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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Different Bummer

Some march to the beat of a different drummer. Some don't like marching or they don't have anything worth marching for - they prefer sitting. Perhaps they can't afford a drum or don't like drumming. So they sit on a park bench with white plastic glasses with slits and smile.
This was the posting's start BEFORE I tried to find some small morsel of info about these glasses to round out this tale. I did know that sunglasses like this were used by the Eskimo and arctic explorers (where glass was either unavailable or impractical). Living in the arctic, the Inuit soon discovered that they could develop snow blindness (Niphablepsia) a type of keratitis and over longer periods, cataracts. And these glasses did have a period of popularity in the 1960s.
Surprise. Apparently these glasses were all the rage in 2007, popularized by rap star Kanye West in his Stronger music video. Kanye markets them as Stronger Shades. Generically they are known as shutter shades - you can find sites online like: shuttershades.blogspot.com, shuttershadesonline.com, shutter-shades.us, strongerhsades.com etc.
So my whole story - how this person was striking out in his own small, humble way (hence - a different bummer) by donning a forgotten cheap piece of kitsch from the 1960s (perhaps because this is all he could find) - was turned upside down. The real story is quite the contrary, as he sports the latest, (nearly) hottest trend, inspired by a major Rap artist. Then again, perhaps the virulent adaptation by so many of whatever is currently fashionable is, in its own way, a different bummer ...

7 comments:

Lucy said...

Where have I been? I never heard of these, but of course it makes sense in the arctic and all. Also on a summer day in NYC what with all the depletion of the ozone layer burning up the retinas...and of course the signal of coolness...

jungmin said...

Interesting glasses!
Those are famous in Korea because a popular idol group's member took these glasses.
I didn't know the glasses were Eskimo's!!

Brian said...

jungmin - Actually I didn't want to make the article any longer, but Eskimo sunglasses typically have one tiny slong slit as far as I can tell. They look nothing like these - it appears that shutter shades are just an evolution. Many kids make slit-style sunglasses using cardboard etc.

Litsa Dremousis said...

I love his bemused grin.

Chuck Pefley said...

Nice informative post. Fashion vs. function. I think the single slit of the real McCoy makes better sense. Thanks for the education ...

Carlos said...

Great portrait and light.

Anonymous said...

Lets get lost tonight ! I love me some Shutter Shades!