Douche of the Week: Ralph Lauren
By RU Contributor Jack Mandaville
I love capitalism. I believe in it. But free enterprise, like any economic system, can only survive if the people in it live by an ethical—and rational—standard. Both the consumer and producer must exhibit certain qualities in order to keep the flow of money moving in a safe and consistent manner: sincerity, self-restraint, shrewd budgeting, confidence in the market, etc.
It should go without saying that, lately, we’ve been fucking this one up hardcore. On the buyer side, we turn on the news every November and see yet another sad Black Friday story where a mob of rabid housewives trample over and kill some poor department store security guard in order to get a few bucks off of junior’s Christmas present. The business side isn’t much better. The last decade has been chockfull of stories involving some corrupt CEO and his vain attempt to distort company numbers in order to quench the money-parched mouths of demanding shareholders.
One of the more polarizing issues involving the American marketplace in the last thirty years has been our trade agreement with The People’s Republic of China. Personally, I think Nixon’s decision to open trade with the nation was one of the smarter moves by an American president. But again, when American companies operate under this agreement, that commonsense thing needs to come into play sometimes.
Ralph Lauren, in one of the most supreme douche moves in the history of the American garment industry, utterly failed to employ commonsense when it was recently revealed that the company had its US Olympic uniforms—a coveted contract to have—made in China. Double-u Tee Eff, Ralph Lauren?
Our finest athletes are mere weeks away from highlighting American strength and this company is sending them to London in Chinese-made outfits. If this isn’t embarrassing, I don’t know what is.
But wait, my friends, the doucheyness gets better. When confronted with the fact that Lauren’s clothing line is manufactured in China, the US Olympic Committee’s spokesman, Patrick Sandusky (no relation to Jerry, but still an asshole), defended its decision to hire the clothing maker by stating that Ralph Lauren is “an American company that supports American athletes.”
My response: That’s not the point, shitbrick. I’m certain there are several other American clothing companies who support American athletes and would be willing to sponsor and fit the team if given the opportunity. The issue is the company you hired and the fact they’re having our Red, White, and Blue uniforms made in China. This isn’t for some little get together, either. This is the fucking Olympics. If there’s any time our citizens should be showing up to another country 100% American, it’s the Olympics.
There is good news, though. In all of this controversy, Ralph Lauren and the USOC managed to bring members of the House and Senate together in solidarity. They were all pissed about the situation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters in his typical suicide-inducing voice, “I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves.”
On the other end of the political spectrum, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, managed not to burst into tears when he said, “You’d think they’d [the USOC] know better.”
Nevertheless, the whole China thing isn’t my biggest gripe in all of this. While our finest athletes may be wearing foreign made clothing, the biggest travesty is what the clothing actually looks like.
They’ve got khaki pants, check. Blazers, check. And for the headwear, they’ll be sporting berets, che—WAIT, HUH?!
What. The. Fuck?
Now, now, before any of you Airborne or SF folks get your panties up in a bunch over me knocking berets, let me explain.
There’s a difference between Lauren’s choice in cap and years of American military tradition. The tan, maroon, and green berets are a prestigious symbol of soldiering, inspired by other great military organizations. It’s not the only foreign inspiration in American military fashion—the French Fourragere and Mamluk Sword immediately come to mind. American Soldiers can get away with this look because it’s worn with a much different intent.
However, thinking of Lebron James and Michael Phelps walking throughout London with black berets on makes my balls suck up into my chest. There’s just something not right—or ‘Murican—about it.
I mean really, who the fuck are we trying to impress with this one? What good could possibly come of this? You think France will automatically want to give us a high five and make us culture buddies?
With the exception of Army Airborne, Green Berets, and Ernest Hemingway, everybody else wearing a beret seems like a total douchebag. Just off the top of my head, the only people I recall seeing with berets are self-righteous college students, hipsters, Che Guevara, and SATAN!
Congratulations, Ralph Lauren and the US Olympic Committee, you’ve sewn your way (I mean, had Chinese kids sew your way) to Douchebagistan. While there, you will be forced to take fashion tips from Larry the Cable Guy, Jersey housewives, and the elderly.