25 June 2007
Call me sensitive...
...but if you're going to toss around the names of loaded social policies like "urban renewal", you'd best have something else to offer besides precocious, overpriced outfits and mildly clever word play. Urban renewal was a desperate policy born of 1960s domestic political turmoil that resulted in the somewhat arbitrary destruction of buildings and communities all across America's troubled cities. I'm not saying it was all bad, but the policy's history is spotty, to say the least. Your average Urban Outfitters shopper wouldn't know Jane Jacobs from Jane Austen, but they'll probably buy a kicky little green tunic because they're unwittingly enchanted by the pale wordsmithery peddled by Urban Outfitters' Santorum-supporting president.
Hypocrisy alert #1: I love Anthropologie, which is part of the Urban Outfitters Inc. triumvarate (the third is Free People) and would probably marry it if I could. But I'm not really proud of that and in fact feel kind of manipulated/drugged by its aesthetic which is kind of weird given the whole "I'm such an individual, look at my funky style" thing. Hm.
Hypocrisy alert #2: As the editor of an urban planning magazine called - simply - URBAN, I fall victim to urban-related word play (including the one in question) on a daily basis when writing mag-related emails. But, you know, that's TOTALLY DIFFERENT.