My First Blog (Long Before Blogs Were Invented)


Note: I'm actually on vacation (left California to visit family & friends in Massachusetts) so I decided to put up the first piece I ever had published. This came out in early April of 1984 in the Springfield Republican (in Springfield, MA).

This was a product of my younger, snarky self trying to grapple with the sudden inundation of designer logos on every product imaginable by the "Me Generation" along with the all-pervasive "look at me" bumper stickers (and t-shirts), a product of group narcissism that's seemingly never gone away. And no, the irony is not lost on me that I now have a website and a bi-weekly blog--Cliche Snark--that promotes my t-shirts (who says life doesn't have a sense of humor?)

Oh, one more note: I had clipped this article from the paper, the back side containing the movies playing at local theaters: "Terms of Endearment", "Romancing the Stone", "Splash" and "Moscow on the Hudson", to name a few. Wow, how time flies.  Hope you enjoy!


                    Beware the Consumer Wanting No Designer Label to His Name

"If there's a space -- advertise" is the concept most Americans have taken to heart. Whether for good or bad we are firmly ensconced in the "Decade of Display"
The time: Early morning, Saturday.
The place: Home, in your bedroom. You roll out of bed, throwing your "Bill Blass" designer sheets aside, taking off our "Christian Dior" pajamas, putting on your "Jim Palmer" underwear and then your "Calvin Kleins". You rub your eyes and then saunter into the kitchen and there, already made, is your "Joe DiMaggio" coffee. You pour it into your "Official Olympic" mug and take a sip. You finally open your eyes, realizing it's a nice day--maybe a nice day for a ride.

I see you drive by me as I sit in my car, pulled off to the side of the road. At the moment I'm trying desperately to remain amiable while explaining to a police officer that I had no idea driving without a bumper sticker was a crime. His response is a laugh and a ticket.

Finally, I arrive at the mall, a little shaken but determined not to let the incident bother me. As it turns out, other problems await. A few steps inside and I begin to feel self-conscious.  I look up to see all eyes staring at me.  A few even point. I'm at a loss until I hear a little kid, "Hey mom, that man doesn't have a label on his jacket." Mom grabs her son's hand and ushers him quickly into the opposite direction as I duck into what appears to be a reputable men's store.

"Can I help you, sir?" came the line from an elderly salesman.
"Yeah, I'm looking for a sport shirt or two."
"Right this way, sir." I follow him. "As you can see we have quite a selection of Izods here. Twenty-seven different colors in all."
"Ah, no, I don't think I want any alligators on my shirt."
"Maybe you'd be interested in foxes, then?"
"I've never been interested in foxes," I counter.
"Not to worry, we have much, much more. Maybe you'd prefer another kind of logo..."
"No logos, please -- just a plain shirt."
"We have other kinds of animals or maybe you'd rather just the name -- Nike, Wilson..."
"Maybe you don't understand," my frustration becoming apparent. "I'd just like a shirt with a couple buttons, a collar, two short sleeves -- preferably of the same length -- and as far as the tail goes, I'm not picky."

He checked out my attire and then with professional calm said, "Look, mister, I suggest you leave before I call security. We don't need your kind around here."