Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Selling Our Youth Back To Us

Sooo…Pottery Barn unveiled its new “Friends” line this week.

And as we’ve discussed, everyone in the 90’s was watching Friends. It’s just what you did on a Thursday night.

Of course, this line of new products (including a Monica-esque apothecary table priced at a whopping $1,099! Seriously, people, have you ever gone to an antique store, or a yard sale?) is mostly powered by the popularity of Friends on Netflix…which is in turn powered by new viewers (aka those Millenials) “finding” the show for the first time.

This is all wrong, on so many levels, IMHO. Reason #1: Despite the fact that Friends had a gay character–Central Perk barista Gunther, who was a secondary character at best–and a transgender character–the show is wildly, datedly homo- and trans-phobic. The running joke of the whole show is that the guys (especially roomies Chandler and Joey) are such good friends–and share a bar of shower soap–that they might be kinda a little gay…and ewww. Let alone the constant “trannie” “jokes” when Chandler’s father is revealed to be transgender.

Reason #2: the whole series was predicated on this set-up, as I said in one of our episodes: “Oh, paleontologist Ross, you nerd. You’re in love with an airhead who can’t hold down a job. Just stop being nerdy and be dumb with the rest of us.” Big Bang Theory this was not (oh wait…actually it is.)

Reason #3: the show, like the proffered pillow and mugs, was super white. There is ONE purple pillow, however.

Reason #4: this product line feeds into the flawed thinking that the 90’s were a simpler, easier time. Before mass shootings and 9/11 and climate change and FOMO, there was this idyllic time when people with no discernible income (except for that paleontology salary) could afford to live in a massive downtown loft without having to worry about how “woke” they are (not) to the plight of other communities. They could enjoy their privilege without any worries at all! The 90’s had their moments (the music! the raves! the fall of the Soviet Union!) but it wasn’t all coffeeshops and spying on neighbors. (Another running joke on the show that is now very, very troubling.)

I can forgive anyone who watched Friends in its original run and enjoyed it. Or still enjoy it for nostalgia’s sake. I’m Tagging for Hate all those who are watching it now and enjoying it without irony, and enjoying its datedness. Go support your local Good Will or similar charity thrift shop and buy an apothecary table from them instead of feeding into this PB cash grab.

For more tirade on Friends (and another 90’s staple I didn’t like, not even at the time) you can go back to our “Sidebar” conversation a few months ago.

Tag for Hate

This BuzzFeed Article On Waco, TX Says It All

Yes, this is a long read, and yes it’s about the You-Know-Who’s. But it says (verifies?) everything we instinctively don’t like about the Fixer Upper effect. The #shiplap hashtags, the national obsession, the gentrification, the whitewashing (literal and figurative), the rumblings of anti-LGBTQ religious stances, the bougie-ness, the very Instagrammable-ness of it all.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/waco-texas-magnolia-fixer-upper-antioch-chip-joanna-gaines

And while it’s all about Waco, Texas, it’s also about our towns. (Well, Beacon, cohost J’s town, at least. How about Milton/Marlboro, Rob?) Many towns. Many downtowns in any American city. How do we improve and build even better communities for everyone who lives there? How can we all come along for the ride? Can we do that while having some personal fun and individuality in design???

BTW, we’ll get over the Gaines eventually. It’s just that they, like this article, seem to sum up a lot of the conversational threads of the middle class home/garden/shelter/real estate sphere. We’ll be back to ogling hot gardeners or obsessing over wallpaper in a hot minute.

Srsly?

Photo by Ilana Panich-Linsman for BuzzFeed News

Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Fire At Notre Dame

Photo: Wired.com

Cohost J here. I think anyone who has fallen in love with Paris is dying on the inside today. The images of Notre Dame cathedral in flames are heartbreaking. Though the worst-case scenario didn’t materialize and the firefighters were able to put out the blaze before permanent structural damage was done, this is still a punch in the gut.

I’ve been to Paris twice and went to Notre Dame both times–twice on my last trip in 2014. I took a Gothic architecture art history class in college (and almost changed my major because of it) and went gaga over the flying buttresses, the arches, the rose windows, and all the little details frozen in stone, including those famous rain spouts we call gargoyles. Despite the hordes of fellow tourists, once you step inside the doors and wander through its forest of columns, this feeling of wonder and peace settles over you–which is exactly the intention of its design. I am not into the church (lower nor upper case!) at all but the building still gives you that religious feeling, somehow. That bodily response to a cathedral is not unique to Notre Dame (I literally cried at Chartres cathedral’s blue stained glass–design nerd alert!) but ND is literally the heart of Paris. Geographically and spiritually. How far to Paris? The mileage is measured to Notre Dame’s front door. It’s kilometer zero. And as a visitor it can become the center of your memories too.

Up on the rooftop access tour, June 2014

 

A gargoyle’s view of the square.

Notre Dame is so much more than a church. It is more than brick, stone, glass and wood. It is architectural history in physical form. It’s an incomprehensibly collaborative art installation (and yes, it was built using exploitative practices and unholy money and yes I’m still not down with the organized religion thing) that spans the centuries. The wood, stone, glass and brick can be rebuilt–maybe add a little steel this time?

Photo: National Review.

After all, Notre Dame was not a static structure. It changed too, and the process of renovating and restoring it seem to be the likely source of this fire. The lovely super-ornate, majorly Gothic over-the-top (pun intended) spire which collapsed was a nineteenth century addition, after all. Fun fact: it’s a major blooper in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame! Quasimodo dances around the roof and uses the spire like a stripper pole, but it would not have been there when the story was set!

That pole he’s working? Not there in 1482.

Anyway. They will rebuild. They were already in the process of reconstructing and preserving it. Designers and architects will combine wood and stone to create something magical. The fire is now part of Notre Dame’s long history. Hopefully what we remember is that buildings and artworks can awaken emotions in us, and they too can be lost. No one died in the fire, thankfully, but those who love that cathedral, for whatever reason, felt like we were watching a death unfold. Through design, our public places and houses–even houses where God lives–can feel like home, and we need to recognize and celebrate them in the now. Before our own history is history.

Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Indoor Swings

Cohost J. here: indoor swings. I’m not a fan.

Hope you like patching drywall!

A good porch swing, I’m down with that. Maybe a funky hanging chair in the corner.

Photo credit: Thrift-ola.

That’s OK by me, because no one will actually curl up in it except toddlers and pets for more than five minutes.

If you want it this badly, get a house with a yard and two trees. Jeesh.

As for indoor hammocks: you’d better have one of those retractable walls and beachfront property, because other than that, it looks wrong. Do you really need to feel air flow beneath you that badly? Or is it the gentle swaying motion you seek? (AKA, flipping over on your ass whenever you try to get in or out of said hammock.)

But alas, indoor swings, hammocks and hanging chairs are trending right now, and it feels like a case of too much. As a novelty, they’re cool. But now they’ll be a ubiquitous waste of money. So, #trendoids, invest in seating for no one (except toddlers and pets) and let us know how you feel about it in two years.

And speaking of things that are super-popular but make us say “Ughk, why? Why are so many people into this? Who’s the crazy one in this relationship?”

This week, news broke that THOSE PEOPLE are taking over the DIY TV network. It’s officially a media empire. I guess it’s the same situation as when Martha Stewart created her own channel and people scoffed. “How can you fill hours of airtime with that one brand?” they said, and they were right. Martha went from over-exposed to joining the cast of Orange Is The New Black (not really, she just looked the part) to Apprentice co-conspirator, and then settled back into her groove. Now she’s doing collabs with Snoop Dog and starring in hilarious promos for Transformer movies and it’s all “a very good thing.” Will the Gaineses have to go to jail for some white collar crime (it HAS to be white, and preferably with shiplap) for us to appreciate them? Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m afraid the Magnolia channel’s slogan will be “do it yourself, but we’ll do the thinking for you.”

Tag for Hate · Tag For Love

Tag For Love/Hate: Gwyneth Paltrow

Let’s be honest. Most of us have a Love/Hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy Award winning acting. Life in the spotlight. Bougie children’s names. Incredibly fit in her forties. Signature lifestyle brand with the awful name. That whole “conscious uncoupling” thing. It’s often hard to know whether to Tag for Love or Tag for Hate.

Following her IG feeds (either her personal page or for her lifestyle brand GOOP) keeps you swimming in the conundrum.

Love? Hate? Love? Hate?

All sides of the eternal debate seem to coalesce in one recent IG post.

Gwyneth Paltrow, from her Instagram feed.
Oh, Gwyneth.

Announcing her new offices, Gwyneth stands in front of sleek, blonde-wood bookcases with leaning, lower shelves prefect for highlighting magazines, art, or favorite books. Showcase bookcases in the face of KonMari? Love! The shelves are sparsely filled, prompting her to request recommendations from followers on books on design, food, and corporate culture. Seeking fan input? Love!


That green jumper she’s wearing? Oh my goddesses. HATE!

Round and round it goes. Love? Hate? Love to Hate? Hate to Love? Oh, Gwyneth, you perplex us so. With no end in sight it seems best to just go ahead and employ a Tag for Love/Hate. It’s a mindfully selected compromise focused on equilibrium to reduce stress and help reach optimal wellness.
We’re sure it’s What Gwyneth Would Do.

Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Time Changes

The Dali Melting Clock, available at Urban Outfitters

Cohost J. here. It’s Daylight Saving Time Monday here in New York, and it sucks. I feel hung over, even though I didn’t drink last night. It’s a three-coffee kind of day. Yes, yes, all our body clocks and circadian rhythms will adapt and catch up, but here in the worst of it, I can’t help thinking: Why? Why do we continue this pointless exercise?

Turns out, Daylight Saving Time wasn’t really created to help farmers during World War I (or whatever story you were told).

Contrary to popular belief, American farmers did not lobby for daylight saving to have more time to work in the fields; in fact, the agriculture industry was deeply opposed to the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918, as a wartime measure. The sun, not the clock, dictated farmers’ schedules, so daylight saving was very disruptive. Farmers had to wait an extra hour for dew to evaporate to harvest hay, hired hands worked less since they still left at the same time for dinner and cows weren’t ready to be milked an hour earlier to meet shipping schedules. Agrarian interests led the fight for the 1919 repeal of national daylight saving time, which passed after Congress voted to override President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades. (Credit: History.com)

Also, it’s not really an energy-saver, either, as we tend to use more electricity to cool our homes later into the evening, thanks to our manipulation of the sunset time.

Those of us who are parents know that one big reason that DST sucks is that it’s hell on kids’ schedules. Our baby was up until almost 10:00 pm last night and naptime was all out of whack. Yes, he’ll adjust too. But again, why are we doing this?

TBH, the “melting clock” above also gets a Tag For Hate. Dali’s original painting: thumbs up. But this (and its clones in every Spencer Gifts since time immemorial) are completely unoriginal. Please don’t buy this.

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Tag For Hate: Gen X Beige

With all this talk about Millenial Pink and Gen Z Yellow, our March episode finds us on the hunt for a signature color for our generation: Generation X.

Ascribing colors to generational cohorts appears to be based on the popularity of a color among young adults and the application of the color in their personal fashion and home décor. Following that logic, it wasn’t too hard to uncover the most popular color among Gen Xers in their early adult years. Sherwin Williams Color Through the Decades confirms it, (see also here) the signature color for Generation X: BEIGE!

We all know this house. Also note the ubiquitous Tuscan elements!

How dreadful! But true. Throughout the 1990’s as Gen Xers were coming of age, furnishing their first apartments or buying their first homes they turned to the color beige over and over again. Beigey Beige Beige décor was everywhere. Top colors of the era had names as uninspiring as the color itself. “Whole Wheat”, “Basket Beige”, “Urban Putty.” Fibrous not fun!

Blame it on our being raised in households full of dusty rose, country blue, and mauve. Or maybe we were so oversaturated with neon and color blocking that we rebelled…with beige. Whatever the reason for Gen X’s love affair with beige, it lasted longer than most of JLo’s marriages. Indeed, well into the 2000’s we couldn’t get any more exciting than “Latte”–how very Central Perk of us!

We may not love Millenial Pink or Gen Z Yellow, but we definitely hate Gen X Beige!