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Levi's Campaign Glorifies Jobs, Worth Ethic Which No Longer Exist

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We are all workers, says Levi's. We dress in denim, a lot of it, and wear work hats, perhaps a safety vest of some sort, and we carry tools. Tools used to do work.

None of which is true, of course. Official unemployment figures put the national jobless rate just shy of 10%. The government's own broader measure of of unemployment -- the so-called U6 measure -- puts the rate closer to 18%. Other, private data providers put it closer to 22%. All of this makes the Levi's "We Are All Workers" campaign significant from a Socionomics standpoint. Most of the clothing in this line looks as if someone raided a circa 1880s railroad construction worker's closet; a perfect, third order simulacra of work wear.

Most of us no longer perform work qua work, myself included. For this class of "skilled laborers," it's hard to say what, exactly, our job skills are these days. I just cut and pasted some photos, wrote a few sentences and approved this posting from the comfort of an air-conditioned office space. It took about 15 minutes. Is that real work? The Levi's campaign subtly suggests that whether it is or not, the signifiers of real work -- a faded denim shirt, re-issued jeans with "authentic details" and a "vintage fit and feel" -- are readily available.
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