Skip

Kopi Luwak
January 21, 2014 6:09 PM   Subscribe

A remake of the famous business card scene from American Psycho — for a hipster jeans commercial. [slyt]
posted by cthuljew (38 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
No true denim-head would go anywhere near anything with stretch. Or pre-worn or -distressed.

Just sayin'

posted by deadbilly at 6:20 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I now sport an awesome beard. Just saying.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:22 PM on January 21, 2014


Can't. tell. if. mocking. hipsters. or. celebrating. agh. my aneurysm.
posted by cavalier at 7:00 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mocking. And yet I envy some of this soooooo much.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:02 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


deadbilly: "No true denim-head would go anywhere near anything with stretch. Or pre-worn or -distressed."

Yeah, seriously. Also, I thought the final one would be some kind of vintage, dead-stock Levi's. "Oh my God. It even has a big E."
posted by mhum at 7:08 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


...please be a stealth promo for a new series of Nathan Barley...please be a stealth promo for a new series of Nathan Barley...
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:12 PM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


"sivet" not "siv-ahy".

such rubes.
posted by lalochezia at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm always regretful when I see this scene in the spotlight again. Back in the early aughts I read American Psycho for a grad class, a very high-end bunch who were all older and much more theoretically sophisticated than I, back when theory was at its height. The dominant reading in the room -- and this was long before any critical works had come out -- was that the book was a postmodern triumph (disgusting, but a triumph), the narrative episodes as fundamentally and deliberately empty as the interleaved music reviews, a satire that rose above merely mocking the 80s by constructing a truly empty, yet entirely self-aware, narrator.

Struck as usual by the spirit of perversity, I increasingly took to arguing over those three hours that there were all sorts of hidden moments of pathos -- many hidden to the narrator himself, though clear enough to the reader. They hated that reading, reducing the novel from something truly empty to just another unreliable and mundanely psycho protagonist. Towards the end, I finally hit upon this incredibly obscure moment, a couple pages in many hundreds, where they debate yet another triviality, those business cards. 20 minutes of solid argument, me against the crowd plus the semi-famous theorist running the class, pointing out to them the true pathos of that scene, the narrator truly emotional, albeit almost invisibly to himself. In the end they were forced to grant my point, and the looks of disappointment on their faces -- in me, in Bateman, in Ellis, in postmodernism -- was, I later realized, strikingly like Bateman's own face at the culmination of this obscure scene which has since become so famous.

And now I too am saddened as my clever little reading has become commonplace, one-upped yet again by new and even more cleverly obscure readings.
posted by chortly at 7:30 PM on January 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


So much denim. It's nauseating.
posted by Redfield at 7:30 PM on January 21, 2014


Oh god, the beards. The beards.

I stopped taking denim fanatics with what little seriousness I ever did when I understood that they do not wash their jeans. They wear them for months. Months. Without washing. If When they start to smell, they put them in the freezer overnight. And then keep wearing them.

I saw a post at a denim site where a guy said his dog shit on his jeans and he was afraid washing them would ruin the wear pattern. He wanted to know how to get rid of the dogshit without washing his jeans.

That was when I realized these people are irredeemable.
posted by Justinian at 7:50 PM on January 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Can't. tell. if. mocking. hipsters. or. celebrating. agh. my aneurysm.

It's clearly mocking, but, like, I don't understand how that's supposed to sell the brand.

Why not just come right out and say, "Denham: You'd have to be a total dick to buy your jeans here."
posted by Sys Rq at 7:51 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It sells the brand by letting the denim fetishists have a laugh at their own expense and admit - if only for a second - that their fetish is somewhat ridiculous, and they know it is, but then turn around and feed their need for more denim. Think about liquor advertising. The "user" of the ad uses it to reinforce his/her habit as, paradoxically, something over which he/she has some level of control, as evidence by his/her ability to laugh at the habit and him/herself. No different from funny beer ads, funny junk food ads, etc.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:02 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


It sells the brand by letting the denim fetishists have a laugh at their own expense and admit - if only for a second - that their fetish is somewhat ridiculous...,

or is it selling to someone who secretly wishes they had a beard like that but isn't willing to take the fashion risk?
posted by ennui.bz at 8:09 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Probably sells to both groups, I'd wager.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:10 PM on January 21, 2014


I'm fascinated by the idea of never washing jeans, because maybe then they wouldn't wear through in just six months wear. I've always been confused as to why jeans were considered sturdy work wear when they always went into holes so easily.

(Why yes, I do have thighs that touch. So do many other humans. Maybe this should be part of the calculation in trouser design).
posted by jb at 8:11 PM on January 21, 2014


In addition: I have it on good authority that civet cat coffee is nothing like any other coffee my authority has tasted, and it's awesome. Some day, I will travel to Indonesia to try some.
posted by jb at 8:13 PM on January 21, 2014


In addition: I have it on good authority that civet cat coffee is nothing like any other coffee my authority has tasted, and it's awesome. Some day, I will travel to Indonesia to try some.


I have it on good authority from the best coffee roasters in North America- people who do dozens of origin trips a year- that kopi luwak is overhyped, overrated, overpriced garbage. It also too often falls in the hands of roasters who burn it to a crisp.

There is good Pacific region coffee including some excellent product out of PNG these days, and this isn't it. But if you want to taste it there is absolutely zero need to travel to Indonesia for it since drinking at source is as pointless as flying to South Africa to buy a diamond ring. Less so, really, since the green is shipped to places all around the world for roasting and consumption. Going to Indonesia to drink kopi luwak is like going to rural Saskatchewan for pasta since that's where the semolina is grown.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:17 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Long ago (up to and including when I was an undergraduate in the mid-1980s), the standard presentation of blue jeans was as unwashed, stiff as a board, dark indigo work pants that the new owner was going to have to break in. Yes, there were pre-washed jeans available, but they were actively marketed as such, and therefore as something out of the ordinary. The standard-issue item from Levi's and others was just the sort of stiff-as-a-board jeans object of fetishism the hipsters being (lightly) mocked in this ad would cream in, given the opportunity. You paid less for these than for the pre-washed version.

Jeans also were made of heavier weight fabric in those days, with the exception of the "designer" jeans made to appeal to women. Brooke Shields let nothing get between her and her Calvin Klein's because they had been softened up a bit and were also likely made with a lighter weight denim. Then they came up with stretch denim, and chaos has reigned ever since. The one thing I can say in favor of the hipster denim fetishists is that they do seem to have got right the fact that older, more "authentic" denim was indeed heavier (and unwashed). But that's no reason to live like a gold panner; wash your damn jeans. That said, unwashed Levi's were $15 in 1985; now a similar item can cost $150, so maybe I'm just being obtuse.

(One last note. A play in which my wife was a cast member had a recurring line "Dirty dungarees! Dirty dungarees!" that just got ingrained in my mind. I can't disassociate that from the "don't wash your precious denim" hipsters.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:25 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Didn't tamp. Poseur.

(Kopi tastes like a mild and (surprisingly) clean Sumatran coffee. Today, it's increasingly associated with inhumane treatment of animals. Just don't, eh? Not worth what it costs, on any number of fronts.)
posted by deCadmus at 8:27 PM on January 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Maybe they portrayed him as a fan of inhumane coffee beans because he is also a psychotic murderer? That might also explain why he did not tamp.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:29 PM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


A few years ago here in Portland a barbershop opened up called The Modern Man. I first went there only about two months after it opened because an acquaintance told me he knew the guy who was starting it and recommended it to me. The guy who had always cut my hair up until then had moved away and I figured it was worth a shot. I went and got a good haircut, got a free shot of whiskey, and a nice little cigar. I went a few months later after my hair had grown out a lot and had a different guy cut my hair. Him and I established a rapport based around our mutual taste in music and we quickly became pretty good acquaintances, to the point where I've been going to him exclusively for my haircuts for over two years now (which is also part of a personal experiment I am doing to determine exactly how my hair should be cut so that when it finally does grow out it doesn't bother me a whole bunch).

Anyway, the whole theme of Modern Man is that it harkens back to that old school barbershop style of getting a nice clean shave and stuff like that. It's pretty explicit in its masculinity, but is definitely not toxic in anyway. A lot of the employees fit the look of the guys in this video, and a lot of Modern Man's customers are spitting images of these guys.

So where and when did this trend form, and how? I am not about to call these guys hipsters, because that term implies so many different things to every single person. The reason I bring up Modern Man is because I never witnessed this whole style before Modern Man got more popular here, so I've been calling them Modern Men. It's interesting to see this video because it's proving to me that this isn't just a Portland phenomenon, and since it's not a Portland thing I figure it means that there was some sort of spark to this whole style.

The style is sort of weird, too. It's like an amalgamation of modern menswear trends and Don Draper. In the summertime you'll see guys that look like these dudes wearing brogue shoes with maybe colorful shorts, and a nice long sleeved button-down shirt that has the sleeves rolled up. And they're totally covered in tattoos.
posted by gucci mane at 9:23 PM on January 21, 2014


I too was bothered by the failure to tamp! WTF is wrong with me!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:36 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It sells the brand by letting the denim fetishists

NO, no, really? "denim fetishists" is a thing? No, this is one of those off the wall in every way threads, right? Right? No, just no. I'm all for silly obsessions, for fun, and I get the actual obsessive folks, they have it rough, but denim? No just no.
posted by sammyo at 9:45 PM on January 21, 2014


I have it on good authority from the best coffee roasters in North America- people who do dozens of origin trips a year- that kopi luwak is overhyped, overrated, overpriced garbage.

Pretty much. Now, kopi kopi luwak - that's the good stuff.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:45 PM on January 21, 2014


Ha. His vintage filing cabinet is beige. I've got army green ones.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:49 PM on January 21, 2014




That said, unwashed Levi's were $15 in 1985; now a similar item can cost $150, so maybe I'm just being obtuse.

Levi's still sell unwashed, stiff-as-a-board "shrink to fit" 501s. The MSRP is $64, but you can get them for 50% off a couple of times a year. Denim fetishists complain that the fit is different than vintage versions (and in fact varies between factories and even lots from the same factory), and they don't have selvedge seams, but they're actually still pretty good jeans. Of course, they also sell several fetish versions under the Levi's Vintage Clothing label for something like $250.
posted by bradf at 9:58 PM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


...please be a stealth promo for a new series of Nathan Barley...please be a stealth promo for a new series of Nathan Barley...
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:12 PM on January 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


unfortunately not - i think this ad is for people who think that hipsterism is over now, and they are neo-hipster or something
posted by Bwithh at 11:24 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]




No way Bateman (or his hipster counterpart) would have a grinder with a doser.
posted by Omission at 11:58 PM on January 21, 2014


I saw a post at a denim site

People post on denim sites? I thought I was the saddest person in the world but sweet Jesus I am saved!
posted by billiebee at 12:58 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


So where and when did this trend form, and how?

My reading of this is that sometime in the 1990's people in the punk/metal/rock/bar scene started styling themselves with items traditionally associated with the american working class (denim, boots, "trucker" hats, beer coozies). Trucker hats especially were then in turn appropriated by the mainstream and became the thing everybody loved to hate. But this whole style lived on, getting blended with the popular things of the time (more tattoos, more piercings).

Later, when #menswear was becoming a thing, this style laid the basis for the interest in "americana". Which is ostensibly the same as the source material: traditional american working class clothing. Durable and well-made items (because they were functional).

The specific interest in denim I saw at least from the late 1990s, albeit by very few people. The "scene" mentioned here seems to also be informed both by the obsessive consumerist focus of sneakerheads as well as the obsessive appropriation happening in hyper-specialized japanese fashion magazines. There is also an aspect which is a reaction to the popularity of washed/faded/overly-styled/stressed/stretch jeans; the older variants were of clearly better durability and more traditional and therefore "authentic" and therefore "better".
posted by beerbajay at 4:21 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh wow, I didn't even watch the video before commenting. "Worship tradition", calling out japanese makers. Yep.

So who does this? In the video we have "creative class" people who are in bands or DJ, like typography, tattoos, maybe work in a bar or a coffee shop, have enough money for a constantly-tight haircut and are aware enough of trends to have the appropriate facial hair, glasses, etc.
posted by beerbajay at 4:39 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


He didn't tamp his coffee! (On preview, seems other mefi's are as odd as myself...!)
posted by Static Vagabond at 5:58 AM on January 22, 2014


I am a denim fetishist. I can't afford them or fit into them but I love really awesome selvedge and vintage stuff. This was great.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:21 AM on January 22, 2014


Yes, he doesn't tamp and he pronounces civet sivee. The whole point is that he's a poser.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:46 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


because maybe then they wouldn't wear through in just six months wear. I've always been confused as to why jeans were considered sturdy work wear when they always went into holes so easily.

Good jeans don't wear through in six months.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:15 AM on January 22, 2014


Oh, I thought you were referring to this American psycho.
posted by PHINC at 8:21 AM on January 22, 2014


« Older Gender Swap   |   RIP Biquette, 2004?-2014 Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post