Fighting Fire With Fashion

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It would appear the major ‘thing’ to wear in Johannesburg these days is a Palestinian-styled Shemagh, or traditional black and white scarf as popularised by the late Yasir Arafat. What was initially a very distinct symbol of the Palestinian struggle has now been reduced to a simple fashion fad. Unlike the Che shirts, this is something that I can’t help but smile at.

No doubt the hordes of hip young Jo’burgers wearing the scarf incorrectly tied and as part of their expensive fashion ensemble must enrage those who are sympathetic to Palestinian terrorist organisations or their plight in general. With that in mind, however, you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all. The shemagh is the new Che shirt, and much like the latter, those mindless fashion trolls who wear them probably have absolutely no clue as to the origins of their garment. But unlike before, where Che’s face was idolised on a printed shirt and there was some semblance of political awareness around it, the scarf is simply trivialised into something to be worn; a mere trinket of capitalism. For once the unwashed politically-obtuse masses have grasped onto a fashion trend that actually doesn’t elevate a resistance struggle or sadistic warmonger. I personally think wearing it knotted at the side makes you look like a complete retard but then again I’m a curmudgeon, not a fashion consultant. If you’re not wearing your scarf over your head while hosing down Zionist enforcers with your Ak47, you’re just going to look like a wannabe.

Coalition troops have worn it in Iraq and Afghanistan for simple utility, but the reduction of the scarf through the means of popular fashion can arguably be a good thing. The legitimacy of terrorist actions again civilians, whether they be Israeli or Palestinian, deserves to be undermined. I hope this trend remains for a while, and the ignorance of the owners of these scarves serve as a reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, rampant resistance-styled fashion trends can bite their original wearers in the ideological posterior.