SUPPORT THIS PROJECT--Over 9,300 photos of Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Allentown, Ann Arbor, Ardmore, Ashland (PA), Atlanta, Atlantic City, Austin, Baltimore, Battle Mountain, Bellows Falls, Bensalem Township, Berkeley, Bethlehem, Bolivar, Boston, Bordentown, Boulder, Brooklawn (NJ), Buffalo, Burlington (NJ), Cambridge, Camden, Carbondale, Carlisle, Carmel, Cedar Rapids, Centralia, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chelsea (MI), Cherry Hill, Chester, Cheyenne, Chicago, Claymont (DE), Cleveland, Collingswood (NJ), Columbus, Cupertino, Daly City, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dexter (MI), Dupont, El Cerrito, El Paso, Emeryville, Ewing Township (NJ), Fort Indiantown Gap, Fremont, Gary, Glassboro, Glenside (PA), Gloucester, Grinnell, Haddonfield (NJ), Harpers Ferry, Harrisburg, Hoboken, Houston, Jackson, Jersey City, Joliet, Kansas City (KS), Kansas City (MO), Kennewick, Knoxville, Lancaster, Langhorne, Laurel Springs (NJ), Levittown (PA), Lindenwold (NJ), Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Marcus Hook, McCook, Media (PA), Milpitas, Minneapolis, Mountain View, New Orleans, New York, Newark, New Harmony, Normal, Norristown, North Charleston, Oakland, Old Forge, Omaha, Orlando, Osceola, Overland Park, Palmyra (NJ), Palo Alto, Pasco, Penndel, Pittsburgh, Pittston, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Redwood City, Reno, Richmond, Richmond (CA), Riverside (NJ), Roebling, Rutland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Bruno, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, San Xavier del Bac, Sausalito, Savannah, Scranton, Somerdale (NJ), South San Francisco, Springfield (IL), St. Louis, St. Paul, Steelton, Stockton, Stratford (NJ), Sunnyvale, Taylor (PA), Trenton, Tucson, Union City (NJ), Ventnor, Vineland, Washington, West New York, Westmont (NJ), Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, Williston, Wilmington, Wolf Point, Woodbury (NJ) and Youngstown, etc. Outside USA: Batam, Berlin, Brighton, Budapest, Burgazada, Certaldo, Dresden, Frankfurt, Gorlitz, Grimma, Halle, Istanbul, Johor Bahru, Juarez, Kiev, Kinaliada, Leipzig, London, Luban, Markkleeberg, Prague, Reykjavik, Rivne, Singapore, Wegliniec, Wurzen, Zgorzelec.
If you have a PayPal account, you can save me the fees by sending money directly to my email address: linhdinh99@yahoo.com . Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Deadly United States of Underwear

.



[A print journal wants to publish some of my poems, so I've sent them this poem, among others, to consider. Should they decline it for whatever reason, it will reappear back here.]



.

8 comments:

swindled said...

Nice insight, Linh. The United States of Fruit of the Loom and B.V.D. Makes me think of all those kids in school wearing pajamas. How do you teach them? Hell, how do you "look" at them? Unattire for an I don't care world, an I don't care nation. Maybe we'll evolve, de-evolve to the point where we don't even wear clothes. Third World couture. Global warming and all. H'py 9/11

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Swindled,

One quick thought about "Third World couture": Generally speaking, the people who dress badly there are those who've been displaced, urbanized and fitted badly into a pseudo American lifestyle. Existing on the fringe of this empire, they don't go naked but wear sad or ridiculous versions of American fashion.


Linh


Linh Dinh said...

I mean, in the hills of Vietnam, most of the tribal people have always dressed very carefully, some of them even elaborately, but as they're dragged into what's left of modernity, some of them are starting to wear ragged T-shirts with "California Fine View," Michael Jackson or even Rambo on their chest.

Anonymous said...

yes the Victorian white lady who lived with the last of the free roaming Australian aboriginals described this well the ragged dirty and broken people she saw on the outskirts of white settlements were transformed into 'princes of the desert' when encountered in their native habitat the terrifying featureless outback...

swindled said...

Well, of course I was being sarcastic, while engaging in associative thinking and had no idea when I began the comment I'd wind up at "Third World Couture"--it just sort of popped into my head once I got to "don't even wear clothes." But I was probably thinking of my wife and her family and friends in Mindanao, where the style of dress is minimalist and, yes, oft-Americanized (hand me downs and thrift store fare that arrived in balikbayan boxes).

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Swindled,

When I was in Saigon during 1999-2001, I could often be found in an alley wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and plastic flip flops, so I was emblematic of the worst of Third World couture, for sure, but then again, I was only hanging out in an alley. If I was to go into town, I would put on a decent shirt, and in fact, the best shirts I still own were all tailor-made in Vietnam. This only sounds fancy, because Vietnamese still routinely go to seamstresses and tailors, and it wasn't so long ago when every grown man in Saigon had all of his shirts tailor-made, even if he only owned a handful.

Linh

Linh Dinh said...

For more on this, do check out this 2010 article, "Dissing T-Shirts".

Ian Keenan said...

A friend got a job as a research scientist and worked briefly at the firm's China factory until afterwards his own job was outsourced. A local girl wore a T-Shirt that said Happy Camper to work every day. Once when chatting he asked the translator to tell her what it meant in Mandarin and she ran out of the room screaming, after which the translator explained to him that she was unfamiliar with the concept of 'camping' as outdoorsy Anglo-Europeans use it and the only meaning she was aware of was concentration/ internment camp.

Followers

About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.