Friday, April 17, 2009

NY Times, WTF?

There's this phrase I love that doesn't readily translate from the Japanese. It describes someone who is faux "European" but in a way that's different from our term "Euro-trash." Whereas Eurotrash specifically denotes a wardrobe and typically an actual European, the Japanese term is more like, "that bitch think she French or som'n."

Bata kusai
Stinks of butter

If you stink like butter, it's because you're eating too much of it. And if you're eating too much of it, it's because you think you French or som'n.

Well, my general disdain for The Times notwithstanding, this bitch think she French or som'n.
I give thee, the most butter-stanky retardonculous piece I've read all year.

It has plenty in common with recent extravagances. Like the Range Rover or the Sub-Zero fridge, it has a solid frame designed for function. Like a Louis Vuitton trunk, it has a chic design and a patina of history stretching back to the 19th century. And like a bottle of San Pellegrino, it evokes that genteel way of life that Europeans are always going on about. This new It object is the glossy black Dutch bicycle, its design unchanged since World War II.
Even as bicycle sales and ridership are up, even as the city becomes more bike friendly than ever, the extreme poles of bike culture are still in many ways hostile to biking as it is done in the Netherlands. There, where riding a bicycle to work in a suit and tie is as notable an act as drinking a cup of coffee, there is no bike culture — all culture includes the bike. The civilized pedigree of the Dutch bike is matched by its old-fashioned design: it comes with fenders, chain guard, generator and rack — standard, as they say in Detroit. With a bike kitted out like that, a man can wear almost anything he likes to work and not worry about getting grimy — no kamikaze messenger-wear required. Luckily, the new look of men’s wear, with its slimmed-down, sporty shapes (even in suits), is tailor-made for a bicycle commute. And since Dutch bikes are ridden upright, not hunched over, and you move at a safe, slow gait, sweating is not the issue it is when you’re careening on a road bike.
(emphases added)

OK. So New York isn't an Aryan nation of architecture program drop-ou...I mean, "Dutch" in our bike fashion, but "hostile"? Give me a break. This guy in the picture was probably getting his "gears tightened" at Barcade when they took his "is it hot in here or is it just my sporty tailor-made non-kamikaze messenger-suit" pose.

Yeah yeah, I realize my making fun of this look proves the point that New York isn't quite ready for biking dutchmen, but if being profiled with a Range Rover and Sub-Zero fridge full of Pellegrino doesn't bother you, you really think you French or som'n.

(Thanks, Daniel, for the link.)


Superlime said...

This is really the cake-taker AFAIC:

ill iterate said...

i'm kind of turned on by that picture.

Deborah said...

That piece reminds me of another Japanese phrase: being drunk on yourself. Useful in any genre. (BTW the outfit on that model could probably be improved with a little bike grease...)