The rising new forces of consumer manipulation—mass media, mass entertainment, national advertising, the fashion and beauty industries, popular psychology—all seized upon women’s yearnings for independence and equality and redirected them to the marketplace. Over and over, mass merchandisers promised women an ersatz version of emancipation, the fulfillment of individual, and aspirational, desire. Why mount a collective protest against the exploitations of the workplace when it was so much more gratifying—not to mention easier—to advance yourself (and only yourself) by shopping for “liberating” products that expressed your “individuality” and signaled your (seemingly) elevated class status?
Tumblr Followship Of The Ring

I’ve been reminded of why I love my tumblr community so much yet again as I’ve received these nice birthday wishes from so many of my favorite tumblr peeps. And I’ve noticed that the people who like me, and whom I like, all have similar tumblrs. We each have our things we’re passionate about (usually represented by what we reblog), things like Star Wars, science, faith, humor, romance, music, wrestling or what have you. But we all also produce something original, even if it’s just some pictures or some rants. And all of our tumblrs feel “alive.” Our personalities come through and we interact sincerely with people we have never met. We don’t just post Sherlock gifs and complain about fifth period algebra (no offense…well, a little offense).

So I’ve been thinking that I’m tempted to make up some kind of “Good Housekeeping Seal Of Approval” to identify those tumblrs. Yes, it would likely be quite subjective, but I feel like I want a list of links on my homepage for people so that they know that if they like my style, they might like Un, or Culby, or iambal, or the baffled, or tacgnol. Even though the interests of those individuals couldn’t be more different, they all represent the best of what tumblr can be.

They’re my phony baloney Internet family. And I love them!

So I should probably just start by doing something like a “Follow Friday” posting. I know I’ll miss some, but I can always add to the list at any time.

And then we’ll need a logo.

A kick ass logo.

Ag

From the sounds of recent pronouncements, it might seem that efforts to elevate the woman worker have finally paid off. With giddy triumphalism, books like Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men: And the Rise of Women and Liza Mundy’s The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love, and Family (both published in 2012) celebrate the imminent emergence of a female supremacy. “For the first time in history, the global economy is becoming a place where women are finding more success than men,” Rosin declared, noting that twelve of the fifteen jobs projected to grow the fastest in the United States in the next decade “are occupied primarily by women.” The female worker, she wrote, is “becoming the standard by which success is measured.” Mundy, who called this supremacy the “Big Flip,” predicted that, thanks to the new economy, we would soon be living in a world “where women routinely support households and outearn the men they are married to,” and men “will gladly hitch their wagon to a female star.”

A star like Sheryl Sandberg, whose feminism seems a capstone of female ascendancy. Never mind that the “fastest-growing” future occupations for women—home health aide, child care worker, customer service representative, office clerk, food service worker—are among the lowest paid, most with few to no benefits and little possibility for “advancement.” Progress has stalled for many ordinary women—or gone into reverse. The poverty rate for women, according to the Census Bureau’s latest statistics, is at its highest point since 1993, and the “extreme poverty rate” among women is at the highest point ever recorded.

Thanks to kathartie (I’m HUGE with young women in New Zealand), angelwithbadhabits (who probably reblogs me more than anyone…thanks!), and aerissa (one of my most consistent supporters who regularly overcomes her chronic Canadianism to recommend me regardless of her stunning anti-americanism) for the recommendations in the humor category. Thanks to the five others who recommended me. As I fall asleep tonight I imagine all five are models to find me irresistable. It could happen. I have at least one who I know follows me and she’s pretty cool and follow worthy as are my three friends above!

As always I am grateful for anyone who takes the time to visit and humbled that anyone would recommend me. Thanks!

I’ve decided to use this space each week to let you know the very cool blogs I recommend each week. This week I recommended thebaffled in the humor category. One of the most consistently amusing and interesting sources of content on my dashboard, thebaffled is a far too hidden treasure on tumblr. Follow!

Thanks, Everyone!

We’re pleased to announce that we’re helping our friends over at The Baffler present a debate between David Graeber (Debt) and Peter Thiel (Zero to One, forthcoming), entitled “No Future For You!” 

Once upon a time, in the heyday of social prognostication, many Americans believed that gadget-related knowledge would surely yield immeasurable leaps forward in the progress of the human species. Yet as David Graeber argued in his famous Baffler essay, “Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit,” Information-Age capitalism has mainly given us better ways to shop—and handed the government unprecendented opportunities to watch. Was the gilded promise of innovation a con game all along? What does Peter Thiel, the renowned Silicon Valley author and investor, think about the reality of technological progress? How do Thiel’s libertarian principles stand in relation to Graeber’s revolutionary anarchism? Come, see the future vanish—and possibly reconstitute itself—before your very eyes!

The event is Friday 9/19. Further details here

Today in Bespoke: Merrill Perlman in the Columbia Journalism Review pops the “bespoke” bubble: “Perhaps not surprisingly, The New York Times used it more than any other US publication in the past three months, according to a Nexis search, with “bespoke” appearing nearly three dozen times, excluding in proper names. Among the things that were “bespoken” for in the Times were, of course, items of clothing (jacket, shoes, suit), but also trunks for that clothing, cocktails, croquet equipment, and despair (in a book review).”
— 

Daily Bafflements - The Baffler

Given the Times’ trend of monetizing every way but by providing a product worth the money — regular reliable journalism, and occasional excellent journalism (both of which are practically extinct in the mainstream now) — this is not surprising.

How adorable: the Guardian reports that two U.S. senators, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), will live together on a tropical island for six days, and all their adventures “as they spear fish and build shelter together” will be filmed for a Discovery Channel show called Rival Survival.
The Center for Public Integrity has uncovered emails detailing all the strings that Koch money can come with when Koch money goes to a school, including control over the hiring and retention of faculty, and a new emphasis on libertarian philosophy and deregulatory policy in the school’s curriculum. “As we all know, there are no free lunches,” wrote an economics department chair at Florida State University to his colleagues about such an offer from the Charles Koch Foundation. “Everything comes with costs.”
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