Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thursday Stylin': Alex Kuczynski's house of mirrors

In a slightly abridged version of the stylin' roundup, we follow New York Times investigative reporter Alex Kuczynski on her visit to Target.

You know it's going to be an awesome installment of The Critical Shopper when Alex Kuczynski, queen of conspicuous consumption (or "HMQCC"), begins an article by quoting the Buddha on material possessions. Buddha, it seems, thought that material possessions stood in the way of enlightenment. This makes Alex Kuczynski the yin to his yang: she's the Antibuddha,.

AKucz treks to Mt. Kisco, hometown of friend-critiquer and L.A. wildman Bonsai. Mt. Kisco is mistaken by some as a small principality on the border of France and Germany, renowned for the low self-esteem of its citizens and famous for its Kiscan bread.

AKucz isn't going there for any Kiscan bread. None of that! She likes Target because it appeals to low-income shoppers as well as high-income shoppers. AKucz is egalitarian like that. She notes the "hip note" bestowed to Target's apparel lines, which, apparently, are linked to famous designers. She thinks this is "well intentioned," cuz nothing swings AKucz's moral compass like famous designers. She's righteous.

For a paragraph, her scribble reads like the Times's series on class in America, as written by a character from Heathers:
This is the problem of the class-and-mass approach: There will always be rich people, and there will always be poor people, and they can happily mingle in economic anonymity in the aisles of Target. But at the end of the day you'll be able to tell one from the other by who is sitting at the Starbucks counter drinking a $5 latte.
After that insight, she leaves Target with more shit than any person needs:
a large mirror to hang on a guest bedroom wall and six other smaller ones for around the house; a leather lamp; a silk lampshade; two pairs of hiking shorts, a pair of Mossimo camouflage pants and three pairs of underwear for my stepson; seven pairs of underwear and a pair of Hello Kitty flip-flops for my stepdaughter; Mossimo blue jeans for me; 20 sturdy wooden hangers; a box of Ritz Bitz cheese crackers, half of which I ate in the parking lot and the rest of which I threw into the garbage before I could eat any more; a copy of People magazine; a bottle of water.
First off, what kind of person leaves Mt. Kisco without some famous Kiscan bread? Heathen. Second: seven mirrors? I'm shocked.

2 comments:

Crunk Raconteur said...

Wait, AKucz has a stepson and stepdaughter??? Now, normally I mock this expression more than any other (with the possible exceptions of "compassionate conservative" and "strong and resolute"), but WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN????

CrimeNotes said...

I think it would've been funnier if she didn't mention the stepkids, and implied that the purchases were for herself, thus reading:

... a pair of Mossimo camouflage pants and three pairs of underwear; seven pairs of underwear and a pair of Hello Kitty flip-flops ...