My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Peacock has Landed

In The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, the author Neil Strauss (Styles) gives the word Peacocking the following definition: Peacock – verb: to dress in loud clothing or with flashy accoutrements in order to get attention from women. Peacocking items include bright shiny shirts, light-up jewelry, feather boas, colorful cowboy hats, or anything else that makes one stand out in a crowd. Origin: Mystery.

Mystery is a pick-up artist and part of the seduction community. In one of their adventures Styles describes Mystery as being “dressed in a top hat, flight goggles, six-inch platform boots, black latex pants, and a black T-shirt with a scrolling red digital sign that said "Mystery" on it.” Sure you may laugh, but that same guy ended up with his own VH1 reality television series The Pick-up Artist, now in its second season. His thought behind the theory rests in the belief that, in order to attract the most desirable female of the species, it's necessary to stand out in a flashy and colorful way.

His concept, now over a decade old, seems to have grown into the national dress code. So much so that, over the last year or so, I’ve complained about everything from gaudy clothing, to being an unpaid billboard, and even the ridiculous posturing-fashions that so many teens seem unable to resist. That being said, I have come to this conclusion because the style has reached its apex, crossed into the absurd, and will hopefully be soon laid to rest because of flagrant overuse. Moreover, this shift will affect more than just clothing. It represents a general cultural shift from one norm: peacocking for status, to the new norm: understatement for shown awareness – and I couldn’t be happier.

Bring on people trying to outdo each other for how subtle, subdued, or conscience they are by blending into the background. Sure it’s along the line of making something that is good for us overly trendy, but at least I’ll be able to get a drink at the pub without laughing so hard at someone’s clothing that I shoot Guinness out of my nose.

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