War, Torture, & Other Fashion Statements




P


eople
and you gals, welcome to Hotel Satire where gals learn their god-given
roles, i.e., to service men and look good doing it. 


Recently,
we gals were reading all about Prince Charles and Camilla in the
Sunday

NYT

(we hate her, but we can’t wait for the televised
wedding) when we happened on a fashion article titled “Au Courant
Camouflage.” It seems that Bryan Bradley, a clothing designer
who caters to wealthy gals, presented a “fall collection during
New York Fashion Week that included an orange camouflage vest and
maroon camouflage pants.” The article asks, “Were warriors
becoming fashion plates or was fashion responding to war?”
 


Fashion,
it seems, was responding to war, as other designers have added epaulets
to their jackets and blouses. Also, the U.S. Army has issued new
fatigues, replacing the old green, brown, or tan with “muted
shades of brown, gray, and green broken into one-centimeter segments.”
The new design, according to the AP, allows them to move more easily
from desert to city “in the same day.” 


Similarly,
Bryan Bradley’s camouflage design allows his customers to go
“straight from the office to a charity ball or to a romantic
dinner after a day of carpooling.” His outfit features a bright
orange cargo vest trimmed with a fox collar and pants “roomy
enough for cell phone and keys.” A vest dyed in a camouflage
pattern is used for special occasions. The outfit, while for camouflage,
is designed to stand out in a crowd (hey, we’re not making
this up). The price: $80 for the pants, $2,100 for the vest. 


After
reading about war as fashion statement, we gals wanted to develop
our own fashion statements, to help gals be gals. We rushed to get
our husbands’ permission and they gave us the go ahead, as
long as our “little hobby” didn’t take time away
from serving their needs 24/7. 


One
of Satire gals, Mrs. Richard, designed what we call the “Abu
Ghraib” (it comes in 16 different colors), with optional fur
trim. This sells for $3,000, but includes a gift of stock in Haliburton
and a jeweled handbag in the shape of an electric prod for the first
100 customers. There is a mink version for special occasions, such
as Bush meetings to discuss tax cuts for the rich and privatizing
everything he can get his hands on.  



M

rs.
Geoffrey, one of our wealthier Satire gals, has designed a line
of clothing under the “Hand Over Fist” label. It seems
she was vacationing on Jekyll Island, Georgia during a G8 meeting
her husband Geoffrey was attending. She was spending the hard- earned
money that Geoffrey inherited, when she was confronted by packs
of angry protestors yelling something about capitalism and something
called imperialism (whatever that is, can it be bad?). She was so
terrified she purchased a $10,000 armoire to calm her nerves. When
Geoffrey came home, she told him about the experience and her fears
that they would be reduced to a mere $4 billion a year and have
to (God-forbid) pay taxes on it to boot. Geoffrey told her not to
worry. “Since the Reagan/Bush years, nothing can make a dent
in the amount of wealth we’ve been able to accumulate,”
said Geoffrey. 


Mrs.
Geoffrey told him about the protestors and something called oppression
(whatever that means). Geoffrey told her it was all nonsense; that
capitalism was a spiritual, moral, economic system concerned with
bringing universal wealth. Geoffrey explained that people don’t
earn money, they deserve it so those who are poor are those who
are undeserving, that’s why we can ignore them and still be
caring people. Mrs. Geoffrey glowed at the beauty of capitalism.
“I feel strangely uplifted,” she said, “as though
God and I and my money were one.” “Bleep,” Geoffrey
responded. 


Which
brings us back to “Hand Over Fist” fashions. Mrs. Geof-
frey’s dresses are made out of money—larger bills for
more formal occasions; fives and tens for casual. Men’s suits
are made from stock certificates, Fortune 500 listings, and CEO
salary checks. Next, because of the spiritual mission of capitalism,
as detailed by Geoffrey, she designed a line of travel wear for
gals, which features dresses with pictures of cash, God (a cross
between Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and Dwight Eisenhower), and
relevant corporate logos. If a gal is traveling to India, say, she
could wear her Coca Cola/God/cash dress, with matching sandals,
as Coca Cola is busy helping that poverty stricken country by polluting
the water, then using it all up, then selling it back to the people
as bottled water (produced by Coca Cola). 


Our
third line of clothes is called: “The Desperate Mystique.”
One of our gals—Mrs. Jerry—has been keeping tabs on the
growing number of femlesgals trying to survive without being attached
to or subsumed by a man (one gags at the thought). Recently, Mrs.
Jerry informed us femlesgals were losing ground. How did she come
to this realization?







Well,
two bits of news: First, Lawrence Summers, president of the prestigious
Harvard University, recently attended a working lunch, part of an
invitation- only economics conference. During a discussion of why
only 4 of the 32 tenured jobs in science and engineering at Harvard
went to women, Larry (he’s a dear friend) offered the following
explanations: (1) reluctance or inability of gals with children
to work 80-hour weeks (excuse me, it takes at least that much time
to supervise the maid  and shop for expensive items, but we
digress); (2) fewer gals get top scores on math and science tests,
but rather than the cause being socialization, behavioral genetics
is now pointing toward, well, genetic gender differences (finally!);
(3) the statistic of 4 out of 32 does not indicate discrimination
on Harvard’s part, because, argues Larry, if that was the main
factor, then schools that don’t discriminate (unless, of course,
there weren’t any) would gain an advantage by hiring science/math
gals away from those that did discriminate . Wow! Hotel Satire gals,
not being genetically primed to understand science, math, or logic
of any kind, don’t really get what Larry is talking about—plus
who wants to work 80-hour work weeks, we know Larry doesn’t.
No matter. We can see why he is deserving of such a prestigious
job and the cash that goes with it. 


Predictably,
femlesgals responded that gals are good a sci/math. But who cares;
that’s not the point. The point is that gals are not appointed
to science and engineering jobs because their presence would be
annoying to men. These gals would either be seducing men  or
outsmarting them. 


The
other inspiring bit of news came from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,
which covers California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and
Montana. The 9th Circuit has determined that it’s legal for
a female employee to be fired for refusing to wear makeup (if her
work uniform includes makeup). The ruling is not considered discriminatory
because this ruling is equal to a rule forbidding men from wearing
makeup. 


Hey,
we’re not making this up. We like the ruling because it requires
gals to be appreciated for their looks and nothing else. 


Fashion-wise
this translates into a beautiful line of clothing we call “The
Desperate Mystique.” Mrs. Jerry got that name from her study
of the subversive femlesgals’ book

The Feminine Mystique

by Mrs. what’s her husband’s name, which is all about
how middle to upper class educated gals felt unfulfilled in their
married-with- children suburban lives in the 1960s. Says the book,
“The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds
of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction,
a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century
United States. Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone.
As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material,
chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night,
she was afraid to ask even the silent question, Is this all?” 


These
1960s housewives refused to be domestic appendages (albeit well
educated) and they rebelled. Thankfully, we have a 2005 rewrite
of the feminine mystique in that current hit TV show “Desperate
Housewives.” This is a show where the female leads are all
gorgeous, either by nature or appearances on “Extreme Makeover.”
They’re thin, they’re wealthy, they live in a beautiful
neighborhood, and they have gorgeous husbands, yet for some reason
we Satire, they’re desperate. Also, inspite of being gorgeous,
etc., their husbands sleep around, probably because each gal is
more gorgeous than the other. These gals shop, bake, chauffeur,
criticize the maid and their husbands, snipe, and never talk about
world events or anything significant —ever. Audiences and critics
have called this show feminist because these gals try to get their
husbands not to sleep around and to sort of help with housework. 


Duh!?
Of course it’s feminist. That’s why these housewives are
desperate. They have been brainwashed by feminism to expect a modicum
of help and fidelity from their husbands.  Fortunately, the
Bush agenda, and efforts by others of like mind, will force these
gals to realize that men need to be in charge and that, once and
for all, the answer to

The Feminine Mystique

’s silent
question, “Is this all?” is really “Well, no, but
we’ve got money and we look good so who cares.” 


Fashion-wise,
Mrs. Jerry has developed a look to match the malaise. It says “I’m
desperate, I’m not good at science/math, I don’t need a revolution,
I need a man with a large charge account who can take will treat
me like the passive, yet sexy twit I was born to be .” Oh,
and gals, be sure to slather on the makeup. It’s the law.





Lydia Sargent
is co-founder of South End Press and



Z Magazine



(where she has been a staff member since 1988.