Reading Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style today for the new poem/libretto thing I’m working on. Trying to do a king of the mods homage so back into youth culture I dive. Thinking through OOO and Wagner over the last month or so has made the switch back to cultural theory a bit difficult, or torqued maybe. The outside style getting in the way of the things.
But, I’m primarily interested in the mods as a way to view the new sartorial male. It seems to me like the cocktail/butchering/bowtie amassing of knowledge must have something in common with the mods. Hebdige: “[mods push] neatness to the point of absurdity.” Hebdige also argues that “the mods invented a style which enabled them to negotiate smoothly between school, work, and leisure and which concealed as much as it stated.” It’s clear that the sartorial dude must be able to move quickly between events, dates, school, and work, but I’m confused about what they might be conceal. Hebdige argues that the old mods concealed their love of black culture in their style, as well as the remnants of partying, beach fights, record collecting–i.e. the mod style was a way of pushing the weekend back at the work week–but in a moment when the weekend overlaps with the week anyways (at my coffee shop, where people are able to both work and relax with the nintendo that’s plugged in), I’m confused about how or what the sartorial male’s absurd neatness effectively is able to demonstrate or hide.