Monthly Archives: October 2009

Your passion is lost on others


13-year old Tavi posted this excerpt from a Washington Post piece on her blog:

It’s always a bit discombobulating when people raise their voices in anger because they’ve gotten wind that designers are making and selling $25,000 dresses. After all, it’s not as if the existence of a dress that costs as much as a car negates the availability of cute $25 frocks at Target. And it isn’t as though edicts have been issued that all women must now dress like one of the superheroes on Balenciaga’s runway.

For personal and sometimes tortured reasons — I can’t have it so no one else can! — observers declare that they just don’t understand the attraction of these strange and expensive clothes. That would be a fair argument if those same complainers lashed out at people who spend thousands of dollars on Redskins season tickets, vintage wines, first-edition books or midlife-crisis cars. But those industries don’t stir nearly as much ire from people who are uninterested in them.

Everyone has a passion that is lost on others.

From The Washington Post via Style Rookie.

Ignore Fox News?

Journalism is taking hits in more places than one. Not only has its validity and usefulness been questioned by the entire blogosphere, but increasingly, its integrity has taken a beating as well. Nowhere do the shiners show up more than upon the face of Fox News, whose incredibly biased coverage on President Obama has raised red flags, all the way up to the White House.

Slate Magazine shared their take this past weekend:

Any news organization that took its responsibilities seriously would take pains to cover presidential criticism fairly. It would regard doing so as itself a test of integrity and take pains not to load the dice in its own favor. At any other network, accusation of bias might even lead to some soul-searching and behavioral adjustment. At Fox, by contrast, complaints of unfairness prompt only hoots of derision and demands for “evidence” and “proof,” which when presented is brushed off and ignored.

And while I agree with Slate and detest Fox more than I can say,  I can’t help but remember another opinion piece by Frank Rich at the New York Times, where he argued that during the first 100 days of the presidency, Obama’s mere presence cottoned such unprecedented praise and agreement that the press couldn’t help but gush. And sometimes positive bias is as worrisome as negative.

Ignore Fox via Slate.

In Your Capable Hands

For whatever reason, the art of writing seems more fully expressed when published via a typewriter or your own hand. Words seem especially poignant. Like when Mick Jagger tells Andy Warhol, “He will probably look nervous and say ‘Hurry up’ but take little notice.”

Letters of Note via  Bruce Mau Blog.

No-nonsense advice from Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

Ever since Carol Bartz became CEO of Yahoo, I’ve been watching her closely. I love that she’s a woman leading a tech company, I love that she’s outspoken, and despite all her detractors, I think she’s going to do amazing things for Yahoo. Every interview she does is awesome, and I particularly liked these quotes from a recent piece in the New York Times:

When people come to me and say, “I can’t work for so-and-so anymore,” I say, “Well, what have you learned from so-and-so?” People want to take a bad situation and say, “Oh, it’s bad.” No, no. You have to deal with what you’re dealt. Otherwise you’re going to run from something and not to something. And you should never run from something.

I grew up in the Midwest. My mom died when I was 8, so my grandmother raised my brother and me. She had a great sense of humor, and she never really let things get to her. My favorite story is when we were on a farm in Wisconsin; I would have probably been 13. There was a snake up in the rafter of the machine shed. And we ran and said, “Grandma, there’s a snake.” And she came out and she knocked it down with a shovel, chopped its head off and said, “You could have done that.” And, you know, that’s the tone she set. Just get it done. Just do it. Pick yourself up. Move on. Laugh.

Via the New York Times.

Japanese Poster 1

This print is by far one of my favorites right now and in fact, I bought it and it now hangs above my laptop at home. Artist Valero Doval  is based in London and has a devastatingly interesting portfolio. I’m loving some of his newer work too – see Drawers, IncorporealEnergy and HiddenCompositions – and would buy them in an instant if only they were on sale.

Japanese Poster 1 via inPRNT, $40.

The Burning “T”

Normally I don’t go for things that are ridden with deeper, darker associations, but set designer Gary Card’s Burning T was just too powerful to pass up. Created for New York Time’s Tmagazine, Card describes his work as “a burning effigy in a dramatic countryside setting” which “sounded like too much fun not to do.”  Other inspirations came from The Wicker Man, a 1973 English cult horror film that features pagan ritual and is a film I will probably never, ever see.

“We lit it with a blowtorch,” Card continues, “and then ran for our lives.”

The result is one of the best sculptural pieces I’ve seen.

Via The Moment.

Midwest women marry early

In some more research related to my post on feeling pressure to marry early, Pew Demographics reveals some fascinating statistics in their infographic on marriage and divorce. For starters, the numbers back up my assertion that Midwest women marry earlier; a Wisconsin’s woman median age of first marriage at 26 is a full two years earlier than a New York’s woman median age of first marriage at 28.

And in another intriguing twist, it seems that the rate of divorce seems to increase in States where couples marry sooner and is lower in States where couples hold off a couple years, with some interesting exceptions.

Pew Infographic via GOOD.

Steven Alan Wool Shorts

Just imagine these wool shorts with tights for winter. The designer “eschews the flashy and fleeting in favor of re-worked timeless basics, and old-fashioned tailoring.”

 Steven Alan Pip Wool Short via Frances May, $178.

Black Poodle Illustration

Here’s a sweet print to close out the week with. The artist also creates custom pet doodles.  Have a fabulous weekend, my friends!

Via LMNOPrint, on Etsy, $15.

Gunmetal Market Bag

This Market Bag would be perfect for a laptop, and the careful pleating dresses up the gunmetal canvas twill just enough.

Via Moop, $93.

Similar, but smaller via Infusion, $79.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

This was a bestseller in France originally and is now a bestseller here as well. It’s not the type of book that you sit on the edge of your seat with, but rather that you pick up and savor slowly.

Renee is a cultured concierge who mulls over great philosophers and acts like she doesn’t, while Paloma is a bourgeois teenager who has decided to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday. The two characters are living in the same building, but never interact until mid-way through the book when an event pulls them together. And when that happens, of course, you do start to sit on the edge of your seat, ever so slightly.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, $9.

Is free good enough?

Just because something’s cheap, does that mean you should buy it? If it’s free, should you use it? The recession means a proliferation of cheap and free, but that often means sacrifice. The social network Facebook is free, but at the sacrifice of quality customer service (not that I don’t love Facebook).

My belief is that everything and everyone is connected, so cheapest is not good enough. It’s why I don’t shop at WalMart, I try to buy organic food, I pay more for a hybrid, and make other conscious buying decisions. If it’s cheap at the same time, that’s all the better. But it’s almost impossible to take the full lifecyle of a product or service into consideration every time you shop.

So tell me, is cheap good enough? How about free? Does it matter if you’re foregoing quality or sacrificing the well-being of another or the environment? Where do you draw the line? And how do your values line up with what your actual purchase decisions?