Gooble Gobble! We Accept You! Capitalism’s own freak

crbutt.jpgIn West LA, a 56 year old homeless man, John Jermyn, has inspired a clothing “brand” created by a handful of 23 year olds that’s sold alongside Gwen Stefani baby clothes and Posh Spice jeans.

John Jermyn’s sister has mentioned that he’s a schizophrenic and that homelessness is a problem that is not being taken seriously by the label known as “The Crazy Robertson”, named after the street where he hangs out.

It all seems very Tod Browning.

The hoodie that they mention in the Wall Street Journal article is $98, and says, “No Money, No Problems.” Obviously a $98 hoodie is being bought by people who HAVE money, AND problems… problems that are different from that of a homeless man; primarily the problem of bad taste. Instead of engaging with this man, and trying to find out where he’s at, and what he really needs, they’re buying touristy souvenirs of homelessness in a major city, and the profits aren’t going anywhere near solving that problem.
Mr. Jermyn’s got friends who help take care of him, and he dances on the street, rollerskates, and from the look of the picture, wears pretty fly gear. Inspiring behavior for sure. And apparently he only accepts his profits in food, liquor, and art supplies. Which is rad in a certain sense, and really horrible in other ways.
I have a feeling that the people who buy this sweatshirt think of Mr. Jermyn as an Other, someone who they can’t relate to, but that’s always the bohemian’s plight, isn’t it? Jermyn being homeless doesn’t make him a loser, it just shows us that our society’s strange if an enthusiastic person who’s not interested in capitalism doesn’t get to live healthfully, while others can make a profit off of his plight. Buying a $98 sweatshirt with a picture of someone whom you don’t know or understand on it makes you a loser. And buying a really expensive t-shirt to support the homeless man’s daring attitude, if that’s the case, is even worse. Purchasing overpriced items is, as i don’t need to tell you, completely counter-revolutionary. Dancing in the street and getting paid in art supplies, well, wow, that makes you officially fierce, and brave, and maybe a little bit misunderstood.

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