A little help goes a long way.
What would you think if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me? If you did, you’d be a jerk. I wouldn’t be getting by with a little help from my friend and you sure as Hell wouldn’t be getting high with no help from this friend. Poetic justice would ensue, and you’d be Kevin Arnold all over again. Friendship is the ship on which we should all be sailing, where the motion of the ocean and the sway of the play help us all answer the tough questions. We should all aspire to surround ourselves with people who inspire us, who can give us the comfort to step outside the Comfort Zone, and in exchange, motivate us to inspire them. To quote a prophetic statement, “I’ll poop into her butt-hole and she'll poop it back into my butt-hole and then we'll just keep doing it back and forth. With the same poop. Back and forth. Forever.” Such insight is the cornerstone of sharing and caring, and it’s through our figurative, and sometimes literal pooping, that we can broaden our horizons and better ourselves.
Friend. Compañero. (Click the image to see the clip)
For the first time in the 57 years I’ve been writing for B.A.D., I’d like to bring in a good pal, a colleague and a boss, to enlighten us on one of the most important aspects of life, love and liberty. Travis Stevens is a prolific filmmaker, a producer of some of your favorite movies, a gentleman and a scholar. We recently worked together on STARRY EYES, a SXSW Midnight pick, and you can see his current work in Drafthouse’s own CHEAP THRILLS, one of the best films. Not of the year. One of the best. He’s an academic with style, and has been imparting a certain wisdom on me recently. Mr. Stevens recognizes the paramount importance of an often overlooked garment, a foundation on which civilization and comfort is built. He’s an authority on the subject of the foot stocking. With his help, we’re going to sock it to you.
This Author recently turned 30, which led to a massive existential crisis. I started working out, eating right, and only doing really good, pharmaceutical-grade drugs. Being good to myself became an obvious obligation, rather than the choice it has been up until now. While I often can’t afford The Best of anything, I realized that I was often worse off with The Worst, so I’d save my shekels for a little longer or streamline my desires, ensuring that only well-mastered Blu-Rays and Continental pornography graced my plasma. But the Devil’s in the details, and it had never occurred to me that those two thin pieces of fabric I placed my tootsies into on a daily basis were just as important as the boots they go over. On my 30th birthday, Travis ran down his philosophy on sockage, and bestowed a delightful pair on me.
The Author, winning the sock game.
“Lipstick for men. They’re rims for your feet.” Travis could easily spike the mic with such profundity, but it’s just the beginning of his ethos. Like many men in their third decade, Travis had reached a rebuilding stage of his life as few years ago. A realization hit him. He puts these things on everyday, spends a dozen hours or more standing and yet he’d given them little-to-no consideration. Like most of us, he bought them in bulk, big packs of generic, cheap, blank socks. “They’re pragmatic, because you’re on your feet all day.” So Big Time Hollywood Producer wants a pair of stockings, you’d think he’d send out a bunch of interns, maybe set up a shingle at a studio and start the long road of development into the design of something you and I could never afford. “Socks are an affordable, practical luxury”, Travis says. Lucky for us plebeians, Travis’ search started with a Google for “cool designer socks”. He began with pieces from a Swedish company called Ulterior Motives. Recently, he’s become enamored with socks from The Hundreds, Stance and especially Richer Poorer, an L.A.-based company that specializes in socks.
A small portion of the Stevens Collection.
Travis acknowledges that the sock game is often single-player, “It’s a little hidden secret that you choose to expose, unlike other fashion accessories, you need to worry less about overall coordination, than about what you desire. And when you reach into your drawer and begin looking for a specific pair, it means there’s something important going on." There’s a middle ground between treating yourself, rewarding your individuality, while satisfying and accepting the limitations of instant gratification. “They’re not supposed to last forever. There's nothing grosser to a woman than old beat up socks except beat-up bath towels. Replace them before the elastic is loose and the toes need darning.”, he says. That's right, a cutting-edge, left-of-center taste-making producer knows from darning. Travis holds fast to the Theory of Quantum Value when it comes to his stockings. While we can get a nice pair of fashionable socks for a few dollars at most department stores, upping the game to very low double-digits has its advantages. There’s the obvious benefits of a more durable, better fit. Beyond that, you’re simply opening yourself up to a broader range of options. “I don’t go for cartoony, I go for ‘fresh’. It’s a manageable element for every outfit.” Many of us, especially as we broach grown-ass, real-world obligations, need to dress conventionally, simply, or even in uniforms. While dress-codes run the gamut, your socks can be a sneaky, shining light of uniqueness, a subtle reminder to ourselves that The Man won’t get us down. Let me see some of that ankle, doggg. Let me get a glimpse. You’re a good bad dude, and we like it.
It's a choice.
If you’re anything like most our readership, you probably spent hours a day toiling in the Tundra. You’re a lumberjack, a fireman, a dick, either public or private. Almost all of the visitors to B.A.D. are professional rugby players or members of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You need a good sport sock, of which the tube variety is perfectly acceptable. What Travis espouses is something deeper, an internal choice with an external expression. On that bigger scale, we often owe our pals and colleagues the faith and trust to enlighten us. Surround yourselves with people who motive and encourage you, not the other way around. Find an opportunity to expand your borders, express yourself, be good to you, in ways you never anticipated. Poop back and forth, dear reader. We are all the Ouroboros, yet we fear we are the Nokia Snake. So when that terror rears it’s ugliness, when you feel the shudder start at the tip of your head, you might as well take solace in a pair of crisp and capable socks on your tootsies.
The most satisfying video ever recorded. Also, big ups to Laurie Anderson, true hero.