▪ 24 Sèvres, the online store of Le Bon Marché, an LVMH subsidiary, started selling Céline merchandise yesterday. And it is a dangerous development. I was thisclose to pulling the trigger on a Classic Medium Bag before the colorway I wanted became unavailable.
▪ “The Skin Care Wars, Explained” (Vox): “… when we talk about skin care, we’re not just talking about cosmetics. We’re also talking about our anxieties about women, their bodies, their money, and their pleasure.”
▪ “Betsy DeVos On Guns, School Choice And Why People Don’t Like Her” (CBS News): “Lesley Stahl: Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing? Betsy DeVos: I have not– I have not– I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming. Lesley Stahl: Maybe you should. Betsy DeVos: Maybe I should. Yes.”
▪ (Heartened by Reddit’s collective humanity, I struggled to blink back tears reading the last few paragraphs.) “Reddit and the Quest to Detoxify the Internet” (The New Yorker): “Last April Fools’, instead of a parody announcement, Reddit unveiled a genuine social experiment. It was called r/Place, and it was a blank square, a thousand pixels by a thousand pixels. In the beginning, all million pixels were white. Once the experiment started, anyone could change a single pixel, anywhere on the grid, to one of sixteen colors … In his office, Huffman met with Chris Slowe, Reddit’s first employee, who is now the chief technical officer. ‘How is Place going?’ Huffman asked. ‘Pretty much as expected,’ Slowe said. ‘A lot of memes, some Pokémon, and a barrage of dicks.’ ‘If there’s ever a Reddit musical, that wouldn’t be a bad title,’ Huffman said.”
▪ “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America” (Politico): ” ‘There’s more of a hopelessness than I think there was,’ Ramsey says. ‘If you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t do it. So as cheesy as it sounds, there’s a real reality in this discussion to hope. Does somebody believe that if I plant corn, I’m going to grow corn? That if I sell my car, take an extra job, get on a budget, don’t go on vacation, don’t go out to eat, and use all of that to clean up my debt, will it actually work? … That has more to do with hope than it does math.’ “
▪ J. Crew is currently running a buy more, save more event: use code NEWNEW to take 40% off any 4+ styles, 30% any 3 styles, 20% off any 2 styles, and 10% off any 1 style. Recently ordered: Perfect Rainjacket (TTS), Slingback Bow Pumps (40mm) in Suede, New Lightweight Sweater-Blazer, Drapey Open-Front Blazer, and Bow-Neck Sweater.
▪ “New York Is Confiscating Delivery Bikes, Hurting Immigrants, And Helping No One” (Fast Company): “Technically, due to a mismatch in the law, electric bikes are legal to own but illegal to operate, in New York.”
▪ “The Tipping Equation” (The New York Times): “A ‘customer is always right’ ethos often tilts the equation — creating the kind of power imbalance that has become front and center in a broader conversation about sex and gender in the workplace … Working for tips means that each shift comes with questions that do not apply to millions of other workers around the country: How much money will I make, and how much will I tolerate to make it? … Seventy percent of servers are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and nearly half are younger than 25.”
▪ (This was an unnecessarily long piece, imo, but contains some interesting bits of history.) “The Last Temptation” (The Atlantic): “The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received … Trump consistently depicts evangelicals as they depict themselves: a mistreated minority … He has treated evangelicalism as an interest group in need of protection and preferences.”
▪ “How Your Returns Are Used Against You at Best Buy, Other Retailers” (The Wall Street Journal): “Retailers estimate 11% of their sales are returned, and of those, 11% are likely fraudulent returns, according to a 2017 survey of 63 retailers by the National Retail Federation.“
▪ “The Truth About Putin” (The Weekly Standard): “The domain name ‘putin2018.ru’ was registered in 2010, during the Obama administration’s infamous ‘Reset’ with Russia and its dreams of Dmitry Medvedev liberalization. Putin2024.ru, putin2030.ru, and putin36.ru have also been locked up, in case you were wondering.“
▪ H&M‘s spring sale (take up to 70% off thousands of styles) is now live. In my cart: Crêped Jersey Dress, Knit Sweater, Faux Suede Skirt (I own this in a different color; runs a size small), Pea Coat, Faux Fur Jacket, Felted Jacket, Leather Belt, Long Cardigan, and Crêped Dress.
▪ (I generally dislike Andrew Sullivan’s work, but have been forcing myself to read more conservative viewpoints; his is actually more tolerable than some others I read recently.) “The World Is Better Than Ever. Why Are We Miserable?” (New York Magazine): “As we have slowly and surely attained more progress, we have lost something that undergirds all of it: meaning, cohesion, and a different, deeper kind of happiness than the satiation of all our earthly needs. We’ve forgotten the human flourishing that comes from a common idea of virtue, and a concept of virtue that is based on our nature.”
▪ “Why Even Control Freaks Are Opting for ‘Surprise Vacations’” (The Wall Street Journal): “When people become so set on ensuring that every experience is a peak experience, they get consumed with worry that they might ‘come back from somewhere and haven’t done it quite right.’”
▪ “How Psychopaths See the World” (The Atlantic): “Like most psychiatric problems, it’s a complex mess of genetic and environmental influences, all impinging on our most complex (and perhaps least understood) organ—the brain. Psychopaths may show a lack of automatic perspective-taking, but ‘the interesting question is: Why?’ ”
▪ “Bitcoin Is Ridiculous. Blockchain Is Dangerous” (Bloomberg): “What Bitcoin actually accomplished is the financialization of a few genuinely joyous ideas … What Silicon Valley loves most isn’t the products, or the platforms underneath them, but markets.”
▪ “Where Is Barack Obama?” (The Atlantic): “His reticence reflects one of the problems that constrained his presidency—his hesitation and resistance to getting down and dirty in the muck of partisan politics. He aimed high, but American politics went low.”
▪ “In Fashion and Beauty Ads, Less Skin and More Empowerment” (The Wall Street Journal): “The #MeToo movement and the rise of socially conscious millennials who support brands they like have intensified discussions of how women are portrayed in fashion ads. The fashion industry also is grappling with published allegations of sexual misconduct among its ranks.”
Have a great week, everyone!