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What passes for humor in retail

A thousand years ago I used to enjoy shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch. I loved that they had books mixed in with the shirts, and I really liked that they had almost no selection at all. I only had to decided if I wanted a blue button down, or a white button down. It was a delightful shopping experience.

I don't know what happened, I abandoned them when they abandoned the books. I've read about the kind of stuff that they try to pass off as humorous pranks designed to get publicity, and they always do get publicity but at the cost of degrading the culture as much as possible. And of course they use what can only be described as soft-core gay pornography to somehow convince not-very-bright young women to spend 30 or 40 bucks for a shirt that looks as if it came from the thrift store.

Which is why the Improv Everywhere Shirtless Stunt is so genius. A&F somehow thinks that they have this knowing wink at popular culture, and -- like so many bad comics -- they equate being crass and offensive with being funny. By embracing the whole shirtless thing and extending it to it's logical conclusion, the Improv guys laid bare the hypocrisy. Bravo!


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