The actor died at 81 years old.
Brian Dennehy, an actor known onscreen for movies like First Blood, Cocoon, and Tommy Boy, died yesterday in New Haven, Connecticut, of cardiac arrest at 81 years old. His family says his death was not related to COVID-19.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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At Kings Theatre, FKA twigs served crowds the most emo pole dancing music of all time.
At Brooklyn's Kings Theatre, FKA twigs performed magnificent physical and vocal feats and mesmerized a massive audience with her technical acumen and emotional intensity.
During the show, she tap-danced, pole-danced, hit operatic high notes, and even demonstrated an incredible sword-fighting sequence during a musical interlude in the middle of her song "sad day." The show consisted of innumerable costume changes and intricate choreography, mirrored by four talented backup dancers and soundtracked by three impressive instrumentalists. Though she began the show solo, the dancers and musicians slowly became more and more incorporated into the act until they all moved together as a single entity, eventually ending the performance in an embrace.
FKA Twigs - Sad Day (Live with Sword Dance) Paris We Love Green 2019 www.youtube.com
Twigs was promoting her new album, Magdalene, and she fully leaned into its theatrical and biblical imagery, sporting a variety of traditional, religious, and regal costumes as well as barely-there lingerie for her pole dancing routine. Throughout it all, there was not a single misstep or missed note, but there was one underlying dissonance: How could Robert Pattinson possibly have let someone like twigs slip away? The kind of desperation in twigs' Magdalene songs also seems to be asking this very question. If I can reach such heights, and inspire such devotion from audiences, she seemed to be screaming throughout the show, why don't I do it for you?
Though undeniably impressive, the show may have been better suited to a smaller theatre. During moments of silence, audience members kept screaming and shouting up to the stage, distracting from the show. Then again, it's hard to ask an audience of that size to keep quiet, especially when witnessing someone with twigs' star power.
FKA Twigs - "Mary Magdalene" + "Home With You" LIVE! from the House of Blues Boston 11/19/19 www.youtube.com
Perhaps aware that she wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise without someone shouting, twigs only spoke to the audience a few times, once to greet the crowd and once to ask a series of pointed questions. "How many people came here alone? How many people are single? How many people have had their hearts broken?" she asked, waiting for hands to raise between each question, laughing at the enthusiasm of New York City's affirmative responses. "Well, I have."
It was a moment of rare intimacy and rawness which reminded the crowd that, in spite of her superhuman physical and artistic abilities, twigs struggles as much as the rest of us with matters of the heart.
FKA twigs - Cellophane www.youtube.com
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