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When Gavin wrote the first DOs & DON’Ts back in 1994, he had no idea it would be his fucking job for the rest of his life. Huh? You pay your rent by making fun of people’s pants? That’s retarded. I sat down with him to ask a few questions about this strange vocation because it looks weird to just start out a book with pictures and have no intro text.
What the fuck is with your ridiculous tattoos?
Isn’t that obvious? It’s a skullhead cyber-jellyfish eating Fidel Castro and Chiang Kai-shek with the words “Destruction Creates” at the top. Get it?
Nope. I don’t get tattoos.
Well, I’m of two minds with them, when it comes to girls at least. On the one hand, I feel like certain tattoos kind of separate “us” from “them,” and I don’t think I’ve ever met a person with a funny tattoo I didn’t like. However, when a girl totally splatters her chest, like the Hipster Grifter, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem very feminine. Have you ever fucked a girl like that? When the lights are dim, she looks like she fell in a mud puddle. It feels traitorous to criticize them but it’s true.
I have actually fucked a girl with tons of tattoos, and it was exactly like that.
What’s with the kittens? Can you explain the ratings system?
Well, the DOs & DON’Ts always felt a little too “all or nothing.” There’s some people who have a great look going but they blow it with a straw fedora or something. That outfit that would be an eight got pulled down to a six but he’s not a DO or a DON’T.
So, the ratings are just about the outfits and not the person’s physical features, right?
I’ve discussed this for hours with all sorts of intellectuals and sociobiologists, and the answer is: It’s an art, not a science. Yes, ideally it is only about the clothes but it looks weird to give the hottest woman in the world a four just because she wore Uggs. I do my best to keep it fashion-based but my dick is only human.
There’s dozens of other questions that arise when you try to figure out the ratings system. Do you see a ten once a lifetime, or do you look over the past month and use those people as a median ensuring you saw an equal amount of tens, nines, eights, sevens, sixes, fives, fours, threes, twos, and ones? High school teachers do this when they make sure a certain percentage always fails, but I’m not a teacher. I’m a student. So I just throw the crystals on the table and try to read the vibes.
Oy. Let’s move on: Where do you get the pictures?
You, oy! What kind of boring question is that? Why does everyone want to know the process? It’s like watching a chick put on her makeup.
I think people see hundreds of pictures in a book and the first thing they think is, “Where do these come from?” I’m sure you get asked this a lot.
I do but it’s not interesting. Most of them I take myself. Well, what I do is, I go out with a pretty, young girl who doesn’t look threatening and tell her who to photograph because it sketches people out to have an old man like me ask for their picture. After that, there’s a group of half a dozen photographers who submit photos regularly.
Do you ever get sued?
Nope. When you’re in public there’s “a reasonable expectation of being photographed.” It’s also pretty clear the book is satire. You’re not really a coke dealer or a rapist or a dead slut — it’s a joke. I’ve been slapped and assaulted a few times, however. The funniest one was when some gay dude who I made a DON’T walked up to me and gave me a raspberry. Like, he went ppppphhh! in my face. It was really loud, and it gave me a real jolt because I wasn’t expecting it at all.
I heard a lot of rumors about why you left Vice.
Yeah, me too. The strangest one was that I left to do commercials.
Why did you sell your shares and get out?
It was time. Everything I thought ruled, my partners thought reeked and vice versa. That’s why we went with “Creative Differences.”
And what do you do now?
Besides Street Boner books? I made a comedy sketch movie called Gavin McInnes is a Fucking Asshole. I also did a documentary about the Movie Watching World Championships called A Million in the Morning. Then there’s StreetCarnage.com, a website I do with Derrick Beckles. We’re both also pitching TV all the time, which is a lot like throwing piles of shit at a wall hoping something sticks.
What if it doesn’t stick?
You tape it there. Dude, these quetions are dull, dull, dull.
All right, what’s a good question?
Well, you can’t really discuss a jokebook without wrecking it. It’s like sex or defining what’s cool — which I do later on in the book.
Did you invent hipsters?
There’s nothing sadder than seeing Ronnie James Dio and Gene Simmons trip over themselves trying to take credit for that heavy metal hand gesture with the two middle fingers down. Who cares who made it up? I made up hipsters about as much as Al Gore invented the Internet.
I will say, the aptly named DOs & DON’Ts had a big part in defining what these people look like. It was two pics a day for 15 years distributed in almost every major city in the world. Eventually, that’s going to make something a “Thing.” Can we stop talking about hipsters now?
Are you a hipster?
Assuming a hipster is “a young enthusiast of contemporary, alternative, pop culture,” I would have to say “no” because I’m “old.”
What’s with the ironic moustache?
I have no chin whatsoever, so I’m forced to sculpt one out of chin hair. Once you do that, you’re left with limited options: You can do a full beard, a chin beard, or a goatee. I did the goatee for a while but it seemed too normal. I needed more pieces of flair, so I grew the moustache to get out of the jock zone. I had no other choice.
Does your wife get bummed out when she sees you talk about hot chicks?
Well, I had been doing this for over a decade before I met her, so she was pretty much used to it. Besides, it’s not like I literally long for the ten kitteners. It’s more of a Benny Hill thing like, “Ello, ello, ello!”
Do you think it’s weird you’re interviewing yourself?
Sort of, I mean, I jerk you off almost every day, and I wash your body in the shower. You fuck my wife, and I spoon-feed you. It’s definitely weird but it’s the only way I can ensure I get asked exactly what I want to be asked.
I don’t even think it’s going that well despite the fact that I’m you.
I think it’s going smashingly well. If you want to see a bad interview, check out this one I did with an art magazine called SOMA. They canned it after seeing my answers (and, most likely, the questions — the guy was free-lance) but it would be a crime if this was never published.
SOMA: The 90s ushered in the widest bifurcation of fashion: the gay community became both more formal and louder, the flintily end days of grunge nuanced aloofness, revival fashion became paying homage rather than posing, Harajuku trends were ordered through the internet and catalogue magazines to New York, London, Paris and LA, garbed Oriental and African expatriates tessellated prints subsumed in rich colors reflected the changing physiognomy in fashion and urban centers. In the cacophony of street fashion, Gavin McInnes’s obsession with street fashion filled the desideratum for a critic, and he has become iconoclastic for his endeavor. McInnes’s street fashion critiques antedate all others, and all others are in some way or another derivative of his. Only his exceptional record for being right matches his temerity.
Why do you think street fashion critiques became so influential in the mid 90s, yours the most influential arguably?
Gavin McInnes: Temerity? Bifurcation? Desideratum!? Dude, what is with that intro? Did somebody buy you a thesaurus for Halloween? I haven’t heard words like those since University. “The changing physiognomy in fashion”? Is this how artists get by the part where everyone thinks they’re full of shit — they make up a language? You’re like a bunch of fucking lawyers.
To answer what I think your question might be, I’d like to say: Who says street fashion critiques had this big
surge in the 90s? Where is that documented as a fact? You think there was this big zenith in street fashion critiques because you were reading DOs & DON’Ts back then and starting to give a shit about how you looked. There was nothing special about this time, and making fashion jokes has been going on since before there were clothes.
Also, my street fashion critiques were / are popular because my level of wit tends to be reserved for serious shit, like politics and social commentary. To do highbrow jokes about lowbrow stuff like shoes and socks is the hook that keeps it on most people’s radar. It has nothing to do with the epoch.
Chameleon by Woody Allen is about a man who immediately transforms to suite his surroundings. Can someone do that wearing the exact same thing?
Too good. You use huge words to try to sound smart and then you spell suit wrong. And it’s Zelig, not Chameleon. Ha. This is why it’s always best to just be yourself and not try to be some Christopher Hitchens intellectual. How old are you, 23?
When does character trump actual attire?
Jesus, this is not easy. First I have to translate each question into English, then I have to try to answer it honestly. I’m going to assume you mean, “Is there a point where someone is so amazing, it doesn’t matter what they wear?” If that is the case, the answer is: Of course.
Fashion, like art, is just kidding. To take it seriously is to miss the point. When I say I want to kill men that wear sandals, I am being hyperbolic. I actually could care less, obviously. The real impetus behind style and dressing well is, “I know none of this matters but I’m stepping into the fray and giving it a go anyway. How’s this?” Fashion is like a board game or a dance. You want to do a good job because it’s fun and it shows you’re happy to be here but as soon as you take it seriously, the bubble pops. Some of my best friends are bad dressers. I just think it’s lame and wish they’d try harder because it’s fun to do that.
What is style analogous to? What does it tell us about someone?
I think you just wanted to use the word analogous. As I said earlier, it is “analogous” to, say, the board game Risk or even Operation. You are participating in this thing called society and fucking around with the parameters (great, now I’m talking like you people). Style is about someone who knows the rules and can tweak them a bit to reflect his or her personality. She’s never going to wear Juicy Couture but she might be funny enough to wear Rocawear with a Balenciaga bag. Sometimes she blows it and her friends point it out and everyone has a laugh.
Who are some women and men who dress poorly but pull it off?
There’s a New York artist named Spencer Sweeney who always wears overalls and, like, Japanese clogs. I don’t know if it’s his confidence or his art career but nobody can fuck with him. It’s a mystery how he does it but if I tried it, I’d look like a gay farmer who sells ice cream to construction workers. Sarah Silverman is a woman who couldn’t dress her way out of a wet paper bag but somehow she makes it work. Who else? Um, I wouldn’t say notorious 92-year-old night owl Zelda Kaplan “dresses poorly” but she dresses “really fucking insanely,” and she always manages to pull it off.
What things are common in any fashion faux pas?
Basically, attraction is built on recognizing our differences. Women want men to be masculine, and men want women to be feminine. That’s why flip-flops are such a crime. What if someone slaps your girl? How are you supposed to fight now or even chase him with your little rubber soles? And why do men have to be so comfy all the time? In New York, the summer uniform is cargo shorts and wife beaters. They look like Thai street vendors. Men dressing like they’re still in dorms is not masculine, and women don’t like it.
Similarly, there seems to be a huge contingent of females who think it’s empowering to walk around in sweat-pants with short hair and no makeup. This “throwing in the towel” look ignores the part where women are more attractive than men and should take advantage of it. We’re only of courting age for about 10 years or so. To ignore that and say you’re over it is like refusing to play musical chairs with the rest of us because it’s “gay.”
Q: Why are women so clueless to what man want and like in fashion?
Why’d you stick a Q on there all of a sudden? And “to what man want”? What are you, a cave person? Dude, you come at this interview with a tidal wave of synonyms, and you can’t even pluralize man. Is this what public school education has come to?
The fundamental problem with your question is women are NOT “so clueless.” In fact, they usually know more about making us find them attractive than we do. Don’t believe me? Turn the page.
Excerpted from Street Boners by McInnes, Gavin Copyright © 2010 by McInnes, Gavin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted June 27, 2010
This was very entertaining. My favorite part of gossip magazines is the fashion sections where we get to see the starts hits and misses. What could be better than a whole book about fashion hits and misses? Not much in my opinion.
There were a few pictures that were just gross, but for the most part it was pretty tasteful. And if you're familiar with Vice Magazine, you're probably expecting that anyway.
There were so many pictures in here that I had to dogear to show other people because I just had to validate that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. I think some of these pictures can only be explained because the people wearing the outfits don't own mirrors... Some of them were just hilarious, like they tried really hard but just missed one very important part.
Not to say that I'm the best dressed person around (believe me I'm far from it), but if I ever decide to leave the house in some of these outfits, just lock me up.
While the outfits were entertaining enough they added comments to make it that much better. I laughed out loud quite a few times with this one. It was a perfectly executed picture book. Although some of the Do's took me a minute to figure out what they did right, as at first look they appeared to be Don'ts but once I figured out their rational behind the ratings things just started to fall into place.
Very entertaining! It was also a great one to share with others to get their reactions to some of the Don'ts. I think a fun night could be had by all just passing around this book. And if you have a friend that's a don't I think this book may help with the fashion intervention.
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Posted November 25, 2013
Posted July 10, 2013