Friday, January 25, 2013

Weenies In A Plaid Shirt: Disturbing Trends In "Lumberjack" Culture

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss an issue that has been troubling me lately.

The disturbing alteration of the "lumberjack" concept.

What started as a bad-ass jumbo Paul Bunyan with an axe has somehow morphed into the most alarming watered-down and ill-conceived fashion statement...

The Hipster Lumberjack.

Two words that should NEVER be combined. Hipster. And lumberjack.

How did this happen? I don't know, but lumberjacks everywhere must be extremely upset.

I know I am!

Let's break it down, using "The Hipster Lumberjack" from the Nordic Store...

1. He's wearing...he's wearing...*gulp*...a cardigan sweater. Not just any old cardigan sweater, but a shawl-collared cardigan.

Um. No. Lumberjacks + Cardigans = Don't Happen In This Universe. Ever.

2. His plaid shirt is BUTTONED UP TO THE TOP BUTTON.

3. His beard is groomed.

4. His hair has "product" in it. OH MY GOD!

5. He has a "sensitive, emo" look about him. Like he's thinking about his latest knitting project. And kittens.

6. Lumberjack Hipsters often wear funky glasses. Thick, dorky glasses for purely decorative purposes.

7. They also wear...skinny jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Somewhere in Alaska, a lumberjack just snorted so hard he caused a small earthquake.)

8. Many own cats. And snuggle with them.

9. They are super skinny, and look like a strong wind will blow them over. Into the nearest Starbucks.

10. They like to wear knit caps. Even in the summer.

A real lumberjack...

* Does not wear a god-damned cardigan sweater. Or buttoned up shirt. He wears Carhartt pants and long-underwear and a Carhartt jacket. He wears protective goggles not "decorative eyewear" and he wears a knit cap because if he didn't, he'd get frost-bite on his ears and they would fall into the wood chip pile.

* Does not have gel in his freakin' hair, or a twirly mustache or long-ass sideburns. He has a big mother-effin' beard that harbors small animals during hibernation season. It doubles as a scarf for insulation purposes.

* There is no such thing as an "emo" lumberjack. A real lumberjack doesn't have pet kittens or a knitting project. His hobbies include drinking, smoking cigars, and possibly more drinking.

* Is not skinny. He is big and beefy and bulky and massive. And he could crush emo Hipster Lumberjack with his little beefy pinky finger.

Let's just say that if we staged a celebrity death match between Hipster Lumberjack and Paul Bunyan, Paul would snap little Hipster dude in half in under 3.4 seconds. And then go out and chop down a couple of acres of forest. All without breaking a sweat.

For the record, I approve of "Wolverine-Style Lumberjack" compliments of Hugh Jackman. Plaid shirt (not buttoned up to the top), axe, killer beard, massive body, looks like he wants to hurt something. No kittens anywhere.

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!


P.S. For some very amusing "urban woodsman" aka hipster lumberjack fashions, please check out this linkie at GQ, for the Junya Watanabe fashion show from January 2011. Photos by Yannis Vlamos, including the one at the top of the post. Yipppeeeeee!