September 27th, 2012 / 4:20 pm
Film & Mean

Mickey Mouse Sweaters

Choosing clothes can be very vexing. Sometimes I think that the turmoil of buying clothes is similar to the kind that exists in the Middle East. There’s screaming, destruction, and lots of second-guessing.

My most recent fashion crisis involves not a weird YouTube video but a Mickey Mouse sweater. I first saw the Mickey Mouse sweater at a vintage store in the East Village. When I noticed that marvelous boy mouse on the faded blue garment I became awfully excited.

“Look!” I shouted to one of my best friends. “A Mickey Mouse sweater.”

“You should totally get it,” was her decisive reply.

I was all set to. I’ve always wanted a Mickey Mouse sweater. Disney is divine. Unlike American Earth, Disney has fairies, mermaids, dedicated fish, plucky elephants, and infinite other imaginative and magical things.

But in order to have the sweater I would have to pay money. I do not like to pay money for anything. I relate to Professor Huxtable in Jacob’s Room. I, too, am invariably “grudging even the smallest silver coin, secretive and suspicious as an old peasant woman with all her lies.”

This professor is a thoughtful creature. One should be secretive. Secrets are mysterious, sometimes evil, and always entertaining. Then there’s the “suspicious” quality. I am suspicious, especially of the American government. If I give the vintage store money, then some of that will go to Washington, and the community organizer who occupies the Executive Branch will probably use it for causes that I don’t believe in, like helping people.

After much deliberation, I chose not to purchase the Mickey Mouse sweater because buying things is so average and normal. Besides, there’s a plethora of other ways for me to show my utterly unflinching devotion to Disney, like by viewing their movies over and over again a million times. In Disney movies, they don’t buy things. Their exchange rate is not based on money. In Disney movies, you don’t give someone your credit card: you give someone your voice or kingship. Disney is extreme. Capitalism is common.

A couple of days after my encounter with the Mickey Mouse vintage store sweater, I was at Forever 21 when I happened to see that they had their own Mickey Mouse sweaters. Unless I wanted to get arrested for shoplifting (like that Tao Lin boy), then I would still have to pay for it. But paying for a Mickey Mouse sweater at Forever 21 is different than paying for one at a vintage store.

Vintage stores (which I like) make me think of calm, cool, composed, disaffected Brooklyn artsy-fartsy types (which I don’t like). Forever 21, though, makes me think of Ursula. It’s a loud, ruthless, thieving queen. Though my allegiance is always with Ariel, Forever 21 proves to have more in common with Disney than vintage stores. A Mickey Mouse sweater is much more at home in Forever 21 than in a vintage store. That inept Mormon is wrong: people aren’t corporations. Corporations are imperialist war machines. They want to take over the world just as Ursula intended to take over the entire sea kingdom.

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  1. Stephanie Berger

      Oh, dearest! all of the logic here is wonderfully circular, much like Mickey’s famed little ears.

  2. reynard

      my friend jesse balmer has a mickey mouse sweater where mickey’s face is melting

  3. marshall mallicoat

      that’s a sweatshirt

  4. douglas riggs

      azealia banks rocks a pretty great mickey mouse sweater in last fall’s video for 312.

  5. Richard Grayson

      Mickey Mouse sweaters are nothing new. My great-grandmother got me one — a cardigan — for my fifth birthday in 1956. I remember wearing it to kindergarten at P.S. 203 and hoping (this will sound funny) that none of the other children would make fun of me for having such childish clothing. I loved my great-grandmother, but I was actually slightly embarrassed to appear on the streets of Brooklyn wearing it. I didn’t know anything about irony.

  6. Richard Grayson

      And she talks dirty, too. How can you not love her?

  7. Richard Grayson

      Professor Huxtable in “Jacob’s Room” didn’t know anything about sweaters, though.

      On the other hand, Doctor Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” did.

  8. Seth Oelbaum

      i like her style and sass

  9. Seth Oelbaum

      i think that professor huxtable knew more than a thing or two about sweaters