Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

gucci-2019.jpeg

(Trent Szmolnik, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by one of our readers, Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer, an internationally renowned clinical and consulting psychotherapist. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writers’ views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue. 

At this year’s Fashion Week in Paris, the runways and sidewalks were littered not with luxurious materials, sublime tailoring and elegance that whispered elegance and
class, but rather with American super sized labels of fashion houses adorning cheaply made synthetic garments and shoes. It was if a derelict gang from East Los Angeles staged a coup d’Etat, overthrew the aristocracy of the Faubourg Saint-Honore and reclaimed the power of the under class.

While the brashness of today’s logo mania is new, the use of logos to enhance garments and accessories is not. During the late 1980 and early 1990’s, periods of economic expansion and relative political stability, logos were used to identify membership in an aspirational club, and hope of class and economic transcendence. In contrast, today’s logo mania uses designer labels as caricatures that speak to the anger and hostility that’s resulted from our zeitgeist of interpersonal disconnection and the narrative of political and economic betrayal. In this regard, the garishness of logo mania represents a primitive and archetypical struggle for power. It’s a visible and emotional reaction of people who’ve lost their voices; and who have appropriated the highest echelons of fashion to reclaim it.

This impudence of high fashion is call to action. It’s akin to a one-year-old child who trapped in her high chair overturns her portage to get her mother’s attention. Void of personal agency to change the world that entraps her, she acts out, “See me! Hear me! Validate my existence!” Her end game is not to be perceived as elegant or sophisticated. It’s to make a mess and create a disruption. If she can’t connect through compassion and empathy, she’ll do so through forcefulness, vulgarity and anger.

And in our modern world, we are living in a crisis of connection. The void between the have’s and the have not’s has become as vast as a harsh as Africa’s Saharan desert. Financial and political capital is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and used to destroy our planet, to build walls, cage children and create tools of human annihilation. Populism has swept the globe and has engulfed the United Kingdom in the flames of Brexit. America is suffering under the weight of the polarized politics and vulgarity of the Donald Trump presidency. Venezuela suffers in a humanitarian crisis and political betrayal. France is using political force to manage the voices of the Yellow Vests and the list goes on. At the core of these social disruptions is the inability of people robbed of their voice to feel validated and to have power in and agency over their lives.

This dynamic, wherein human beings need to feel a sense of place in the world, validated and with purpose has been one of the foundations of fêted philosophers and
psychological thought leaders for generations. The concept was articulated as “the will to power” in Fredrick Nietzsche’s work. Through it, he described the dynamic as a central catalyst in life, one that compulsively pulls human beings out of obscurity towards their highest possible positions. Unfortunately, the majority of human beings in our world economy struggling in our zeitgeist of class division and the annihilation of opportunities for personal expression and class transcendence, have had their will to power stifled and rendered impotent.

Logo mania, with its garish and exaggerated focus on the façade of supremacy is a current manifestation of our human will to power. It’s a war cry of the masses, human beings who’ve been marginalized in our economy of division, starving for dignity and purpose for their lives. It mirrors back their emptiness and primal need for a sense of place in a world that has discounted and ignored them. It’s desperate. It’s unattractive. But that’s the point. If you wont see me for me, I’ll show you the vulgarity of your privilege by adorning a storied label on a pair of plastic slide ons. It may make no sense from economic or aesthetic point of view, but that’s the point. It’s primal in nature and as such resonates outside the confines of logic and reason.

Is elegant? No. Can it be effective in uniting our fractured psyches and world? Maybe.

The point of logo mania is to create an emotional response to the split that exists between the ridiculous and the sublime, the have’s and the have nots, the powerful and the powerless. It highlights the painful reality of living in a world of unprecedented abundance while suffering in individual silos of scarcity and emotional pain. It’s disruptive. It’s unsettling. It’s visually offensive. It’s unresolved. It’s a mirror of our modern zeitgeist.

Is this to say we should whole-heartedly embrace the trend by going out and running up our credit cards with a pair of $2,000 Gucci trainers? Absolutely not. The key to marshaling the power inherent in logo mania is to cultivating awareness of its message and appropriating it into actionable steps to change the direction of our world. Rather than mindlessly buying into or discounting logo mania as a superficial trend that will pass, lets use it to address the pathological forces that it represents. So instead of spending money you don’t have on expensive designer goods, make a donation to a NGO that supports a cause you believe in. Organize your mates to fight against the inequities you see around you. Boycott companies that are raping and pillaging our planet or that fail to honor women and other minorities. Use social media to talk about their malfeasance. Instead of appropriating the label of another, find your own unique voice and broadcast it loudly. Reclaim your power rather than sitting by watching it erode.

About the author

Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer is an internationally renowned clinical and consulting psychotherapist who works with individuals and families in the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union. His academic and clinical research has been published by Lambert Academic Press, The Journal of Wealth Management and is the topic of an upcoming book titled Fragile Power: How Our Focus on Wealth, Fame and Having It All Diminishes Our Humanity to be published by Hazelden/ Simon & Schuster, October, 2019. He will be speaking on the power of fashion at iCAAD, 03 May 2019

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Banks must take bold action to fight climate change. This is how they can do it

Innovation is the key to the pay-TV industry’s long-term growth

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

China Unlimited Special Report: at the heart of Beijing

Kenya wants to run entirely on green energy by 2020

Palestine refugee agency chief resigns amidst mismanagement probe

‘No other possibility but to leave’: UN News special report from the Nigeria-Cameroon border as 35,000 newly-displaced seek safety

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

Plants, the ‘core basis for life on Earth’, under increasing threat, warns UN food agency

Bias in AI is a real problem. Here’s what we should do about it

GSMA Mobile 360 – Digital Societies in Kuala Lumpur, in association with The European Sting

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

A world first: Women at the helm of every UN Regional Commission

3 ways to ensure the internet’s future is creative, collaborative and fair

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

We have solutions to crime. We just need to scale them

Strawberries and child support; a Thai partnership

Promoting ‘a healthy sustainable future’, the UN health agency engages young and young at heart to ‘Walk the Talk’

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

As a rising global power, what is India’s vision for the world?

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

Is a uniform CO2 emission linked car taxation possible in the EU?

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

EU steps up economic partnership with Kenya to boost job creation

Young people demand a transparent job market: new campaign launches on international interns day

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

5 surprising ways major cities are going green

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

‘Be the change’ we desperately need, UN deputy chief urges global youth

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

Gender Science: A sneaky healthcare risk factor

Luxembourg has achieved high levels of growth and well-being but must do more to preserve and share prosperity

Annexing Jordan Valley would end ‘illusion’ of a meaningful two-State solution: UN rights expert

The European Sting live from the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Global leaders and companies pledge to reduce the gender pay gap by 2030

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Heat stress spike predicted to cost global economy $2,400 billion a year

‘No safe way’ into battle-scarred Afghan city of Ghazni to deliver aid as traumatized children search for parents

No patents on naturally obtained plants and seeds

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Why climate change matters for future health professionals

Why capital markets have no more reservetions about Eurozone

Commission proposes a governance framework for the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness

Actions not words: what was promised at the UN’s landmark climate summit?

Global trade is broken. Here are five ways to rebuild it

3 things to know about India’s space programme

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s