Yesterday was Veterans Day, and with America mired in two wars overseas, unemployment sky-high, and Kanye West in turmoil, a group of upwardly mobile New Yorkers gathered to discuss one of the most important issues of our time: Corduroy, and the threat posed by velvet, the "louche, lude, lascivious fabric of evil." Last night was the fifth anniversary Grand Meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club, a shadowy association open only to those elites who posses two items of corduroy. It's a society whose powerful members perform secret handshakes and arcane rituals, and unlike other members of the complicit lamestream media, we're here to expose them once and for all.
In deciding to publish an account of the inner workings of the Corduroy Appreciation Club, we have weighed the violation of members' privacy against the public's need to know the truth. And considering that members of this society have infiltrated the highest levels of media and government to wage their clandestine war against velvet, we feel it's justified. For example, last night's keynote speaker was none other than trusted radio host Jesse Thorn—and he tells us he has never disclosed his membership in the club to his employers at PRI.
"I refuse to disclose," says Thorn. "I follow the clarion call of freedom, not the edicts of some not-for-profit psuedo-corporate master. I'm not afraid of being Juan Williamsed for my outspoken fabric views." So as the corduroy crowd sipped Whale's Tail Pale Ale and snacked on corduroy-resembling ridged potato chips, Thorn delivered a bilious speech condemning the insidious encroach of velvet on American wardrobes. Here's an excerpt:
For a thousand years, corduroy has been our light against the darkness. It has served as bulwark; held the inky darkness back, kept the forces of evil at bay. For a thousand years, corduroy has battled on our behalfs, but tonight, we join together as one to cry to heavens that we stand behind our fabric. CORDUROY NOW, and CORDUROY FOREVER.
We join together because there is one danger so clear, so present that without the efforts of those tonight assembled we might be subsumed by evil. Consumed by that inky darkness. While I am hesitant to even speak this evil’s name, I must, and I will. Tonight, friends, we join together to battle velvet. Velvet is the fabric of evil... Louche, lude, lascivious velvet is our enemy, and there is no one to fight against it but us...
In Spain, a bullfighter chooses a handful of cloth over the love of his wife. In Russia, an oligarch ascends to a velvet throne, stepping on the dreams of the serfs below him. In England, the embrace of a velveteen rabbit delivers Scarlet Fever to a defenseless child.
What is velvet, after all, but the promise of a life without consequence? A world of soft-pile dreams with their loops clipped off. A frenzied rubbing, a mad dash, a sensual, erotic extravaganza that never ends? But beware: velvet’s soft handshake hides a deadly blade.
It was clear from the get-go that although the Corduroy Appreciation Club's stated mission sounds innocuous enough ("To cultivate good fellowship by the advancement of Corduroy awareness, understanding, celebration and commemoration of the fabric and all related items."), this secret society is actually fueled by paranoia and a virulent intolerance of the non-corduroy wearing masses. As founder and president Miles Rohan began his "State of the Club" address—flanked by two hooded corduroy goons—security guards discovered a man in the audience whose ensemble did not include the requisite two articles of corduroy. He was violently ejected, and the cord-thirsty crowd went wild, chanting their rallying cry of "Hail the Wale" in chilling unison.
Rohan, who rules his society with an ironic fist, publicly claims his followers merely want to celebrate "a fabric that will always be in 3D." But last night he revealed his true intentions: to install a corduroy-wearing president in the White House. Indeed, he's almost there; during his address he showed what appeared to be a photograph of President Obama standing within arm's reach of a corduroy-clad child. It's only a matter of time before we're all shuffling off to work in government-issued corduroy uniforms and attending mandatory "two minutes of velvet hate" meetings whenever the clock strikes 11:11 (the time that most resembles corduroy).
And who's really behind this vast frictional conspiracy? Look no further than King Cotton. In his opening speech, Rohan made a point of servilely thanking the puppet master behind last night's velvet prosecution (which was held at the historic General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen on 44th Street): Cotton Incorporated. Anyone who recalls the cotton industry's role in abolishing marijuana in America can see where this demonization of velvet is headed: soon enough you'll be buying third-rate velvet from some guy on Washington Square Park who swears it hasn't been "stepped on" with velour. Don't think it can't happen here!
Full disclosure: John Del Signore would drape himself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.