for a shoulder tutu. I’ve described this in my notebook as “like a big filmy donut made of gauze” and it sits around your shoulders like a huge shawl. (You know, a huge gauze donut that you wear…) It would be like a jellyfish body, around your shoulders (err, my shoulders), and would double as a sort of bizarro 1940s fur collar.

Secondly, the tentacle underskirt. This is something I keep threatening to knit, but which I should probably sew. It would be a long, slim skirt made of verticle ruffles, to turn your legs into jellyfish tentacles. You could wear a shorter, puffy skirt overtop. I see this as the logical evolution of letting a lacy slip show under your dress hem. Just a straight, obvious, rational line, really, the development of the jellyfish underskirt.

But check it: if you ignore the probable artistic “point” of several fashion collections, you can spot a lot of shoulder tutus , long ruffles and general jellyfishiness.

Also worth noting: I hope this Givenchy collection means that my fantasy of women with coiffed facial hair is finally ready for public consumption. If I could grow a beard, I’d style it so hard.