Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrift Shop and Game

The amusing and popular song by Macklemore is a veritable primer of Game.  It begins with irrational confidence: "Walk up to the club like, 'What up, I got a big cock!'"  Key word: like.  Whether he does or not is irrelevant, it's the being pumped up that allows him to successfully imitate the alphas, to such an extent that even the brothers who would normally disdain their Caucasian competition are forced to acknowledge him as their superior in style: "Damn! That's a cold ass honkey."

The language throughout is masculine.  The Thrift Shopper is not self-pitying, he's not lamenting his lack of money, indeed, he is triumphant over even the smallest victories, the most insignificant come-ups. Contrast with this the sad, pathetic figure of the gamma who has a good job, a house, and a nice car and still feels the deck stacked against him.  He's not shopping, he's "digging, he's "hunting", he is a literal man of action.

The peacocking aspect should be sufficiently obvious as to require no explication.

The Thrift Shopper is centered on himself and confident that others envy him.  He doesn't compare himself to those around him, but to the iconic John Wayne, and not to his own disadvantage either. It's not the clothes that make him cool, he is what makes the clothes cool.

I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those
The sneaker heads be like "Aw, he got the Velcros"

He even AMOGs the more fortunate who are foolish enough to spend $50 on a Gucci t-shirt and expect to derive some advantage from that.  He knows that distinguishing himself from the crowd is more important than having the right, most fashionable stuff.  And while those lower on the socio-sexual hierarchy will complain that he is a clown and has no rational basis for his superior attitude, the women will not care, but will flock to him.

And it inadvertently reveals the secret of what women actually mean when they advise: "Be Yourself" in order to attract women.  They're not lying, they are simply not being sufficiently clear due to their inability to fully understand what it is that appeals to them. What actually attracts them is not a man being himself, but rather believing in himself.

What the specific belief happens to be is almost irrelevant. 


LL said...

This is one of my and my 16 year old daughter's favorite songs and when my daughter sings it, she primps and moves around with major attitude and your on. That confidence, even with Grampa's style, the mocking of those foolish enough to be taken by the stores for a name brand t-shirt, it's vanity in self vs vanity in appearance (in a good way). Love it!!

Beefy Levinson said...

The Prophet Seinfeld showed this principle in action on the episode where George Costanza decides to do the opposite of what his instincts are telling him. He boldly approaches a beautiful woman at the diner and introduces himself with, "My name is George. I'm unemployed and live with my parents."

Anonymous said...

Linking this over at with my commentary below:

Great analysis. Did you notice that in the one room he has a ton of Kennedy stuff hanging on the walls? Cool.

You know, it's funny. I never thought about it, but just last night I totally experienced this effect by way of one of my side gigs. I dealt blackjack at a yacht club charity event and the theme was roaring 20s. My friend who owns the casino events company hired requested a solid color dress shirt, black slacks, black dress shoes, and he would provide the skinny tie, vest, and ganster style hat.

Now, I'm thinking to myself, wow this skinny tie is like a dollar's so shitty I feel kind of embarassed wearing this for a nice event at a yacht club. Same with the hat. The vest fit me really good, I told my friend that it was pretty nice, better than those burlington coat factory cheap-ass ones. He corrected me, said it WAS purchased at burlington coat factory. This means it's likely $10 or less at RETAIL.

I finished tying the tie in front of the mirror downstairs and my outlook changed. I thought, "fuck it, I thought this was way more expensive of a vest, but it fits me great and looks good, why should I care?"

The hat was too small, but I cocked it so it appeared to fit better, the tie WAS super shitty, but I made it look good enough (it was to be tucked under the vest anyway) and walked out of the bathroom with some roaring 20s swagger.

Because I ran into some bad traffic I was late to the event so I got the crappiest table position with regards to tips (outside which gets the smokers and people early in the event when the sun is still up and it's warm, but otherwise is too cold). I ended up only having 3 players, only one of which was female and she stayed at my table the entire night. She bought me multiple drinks from the smoking hot cocktail waitress who I made sure to call over to serve my player and was really cool all night with me. I got many compliments from all the other dealers on how sharp I looked, and my one main player tipped me $20 at the end of the night.

Fuck yeah, I'm gonna pop some tags! Check this out:

Shoes - Some Michael Shannon dress shoes that I bought years ago from a shoe wholesale to the public store. I liked them because I could slip them on and they are comfortable as heck. Unsure of price, but well worth it, I've got years and years of use out of them.

Black Slacks - Under $20 at Ross Dress for Less. It took a little searching and they are a hair short, but they fit well. I've got a TON of use out of these for the casino stuff. I probably haven't washed these in the last 5 or 6 times I've used them.

Dress Belt - Maybe $15-20 at Ross or similar.

Dress socks - Costco ?

Dress shirt - Free from a Men's Wearhouse credit from when I overspent buying a couple suits there (probably a $40 or more shirt at retail, but any decent cheap dress shirt would've worked just as well)

Nice Looking Vest - $10 or less from Burlington Coat Factory (but free to me since the gig provided costume budget).

Shitty skinny tie - $3 or less from Burlington Coat Factory (but free to me since the gig provided costume budget).

Shitty white hat - $5 or less from Burlington Coat Factory (but free to me since the gig provided costume budget).

I ditched the shitty hat and went over to a girl's house after the gig (that I used to date and who is going through a real rough time with the death of her close friend, so I went over to be nice and help her relax enough to sleep) and she could not stop gushing about how good I looked.

Oh, and the smoking hot cocktail waitress? I didn't get to interact with her much, but I did go up and shmooze her briefly after the gig and got her number, teasing her all the way and her lapping it up.

I don't mean to sound like a queer or nothing, but I wanna go shopping!

SarahsDaughter said...

What actually attracts them is not a man being himself, but rather believing in himself.


Money quote.

Vidad said...

Great analysis. It IS the attitude.

I am a thrift store freak, mofos.

Boogeyman said...

Ok, ok. But I still ain't wearing the footy pj's.

Anonymous said...

I am indebted to you for introducing me to Macklemore (I like Thrift Shop a lot but checked out his other stuff and although I have no interest in hip hop or baseball, I really like My Oh My and Can't Hold Us). Speaking as a woman (who dresses mainly from the thrift shop!), I don't go for the all American look and he's way too young for me anyway, but I love the sense of place that comes through in his music and his enthusiasm. Great upbeat stuff.

Ioweenie said...

Boogyman, any of the male ilk could totally rock the footies, especially with the Scut Farkus coonskin.

Yohami said...

Yeah, I was amazed by the whole lyrics and video

Fred Mok said...

Great song, great post. And appreciate your insight that women have it right (and yet wrong) about "being yourself"

Martel said...

The best is the deer sweatshirt he's wearing at 1:25. I bet wearing that with a badass attitude would score major props.

One variation of this I saw a freind pull off was what I call "whipped cream on your nose game".

We were at Denny's in a very interactive, post night-out environment. He got whipped cream on his nose from hot chocolate. I told him to wipe it off. He wouldn't.

Instead, he walked from booth to booth, meeting everybody with a giant splotch on his nose. He would dominate every conversation, not letting anyone tell him about the whippeed cream. I noticed that because he didn't feel awkward in the slightest, he made everybody else feel off-kilter. Some people laughed, others were genuinely disturbed, but he was in complete control. One girl kept trying to wipe it off, and he used it to point out how immature she was and that she needs to learn to keep her hands to herself.

At some point, somebody was finally able to get in a word in about the whipped cream. He snapped back at them, totally indignant: "You don't even know me and you're trying to point out my flaws. Did I walk up to you and tell you how ugly your sweater is. Fucking respect. Jeez." He then casually moved on to talking about the weather or some other banal nonsense, cracking everybody up, even though his words weren't even funny.

I want that sweatshirt.

Martel said...

I forgot to mention that the next day he had a giant zit fight on the center of his nose where the whipped cream was. Entirely worth it, though.

kh123 said...

"America f*ck yeah!"

The veritable pool of endless analogies.

Anonymous said...

the song is great.

he even admits that his jacket smells like piss.


the league of baldheaded men said...

An interesting ditty. It shows that the hipster irony culture has filtered down to the proles, wiggers and normals. 'I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those."

This hipster irony culture is pure gamma, it's the acme of gamma. "You made fun of me for being a geek, and now I'll make geekdom cool."

This goes hand in hand with my theory that "sigma is the alpha of gamma", ie that sigma is what happens when gammas enact their will to power.

stg58/Animal Mother said...

the song is great.

he even admits that his jacket smells like piss.


R. Kelly's piss, to be exact, or maybe Dave Chappelle's piss pretending to be R. Kelly.

Two hundred one million views on Youtube, by the way.

Revelation Means Hope said...

There are similarities to Gangnam Style video.

Both take something that could look really stupid (dancing like riding a horse, and dressing in second-hand clothing), and with the internal attitude meter set on "I ROCK, baby!", these guys are showing what's up.

Duke of Earl said...

It is all about attitude I've noticed. Walk in like you own the room and everyone is lucky you turned up.

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