I HAVE RECENTLY decided to become cool, and possibly even a trendsetter. This is easier to do these days than back when you had to accomplish something of merit to earn a following. But now, with superficiality a religion in America and empty platitudes as widespread and respectable as soaring rhetoric used to be, it’s easy-peasy.
Until now, otherwise ordinary people were forced to wear the right clothes or deliberately wear the wrong ones, have the correct number of tattoos and body piercings, and sport the strangest hair color to be at all noteworthy among their peers. But now, with fewer stores handing out bags for purchases, there’s an even more obvious way to see who’s not only saving the planet but is also cool: Tote bags imprinted with a logo or message allow the bearers to strut their stuff just by walking down the street. Virtual bumper stickers for people, today’s totes allow you to broadcast your favorite cause, passion, political candidate or whatever, and the bigger the bag, the louder the message. Besides being a conversation starter, the modern tote can also serve as a status symbol if you choose wisely.
All of this came to my attention in an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal that includes a photo of a woman on a Manhattan street telling the world that pineapples are her thing! She is also on her cell phone so right away you know she’s important as hell. Does she own a chain of pineapple smoothie bars? Could she be an international pineapple importer? Has she figured out a way to convert pineapples into energy and thus reduce carbon emissions and ultimately end global warming? Her involvement is anybody’s guess, but we know from the size of her tote bag that it’s pretty damn big.
Sadly, my own tote bags are pathetic. Every one of them is stamped with the name of a large supermarket chain or local grocery. This tells the world that I shop for food. How is that cool? So today I am determined to go out and find a tote bag that will blow people away. Not sure what it will say, but it will be yuge.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.