The Consumption of Inequality: Weapons of Mass Distraction by Karen Bettez Halnon (auth.)

By Karen Bettez Halnon (auth.)

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Hip-hop, with its numerous enticing offers of urban authenticity, is one of the best examples of this trend. Other examples include drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer as hipster style, wearing “destroyed” designer jeans, decorating with pink flamingos, and watching Blue Collar TV. One of the reasons that the poor and near poor, white, black, and blue, are understood as real is that they are more closely associated with what is culturally understood as less refined. Qualities such as telling it the way it is, cutting to the chase, and other unmediated or unguarded modalities of self-expression are especially attractive to those searching for something more authentic.

Until you get your habit up, there are no messy rigs, needle tracks, blood or threat of AIDS. All the pleasure and mystique of heroin ingestion, and less of the risk. ”18 One informant detailed similarly socially distanced and secure celebrity recreation: “The young actors and musicians have the money to have parties in their own home or hotel suite, so they have a secure environment . . Basically, everyone gets together and starts doing junk. You play music and you watch Drugstore Cowboy over and over.

One hostess invited everyone to a stockyard ball. Guests were wrapped in long aprons and their heads covered with white caps. They dined and danced while hanging carcasses of bloody beef trailed around the walls on moving pulleys. Entrails spilled on the floor. 7 Nearly one hundred years later, in spring 1993, masquerading as the poor on the same theme involved several renditions of couture ragtag clothes. For example, Lamine Kouyate, the Senegalese designer behind the Xuly Bet label, was showing off his “recuperation” works on Paris runways.

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