How the Easter Bunny Got So Soft
Bloomberg View, April 02, 2015The plush toys that line store shelves this time of year are cheaper, often safer, and much, much softer than in bygone days. They represent a small, squishy example of a pervasive phenomenon: goods whose quality has improved gradually but significantly over time, without corresponding price increases and with little recognition in the public imagination.
Michael Graves Brought Special to the Everyday
Bloomberg View, March 13, 2015The architect and designer proved that status isn't the only reason people will pay more for designer products.
Alexander McQueen, Empowered
An interview with author Dana Thomas
Bloomberg View, March 11, 2015In her new book "Gods and Kings," veteran fashion journalist Dana Thomas recounts the rise and fall of the two British designers at the center of what she calls this "long, fabulous moment": John Galliano and Lee Alexander McQueen. McQueen committed suicide in 2010 and was the subject of a blockbuster exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the following year. An expanded version of that massively popular and critically acclaimed show opens this weekend at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which had already sold 65,000 advance tickets as of March 10, according to the museum. In advance of the opening, I talked to Thomas
How Spock Became a Sex Symbol
Bloomberg View, February 27, 2015When "Star Trek" debuted in 1966, showing a beautiful black woman and a dashing Asian man as bridge officers was an idealistic political statement. Turning someone who looked like Leonard Nimoy into a sex symbol, however, was entirely unintentional.
Will "Empire" Match Its Ratings?
Bloomberg View, February 24, 2015The Fox broadcasting network’s drama “Empire” is already a phenomenal business success. What remains to be seen is whether it will prove an equally remarkable artistic success.
Why the Crusades Still Matter
Bloomberg View, February 10, 2015Interview with historian Jay Rubenstein, author of Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse, about what inspired the first Crusaders and what their story might tell us about today’s would-be Muslim holy warriors.
Would You Hire the Super Bowl Hero?
Bloomberg View, February 03, 2015When was the last time your talent-hungry organization hired the equivalent of Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, the undrafted rookie who came out of the University of West Alabama,a Division II school many football fans had never even heard of? When was the last time you even considered someone with unlikely credentials for a critical position?
Designs for Living
On the architecture of (commercial) desire
The Weekly Standard, January 19, 2015Review of Packaged Pleasures: How Technology and Marketing Revolutionized Desire by Gary S. Cross and Robert N. Proctor and Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash
The Glamour of Islamic State
Bloomberg View, January 06, 2015Confronting Islamic State requires an exercise largely unfamiliar to the American military’s hardheaded pragmatists: thinking carefully about the elusive, seductive magic of glamour. Making that task all the more difficult, it also demands recognizing the allure of ideas and images that baffle, offend or horrify most Westerners. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, glamour is in the mind of the audience.
Old, Sick and Need a Kidney? Good Luck
Bloomberg View, December 08, 2014Within a few years, new rules about allocating kidneys could shrink the waiting list. But this apparent improvement will be an illusion -- an artifact of the incentives the new rules create, not genuine progress