Top 5 ACL Comment Clusterfucks

Pretty self explanatory. With a spirit of amusement and lightheartedness I present to you the all time top five ACL comment clusterfucks. These are the super special threads when ACL commenters have distinguished themselves with their vigor and ruthlessness. Not specifically represented in the top five are any/all of the posts concerning anything I have made, written, sold or championed over the nearly three years of doing this site. I can’t think of a post where anyone has let me get away with liking anything. Thanks for keeping me humble! Enjoy!

#1 – Aaron Levine Street Style

#2 – $109 Notebook

#3 – ACL Redesign

#4 – Rogues Gallery SS09

#5 – Raleigh Denim

A note about comments. I close the comment threads for posts older than sixty days, so you will notice most of these are closed. I do this because people love to come back to and old post and act crazy. It took me about two years to figure out that the comments in old posts need to close after a while.

Comments on “Top 5 ACL Comment Clusterfucks

    vanderleun on August 21, 2010 7:42 PM:

    “I can’t think of a post where anyone has let me get away with liking anything. ”

    You need to incorporate my firm rule: “Everyone is entitled to an enlightened opinion. Mine.”

    I mean, rally, what’s not to like in any of the gear in any of those posts? (Except of course that scruffy dude in the effing white captain’s hat in the fourth picture in the Spring Preview. The hat! The bong hit eyes! Aieeee!)

    Gary on August 21, 2010 11:28 PM:

    All of these comment wars boil down to the same thing. “this stuff is too expensive! Why, I can go to Workwear Barn / Surplus Hut and get something sturdy for $25!”

    And then it gets into all kinds of class accusations about people hijacking the style of these working-class people from fifty years ago when they are actually writing Python on a Macbook Pro in Brooklyn and not actually putting in a shift at the sawmill. In Oregon. In 1937.

    The reason for that is because Dockers and a polo shirt (or a random T-shirt and Gap khakis) are boring.

    But the core question of this website, why spend this kind of money on something that looks to the untrained eye, exactly like something from Workwear Barn for $25.

    Because the STORY is important. And supporting these small American manufacturers is important. But even beyond that, buying ONE thing that will last many years is better than buying TEN things that will need to be replaced every year or two. Personally, I don’t make enough money to buy cheap crap. Plus I live in NYC, my rent is ridiculous. I am not RICH enough to waste money.

    I want to buy one thing that meets my needs, either to carry my laptop or to keep my feet warm or whatever. I’d like to know for a fact that that one thing was made by someone who gives a shit about longevity, and that’s not it’s not just bullshit marketing for a season’s “longevity is hot right now” fashion spread. If that takes spending more money and time researching than going to Old Navy, then that’s what I gotta do.

    Exit Lines on August 21, 2010 11:56 PM:

    These tender comments raise a peripheral matter of concern: Whatever happened to Paul Pincus?

    Dave on August 22, 2010 1:16 AM:

    Derek and the $109 notebook should be #1, but whatever.

    RQH on August 22, 2010 10:48 AM:

    I always find those comments hilarious. People who spend $4 on a latte will fling the GDP of Bhutan in your face and judge you for buying a nice notebook. Ha! If you’re on a computer browsing this site then you are rich in the grand scheme of things.

    Justin Power on August 22, 2010 11:50 AM:

    Trumpeting Dave’s sentiment, I would’ve bet the farm that the notebook post would’ve been number one with a bullet.

    Michael Williams on August 22, 2010 11:55 AM:

    The Aaron Levine post was much earlier in the lifespan of ACL than the notebook. I think pound for pound, it was the craziest.

    UrbanRagg on August 22, 2010 12:32 PM:

    Reading those comment strings got me to thinking about authenticity. The notion of an authentic look or an authentic piece of clothing is very slippery because sometimes just merely having the awareness of how items of clothing combined in certain ways evokes a certain mood (grungy, preppy, etc) is enough to deny, by definition, authenticity It reminds me of the “problem” of the tea ceremony in old Japan. Wealthy art and craft collectors put very high value on tea bowls made by peasent potters hundreds of years before in Korea. They especially prized imperfections that occured due to the primitiveness of the process. This also applied to the utensils they used in the tea ceremony. So naturally potter/artists of the time tried to mimic the “style” of imperfect craft but the problem was that it was literally impossible for their pieces to be authentic, the very awareness of what they were trying to acheive denied authenticity.  It’s an interesting conundrum, for it’s impossible not be aware once you’ve been made aware. And then . . . well, whole books have written about this so I’ll stop . . . 

    Anyway, this is a great site . . . I like that you focus on quality . . . and the intangible value of some things, like what Gary mentioned about “story” and small American manufacterers, background, process, etc.  Keep it up!


    Elaine on August 22, 2010 2:55 PM:

    I just recently found this blog and have thoroughly enjoyed its references to “classic” American style/products. I’ve followed several of its links.
    To the subject at hand:
    The $109 blog is by far the funniest thing I’ve read in ages and the far flung references to (among other things) Satan, english politics, parenting skills (or lack thereof) the price of beer and Bhutan (where?) was highly entertaining – who knew the price of stationery is such a touchy subject?

    Ted on August 22, 2010 3:05 PM:

    It is a great site. I’m sure you’re having a blast doing it,
    It’s always fun to see what you’re working on.
    And the debates! Sometimes silly(the notebook)
    sometimes provocative (churchill), always entertaining and informative.

    Atif on August 22, 2010 3:58 PM:

    Michael is definitely having a blast doing this. Especially this post where it gets to shed light on commenters like Erick make complete fools out of themselves. I really enjoyed reading that thread.

    Jake S on August 22, 2010 7:04 PM:

    My favorite is the Raleigh Denim one.
    All the commenters doing math and comparing them against each other…
    Now that was priceless.

    Gary on August 22, 2010 7:59 PM:

    UrbanRagg, you’re absolutely right about authenticity.

    I highly recommend – to all readers of ACL and Michael himself if he hasn’t read it – a book called “Wooden Boats: In Pursuit Of Perfection At An American Boatyard” by Michael Ruhlman. He uses the story of the making of the 60 foot schooner Rebecca as a symbol for this pull of craft and authenticity and truth. Well worth reading, and applies to a good pair of jeans or boots or a jacket or a car or a loaf of bread or just about anything.

    Ever since the days of William Morris there’s a tension between the people who devote their lives to pursuing a craft and the rich people that have to pay for it, although they rely on each other, the echoes of that tension show up here in this comment section.

    I’m still not going to defend that $109 notebook, though. :)

    Ryan on August 22, 2010 10:44 PM:

    MW, thanks for this post. Myself and the guys over here at Context handle some amazing emails in our support inbox. Of course most are straight forward inquiries about fit and so on, however many are worded like manifestos. The culture surrounding this specific style of men’s wear is incredible. Needless to say it makes my job exciting, and this forum very entertaining– thanks.

    Jeremiah on August 23, 2010 12:34 AM:

    Reading through all these made me stay up way too late, think deeply and laugh out loud. This is quintessential ACL.

    David on August 23, 2010 9:12 AM:

    My wife wanted to know what to know why I was laughing out loud this at 7:00 in the morning.

    Tony on August 23, 2010 9:16 AM:

    SmythsonGate wins the internet hands down. The fact that he kept coming back for more made it the Champion.

    Brian on August 23, 2010 9:32 AM:

    Gotta love the last post in the Raleigh Denim comments.

    Hollister on August 23, 2010 9:55 AM:

    MW – I don’t know how you haven’t whipped out the shot gun by now.

    Hallock on August 23, 2010 10:25 AM:

    Gary, that’s the first convincing sentiments I’ve heard on the topic. I don’t think all purchases are justified, but when I spent $100 on Bean Boots last year, I knew it would be the last pair I’d ever need to buy.

    CP on August 23, 2010 11:54 AM:

    craftsmen have been relying on the wealthy long before William Morris.

    There is a good book out called The Craftsmen by Richard Sennet that examines the persuit of craft throughout history, for those who are into handmade things and why people devote so much energy so objects made by hand.

    CP on August 23, 2010 11:54 AM:

    All of that aside, I do thoroughly enjoy this blog and its one of the few sites I regularly check out on the internet.

    Aaron on August 23, 2010 12:14 PM:

    I really hope that this entry turns into an all-out comment bitch barrage on you choosing the wrong Top 5 comment clusterfucks.

    Josh on August 23, 2010 4:55 PM:

    I’m failing to see any clusterfucks, besides the grossly expensive notebook one.

    GreggS on August 23, 2010 4:55 PM:

    I always thought the Riviera Club / A Santa Barbara State of Mind comments were pretty funny. As much as I enjoy ACL, Art Brewer’s exchange was pretty solid.

    Thom on August 23, 2010 6:02 PM:

    Agree with @Dave. “Derek and the $109 notebook” rivals Youtube comments, and that’s not remotely an overstatement.

    wayne pate on August 23, 2010 7:55 PM:

    With slight reservation, I’m happy to say I ran my mouth on two out of the five occasions and very little since then. Being a spectator suits me just fine.

    Jonas on August 26, 2010 10:16 PM:

    “I can’t think of a post where anyone has let me get away with liking anything.”

    F’ it dude. I wish I had 1/2 your natural sense of taste and style. I have to check this blog everyday and some of the links I’m so addicted.

    Seriously, You post up some cool stuff, I dont roll with everything you like (the now infamous notebook!), but either way your blog provokes thought and debate, and that my friend… is awesome.

    Thank You for this MW.

    DB on September 1, 2010 8:57 PM:

    wow. those comments were the funniest thing i’ve read on a blog in a while. am completely smitten.

Comments are closed.