Dec 19 2006

Soviet chic on Vancouver’s streets

Published by at 1:07 am under MyLife,Vancouver

T-shirt logos inspired by the Third Reich don’t look too good at Christmas parties.

Swastika-emblazoned leather jackets haven’t been in style for about six decades, and even then it was mostly a European fashion. Some close-cropped, jackboot marching types still like the retro look, but they’re fortunately in the minority.

So, why are stores in Vancouver, Canada, selling “trademark T-shirts… inspired by Soviet propaganda”? More to the point, why are people buying them?

The Soviets weren’t Nazis, but for those who went through Stalin’s gulags, there wasn’t a big difference. The Soviet Union was directly responsible for 60 million dead (mostly of its own citizens), the virtual enslavement of half of the continent of Europe for the duration of the Cold War, and the propagation of kleptocratic regimes and foreign wars across the globe. It’s sole redeeming feature is that it isn’t around any more.

If the people buying the shirts are doing so out of an ironic sense of humor (capitalist consumers buying socialist-inspired fashions), all well and good. But Vancouver’s socialist vanguard aren’t known for their wisecracking ways.

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