Last week another Huffpo blogger levied a verbal assault on a cornerstone of my generation: bling. The cyber siege made the dubious connection between the only two things that get my blood up these days: bling and Barack Obama:
Lately I've been wondering what an Obama White House might mean for the future of bling. For the fate of heavy gold, medallions, below-the-butt denim, the whole hip-hop gangsta fashion habit. What if January 20, 2009 turned out to be.. a watershed fashion moment for teenaged boys?
Ugh. "Gangsta?" This is like when my pudgy sweat-slathered boss says desperately ironic things like "That's how I roll!"
She goes on to reference: Ed Sullivan, The Beatles, and a winsome 67-year-old corrections officer. This is EXACTLY why assisted living facilities should NOT have internet access.
Let me holla at you, baby girl: DO NOT confuse bling with jeans that sag from gats, crack pipes, and all the dreadful woes of a Baltimore housing project. Bling is entirely different.
Whether it's based in crass materialism or in giant meta quotation marks, bling is about being gaudy, sassy, and bold. It's not just a red-carpet fashion statement. Bling has a deeper set of values: playing hard, looking good, and lapping up the finest. But beyond the Bentley and the chilled Dom Perignon, bling is about having luxuriously visible affirmation that establishes the owner's positive status.
Right or wrong, bling is empowering. It's irreverent, audacious and HONEST. Damon Dash, Emperor of Bling, says: "I've always been addicted to money. I like to have diamonds, jewelery; I like my private jets, my cooks, the fact I stay in a presidential [suite] wherever I go." Absou-freakin'-lutely. Why the hell not? Brush yo' shoulders off and hop on that jet if you got it.
Speaking of which, let us not forget Obama's dog whistle when he brushed his shoulders off at a primary rally. It was a gloriously authentic moment. A moment that we (meaning those of us who never owned a Fleetwood Mac album) gleefully understood and that the confused Boomers missed. Like the fist bump, like Obama saying "Ya, I did a little blow," it's all about the open self-revelatory style. The way Dash unabashedly declares his love for them big-bodied Benzes to Obama's admission that he snorted a little blow: it's open, it's out there, unapologetically. This is something neither the focus-grouped Clinton nor the liver-spotted McCain could do.
When Obama becomes president, the flossin', the rims, and the bling will not go away . Hopefully the craggy Boomers who write that nostalgic drivel will.