Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Fader magazine is probably the lead vehicle right now in the business of commodifying cool. Reading it twists you up: "I'm a fan; I’m repulsed; I’m both!" Fader is the bad boy with the hot car, the yucky girl with the perfect smile. You want it but it's not good for you.

So, for instance, last week the Fader staff blogged Jamaica Style Week 06, a week-long fashion show in Kingston put on by "Saint International Modeling Agency and whole bunch of other yardies…" The photos posted on the site say it all: beautiful Jamaicans, African-inspired designs, primary colors-- the clothes are cool looking and partly because they suggest what a more inclusive, "ruder," expanded couture culture might look like. And of course chilling in Kingston for a week probably didn’t suck either. So you think: "Yaay Fader! Way to go!" But then you look again, pause, and think: "Oh no you don’t Fader. This is just more of the same-- skinny girls and gawkers, colonial commodification of the exotic, a billion-dollar industry tapping consumer weakness and neuroses. Does Jamaica need that? Does anybody?"

Fader confuses: it talks fancy to you but treats you like a wannabe lover. I don’t know what I feel from one page to the next. Is anyone with me on this? Anybody?


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