Me and Chairman Mao
  The old ball and chain.
I don't know why I still get surprised that, when wandering around Shanghai, I stumble upon something strange and/or random, but for some reason I still do. Like the other day, for example, I was walking down the street and suddenly found myself staring at a large ball of pants--jeans to be exact--and thought to myself, "That's weird." (It is weird, right? I'm just assuming big jean-balls are not common in the US right now, but I could be wrong.) Even weirder was the fact that it was attached by a chain to a mannequin of a naked woman--although, once again, I'm assuming naked mannequins chained to balls of jeans is not currently de rigueur in the States:

Here is a close-up of the jean-ball in question. I'd tell you how it was made, but I have no idea, due primarily to the fact that: a) I have, not surprisingly, very little practical experience in jean-ball formation; and b) when I touched the jean-ball, I was glared at and waved away by a stern-faced guard, despite the fact that the sign next to said jean-ball said "No Climbing," not "No Touching." Maybe he thought I was going to climb it? Who knows ...

I still wasn't sure what the point of it was--Calvin Klein jeans makes the best jean balls? Calvin Klein: Better for Balls!--until I saw a small sign near the base of the jean ball, which confirmed that the jean-ball was not only weird but also pretentious, which explained a lot, since it means the jean-ball was actually some sort of modern *cough, cough* art. The sign said that:

It all begins with a pair of Calvin Klein Jeans ... and a sexy body. Often with a perfect union such as this it is hard to decide where one ends and the other begins ... The mutual obsession between the two has created a willing bondage that is innate and almost primal ... Chains or not, this perfect fit is one that neither body nor jeans can exist without. Was she first to become slave to her Calvin Klein Jeans? Or is each pair of Calvin born longing to have a new sexy body inside?

The Slave to Fashion installation invites viewers to answer this question. Our hope is that they will each visit the store to discover their own truth.

That's quite tempting, I know, but I think I will pass on getting into some strange bondage relationship with my jeans, which were apparently born--no doubt through some disgusting "birthing" process involving a large egg and copious amounts of slime--with a longing to have a body inside them or something. Am I the only one thinking of the Alien movies here? No, I didn't think so.

But, in case you are into that sort of thing--and if you are, what the hell is wrong with you?--here's your chance to be a "Slave to Fashion":

As for the rest of you, you can just do what the sign says and try to figure out whether or not the jeans were "born longing to have a new sexy body inside." As for me, I'm going to go get some coffee, which seems like a better use of my time ...
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