Pimp Day at the Metropolitan Museum: the annual Anna Wintour gala. I wish the Met would move “The Anna Wintour Costume Institute” to the Breuer. Only one significant alteration would be required. The construction in the Breuer’s basement of a dungeon to which MS. Wintour would be consigned, to dwell forever in durance chic, existing on a diet of croissants and Evian.
From Politico: BRET STEPHENS’ DRAMATIC NYT DEBUT – It’s almost as if the recent Wall Street Journal defector was trying to make Times readers’ blood boil when they opened up Saturday’s opinion section. Stephens, a Pulitzer winner who spent 16 years at the Journal before the Times poached him last month in an effort to diversify its opinion pages, has gained prominence over the past year as one of the loudest anti-Trump voices in the conservative commentariat, which the average Times reader likes. But he also has a repertoire of opinions that are anathema to the average Times reader, such as his skeptical views on climate change, which were on full display in his inaugural column. (“[H]istory is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.”) Some irate readers are reportedly pulling their subscriptions, to which Times reporter Nick Confessore says : “If u cancel @nytimes b/c of a columnist’s views on climate change, you r cancelling on the finest team of climate reporters in the country.” I don’t know how many read Stephens’s column, but it was the soul of reasonable skepticism. Naturally it provoked the usual knee-jerk (accent aigu on “jerk“) Twitterstorm of furious condemnation along with threats to cancel subscriptions (most of these intellectually and literarily well below the similar threats received every year by Sports Illustrated in the wake of its swimsuit issue). Incidentally, “climate change” is one bad thing, but “air pollution” is quite another. There may be a meaningful correlation, but they are also different. The former may drown the Miami waterfront fifty years from now, the latter kills people today. The science explicating the former undoubtedly will profit from further investigation, the latter seems scientifically unarguable. Open-mind Footnote: I think this is about as articulate an anti-Stephens screed as you’ll find: http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/bret-stephens-doesn-t-bring-diversity-to-the-times#.WQdPxk2pHEQ.twitter Here, courtesy of Jesse Kornbluth, is a more convincing, granular rebuttal by a genuine expert: https://thinkprogress.org/the-ny-times-promised-to-fact-check-their-new-climate-denier-columnist-they-lied-72ad9bdf6019 I must say that inaccuracy with respect to certain details, however small, takes a lot of air out of Stephens’s trial balloon.
If it’s Monday, it must be Kunstler (also on Friday): http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/sound-one-wing-flapping/
A report from a farflung correspondent(my wife – calling from from Greenpoint.) Today was the first day on the new East River ferry service. Operations transferred to a new company with 5 new boats dedicated to the route on which she usually travels. Tamara has taken the ferry for three years now; because she works at the UN, on the far East Side, the route, from DUMBO to 34th St., suits her. She arrived at the DUMBO dock in plenty of time for the scheduled 9:15. It did not come. Nor did the next scheduled departure. Finally a boat arrived – and promptly broke down. The next ferry, by now filled to the gunwales with passengers, sailed blithely by. Finally a ferry arrived that she could board, and it got as far as Greenpoint – and then it broke down. Her mood, when she just called from Greenpoint, was not of the brightest – as the Greenpoint dock is about as distant from alternative transportation as can be imagined. She found little consolation in my observation that at least she’s had a sighting all 5 ferries that ply the route. Accordingly, I didn’t hit her with the second jest that came to mind: that obviously the ferry service is being operated by the same people who put together the FyreFest two weekends ago. Naturally today’s NYT has a picture of the grinning incompetent jackass who is our mayor cutting the ribbon, as it were, at a ferry station. I figured DeBlasio for a second Pataki, another worthless politician who thought that photo ops were the same as governing, and he has proven me prescient. What this country badly needs now is a series of carefully conceived high-level assassinations, Byng-style stuff, “pour encourager les autres.” On yes, in case you’re wondering, my wife rejects the very idea of Uber etc, so I didn’t even offer that alternative.
If you want to see what absolute bullshit looks like, it’s hard to beat Alan Murray’s CEO letter. Murray’s a decent guy – but for an addiction to Davos-style get-togethers, symposia, “initiatives,” panel discussions etc. This sort of crap has been shoveled at the public for several decades now, and things only seem to get worse.
MAY 1, 2017
President Trump passed his 100 day mark this weekend, and reviews are pouring in, including his own. For business leaders, the new administration has turned out to be mostly a pleasant surprise: open to their entreaties, focused on growth, determined to reduce regulation and government excess—and far less focused on anti-trade, anti-immigration, and anti-big-business measures than might have been expected from campaign rhetoric.
Less clear, however, is whether this administration can successfully address the truly big issues facing American society: our broken health care system, the failing education system, or the swelling angst of a huge strata of citizens in danger of being left behind by a tidal wave of new business technologies. Underlying all of these is a badly broken political system, which seems more broken today than ever, incapable of putting aside partisan goals for the greater good.
That’s why, at Fortune, we’ve turned our attention to the power of the private sector to address some of society’s most challenging problems. We were heartened by the work of the 100 CEOs who gathered at the Vatican last December to deliberate on actions they could take to address pressing social problems. Today, it’s clear, a growing number of enlightened CEOs understand that the purpose of business has to extend beyond making profits for shareholders. Their employees, their customers, and the public at large are demanding more of them. And they are rising to the challenge.
To encourage that trend, Fortune and Time are partnering to create The CEO Initiative—which will convene business leaders to exchange best practices and leadership techniques, develop solutions, track tangible results, and shine a spotlight on those making progress in addressing important social goals. This isn’t intended to be an exercise in charity or traditional corporate social responsibility. Rather, it is designed for businesses that want to put a broader purpose at the core of their profit-making activities.
The CEO Initiative will hold its first meeting in New York on September 25. Salesforce has signed on as Founding Partner. Allstate also will be a sponsor. Among the participants will be members of our steering committee, including Tom Wilson of Allstate, Ajay Banga of Mastercard, Joe Kaesar of Siemens, Dom Barton of McKinsey, Hugh Grant of Monsanto , Carlos Gomes da Silva of Galp Energia, Erik Fyrwald of Syngenta, Dan Schulman of Paypal, Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani, Chip Bergh of Levi Strauss, Marc Lautenbach of Pitney Bowes, Greg Becker of Silicon Valley Bank, Dan Glaser of Marsh & McLennan, Roger Crandall of MassMutual and and Tom Quinlan of LSC Communications.
You will be hearing more about this initiative in the months ahead, and about Fortune’s related Change the World list for 2017. This one is important; the future of capitalism—and the world—is at stake.
I suspect inequality may not always be an issue, depending on what’s unequal. Gross wealth inequality seems to foster inequality of opportunity (ie.. what you can pay for determines where you go to college etc.) But I suspect it in some way bothers a mature adult fighting from paycheck to paycheck reading about the billions “earned” by some kid for thinking up a way for people to waste time. https://www.wsj.com/articles/inequality-isnt-the-real-issue-1493385246?tesla=y
This is so sad. Jean Stein was the daughter of Jules Stein, the founder of MCA. I knew her reasonably well long ago, but life being what it is, a series of Venn diagrams that break apart and then fall into new overlaps, we lost touch years ago. She was the sister of Katrina van den Heuvel, editor and proprietor of The Nation and of the late Susan Shiva: http://nypost.com/2017/05/01/woman-who-killed-herself-was-elite-author-jean-stein/
Dept. of Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy: http://dealbreaker.com/2017/05/john-paulson-hug-also-billion-dollars/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51391416&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–FoRbla2mJhCGcxJ4-aEuFNSoS5EDsCGdX_7EfHkg3ep6GEstlZqZR8o7WW0NKCnk9trumy-z94oDc2hp3w8-j7nzicA&_hsmi=51391416