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Broke-Ass Style: Become a Cult Leader

Updated: Jul 03, 2012 18:58
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Recently, I plopped down onto my couch to watch the Martin Scorcese documentary about vintage babe George Harrison, titled George Harrison: Living in the Material World.  I noticed two things, the first of which being that my dad looks scarily like Eric Clapton:


After I shook off the freakiness of my pops being a major Clapton doppel sans jowls, I made a second revelation:  George Harrison circa his tambourine-bangin’, psychedelic drug-addled, Eastern religious days was a total fashion icon.

Look at those frizzy locks in need of deep conditioning, those roomy bell bottoms, that trippy floral backdrop.  G. Harry circa the seventies was a vision of hippie-dom– a sensitive, deep thinker, and a dear pal of the Hare Krishnas.  Inspired by all of the incense-clouded bungalows, soul-searching, and flowy clothing of The Best Beatle (George was the underdog– and for me, the underdog always wins), I dubbed him and the Hares my broke-ass summer style inspirations.  Culty chic– it’s the next big thing, babies.

Culty chic is pretty much the perfect look to adopt if you’re broke, since the whole premise centers around giving up your worldly possessions to worship some weirdo in robes.  Grow out your hair, Craigslist your Ikea-ed out furniture for a tapestry and some floor pillows, and stop using any products except for Dr. Bronner’s.  Simplify your closet to some leather Jesus sandals, a few thrifted tunics, and pair of those Thai fisherman’s pants that the Burning Man-style lady at my old job used to always wear to her belly dancing classes.  For basically no dollars, you’ll be comfy, and easy-breezy for summer.  On the downside, people in Union Square might avoid you because they are afraid that you are going to shove pamphlets about vegetarianism in their faces.

But looking the part is just the first step in assuming your new culty chic identity.  Come on, babies– you’re not followers.  Next, you gotta become cult leaders.  Get really into some new age practice like: chanting, macrobiotic cooking, polyamory, or worshipping pictures of cats in human clothing– then preach about it to anyone who will listen for more than two seconds.  Become a captivating orator, just like Dwight Shrute.  Turn on the charm, like a regular Queen Latifah.  Obtain that same “Wow!” Factor as Uncle Jesse from Full House.  With the powerful trifecta of Shrute, Latifah, and John Stamos on your side– and dressed like an even lower-budget member of The Source Family– you will no doubt turn heads.  With all that pizzazz, I’m sure that you will gain a crop of interested followers in no time.  Look out, Kumare!

The funny thing is that starting a cult is also a great way to rake in the dough.  While you use your swami-like wisdom to convince your loyal devotees to give up their material possessions, you can also sway them to give all of their money to you.  And be one of your many wives.  I suggest that you purchase a majestic mansion in the mountains of California with your earnings, and live happily ever after, yodeling to the Cats-in-Human-Clothing gods with your hottie harem. Considering this, “Cult Leader” is an excellent career objective for any struggling broke-ass.  I mean, what other job comes with a gratis clothing-optional compound-full of sexy ladies, and all of the iconographic pics of kitties-in-costume that you can fill it with?

Thank you, Martin Scorcese and your eyebrows, for teaching me all about George Harrison’s interest in the teachings of the East.  Thank you, George Harrison, for making me want to wear bell bottoms again.  Thank you, Hare Krishnas, for turning me onto my next business venture.  I’m off to buy some nag champa and google pictures of cats for my informational pamphlets.  See ya on the commune this summer?

Photo credits: Hare Krishna World News, me, TMZ, Souljerky, Daisy’s Dead Air

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.


  1. […] to seek out some spiritual guidance.  No, no, no.  I don’t mean organized religion, or even a cult.  I mean paying $5 for a sham psychic’s “special” since you can’t afford that […]

  2. […] to seek out some spiritual guidance.  No, no, no.  I don’t mean organized religion, or even a cult.  I mean paying $5 for a sham psychic’s “special” since you can’t afford that […]

  3. […] to seek out some spiritual guidance.  No, no, no.  I don’t mean organized religion, or even a cult.  I mean paying $5 for a sham psychic’s “special” since you can’t afford that […]