"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 20 February 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.


The J. Suckerman Company

Just when you thought movie tie-ins couldn't get any more ubiquitously patronizing, along comes J. Peterman and his band of ecru-clad prose-waxers, offering the men in the audience the opportunity to show the world how much their looks pale in comparison to Leonardo DiCaprio's. For only US$9,000, some lucky shopper out there is wearing the actual suspendered cords the young Truman-Capote-doppelgänger donned for James Cameron's $200 million epic.

And, of course, the titanic preposterousness does not stop there. Peterman et al. also offer the Out of Africa collection (pre-lion-attack), and don't say we didn't warn you about too-great expectations if you happen to buy your girlfriend Uma Thurman's Avengers-inspired ensemble.

Which begs the question, of course: why? We asked ourselves the same when the Thirtysomething look was offered, during the heyday of said angst-fest, but at least Michael and Hope were contemporary. Why would anyone actually pursue a look so antiquated, whether Redford's or Streep's? And are DiCaprio's skid marks and dribble stains worth a full 9 K?

Or, moving on to the larger issue, are we really so blatantly lemminglike that it doesn't just stop at asking the hairdresser to give us a Clooney or a Rachel, we actually want to dress exactly like them as well? Not subtly, like with pastel colors inspired by Michael Mann, Crockett, and Tubbs; or comically, like with Axel Foley's "MUMFORD PHYS ED" tee; but clubbing-us-on-our-headsly, probing-rectally, Orwelly? Will we soon be running around in hospital greens, a nation of ER docs and nurses without the diplomas, the melodrama, or the looks?

Well, if that's our next stop, the marketing engineers at the J. Suckerman catalogue wanted us to dispose of the emergency brake and take us all the way, Runaway Train-style. There's a lot more for us to learn from H-Wood than just how to look prettier.

  Next ... The John Merrick Collection...