I’m making revisions to a paper on the biopower of beauty at 3 a.m., but I have about 3,000 more words to cut to meet the word count. Clearly, it’s time for my most random post yet.
This is me at my brother’s wedding in San Diego this last April. Because he knows me well enough to recognize (and forgive) that I might be a teensy bit bored, he gave me his camera for the night. I dutifully spent four hours just like this, snapping photographs. I like this picture because it pretty much captures how I interacted with the event (highly mediated and mostly speechless), and how, at 35, I still make sartorial decisions based on twenty-year old punk aesthetics. (Disregarding the two ponytails.) The vaguely piratical striped dress is Ben Sherman, purchased during a whirlwind Soho shopping excursion with Minh-Ha and my girlfriend right when all the deep discounts hit the stores, post-crash. Wearing it with knee-high, buckled black leather flat boots, I felt like an saucy extra in a low-budget Adam Ant music video.
In case of a chill, I had also brought to the seaside restaurant the black cardigan sweater hanging on the back of my chair. An otherwise unremarkable piece from one of Urban Outfitter’s seemingly endless designer collaborations, I bought this sweater because, and this is completely, totally true, the name “NOTHING SACRED” reminded me of the old anarchist slogan, “NO GODS, NO MASTERS” (immortalized in song by Amebix) and the stenciled, all-caps font on the label reminded me of my languishing CRASS records — though I still will listen to my Penis Envy LP once a year, just on principle. Instantly charmed by these details, my recently bourgeois self made a completely unnecessary purchase on a whim, a wave of black-bloc nostalgia for my wayward youth.
Still, I think 19 year-old anarcha-feminist punk rock me would approve of this outfit.