Around 1989, I spotted a UK chapter member of the Guardian Angels on London’s underground. Thinking they were some kind of superhero vigilante group, I was pretty star struck. If I’d known that they once picketed Los Angeles’ cinemas to protest the showing of The Warriors I would have realised that they were pretty uncool (plus berets are hard to pull off). Now, the UK chapter is a little thin on the ground (as this photo essay testifies), but the launch of a reality show that looks like it was made in 1987 had me reading up about the group. My love of vigilante flicks and fascination with the Bernhard Goetz case, plus the Clash singing about them on Combat Rock has fueled that fascination and Nicholas Pileggi (author of Wiseguy that was adapted for the screen as Goodfellas) wrote a great piece about them for an article in the November 1980 issue of New York and the photographs by Stephen Shames are excellent. Whatever the reality of that crew, founder Curtis Sliwa’s tee over a shirt and tie is a big look and the Illuminati on air winged eye of providence logo will always be classic. And that kung-fu training shot? Powerful.
If you’re one of the seven people who saw White House Down, which is a more expensive version of the far better Olympus Has Fallen — two Die Hard style films about The White House being taken over by terrorists — then you will have cringed at the Air Jordan product placement in the film. I’m a sucker for a one man army against the hostage takers flick — I’m heartbroken that there wasn’t an Under Siege 3 on a space shuttle and I am a huge fan of Van Damme’s ice hockey action classic Sudden Death. I have no quality control. Olympus Has Fallen‘s foreign villainy had it billed as the right-wing predecessor to White House Down‘s left wing sentiments and once again, as is often the case with the reactionary nature of the best action films, the right won. Olympus… is more bloodthirsty, takes a Taken style pro DIY torture stance and has a CGI plane attack scene that’s so poor that the film could have been made in 1996 and been a straight-to-VHS masterpiece from a time when only zillionaires had DVD players. Despite my low, low standards, White House Down is crap — fun performances are bogged down by bloodless head shots and weird plot holes that even the dumb nature of a thriller like this can’t fill. Friend killed in a plane crash hours prior? Have fun post-siege regardless. Somehow, its CGI is even worse than Olympus… with its Playstation cut scene aerial assaults. But when Jamie Foxx’s US president kicks a bad guy in the face while wearing Jordan IVs and exclaims, “Get yo hands off my Jordans!” I was done. Not since the “I need a flashmob, like, five minutes ago!” line in the equally shitty Premium Rush have I wanted to slap a MacBook screen this much. Once, seeing Jordan IVs on-screen (even Vincent Cassell’s 1999 retros in The Crimson Rivers was awesome) was kind of cool. Now it’s excruciating. If it had been “Get yo hands off my custom-made presidential New Balances!” I probably would have been more forgiving. It was so weak, i had to stare at this picture of Michael Jordan celebrating his 26th birthday in February 1989 and cutting a Jordan IV cake with his parents for ten minutes straight to remind me that the shoe is a masterpiece.
Tenuously seguing from a Die Hard clone to allegations of being a try hard clone, I don’t get all the disdain for Brandon Sales’ attire. At least he makes an effort and goes in with the looks. Plus #luxuryexcellence is more double decadent than Domino’s. Shit, my hockey shirt, Karl Kani shoes and 40″ waist denims were a far worse teenage fit and there’s people far more deserving of your contempt — every single Tommy Ton hunting douchebag who used to wear BAPE then switched to double monk straps, any menswear dude outside a tradeshow looking like a teeming mass of solemn-faced, unadulterated effort, anybody over the age of 30 who use the term “kicks” and matches their shoes to their attire, the weed leaf socked, Herschel backpacked, five-panel hatted AM1 blog dudes who think they’re better dressed than him, anybody over the age of 30 who queues for shoes, people who comment angrily on blog posts in more than 70 characters, people who use the hashtag #streetart, people over the age of 30 who use hashtags to end anything, old dudes who excitedly attend shoe conventions, people who only like hyped things and then get angry about other people liking similarly hyped things, anyone who likes live graffiti installations and over 30s who wear Damir Doma and Rick Owens and come off looking like Emperor Palpatine. You’re entitled to wear what you want until you’re 25 — I know enough blog dudes who used to be on a shameful emo and rap-metal wave in their late teens and I believe that the purchase of a single Limp Bizkit CD single back in the day eclipses Mr. Sales’ alleged crimes. Let the man be.
Anyway, leather tracksuit bottoms, long black tees, Don C hats and vaguely abstract black hi-tops are the new jean shorts, white tee with a tank underneath, durag, oversized New Era fitted and white on white AF1s. Let he who is without teenage wardrobe calamities cast the first stone. Some people were dressed like Mr fucking Majeika, wearing bow ties and wacky patterned socks as a focal point until they started wearing Nike Airs again. Surely they deserve the abuse?