Tipalet ad campaign, 1969.
Tipalet ad campaign, 1969.
“Two years ago, Gus lost Ida, the last of his two female companions. She died from liver disease at the age of 25. His other companion, Lily, died at 17 in 2004 after an abdominal mass was discovered. Despite two women in his life, Gus had no offspring.”
“This launch isn’t just about stocking our shelves with something new and different – it’s about listening to our shoppers and giving them access to the things they want – whether it’s their favourite cheese or their favourite way to enjoy music.”
As a shareholder, I do not approve.
UPDATE: Full press release here.
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs [Strike!]
David Graeber, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, explores the phenomenon of bullshit jobs:
The ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population with free time on their hands is a mortal danger (think of what started to happen when this even began to be approximated in the ’60s). And, on the other hand, the feeling that work is a moral value in itself, and that anyone not willing to submit themselves to some kind of intense work discipline for most of their waking hours deserves nothing, is extraordinarily convenient for them.
I would not presume to tell someone who is convinced they are making a meaningful contribution to the world that, really, they are not. But what about those people who are themselves convinced their jobs are meaningless? Not long ago I got back in touch with a school friend who I hadn’t seen since I was 12. I was amazed to discover that in the interim, he had become first a poet, then the front man in an indie rock band. I’d heard some of his songs on the radio having no idea the singer was someone I actually knew. He was obviously brilliant, innovative, and his work had unquestionably brightened and improved the lives of people all over the world. Yet, after a couple of unsuccessful albums, he’d lost his contract, and plagued with debts and a newborn daughter, ended up, as he put it, “taking the default choice of so many directionless folk: law school.” Now he’s a corporate lawyer working in a prominent New York firm. He was the first to admit that his job was utterly meaningless, contributed nothing to the world, and, in his own estimation, should not really exist.
Go ahead and read the whole piece.
Tweet of the year courtesy of @VeryShortStory.
I went to RadioShack (yes, that shitty battery store that’s been in business for nearly 30 years now) the other day to buy a new case for my iPhone. The checkout process was rather silly:
Cashier: “Did you find everything you were looking for?”
Cashier: “Cash or credit?”
Cashier: “Would you like to purchase a protection plan for $1.78?”
Cashier: “Are you sure? It’s only $1.78!”
Me: “Do you really expect me to buy a ‘protection’ for ‘protection’? I mean.. I really don’t see the point.”
Cashier: “Fair enough.”
Cashier: “Would you like to donate $1 to cancer research?”
Cashier: “Would you like a bag?”
I appreciate good customer service – but why all these questions?
What Romney Lost [NYR]
Romney, who avoided military service as a missionary, said none of his sons of military age could serve because they were serving the nation by helping him, year after year, run for president. Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for your family.
Many losing candidates became elder statesmen of their parties. What lessons will Romney have to teach his party? The art of crawling uselessly? How to contemn 47 percent of Americans less privileged and beautiful than his family? How to repudiate the past while damaging the future? It is said that he will write a book. Really? Does he want to relive a five-year-long experience of degradation? What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it? His friends can only hope he is too morally obtuse to realize that crushing truth.
Well worth reading. Short, but devastating.
It’s Global Warming, Stupid [Businessweek]
The Horrible Future of Social [ted.io]
We have begun to pollute and desecrate and cheapen all of our experiences. We are creating neat little life-boxes for everything, all tied up with a geo-tag, a photo, a check-in; our daily existence transformed into database entries in some NoSQL database on some spinning disk in some rack in suburban Virginia.
The end-game is this. Slowly, gradually, without realizing: we stop participating in our own lives. We become spectators, checking off life achievements for reasons we do not know. At some point, everything we do is done soley to broadcast these things to casual friends, stalkers, and sycophants.