Labels

I derive from a generation which kept its labels tucked away from sight.

Not so today. Levis puts their labels along the seams, so they protrude like the tabs on pinafores for those old stick-the-clothes-on cardboard dress-up dolls. Reebok simply prints them over your left breast. Nike swooshes everything, from farmlands to billboards. As though they didn’t make enough after sweatshop profits! These manufacturers are what the nuns used to sneeringly call “brazen articles.”

What if people wore labels? “Wash in warm water only.” “Dry clean, do not iron,” And the worst would be the size tag jutting out from your neck, like a shark fin: “Size 16!” Mine would prob’ly just say “fatty, fatty, boombalatty” in the interests of exactitude & accuracy.

  • Thinker?
  • OMG!
  • Leave Me Out Of It
  • Needy
  • Coffee Now Or Else
  • Donate below

When we speak of transparency, I’ll lead the line on many topics. Actually, my face is of itself an LED display; everything I think flits across it. This can be dangerous in mixed company – I stay home a lot. If I flew a personal flag, it’d likely be the Andy Warhol soup can for “over-salted.” Still, I’m not attempting any Human Barbie look. Too many old dolls wind up headless / armless / legless, riding dust bunnies in odd corners. Oh, yeah, & naked.

My other labels, I hope, would read “funny,” “bright,” “sensitive.” Although I have the feeling they would read “sarcastic,” “smart-mouthed,” “ticklish feet.” The one on the back of my head would read “Does she really mean that?” And, um, yeah, I really do.

This is an age when secrets keep like milk left out in July sun. Of course, there’s a valid argument to be had that they never really did. Remember that old saw about a secret being kept only if one of the holders is dead? But it is different now. Egregiously so. Our vitals are sold off without even being bid upon. I recently read Google makes $12 for just having my stats. Do the math, everyone.

Does it ever run a chilly frisson of up your spine when the form you’ve just called up on the screen self-populates with your address, age, car make & favorite dinner? Mine even note I wear sweatbands doing massage, with the notes:

  • Wannabe human
  • May not have another book in her
  • Would rather be a cat smirking atop the bookcase

It can be handy when the speller suggests how to spell vinaigrette correctly. But other than that, I’m not as much into “arty-ficial” intelligence algorithms for the price of a vowel.

I want you to take a minute to think over your labels – your body language, your obvious attitudes, your words, all the niches you fit into by appearances, ideals & lifestyles.

Above all, don’t worry about any of ‘em. They’re self-populating, comprised of artificial stupidity & usually not at all what you see in your mirrors.

We are far too complex to be trivialized. It’s comfortable for everyone else to label us. Just like it is for us to label them.