The Null Device

Von Dutch beyond the grave

Something I didn't know until now: Von Dutch, the name seen on a million T-shirts and trucker hats worn by famous idiots, their miniature dogs and the people who want to be like them, was actually a hot-rod customiser and artist.
There's a mom at my daughter's school that I don't like. She's arrogant, ill-mannered, ostentatious, and obnoxious. One morning when I was on the school campus, I saw the mom wearing a Von Dutch hat and a Von Dutch T-shirt. I asked her who Von Dutch was. "He's a fashion designer," she sneered. I told her that wasn't correct. I told her that he was a car customizer and an artist, and was no longer living. "That's someone else, idiot," she said. (The "idiot" was silent, but her mind spoke it.)
"Everything you love, everything meaningful with depth and history, all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated, mishandled, watered down, cheapened, repackaged, marketed and sold to the people you hate."
That's what happens if you become famous. Your name and trademark, being intellectual property, never die, and if there's any money to be made from them, will be reanimated into a ghoulish afterlife selling objectionable crap to unspeakable people. Then all but a few enthusiasts forget who you were, and the world thinks that your now-ubiquitous name always stood for whatever overpriced cheap tat it now adorns.

And here is more on Von Dutch, his life, personality (apparently he was a cranky paranoid racist alcoholic, and not a particularly nice person), and how his name became transformed into the idiotwear brand it is now.

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