February 15th, 2006

Brad @ Burning Man

A Gift from Shub-Internet: PartyPants.fsnet.co.uk

When I'm away from the computer, as often as not I've got Digitally Imported's Deep House channel on in the background, or less often but still pretty often their Ambient, Chillout, or Goa-Psy Trance channels. But more to the point, when I'm walking away from the machine, in the same gesture where I turn the sound up a bit so I can hear it in the rest of the apartment, I throw the browser over to a web page that I call the Eye of Shub-Internet. I've mentioned this before. Its real name is WebCollage, and what it does is use the Google API to find out what the most recent picture search is, use the "I'm Feeling Lucky" option to grab a likely image, and composite it on top of the current image, which updates on their web page every 60 seconds. You can set your browser to it, and every 60 seconds see a sample of what images people are searching the Internet for right now. (Shub-Internet, for those of you who don't go far enough back to get the joke, is the Lovecraft-pastiche god of the Internet.)

I do this in part for the sheer entertainment. It also serves some of the same purpose for me that a fish tank serves in a public place, it provides something apparently living and moving unpredictably that requires little or no maintenance or intervention on my part. But I also do this because once in a rare while I get a gift from Shub-Internet, something that I would never have even thought to have searched for on the Internet, and there it is. Which is why, after I glanced up and saw the logo at the right, I had to get up off the couch and go see. I'm glad I did.

I absolutely dare you to shop there. I'm afraid I mostly won't be; most of the stuff they have wouldn't look good on a guy my size. But you're not all my size, which means that some of you could get away with wearing, for example, the best darned going-out-dancing pants I've seen in years, or any of their other Carnaby Row era fashions. Think you couldn't get away with it? Then you don't know the history of the current tiki revival. Genesis P-Orridge got sick of hipsters copying his style, so he deliberately dug out of antiquity the music and clothing that hipsters looked down on the most, that they thought was the most retro and disgusting. But since he can't wear anything without being confident in it, and since trend watchers keep an eye on guys like him, it wasn't a whole year later before the whole retro-tiki fad was everywhere. Someone once criticized me for caring about fashion, because they thought fashion was oppressive. And it is. And I don't care about fashion. I care about style, which is about designing your own look and wearing it with pride and confidence and in total comfort with yourself, without looking around you to see what the sheep are wearing this year. And to my eye, Fancy Pants has the makings of some really unique style statements.
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