Wednesday, May 18


I thought i had a Cayce Pollard feeling one afternoon, while i was trying to find my way through the hyperlink-like circuitry of the Ruins shopping maze. Ruins is an enjoyable place to shop and skim through cheap from-bangkok-clothes. But a huge part of Ruins shopping sub-system is dedicated to fake Louis Vuittons, Pradas, Coaches, and Tommies.

The Ruins tiangge vortex, while an actual trove of bootleg delights is simultaneously assaulting our senses; it is in addition, a brazen display of crass reproduction. Try making sense of this place, self-governing of the outside world, yet completely beholden for its stalls after stalls chinese junks, cheesy panties, and leatherware brandished with misaligned gucci prints that scream MURA KAMI. Well, i love cheap frills but i disdain people who fail to comprehend the viral proliferation of the copied, the ripped off, the faked.

The logo, according to Cayce, is powerful because it is the abstracted essence of the thing it represents, and on its own, divorced from its context, it can even have greater power. An example of a logo is the nazified swastika. For most people, it is the portent of evil ambition but Hitler had just literally twisted it from a more peace-loving, right-hand-waving sign of buddhist holiness.

Brushing past burberry umbrellas in fictionalized shades, chain of arm locked CC's, patterns of sixty-nining GG's, and the the most exposed of all lovers, the L and its lapdancing V, I thought i was having another Cayce Pollard moment. I'm not allergic to logos fake or real, as much as i can i choose not to have any name, brand, label, store, any sign too obvious displayed on what i wear. There's something slightly tacky about being so self-announcing and mindlessly advertorial that i stay away from logos.

Then again, irony: In one embedded stall i saw, dangling like a green jewel, a beautiful replica of a painted and tasseled Christian Dior saddle bag. It was impeccable. It was the only bag like it in the whole maze. Then again, i came upon an existential crux: If the copy was exactly like the real, what would the difference be? Would it matter if nobody could tell?... But even if i were to buy it, i still wouldn't have been able to afford the friggin' fake bag because its price is 6000 grand.

Sigh. It would have been the Vegas or the Eiffel to me. Not the real thing, but a fun homage. In the end, however, I'd rather spend the money on something real, something crafted from one's true creativity, and not on imitations devoid of soul.

Much love,

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