Saturday, November 24, 2018

Supreme | Lefsetz Letter

Supreme | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

I heard about it from Mike Caren. And after our conversation I was driving down Fairfax and saw the line in the middle of the afternoon, on a weekday!

Is there anybody who doesn’t have a Netflix account, or access to one? Seems that there’s little backlash against the streaming giant, unlike Spotify and the music streaming services. Netflix has ushered in a golden age of television, it’s HBO on steroids, the only problem is there’s too much content, constantly, do I have to watch that Alan Arkin/Michael Douglas show, do I have to watch the third season of “Narcos,” do I have to finish “House of Cards”?

And waiting for Felice to shower last night I got hooked on the latest episode of Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” on Netflix. It’s one of the few shows on the service without a pure five star status. That’s right, since they changed their rating system everything is spectacular, and that means the ratings are meaningless, we have to go to Rotten Tomatoes. Bad move Reed Hastings.

But good move giving Hasan Minhaj a show.

I think the reason Hasan gets less than five full stars is because he’s South Asian, i.e. Indian, never underestimate the latent racism in America. I know Trump has amplified it, I can tell by my inbox, I didn’t used to get blowback like this, beware of right-wingers working the refs, and tune in Hasan’s show, because it’s the only one with the perspective of a young ‘un, everybody else in late night TV is old.

And Hasan knows that his is not the only political show hosted by a comedian. He’s got a sense of self, which is so rare in today’s entertainment world, where everybody’s a winner, where everybody’s a world-beater.

And then there are the references.

This is what made SNL and then killed it.

In the beginning, you only understood the show if you were of the target demo, oldsters didn’t get the jokes. Now SNL plays so broad in this Tower of Babel era that it loses its edge, whereas Hasan is talking about Gandhi and Africans and you’re clueless and want to find out, with Google at your fingertips. Hasan’s not like Dennis Miller, showing off, he’s just being himself.

And in this episode about Supreme he’s a sneakerhead.

Hasan admits that writers are the backbone of his show. As they are in every show, even Stern’s. But on this topic of sneakers, Hasan is an expert.

Whereupon Hasan breaks down the Supreme phenomenon whilst delineating the history of sneaker availability.

And when Hasan talks about the power of rare apparel to boost the image of an outsider, it resonates. We all want to belong, we all want to feel powerful, and the best signifier is donning something no one else has.

That’s what Supreme is all about. Limited inventory of sometimes everyday items, like a crowbar.

It didn’t happen overnight, the proprietor’s been at it for nearly thirty years.

And now he’s sold half to the Carlyle Group. Will the fund lose its half a billion dollar investment? Who is smarter, the financiers, who rap, you’ve got to see the video, the proprietor or the customers?

The hip-hop generation.

If this episode doesn’t make you feel old, you aren’t.

The thing about baby boomers is they believe they know everything, and are hip. Watching this “Patriot Act” episode on Supreme you will realize you’re completely out of the loop, that you were standing still as time passed you by.

And there’s a middle-aged expert on sneakerdom. Point being not his age, but that this is a gig. Kind of like playing video games. Boomers can’t understand that either.

And everybody wants what is unavailable.

It used to be music.

Now it’s concert tickets.

That’s why people overpay on the secondary market, they want to belong, they want the badge of honor, not everybody can go, not everybody can sit close.

As for those bitching… Somehow they feel entitled to front row tickets at face value but not the latest Supreme item at retail.

Proving, once again, that those crying loudest often come from the fringe and should be ignored.

And those reporting on trends should be too. Like the security expert in today’s NYT who refuses to go to an iPhone X because she can’t fathom giving up the fingerprint sensor. For the record, the facial recognition works so much better. I always marvel when so-called experts are uninformed.

But Hasan is informed about sneakers and Supreme. And if you watch his show, you will be too.

P.S. It turns out you don’t even have to subscribe to Netflix to watch this episode, I put the YouTube link at the top, WATCH!


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