Month: June 2015

Fake Openers For Fake Thinkpieces

‘”I-want-to-fit-in,” enunciates Patrick Bateman, brought to a kind of synthetic half-life to a pre-Batman Christian Bale in 2000’s American Psycho. The evenness of the statement is made clear as sublimated fury, not only desperation to fill some gaping chasm in the heart of the secret self, but also rage at the very act of being questioned in his carefully modulated banality. Bateman was in murders and acquisitions mergers and acquisitions, chosen by Bret Easton Ellis to represent a particular kind of 1980s successful homogeneity, but in the modern era, he might well have functioned excellently as an executive for the Disney Channel with his obsession with middle-of-the-road pop music, and his burning, all-consuming desire to conceal the monster within…’

‘The Laysan duck is what’s known as a ‘dabbler’, a form of surface feeder. Endangered, and restricted to the Hawaiian Islands, it’s somewhat ironic that it was first codified by Lionel Rothschild, scion of the great Rothschild banking house of Europe. A consummate zoologist, Rothschild was also the banker that the spectre of his name conjures up, and a member of the British Parliament. He was, in fact, a dabbler, but like the Laysan duck, dabblers in the world of big business have become endangered, even as the wealthiest 1% grow to control more wealth and assets. The key to that control, it turns out, is accretion and segmentation rather than diversity…’

‘Snap! Crackle! Pop! The onomatopoeic elves that guard breakfast cereals represent a simple elegance that has continually resisted attempts to modernise (or as the Simpsons would have it, Poochify) them. But does the iconography of the breakfast table hide a deeper cultural conservatism? “Breakfast is seen as family time,” says Gregory Baines of the National Nutrition Council. “We live in an age where people increasing divide for lunch and purchase cooked dinner, but breakfast is still mostly prepared at home, and shared by at least most of the family. Preserving the icons of earlier, ‘family-oriented’ campaigns taps into this nostalgia.” It seems straight forward enough, but one of those breakfast icons is under threat, with calls for the Lucky Charms leprechaun to be abolished as promoting pagan practices recently renewed…’

NB: These are not real hot takes, and I vouch for neither the facts nor opinions therein.