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News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@fresh_delivery
News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@fresh_delivery

Most billionaires stay out of the public eye. This makes sense, because according to polls, far more people distrust billionaires than admire them, and the overwhelming majority of the public want the government to seize a portion of billionaires’ wealth. It’s easy for anyone in possession of a billion dollars to make their name widely known, but evidently wealth without fame is preferred to fame without wealth (or the possibility of losing a small chunk of wealth).

Some billionaires, however, write books. These are some of the only documents that the ruling class has produced for the consumption of the masses. What is it they wish us to know?

I have on my desk a stack of “billionaire books,” mostly memoirs. They include: Sam Zell’s Am I Being Too Subtle, Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity, Richard DeVos’ Compassionate Capitalism, Charles Koch’s Good Profit, Ken Langone’s I Love Capitalism!, Stephen Schwarzman’s What It Takes, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, Marc Benioff’s Trailblazer, Sam Walton’s Made in America, Joe Ricketts’ The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Get, and Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg by Bloomberg. (What a title. Bloomberg, whose company is Bloomberg L.P., also made his fortune on a device he invented called “the Bloomberg,” so it is clear he likes saying “Bloomberg.”)

Read the rest of this article at: Current Affairs

News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Marc Jacobs and his husband Charly Defrancesco are renting a 1959 ranch-style house in the New York City commuter belt that looks like it could be the set of a Todd Haynes film starring Julianne Moore. It’s a 15-minute drive to their permanent residence, a historic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed waterfront property on the northern tip of Manursing Island, but the longest way around is the shortest way home: their place, where they got married last spring and resided last summer, is still being restored. For now, they are occupying the rental, which suits Jacobs, the 57-year-old native New Yorker who lately favors housewife drag and often suspects he is living a movie version of life. The designer’s worldview holds that memories are sortable by genre, the present can be lent enchantment, and when the unexpected happens, he can chalk it up to missing revision marks on his copy of the script. Some of his closest friends are directors, including Sofia Coppola and Lana Wachowski (who calls him Sissy, short for Sisyphus; the two have matching tattoos based on the myth). The rub is that Jacobs still feels like he has to audition.

“I think it’s maybe habitual,” he says, “when someone impresses me or when I want to make an impression, I start to try to change myself to be the person I think they want me to be. And I don’t want to do that, but it’s that Zelig trigger that goes off: become what you imagine they want and you’ll be safe, they’ll like you. That part of me never dies. And in fact, I think it’s probably a little bit more amplified when it’s somebody I really care about. I’m afraid of losing them, so I should curtail my behavior or make sure my conversation is interesting or that I’m paying attention. It’s a lot of work for me to just be myself and not the person that I think they want.”

Jacobs’ self-description as a chameleon has always seemed out of keeping with the staunch figure he cuts in the world. He’s a showman, yes. A month before Broadway went dark last spring, the designer sent a group of dancers and models tripping the light fantastic through the drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory. The ensemble was choreographed by Karole Armitage, the downtown ballerina who danced for George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham before leading her own company throughout the 80s. Armitage, the choreographer of Madonna’s “Vogue” and a Tony nominee for her work on Hair (one of Jacobs’ favorite musicals), was the first to appear under spotlight before café tables hosting the show’s attendees. What they saw was Jacobs’ take on a tremendous sweep of fashion history that somehow circumvented nostalgia, as if Jacqueline Kennedy’s Dealey Plaza outfit had gone into a wormhole instead of the National Archives. Models in woolen double-face shifts and coats made way for a dancer shadowboxing in black leather opera gloves, pastel underwear, and pearls. The prevailing opinion was that Jacobs, long the closer of New York Fashion Week, was also the week’s thrumming center, stirring in the audience that most innocent feeling of anticipation.

Read the rest of this article at: SSENCE

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It was the final match of the 2016 Classic Tetris World Championship, and Jeff Moore, a thirty-six-year-old from Las Vegas, was playing out of his mind. “Boom!” the announcers yelled with each four-line clearance. “Tetris for Jeff!” Their enthusiasm couldn’t be contained. Jeff’s opponent, a taproom manager in his mid-thirties named Jonas Neubauer, had won the world title five times. Jeff had never even been close. Could he defeat the Michael Jordan of falling blocks? “He’s ready for a Tetris—where is the long bar? Are we going to see it?” the announcers cried, talking over one another, voices stacking in intensity. After a few seconds, the longed-for rectangle arrived. Four lines, cleared. Jeff, who was staring placidly at an outdated television set, was soaring to the pinnacle of piece-piling.

Alas, Jeff could not shake the Tetris hierarchy. Jonas beat him handily, sending him home with a silver T-piece trophy and a five-hundred-dollar prize. Trey Harrison, the tournament’s chief technical officer, helped to upload the match footage to YouTube, mainly for archival purposes. Months later, he noticed something strange. “It was just blowing up,” he said. “I don’t know why. The views just kept climbing and climbing and climbing.” Soon there were spin-offs. Someone compiled every “Boom, Tetris!” from the match into a video that stretched more than two minutes. Another user posted a quick-cut video of the tournament’s especially meme-able moments. “Boom, Tetris for Jeff!” was a sensation.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

A little over a year ago, Addison Rae Easterling rode down the boulevards of Beverly Hills in an Uber to meet with Marcelo Camberos, the chief executive officer of Ipsy, the largest beauty subscription service in the United States. Ipsy, named after an intensive pronoun in Latin, ipse, sells small “glam bags” of beauty companies’ products like, say, cheek highlighter in a shade of tiramisù. For $12 and up a month, the company mails those bags to millions of subscribers, many of whom listen to advice from Ipsy’s vast network of vloggers, influencers and stylists. Now, in a new venture called Madeby Collective, the company hoped to manufacture and develop entirely new lines of makeup on its own. What Ipsy needed was a face to help them sell it.

Easterling, 20, professionally known by only her first two names, seemed like an ideal candidate. In 2019, she was a college freshman dejected over not making the Louisiana State University pep squad and had been filming videos of herself doing slithery hip-hop dances that call to mind Max Headroom as a belly dancer. In a surreal turn of events appropriate for our times, cheerleader-ish girls dancing just this way to rap music was the height of entertainment during the pandemic, whether enjoyed genuinely or for laughs. Soon Easterling, or Rae, became the second-most-popular human being on TikTok, Gen-Z’s social media platform of choice. (The most popular, Charli D’Amelio, was also a slithery dancer, this time from Connecticut.) Rae estimated that she had about three million followers on TikTok when she met Camberos, but within a year she amassed 73 million — a population larger than that of the United Kingdom.

Now Rae found herself in a strange and modern predicament: She had become very famous and needed to get paid for it. Rae would start selling merch, making T-shirts with the phrase “I’m a Bad Bleep,” a reference to a viral song by Australian rapper The Kid Laroi (“I need a bad bitch/Addison Rae”), but continuing down that road, the typical influencer-hawking-vitamins-for-your-hair route, may have seemed too small. So Rae followed a new path, recently forged by many social media stars and A-list celebrities (two quantities that seem as if they will eventually merge) like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and others who come to mind when you imagine a mistress of the universe beaming her wants and desires at Earth like lasers. She wanted to start her own beauty brand.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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News 26.03.21 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

On an overcast Saturday afternoon in December, a convoy of 30 cars, led by a red Chevrolet pickup truck, set off from the car park of an east-London Asda with hazard lights flashing. The motorists, who formed a “festive motorcade”, wore Santa hats as they made their way slowly through the borough of Hackney before coming to a halt outside the town hall a couple of hours later.

They had gathered to register their outrage at being the victims, as they saw it, of a grand experiment that has been taking place on England’s roads since the start of the pandemic. As the national lockdown eased last summer, swathes of Hackney, stretching from Hoxton’s dense council estates at the borough’s western border with Islington to the edge of the River Lea marshland near Stratford in the east, had been closed to through traffic.

Locals found their usual routes were shut off with little warning. Danielle Ventura Presas, one of the protesters, told me that she now struggled to get her disabled cousin to day care while also dropping off her two children at school on time. As we rolled through Clapton, another campaigner got out of her car and slowed the convoy to a walking pace, leading chants of “reopen our side roads!” on a megaphone.

The road closures formed part of a wider scheme to tackle London’s growing congestion problems. Between 2009 and 2019, miles driven on its residential streets increased by 70%, in part due to the rise of Uber, online delivery services and GPS technology. Air pollution, meanwhile, plays a role in the premature deaths of nearly 10,000 Londoners each year. When the pandemic arrived, this trend was briefly interrupted: the roads fell quiet, and the novelty of car-free streets encouraged more people to go out on their bikes. In May 2020, the government tried to capitalise on the bike boom by announcing the biggest ever investment in “active travel” – walking, cycling or scooting. The short-term aim of the fund was to make it easier for people to get around without using public transport. The broader vision – reducing reliance on the private car – was more radical.

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.