Friday, October 15, 2010




being numbered zero in a series; also : of, relating to, or being a zero

The most famous human ZEROTH of the last century is likely Smashing Pumpkins lead-man, Billy Corgan. While touring for their Mellon Collie album, Corgan began identifying as a ZEROTH by sporting a long-sleeved black shirt that read ZERO across the chest in huge reflective letters. Corgan wore the shirt at every gig; no doubt he had more than one tunic hidden away in his tour bus. Four? Ten? I mean, he had to do laundry some time. I'm assuming there had to be back up shirts to also insure against theft or loss. You can't just start a trend like that and flake out because you accidentally left your emblem at a Holiday Inn in St. Louis.

My theory behind his ZERO trend deems it a blatant statement of self-deprecation. Corgan saw himself as an anti-hero, and wore it on his sleeve (almost literally). Other similar theories:

"He wore that ZERO shirt because he looked at himself as a superhero and that was his trademark shirt."

"'Zero' was/is sort of a 'super-hero' Billy Corgan created that is loosely based around himself. The concept is a bit tongue-in-cheek though as he had rather low self-esteem for a number of years and it was kind of like his way of juxtaposing this public image everyone had of him (messianic rockstar) with what was “actually” there. This same kind of irony can be found in the lyrics to “Today” (the song sounds happy and the chorus even says “Today is the greatest day” but it’s actually about suicide and hopelessness) and even in “Here Is No Why“, a song Billy wrote about himself."

"I couldn't help but wonder about Corgan's relentless, not to mention potentially unsanitary, fascination with the aphoristic garment. 'How many of those 'Zero' T-shirts do you have, anyway?' I asked. 'Well, more than one, obviously,' he answered. Relieved, but still curious, I pried further. 'Is it, like, your blankey?' 'No. No. No,' he countered. 'It's just, you know, the superhero needs a costume.'" -SPIN magazine, May 1996


Billy Corgan now wears white linen suits and collaborates with Jessica Simpson.

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a ZEROTH.

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