v.: The act of taking a pocket knife or a small pair of scissors and very carefully clipping all the many, many threads holding on those DAMN labels which get stuck all over the friggin' place.

Let's face it: things weren't always as crazy as they are. It used to be that the reputation of a company was based quite simply on quality. Go figure.

Somwhere along the line, namely the post-war boom, we got all wacky and decided to take capitalism from any senseful level it may have been on, pump it full of steroids, and produce raging, maniacal, uncontrollable consumerism.

You have to imagine in America during the war things were naturally very tight. People had to conserve, eat less meat, grow vegetables, and recycle. People were hard-core recycling back in 1944! Why? They had to. When they didn't have to any more? In came The Disposable Society™. Today, growth and consumption are everything and the reputation of a firm is based on billion-dollar advertising campaigns and control of the public mind (thanks, Noam Chomsky).

Or, in other words, we've become so brand-name oriented that we fail to see (or don't want to see) that shoes with the name "Nike" are exactly the same as all the others, but we are willing nevertheless to pay 1000% above production cost for them while scoughing at those with a reasonable margin-of-profit. It's almost as if we want to pay more.

And these logos and symbols and mottos that we choose to wear on our chests, butts, feet, heads, and every where else for that matter, are the sign of the times, my friends. They are the symptom and the cause.

And to that I say, "de-brand-name the hell out of the things". Get rid of it. You don't need a leather Levis patch on your bum. You don't need an Gap tag on your purse. Nor a cK anywhere near your person. They're superfluous and show only that the wearer has little economic sense. As a very bright woman once noded: "I do not pay money to wear garments that advertise products or services". Yo.

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