Saisi sur le Plat-Gousset de Granville

16 octobre 2014,

Le Plat-Gousset est la célèbre promenade de la plage de Granville dans la2011cabinesphotos011 Manche. Plat-gousset car il prolonge la promenade du Casino. A moins qu’il ne soit destiné à ceux qui n’ont pas les moyens de le fréquenter.
Le Plat Gousset est bordé de cabines de bain  où, assis sur des pliants,  on pratique l’observation de ses semblables en état de déambulation.

Un de nos amis journaliste new-yorkais Richard Howe s’est livré à une étude ethnographique des inscriptions arborées sur le dos promeneurs. Nous vous proposons en anglais cette étude en avant-première d’une publication prochaine dans le New-Yorker.      Le Sauvage

Par Richard Howe

I suppose you were wondering when I would get around to this.  Actually, they’ve just finished removing the cabines, thereby signaling the end of the season. So here goes…

There was more self-analysis and self-description on the shirts this year than before. For example: “Geek,” “Thank God I’m VIP,” “I’m Mouse I’m Not Afraid of the Cat,” “Young and Dangerous,” “Surfing Monster,” “Black Gangster,” “Authentic,” “Awesome,” “Classy” and “Original.”

There was at least one request to “Love Me Please Love me” and, somewhat related, “Love Hate” and “Secret #2 You Are the One.”

Advice, sometimes philosophical, also scored well: “Do It Now,” “Now or Never,” “Fuel 2Cars,” “Time 2 Party 2 Night,” “Protect Your Hearing” (with a picture of somebody holding his ears), “Love Your Self,”  “Be Humble They Might Be Right,” “Easy Switch,” “Tough Luck,” “That’s Awesome,” “Life Is a Beach” and “Show Respect Manhattan Effect.”

As the latter suggests, New York is on a roll: “New York Ten Miles,” “PS NY Athletics,” “One Way New York,” “Park Avenue 5 Street,” and, of course, simply “New York” or “NY.” The baseball cap with the Yankee-style NY continues to be big (though there was one White Sox cap). As a sub-set of that, Brooklyn is hinting at a comeback: “Brooklyn Manufacturer,” “Brooklyn (university-type seal) 1977 Last Resort,” “Brooklyn Reflections” and “Brooklyn Fight Club NY Vestiaire.” There also was a kid’s jacket emblazoned with “Nets.”

Music was unusually prominent this years with such pronouncements as “Music Is My God,” “Just Need Rock,” “Music Speaks to the Heart,” “Future Rock Star” (for a kid), “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and just plain “Music.”

In addition to “Future Rock Star,” etc., children’s statements (colorfully illustrated) included “Superman,” “Spiderman,” “Spider-Man” and “Captain America.”

The big loser this year was that once-famous college, Franklin & Marshall, though it did pop up once or twice as such with a university seal and, as before, there was a “U.S. Marshall.” Otherwise, academia wasn’t forgotten — witness: “Authentic University,” “Championship (university seal) Alaska University 1976”  and “University of State.”

Also on a downturn is Abercrombie & Fitch, though it did pop up a few times with a university seal and, occasionally, in truncated form as “Fitch,” “Fitch Adirondack Mountain Guide 1892,” “A&Fitch New York 1892,” and “Property of Abercrombie Athl.”

Athletics were a frequent theme, as in: “First Team 77,” “Baltimore League,” “Training,” “Training Vest Sports,” “New Jersey Athletic Club,” “Great Fight Team,” “Workout 93,” “Work Out,” “Seventy Workout Six,” “East Coast Miami 76 Athl,” “World Regate California,” and “The Athletic Team.”

As suggested above, various geographic areas were represented, among them: “California Dream,” “Philadelphia,” “Denim Cloth New Jersey,” “California West Coast,” “Niagara Falls,” “United States Denim Trdmrk”  and plain old “USA.”  A few odd ones were “New Zealand,” “Norway” and “Monaco Monte Carlo,” and even a few with rather lengthy essays that I couldn’t digest in a few seconds — writtten in French, of all things. I suspect those people were foreign tourists.

People in Granville remain patriotic, with an impressive number of American flags. One swimsuit was plastered all over with American flags and there were t-shirts with the flag forming a rabbit’s head and another with a flag design shaped to the letters “NY.” Also a t-shirt proclaiming, “American People & Club.”

There were a few others that I haven’t tried to categorize, like “Midnight Madness,” “Best Motor Oil,” “Coca Cola,” “Deluxe Denim Est 64,” “Barber Shop Opening in Mexico,” “What,” “What?,” “Ask What?” and, finally, “Blah Blah Blah.” I note that a friend of ours brought to the Plat a handbag stating “Blah Blah Blah,” though everybody already knows that she talks a lot.

Once again, it was quite a season for the fashion-conscious. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Richard Howe