Wednesday, December 16, 2009

walmart notes

1. to show the mad desire of junk food marketers to reach youths no matter how idiotic or cheesy, the Frito Lay display at Walmart, (or "Mall Wart" as one bumper sticker has it) is 'scrawled' with slogans imitating 7th grade bathroom grafitti: 'Corn Rules' and 'I (heart) spuds'. They refer to the Doritoes or potato chips and their bitter gang rivalry (which, now that it is known, is sure to excite kids across the nation). I wonder how many kids hankering for chips noticed this tiny detail. I wonder how many who noticed felt that Frito Lays 'gets' youth concerns and hence were moved to purchase a bag of chips.

2. I saw some T-shirts in the men's clothing section that evoked, and were modeled on, the baroque aesthetic of Latin gangs coming up from central America into the US. They both featured an archaic-looking crown or eagle, as if taken from a coat of arms, as well as a layered, patterned background much like the background etchings on dollar bills. I thought too of the complex tattoo patterns some of these gangs use. I have noticed for a couple of years now the popularity in NY of super complex, stitched and patterned designs on jackets -- Ben Franklin depicted huge, or dice, or money symbols, repeated over and over and all cluttering the surface. I don't know if this aesthetic has anything to do with Latin gangs or is separate.

One of the T-shirts was 'Royal Crown Dominance' or something like this, written in archaic, Germanic font, and shiny. The shirt comes with a long sleeved undershirt (sure sign of its Southwest origin) and a stretch cap.

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