“American” Apparel Returns to Insult Everyone’s Intelligence

The “Bubblenomics” of American Apparel

American Apparel is back (under new ownership!) Now made in China, Mexico and well, pretty much everywhere but America.

From The Guardian:

One big change is the Made in the USA tag. Its commitment to producing all of its collections in downtown LA factories – Charney refused to outsource from the US – defined its former incarnation. Now, the brand splits manufacturing between its own factories in Central America and Gilden-approved vendors governed by its Genuine Responsibility programme around the world, including Mexico and China.

Is anyone falling for this crap? Basically American Apparel is now just another H&M or Forever 21, perhaps differentiated only by having more annoying and preachy social justice ads (probably motivated more by claiming a profitable niche market than by any genuine sentiment.) They also claim to be “sweatshop free,” but this is to large extent a distinction without difference. Whether or not a factory can technically be called a sweatshop or not distracts from the fact that companies manufacture in other countries in order to undercut American workers, skirt US labor laws and avoid environmentally protective regulations. So yeah, maybe the central American garment sewer isn’t being beaten with a whip all day, but let’s not pretend there’s any real ethical considerations going on here. It’s just the construction of a rather shrewd PR angle.

Outsourcing is an American value

The whole charade serves as a metaphor for contemporary America. There is no physical country, no place. Everywhere is America. American Apparel promotes American values, values which it redefines as anything abstractly inclusive anywhere in the world (in stark contrast with almost all of American history and any known value which might actually work toward America’s benefit.) Anything which enriches CEOs at the expense of interest of the American worker or the interest of the nation itself is now an “American value.” If America includes everyone, then it ultimately includes no one…since there’s nothing to distinguish it from anywhere else. In a tragic sense, American Apparel does represent contemporary American values. For added insult, the company offers customers the opportunity to pay extra for items “designed and sewn in USA,” which like “assembled in USA” is yet a common weaselly worded obfuscation corporations use to denote something not actually made in USA. Perhaps they do make a handful of garments in the USA, but if so it’s such a trivial amount that it can’t be seen as anything but a token PR ploy to provide cover.

Say what one will about the original American Apparel and its attempt to redefine American ideals as the promotion of mass third world immigration (the likes of which have never been supported by any US immigration law prior to 1965) and the sudden promotion of various LGBTQ causes. There was at least genuine commitment to favorable conditions for workers and a focus on product quality. Their clothes were actually made in the USA, which made even someone like me happy to buy them, even if I was not fully on board with Dov Charney’s conceptualization of America. The old American Apparel was also one of the few places I could still buy a velour tracksuit. American Apparel, with its unitards, 70’s pornwear accessories, and shiny, Buck Rogers era disco attire…always seemed to cater to a period in fashion which I’m probably one of the few people who admires. There’s no getting around it. When it comes to clothing, Dov Charney and I have the same tastes. People also made a big deal about the sexual advertising, but I personally thought the ads were terrific. Maybe they pushed the envelope a little too far, but I’m not a huge prude so I never found them offensive. They ended up being a canary in the coal mine though for what has now become completely common: the rising sexual puritanism of the left and the icons of liberalism being consumed by their own pets. If you support the open sexuality of females you’re exploiting them. If you promote sexual modesty, you’re oppressing them. If you are “pro-white” then you’re a nazi white supremacist. If you advocate for colorblindness, you’re also a white supremacist for not challenging the “privilege plus power structure.” If you are a white person that’s anti-white, you’re engaging in socially acceptable white supremacy, since you’re seen as appropriating “poc” issues and denying blacks their own authentic voices.

For those who appreciated the old American Apparel, there is some good news. Dov Charney has also returned with an amusing, generically named spinoff company, Los Angeles Apparel. He purchased much of the original equipment, and one can rediscover the familiar Made in USA clothes that can’t really be found anywhere else.

You Had me Until Number 10

Los Angeles Apparel has a “values” page, featuring a list of what should be common sense, ethical corporate values (yet are sadly lacking and would be considered heretical at most major corporations.) Elsewhere on the site Charney claims to be a proponent of “Contrarian Thinking.” Upon closer inspection though, what Charney euphemizes as “contrarian thinking” could at times be better described as self-contradicting. Others might also recognize that far from being any kind of contrarian, he seems to be conforming to some of the most common Jewish stereotypes (as articulated by Sarah Silverman here.) The stereotypes I’m speaking of, are mainly the following:

A. The promotion of open borders and mass third world immigration as some kind of retroactively discovered Western value, (which never existed before.)

B. Hostility toward any form of explicit nationalism (in Western or European countries,) whether it’s economic nationalism, civic nationalism or ethnonationalism.

C. Advocacy of a sexually promiscuous culture, a wide assortment of sexual orientation and an appreciation for sleaze aesthetic (Hey, I didn’t say all Jewish stereotypes were inherently bad.)

The self-contradiction comes here:

10.We Support Free Trade
We are not nationalists. We support worldwide free trade. We believe we can compete globally and still produce value for our customers while remaining true to our sustainability and efficiency commitment. We want to sell our products to the world and we understand the importance of other countries having access to our market.

This isn’t really contrarian thinking. It’s just self-defeating. Perhaps you can “still compete globally” by filling a niche or novelty market for clothing Made in USA, but what about the little yarn shop you’re sourcing materials from? They don’t have a gimmick and as a result of your promotion of free trade will have to compete with factories in the third world that can produce a similar quality product at a fraction of the price. The ultimate result of this is what Ross Perot described in his “Giant Sucking Sound” answer in the 1992 presidential debates, a lowered standard of living for American workers, util it at some point equalizes with a rising (yet still much lower) standard of living for the third world.

Rather than global free trade, what is needed is to form a trade bloc with other countries that have similar wages, labor and environmental regulations. This would actually encourage third world countries to adopt better working conditions and environmental controls in order for them to have access to our markets. The current “free trade” system incentivizes developing countries to make things as cheaply as possible, since achieving the lowest production costs and consumer prices are the only relevant priorities in gaining a foothold in US markets. What is the point in fighting for a $15 minimum wage if you’re going to have to compete with overseas factories that pay employees 10 cents per hour? You’re not going to make up the difference in money saved via shipping costs. On the same token, what is the point of having a $15 minimum wage, when unlimited amounts of people can come here. You might win at the ballot box and feel good about yourself, but there won’t be enough $15 an hour jobs to go around for all the millions of people you’ve invited.

If you are not “nationalists” what exactly is the point of prioritizing and supporting the local community, if there is nothing to differentiate said community from the global community at large. If there are no borders, and the whole world is your community, why demonstrate any preference for local businesses and workers at all? Charney would do well to just simply embrace economic nationalism, the sort of which up that most democrats championed, even well into the 1990s. “Nationalism” itself isn’t a dirty word, especially when its forces can be constructively channeled away from those with imperialist ambitions. Most countries aim to conduct national and international policies which are in the best interests of their citizens. Denmark, China, Japan, Czech Republic…most countries engage in some form of nationalism, and that is okay.

Having said all that, I would still prefer to buy from Charney’s Los Angeles Apparel over the farcical reanimation of “American” Apparel. Los Angeles Apparel is a more ethical company, and engages in nationalism in practice even if it shies away from embracing it in principle. “American” Apparel is like a shitty movie remake looking to cash in on someone else’s proven idea. It’s very nature is more shamelessly exploitative than even the sleaziest of original American Apparel billboard advertisements. Los Angeles Apparel is a genuine manifestation of someone’s style, dreams and ideals. For that reason, I will enthusiastically purchase some sunglasses from them.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Skytrain to Nowhere

The Scapegoat Generation – A Half-Hearted Defense of Boomers

The way people talk about baby boomers being the source of so many problems in our contemporary world, you’d think they were a generation that spanned over hundreds of years. In actuality, boomers are people that were born roughly between 1943 and 1960. That’s right, the boomer generation is comprised of people that were born during an 18 year timespan (give or take.) Yet millennials and my generation (Gen X) often malign them as being responsible for nearly every aspect of society’s decline. So the narrative goes, “Boomers inherited a wealthy white American utopia and grew up with every advantage, and they frivolously pissed it all away, along with their children’s future.” Not so fast, I’m here to tell you that boomers did not have it so easy, and many of the negative actions falsely attributed to them were really perpetrated by other generations (or at the very least..these actions and policies were not unique to boomers.) I should also add that some of these negative developments were implemented against the will of the majority of boomers (elites betraying the will of the people is nothing new, but it often gets lost down the historical memory hole how when things get implemented they may have been unpopular.) Here are some claims about boomers which I will address, one at a time:

1. Boomers had it easy growing up.

This one might seem true on its face, if all you did was watch the first few seasons of The Wonder Years on Netflix and completely ignored the fact that more than 2 million of them were drafted to go fight in the jungles of Vietnam. Nearly 60,000 US troops were killed in Vietnam and more than 150,000 were wounded and maimed…many of them boomers. Unlike the people who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, many young people that fought in Vietnam were forcibly conscripted to fight in a pointless war. Even for those that managed to avoid the draft, it was a real concern that they had to actively confront. Think about it for a second, while your millennial fatass is eating pizza, drinking some shitty energy drink and playing Call of Duty, this is what many “boomer cucks” were doing at the same age.  US involvement in The Vietnam War was initiated and subsequently sustained under the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon (none of whom were boomers.)

2. Boomers spent us into debt and sold us out to globalization

One could say this is true, but it is nothing unique to the boomer generation. The first boomer president wasn’t until Bill Clinton in 1992, well after our national debt had already become massive and well after “debt culture” had become the norm in American society. National Debt greatly increased during the Reagan era (Reagan was about 70 years old when he took office in 1981.) Boomers only recently entered retirement age a few years ago, so all that Medicare and Social Security money that has been going to elderly people for the last 40 years has not been going to boomers. The rest of the money has gone to the military, largely in relation to commitments leftover from foreign conflicts and entanglements dating back well before the boomers’ ascendance to power, including many they did not even support being involved in in the first place. It’s correct that Clinton signed NAFTA and promoted other globalist free trade initiatives, however these same policies were supported by Reagan, the first president Bush, and Nixon, none of whom were boomers. In fact, the boomer left, independents and right wing working class overwhelmingly opposed NAFTA and other similar deals. This was one of the reasons for the success of Ross Perot’s candidacy,(whom many working class boomers voted for.) Most of these types of policies were imposed on Americans by elites against their will and politicians who betrayed their trust, just as they are today. The millennial criticism of boomers as having spent them into debt is somewhat bizarre, given that millennials want the government to spend even more money on even more frivolous endeavors. They enthusiastically supported Obama, who added nearly 8 trillion to the national debt (which they will someday have to pay,) and even he was only offering them a fraction of what they wanted. Millennials seem to be just fine with outsourcing jobs, importing cheap labor and foreign competition. Boomers may have used shortsighted thinking to make and save money, but millennials seem to be willing to sacrifice their current education and job prospects just to virtue signal about how “inclusive” they are or whatever.

3. Boomers are responsible for our problems in The Middle East

There’s no question that boomers have exacerbated many of our problems in the middle east, with the war in Iraq, Afghanistan in particular but also through stubborn and persistent meddling in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and various Arab civil wars. It was Eisenhower and Churchill that chose to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and install the Shah, which ultimately laid the groundwork for Iran to become the enemy of ours it is today. Our support in the 1980s for mujihadeen fighters in Iran in the 1980s (including Bin Laden) helped create the Afghanistan of the Taliban. The Soviet Union deserves some blame for the situation in Afghanistan as well, but not baby boomers. US material support and aid for Israel in the 1973 “Yom Kippur” war, and support for Israel in general has also played a large role. The list of pre-boomer interventions goes on and on…US troops stationed in Lebanon, US support for Saddam and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Gulf War I, etc. Boomers were not directly responsible for any of these decisions. Boomers were ultimately responsible for the Iraq War and the current war in Afghanistan (and perhaps the uprisings in Egypt and Libya) since they technically were/are in power, but to an extent these wars were misguided attempts to cleanup the messes left by previous generations’ interventions. Boomers do seem to be guilty of being overly attached to supporting Israel though and have forgotten the merits of non-interventionism now that there asses aren’t the ones on the line. I guess there’s no getting around that.

4. Boomers are responsible for mass immigration

The most significant contribution to mass third world immigration to the US was the 1965 Immigration Act. Not a single boomer was involved in the passage of this bill, and none were even old enough to be serving in any branch of government in this period of time. Remember in 1986 when the US gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens? Well, that wasn’t boomers either. That was Ronald Reagan. It’s also important to remember that boomer voters have attempted to curtail mass immigration, but these were overruled by the courts. Remember Prop 187? SB1070 and a multitude of other laws which were gutted by the courts? What about forced desegregation busing in the 1970s, you know that thing that made your schools “diverse?” Boomers along with just about everyone else overwhelmingly opposed it:

According to Wikipedia:

In a Gallup poll taken in the early 1970s, very low percentages of whites (4 percent) and blacks (9 percent) supported busing outside of local neighborhoods.[3] A 1978 study by the RAND Corporation set out to find why whites were opposed to busing and concluded that it was not because they held racist attitudes, but because they believed it destroyed neighborhood schools and camaraderie and increased discipline problems.[3] It is said that busing eroded the community pride and support that neighborhoods had for their local schools.[3] After busing, 60 percent of Boston parents, both black and white, reported more discipline problems in schools.[3] In the 1968, 1972, and 1976 presidential elections, candidates opposed to busing were elected each time, and Congress voted repeatedly to end court-mandated busing.[13]

It would appear that some boomers in recent years have given up on the idea of restricting immigration, but this is probably because they feel it’s too late to do much at this point after having seen their country radically transformed throughout their lifetime. Many of them have reached a point in life where both financially and physically they are isolated from a lot of the negative effects of mass third world immigration and diversity. It’s a mistake to blame them for the associated policies though, which were largely set in motion long before boomers were put in charge of the wheel, and the attempts they made to resist were thwarted by judicial and corporate forces they had no control over.


Conclusions

Millennials and the younger generation (whatever you want to call it) pride themselves in having accumulated a wealth of useless knowledge of the intricacies of elaborate video game worlds and Harry Potter trivia, how to get the most out of Snapchat, etc, yet how many of them even know how to change a tire on their car or install an electrical outlet? I myself am guilty of some of this. When I was a kid I used to laugh when my dad would get frustrated when I would beat him so easily at Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo by using the same Bo Jackson running play over and over. 30 years later that “skill” seems as worthless as ever. Yet my boomer dad, on his own managed to build a 3 bedroom cabin in the middle of the woods with fully functioning plumbing, heat and electricity…like it was nothing. Meanwhile when I attempted to fix my own toilet once when it was running, the project quickly and farcically denigrated into the equivalent of a Peter Sellers skit. I ended up having to call someone.

If the boomers are guilty of something it is being overly idealistic, and in particular their error has been in gambling away their abundance of idealism by doubling down on the bad ideas handed down to them. Many boomers are not guilty of this though, and were never on board with a lot of this crap. My dad actually used to say to me “Life’s a bitch, and then you die.” Hardly the kind of naive idealism you would expect. Many of them were simply taken along for a ride, (the way many millennials are now with Trump’s betrayals.) Ironically, Trump is a boomer and articulated during the campaign many of the ideas that working class boomers have always wanted to see realized (protectionism, less military intervention, reduced immigration, etc.) Yet, like George W. Bush and Dan Quayle, Trump is a “Fortunate Son,” so his commitment to these issues was always going to be questionable. He still has plenty of time to redeem himself, but as a cynical Generation X dude, I personally have zero expectation that he will, nor do I care. I’ll be at the dying mall drinking an Orange Julius and playing Cruis’n USA in the arcade while it still exists.

Decoded Transmissions and Receiving Mixed Signals

60sradio

I had a couple of articles I had about 3/4 finished, but haven’t posted them yet due to events in the news and just generally being busy with other things. I was a guest and co-host on The Stark Truth podcast with Robert Stark for 3 upcoming episodes and will post links to the shows here once they air. They will most likely be up sometime over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, here are some thoughts on Sanders’ recent statements as well as some overall related observations:

Sanders’ continuous stream of anti-white comments such as those he made at the debate make him unsupportable to any self respecting white person. He appears to have gone all in with the “black lives matter” and the social justice crowd and completely abandoned the white working class demographic. His young ethnomasochist supporters are too naive to realize pandering doesn’t work and that the people their sacrificing their interests for are simply exploiting their altruism to advance their own tribal interests(whether conscious of it or not.)

I support many of Bernie’s economic policies, but any potential benefits are of course cancelled out by his social justice/anti-white commitment. For example, I agree with the $15 minimum wage increase he proposes as a means of countering manipulative corporations and cheap assholes, but you can’t have a $15 minimum wage *and* invite millions of people here from the 3rd world. It’s financially unsustainable. This is the same with free college education. It’s a great idea and works in other countries, but you can’t have government sponsored college *and* take in massive amounts of refugees and other third world migrants. Such noble collective endeavors require a delicate balance to ensure they remain fiscally feasible and everyone is on the same page in terms of their investment in the society. Such programs require high trust, low time preference populations to remain successful. People like Sanders are well intentioned but lack the will to make the difficult choices. They are too afraid of being called racist, heartless, nationalist etc to take the necessary steps to confront politically incorrect obstacles to the success of their own programs.

Of course, I’m not strictly talking about race/immigration. Bernie would no doubt institute environmental reforms in the US, but would he forbid the US from importing goods from countries which have(comparatively) little to no pollution or hazard controls, such as China, India or Mexico? What good is it to tell our companies they can’t pollute, so we can feel good about ourselves here, while at the same time we gladly take in products from countries that don’t care about the environment? It’s hypocritical. Bernie’s positions on trade with China are good, and he seems to understand this. He is also though one of those people that believes the US should be subservient to the “international community,” the will of the United Nations etc. This leads me to believe that as a leader he would be weak in asserting our national interests when faced with opposition from so-called “oppressed” third world nations. If he can’t say no to amnesty for millions of illegal aliens or to the untold number of people around the world who want to flood the US,(even though they will render his domestic programs insolvent and unsustainable) it’s hard to see him putting his foot down on the world stage. Sure, he’s voted against dubious trade deals while in congress and as a senator, but that’s not the same thing as having to face actual foreign leaders and being willing to accept the wrath of cutting them off.  Being the bearer of bad news just doesn’t fit with Bernie’s temperament, but I may be wrong on this issue.

The bottom line for me though is that as a white person, Sanders’ “net anti-white” vision for America would permanently transform it in ways I find undesirable.

From Sanders’ campaign website:

Bernie firmly rejects the idea that America’s standard of living must drop in order to see a raise in the standard of living in China.

This illustrates exactly how I feel about concepts like “white privilege.” I’m not willing to allow the country/state/city/neighborhood I live in to be downgraded so that someone else can upgrade from whatever third world shithole they came from. I reject the idea that I have to forfeit or handicap my own prospects to improve someone else’s and that we must give away what our ancestors sacrificed for and bequeathed to us for people who openly express hatred for us. Many of these advantages are likely a result of genetics anyway. I have no guilt and owe these people nothing. As a biological organism, self preservation instincts(for those of us who still embrace them) trump your feels. I imagine this is how corporations feel about minimum wage laws and wealth redistribution, but it seems to me that community and national interest may conflict with personal economic interests from time to time, and the state must intervene occasionally if nation states themselves are to survive as distinct entities. Everyone hates heavy handed HOAs too, but “anything goes” neighborhoods tend to look like shit. I do believe that collectively humans can build a superior functioning society than a strictly individualist / libertarian one, which lacks any cohesive vision or aesthetic consciousness. Yet when someone starts talking about “checking your privilege” or turning the country over to low IQ people with poor future time orientation, I intuitively get the feeling I’m being scammed. Looking at Oakland, Camden, Memphis, Detroit, Baltimore, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc. it’s unclear why I should support policies that inevitably lead to more majority nonwhite cities.

photo (7)

We know how that story ends, not with universal humanism but with reduced social capital and increased violence toward whatever whites are too poor, naive or stoic to escape the consequences of some shielded politician’s virtue signaling.