filling wrinkles and graves

When I first started taking American Studies courses at the University of Michigan, I had class with a fellow named Robert Berkhofer, the author of a book called “The White Man’s Indian.” As I recall, it was a fairly interesting class. Now that well over fifteen years have passed though, the only thing I remember clearly (asside from the cane he used) is that he predicted the “distressed” jeans trend. Or, I should say, he projected the trend, that was then in its infancy, further into the future. He suggested that one day American kids would be spending big bucks for the jeans worn by prisoners doing hard labor in Communist countries. (There was still Communism back then.) He theorized that people would want the “authentic experience” that came with them, along with the holes and bloodstains… Anyway, when I read this story today about beauty products being made from the harvested skin cells of executed Chinese prisoners, Berkhofer was the first person to pop into my mind… Apparently, the British are up in arms over the revelation, but I suspect that on this side of the Atlantic the information, instead of being hidden, will be used to market the stuff. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to fill their wrinkles with the cells of real Chinese dissident?

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  1. be OH be
    Posted September 15, 2005 at 9:31 am | Permalink


    ancient Chinese secret

  2. Posted September 15, 2005 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I wonder if you could get the same effect by rubbing your face vigorously between the breasts of a live Chinese hooker? Not even the British should object to that.

    Isn’t there still Communism now? Or did I miss something big in Cuba?

  3. be OH be
    Posted September 15, 2005 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Depending on the hygene of the hooker, the effect might be quite the opposite. I just grossed myself out with a hideous mental image of … well, I’ll spare you.

    It’s odd that now communism tends to be regarded as a quaint holdover from the heady 20th century. Not much of a threat and easily forgotten.

  4. Posted September 15, 2005 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    If Mr. Berkhofer had been able to predict the 1980’s trend of “Acid-washed jeans”, I’d be more impressed.

  5. mark
    Posted September 15, 2005 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    As I was reading the article, I could just picture the heavily-jeweled orange claws of past-their-prime socialites grasping for their cell phones, trying desperately to track down a tub or two of this stuff… Some Brits might be publicly throwing fits, but I know the stuff is flying off the shelves.

  6. be OH be
    Posted September 16, 2005 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Oil of Olay is people!

  7. Tony Buttons
    Posted September 16, 2005 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Skin cells harvested from matador corpses no doubt.

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