Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Open Shirt Guy
Its a redundant quality of our age for people to cultivate petty hatreds.
Making minute observations about social customs and listing little things that you dislike has started in the 1990 and with the Seinfeld sitcom serving as the Old Testament of this particular creed.
Now countless comedians and writers make a living out of this crap. There is a small economy feeding people with this observational comedy.
I don't claim to be immune to trends in society. Although I try to be outsider -in the end- I am still an animal in this post-modern stable whether I like it or not.
So forgive me for making some animal noises and rant a little about "the open shirt guy."
I watch a lot of documentaries, I probably have seen all the decent political documentaries that came out in the past twenty years. But I don't limit myself to politics.
If you watch enough documentaries you will inevitably stumble on "the open shirt guy."
"The open shirt guy" is always a white guy and usually an expert on something.
But this honky has a dilemma; you see, he doesn't want you to think of him as a total square.
Thus in order to delineate his white ass from the mores of bourgeois society, he will do something special for you. He will show some skin.
So as you listen to him speak in complete, erudite sentences about the life of some musician, you will also be granted a peek at his pasty, hairless chest.
Man, I fucking hate it.
I could see this dude in front of the mirror, preparing for the interview. Unbuttoning his shirt just to the right place for your viewing pleasure.
The problem here is that the guy doing it IS a total square and with this task he forces us to stare his self-delusion straight at its pasty core.
The thing is that you are not a "wild and crazy guy" but you function in a cultural environment where it is a cherished ideal.
You want to show you are on the edge? Wear all black, wear a leather coat, tattoo your forehead, pierce your fucking nose. Do something else other than unbutton your shirt. Because that is the most square thing you can possibly do.
By being "the open shirt guy" you make yourself the worst kind of a square. The square who doesn't realize that he is one. The clueless square with a goofy open shirt.
Now the picture I attached is someone who has earned the right to have an open shirt.
Greg Scarpa was a mafia hitman who -as he was dying of aids and with an ankle bracelet attached to his body- went out of his house in a rage after a local drug dealer disrespected his son and started blasting. Scarpa got an eye shot out in the process.
Scarpa was "a wild and crazy guy."
I don't fetishize gangsters but although Greg Scarpa has an unbuttoned shirt, the one thing he isn't is "the open shirt guy."