Letting go of the need to look distinctive.
From the beginning, corporations and allied planners and politicians have promoted the automobile with large doses of syrupy propaganda about its overwhelming wonders and benignity. This wave of dogma routinely includes paeans to the automobile’s allegedly democratic and egalitarian nature. According to Rutgers University transportation engineer James A. Dunn, for example, not only does “the auto provide a kind of individualist equality that is particularly well suited to American values,” but owning and driving cars “unites [Americans] across class, racial, ethnic, and religious lines as few other aspects of our society can.”
Walk through any store any time of day […] and invariably you will encounter a sneering, disdainful horde of hipster Zombies and entitled 1%ers. They stand in the middle of the aisles, blocking passage of any other cart, staring intently at the selection asking themselves that critical question: which one of these olive oils makes me seem coolest and most socially conscious, while also making the raw vegetable salad I’m preparing for the monthly condo board meeting seem most rustic and artisanal?
why are these people all so angry? Is it something about Whole Foods that brings it out of them? Is it just their proximity to other miserable souls just like them? Is it the outward projection of inner self-loathing brought on by the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of social pressure to pay higher prices for organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, paleo, macro, whole foods?
The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Nick Haslam reveals that some social groups are consistently seen as being more animal-like than the rest of us.
The snore-activated nudging pillow
The only heated outdoor cat shelter
The iPhone-controlled lightbulb
The briefcase fitness center
the tear-free onion glasses
the full bottle wine glass
the best nose-hair trimmer
the world’s brightest vanity mirror
the personal oxygen bar - Products in the Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog
What the political scientist Michael Harrington wrote back in 1962 is still true: most people who are poor are poor because “they made the mistake of being born to the wrong parents.”
The middle class isn’t all that mobile, either: only twenty per cent of people born into the middle quintile ever make it into the top one. And although we think of U.S. society as archetypally open, mobility here is lower than in most European countries.
Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It’s all pseudoscience—so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others? […]
Why do many of us perceive Whole Foods and the Creation Museum so differently?
The first is that Whole Foods is a for-profit business, while the Creation Museum is the manifestation of an explicitly religious and political movement. For some reason, there’s a special stream of American rage directed at ideological attacks on science that seems to evaporate when the offender is a for-profit corporation. […]
And, second, we often have it stuck in our heads that science communicators have only failed to speak to the religious right. But while issues of science-and-society are always tied up, in some ways, with politics, they’re not bound to any particular part of the spectrum.
Watch a four-part interactive documentary that explores a global history of vertical living and issues of social inequality in an increasingly urbanized world.
and the middle classes (in the East and West; new and old) are at the heart of that history… maybe it is the history of the middle classes.
For all the flexibility of mind and spirit it’s supposed to bestow upon those who embrace it, yoga in America is a resolutely orthodox endeavor. By “doing yoga” with your body, you yourself will become yogic: peaceful, wise, measured. This promise is offered to all with no exceptions; it is supposed to hold true for everyone who arrives on their mat because the movements are presumed to bring it about almost indiscriminately. With your mind’s fluctuations calmed, you access a level of excellence that non-yogis cannot. You become a morally superior specimen.