Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Existing in New York City: While Our Permanent Billionaire Mayor Toots His Own Horn

Foto by tgw, New York City, March 2012
Our Billionaire Mayor Has His Own "Horn-Blowing" Teevee Channel

I was sitting here recuperating from a heart attack watching teevee when I accidentally came across New York City's Billionaire Mayor's constantly (24/7) running television show, usually called something like "Access to the Mayor" or something simple and honorable like that. This teevee show--it must cost thousands of dollars a day to produce--is totally Mayor Mikey Bloomberg's channel and his mug is on it most of the day, every day, and, like I said, the channel is on the air 24/7. Today as I accidentally came across it, Channel 25.2 on NYC commercial pap HD teevee, a woman, a White woman, was on it praising the Mayor's support for the fashion industry and as she spoke, there he was, Mayor Mikey himself, squatting by her side. He's a really short person who thinks he's super sexy and handsome. This White woman, rather frumpish looking to be a fashion-industry spokesperson, continued trumpeting in government-speak how the New York fashion industry is currently on the rise and providing jobs for nearly 175,000 people. Then Mikey himself got up and started blowing his own horn, something he's a tried-and-true expert at--although, to be honest, all NYC mayors have in the past done photo-op after photo-op in which they blow their own horns--Ed Crotch (Koch) was famous for it and so was Rudi "Mussolini" Giuliani--but neither of these two boobs were on their own teevee channel 24/7 like Little Mike is. So then Mikey started singing his own praises over the NYC fashion industry. All the while, I'm thinking: "Wait a gol-darn minute...I live on the outskirts of what was once the thriving alive and in-the-streets-evident NYC fashion industry (the Garment District)--From 5th Avenue over into West 30s--from the Fashion Institute of Technology on 7th and 26th over to 8th Avenue and up 8th Avenue from 26th on up to near 42nd Street. I see no evidence of that once great area of hustle and bustle left...." The Mayor was humming on about how he's brought the fashion industry back...blah, blah, blah, 175,000 jobs...blah, blah, blah. And I'm hollering "WHOAAAAA!" at the teevee set.

OK, there is still a fashion industry here, yes. But, in my point of view, it's the penthouse variety and not the actual manufacturing variety. Very few, if any, designer fashions are manufactured in New York City anymore. Oh, yes, there are sweatshops all around the boroughs; sweatshops in Chinatown; sweatshops out in Queens; sweatshops over in Jersey. But 175,000 jobs? Who are these 175,000 fashion-industry workers? Does our mayor include Betsey Johnson as a fashion-industry worker?

I recall back in the 70s when the fashion industry manufacturing up and left New York State and moved to Communist China, Hong Kong, Macau. All the French houses, too, joined this movement to cheap labor. So what are the 175,000 jobs still here in New York City? And out of 9 million people, almost 9% of whom are out of work, what the hell does 175,000 jobs mean? To Little Mike the Billionaire Mayor it means he's bringing jobs to NYC. He also toots about how TOURISTS with billions of bucks (our mayor thinks in terms of billions) come to NYC for the fashion seasons--and yes once or twice a year the fashion shows fill Bryant Park with tents and runways and rock bands and the fashion elite, but I don't see any Chinese piecemeal workers at these shows. I don't see any old Cuban ladies doing lace work at these shows. I don't see any Mexican ladies doing handstitching at these shows. I do see a lot of Hollywood fops at them. I see Betsey Johnson doing cartwheels at 60 years old at them. I see a lot of paparazzi and big-time buyers at them. I probably would see Donald Trump at them; maybe Sean "Puffy Diddy Diddler Puffed-up" Colmes at them--but then he's a fashion guru isn't he? I see a lot of that crap at these shows. But I don't see the final product being made in New York City.

Here's fashion fop Alexander Wang's (a young wonderboy designer who's fucking Lenny Kravitz's daughter) sweatshop manufacturing in NYC--I suppose the Mayor claims these jobs are part of the overall 175,000 jobs.

"FANS call him chic, but his workers say he's a taskmaster.

"Thirty workers claim they were forced to work 16 hours a day or longer, without overtime, in a suffocating, windowless, 18sq m room by the acclaimed fashionista, who earned a whopping $25 million in 2011.

"Wenyu Lu and dozens of co-workers charge that Wang, 28, and his brother Dennis Wang violated numerous New York State Labor Laws at their operation at 386 Broadway.

"As a result, Lu and the others have suffered injuries and illness and lost time from work, according to the suit filed in Queens Supreme Court.

"Lu claims he was hospitalised for several days after he passed out at his work station because he was forced to work 25 hours straight - without a break - and was told he'd be fired if he didn't follow orders.

"Lu, 56, a three-year employee of the Wang factory, claims he was also ordered to 'perfect a professional grade leather trouser from cut to finish in four hours.'

"The job normally takes 12 hours, and results in a pair of pricey pants that can retail for $300, the suit says.

"When the four hours passed, Lu claims he was insulted and called names by Dennis Wang, who ordered him to not take a break or go home until the job was completed, the lawsuit says.

"Lu was ultimately fired on Feb. 16 after complaining about the labor law violations, bad working conditions, and applying for worker's compensation, said Ming Hai, his lawyer.

"The designer's reps said they had no comment because they hadn't been served with the lawsuit yet.

"The California-born phenom burst onto the downtown New York scene when he launched his first women's ready-to-wear collection in 2007.

"Since then, he's become known for his casual, weathered T-shirts, tank tops, dresses - and outrageously high-heeled platform sandals.

"Retailers including Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman all feature his lines."

So there ya go. There's some of the 175,000 fashion-industry jobs Mayor Mikey Bloomberg has brought to NYC.

Funny, isn't it, how an Asian-American businessman uses his own people like slaves. Or am I being prejudice?


Check Out the Labels in Your Clothes
I don't buy clothes if the label says "Made in China." And it's hard to find clothes that don't say that. Especially affordable clothes. I've been to K-Mart and shopped recently. I bought some very stylish tee shirts and a couple of nice pullovers, which when I brought them home found that two of my new shirts had holes in them. All these shirts said "Made in Pakistan." Pakistan! I can imagine the horrors of making shirts in Pakistan. Most of my old clothes I bought from an old friend of mine who had a man's clothing store on Park Avenue. All his clothes were labeled "Made in Italy." He had a deal with a designer in Milan. "Made in Italy" clothes I don't mind, though surely there are sweatshops in Italy, especially Milan, a city I visited way back when I worked for Viacom International in the pre-Mel Carmazin era. I noticed especially how my Milanese host, a VP with Italy Radio and Television, wore the most beautiful suits and shirts and shoes--and that impressed me enough I got on an Italian kick, though I found Italian design the slickest around at the time, still some of their quality in terms of stitching and coming unstitched left a lot to be desired. Like Italian cars are nicely designed but in terms of solid built, well there's some problems there. I once almost bought a Lancia back when I had money but while test driving it, it not only stalled out at a red light, but when turning a corner, one of the door handles fell off. On the other hand, I hate Fiats, especially those little tacky toy cars that are currently flooding the US market now that President Obama gave Chrysler away to Fiat.

Currently due to my lowered income, I buy minor-league baseball teeshirts and old golf fashions on eBay. Every now and then I get a "Made in China" tee, but it's surprising how the older-era ones are all proudly made in the USA. Still, it's hard to find any clothes today that aren't made somewhere along the Pacific Rim. They use formaldehyde in their clothes, by the way.

As a New Yorker, I find it so embarrassing now to go through Times Square (now it might as well be called Disney Square) and see all the Disney clothing stores selling cheaper-than-cheap Mickey Mouse teeshirts all made in China by slave labor--or how about child labor? Like I say, the Chinese treat their cheap labor force like slaves, which is what happens when a Communist country becomes the world's most successful Capitalist country.

Ah the ironies!

for The Daily Growler

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