Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How about "KASHMIR" or "BANDA ACEH"?

Considering the stuff I write on this site, I'm the last person who should be telling people what is and isn't in good taste. Yet I couldn't help but cringe a little bit at the Neighborhoodies banner ad below:

Now, Neighborhoodies doesn't seem like a particularly evil corporation and I appreciate the free daily mp3 downloads and all. And I guess the ability to create a topical hoodie is a major selling point.

But using the name of a neighborhood that so famously suffered catastrophic losses and will take years to recover if at all, seems a tad bit exploitative, don't you think? I mean, what are we "representing" here?
  • "Yay, third world living conditions!"?
  • "Hooray, devastation and floating dead bodies!"?
  • "I like wearing things that seem edgy at first, but will look silly and culturally irrelevant within 6 months!"?
At least they had the decency to put up a link to the Red Cross on their front page, but still.

Danny de Zayas of Neighborhoodies left a response in the comments section and writes, in part, "[the 9th Ward t-shirt] was a way for us to show that the citizens of a recently decimated area continue to remain in our thoughts, a show of solidarity."

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