Today while I was having lunch at the canteen, I noticed a bloke standing in the queue and talking to someone while staring at my stomach. He had a strange look on his face. What is he staring at, I thought, I’m not that fat. Then I remembered I was wearing my Joy Division t-shirt. So finally someone in this hopeless place who can recognize an Unknown Pleasures t-shirt when seeing one, and we’re not already acquainted. Yet it was the canteen of the congress center, so he was probably from another place, one that is very, very far from here. In fact he was dressed like a salesperson. Nice turn of events, anyway.
Upon returning to my office, I met a colleague I barely know, and he stared at my stomach as well, fell silent for a moment, started to turn away, then turned back to me, stared again, looked at me and said “I know what that is”, in a an earnest tone. Bless him.
So, here we go. Over the past few weeks I’ve met hundreds of people in various environments while wearing the Unknown Pleasures t-shirt (offices, eateries, streets of small towns, supermarket, organic minimarket, farmers market, pubs – I purposely avoided wearing it at clubs, gigs, music shops or houses of music-aware friends), and only four people have looked at it with some interest if any. In particular, a complete stranger in a suit, a colleague I barely know, and two friends of mine I ran into on the street. All the others have gone Omega Man (which in Italian is translated White Eyes on Planet Earth).
At the beginning of the project I was quite disheartened. All those people, not knowing. But it’s not that bad. After all it’s like sharing a secret with Ian Curtis. And soon it’s going to be record store day.
Now my next project is telling replica skull scarves from McQueen’s ones around town. Today I saw a genuine one, black on white, while yesterday I saw a replica, white on black, it was clearly a replica because the teeth of the skulls were definitely too big. It’s like sharing a secret with Alexander McQueen. The teeth, small.