The Good Links Does Presidents' Day AND Valentine's Day
Feat. Holidays! Cruise ships! Movies! Consulting! Me Really Going IN on Michael Bloomberg!
|Cassandra Kyriazis||Feb 13|
Featuring a lot of political stuff because presidents? That’s politics, baby!
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Millennials (Falling In Love on Cruise Ships & Then Writing About It)
On Valentine’s Day, I leave you with a Modern Love column about a girl who fell in love with a boy on a cruise ship. It’s one of the more hilarious Modern Loves I’ve ever read, because I think the conclusion is foregone: of course you’d fall in love with somebody who you’re trapped with on a boat for many days. But romantic comedies are foregone conclusions and I do love those, so please enjoy “Crushes Thrive in Small Spaces” or as I like to call it: “Knot in Love Yet.” Or as I like to call it: “All Aboat Love.” Or as I like to call it: “Boat Sex.”
What I learned about googling cruise ship gifs is that there is absolutely a Hallmark movie about falling in love on a cruise ship and it is called “Love at Sea” and you know what? They should have called me for a title.
A More or Less Serious Item (Drugs & Conde Nast & Assholes)
The late ‘90s and early aughts were boom times for magazines. Magazine employees expensed lunches, got paid to go to Paris, and generally held incredible social clout. No company was more glamorous than Conde Nast, which had around 20 magazines in print that ruled the world of culture. One of the many editors who has since fallen hard from their formerly successful careers, Dan Peres (former editor of the now-defunct Details magazine), wrote a memoir of his time at Conde Nast. The book details his tenure — a time when he was very busy being majorly addicted to painkillers and being one of the most irresponsible guys who’s ever worked at a magazine, let alone run one. It’s an incredible tale of not just abuse of power, but of abuse of everything a person can be given. Excerpts include:
Mr. Peres tells in his memoir of frequently not making it into the office; when he did, he sneaked occasional naps on his office couch during the heavy drug years. He fell asleep while interviewing a job applicant. He had an assistant plan an unnecessary trip to San Diego, where he rented a car (he doesn’t remember if he or the company paid for it), drove to Tijuana, Mexico, and bought $6,000 worth of drugs to smuggle back across the border and then to New York (in between, he appeared on “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher in Los Angeles).
And it’s that addiction is something to laugh at, but this guy managed to be the biggest, richest asshole the entire time he was doing drugs. And he’s clean now.
On a work trip to Los Angeles, Mr. Peres considered trying heroin and asked his driver to take him to Skid Row, where he was chased by a stranger whom he’d asked for drugs (“It’s not easy to run for your life in a pair of Tod’s driving moccasins,” he writes). He decided buying drugs on the street was not for him.
“I listened to Journey and practically knew the room service menu at the Ritz in Paris by heart,” he writes. “I didn’t know how to do this.”
His Town Car driver in Los Angeles, he writes, became his drug dealer.
To namedrop “Tod’s driving moccasins” (which retail for about $470) when describing a trip to Skid Row is to put the nationwide opioid crisis incredibly OUT of perspective. Don’t worry, he also absolutely botched being a magazine editor — misquoting interviewees and once publishing an article claiming it was written by someone who absolutely didn’t write said article. Ah, to be in the magazine business before the time of “cancelling.”
This Week’s Theme: Management Consulting? Bad!
Sure, I’ve ragged on Mayor Pete for working at McKinsey, but now I’m going to rag on consulting for existing.
The Atlantic did a quick 15 minutes on how consulting destroyed the middle class, through the lens of the oft-ridiculed McKinsey & Company. McKinsey’s rise began in the 60s, when they launched an ad campaign to bloat the number of applications they received, to lower their acceptance and in turn boost their reputation as an elite place to work. Very cool method of becoming chic and hip for workers. I love that for them. After that, some guy wrote an article saying that it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure business make tons of profits, and then McKinsey was like “yes” and proceeded to ruin America. Essentially, they promoted the elimination of middle management and the use of the “layoff.” This snippet illustrates:
Companies that had long affirmed express “no layoff” policies now took aim at what the corporate raider Carl Icahn, writing in the The New York Times in the late 1980s, called “corporate bureaucracies” run by “incompetent” and “inbred” middle managers. They downsized in response not to particular business problems but rather to a new managerial ethos and methods; they downsized when profitable as well as when struggling, and during booms as well as busts. The downsizing peaked during the extraordinary economic boom of the 1990s. The culls, moreover, were dramatic. AT&T, for example, once aimed to cut the ratio of managers to nonmanagers in one of its units from 1:5 to 1:30. Overall, middle managers were downsized at nearly twice the rate of nonmanagerial workers. Downsizing was indeed wrenching. When IBM abandoned lifetime employment in the 1990s, local officials asked gun-shop owners around its headquarters to close their stores while employees absorbed the shock.
Don’t worry, there’s more. It’s upsetting, etc. etc.
In a more specific and recent case of doom and destruction, ProPublica did a detailed investigation of McKinsey’s failure to curb violence on Rikers island, a prison in New York. The city of New York paid McKinsey 27 million dollars for what ended up being mostly bad date, which in turn resulted in more violence at Rikers. McKinsey had no previous experience working with prisons, and didn’t know how to analyze the issues at Rikers. The ultimate result? Rikers is shutting down, unable to curb its issues with violence, including an uptick in violence from prison guards. McKinsey’s work with Rikers is part of a general public-sector consulting boom, in which government entities are hiring management consultants to handle public policy more frequently than ever before. So that’s… concerning! (Click here for some stuff about McKinsey infiltrating global public health). I found myself particularly enamored with the following passage:
Some of the McKinsey analytics products simply didn’t work very well. “IntelWatch,” for example, was an algorithm designed to predict gang affiliation and future violence. It was part of a broader McKinsey effort to import surveillance and analysis methods “widely used in the intelligence community,” as one PowerPoint slide put it.
IntelWatch, according to McKinsey slide decks, was designed to map each inmate’s social network by analyzing data from inmates’ phone calls, visitors and commissary deposits. The slides seemed detached from reality: As stand-ins for real inmates, they used the names of characters from “Gangs of New York,” Martin Scorsese’s movie about a battle for dominance among the Irish-immigrant underclass in Civil War-era Manhattan slums.
In conclusion: management consulting? Bad!
Politics (On Michael Bloomberg & Those Ads)
“How about Michael Bloomberg?” - Your Mom or Your Dad or Your Grandparents or Even You, Brainwashed by Bloomberg Ads Saturating The Cable TV Airwaves
I’d like to take a moment to say that Michael Bloomberg is a serial sexual harasser and gross misogynist. The Atlantic outlines several cases (from over the course of several years) he settled in court re: workplace discrimination and harassment. Offenses include saying the phrase “I’d do her” about many of his female employees, mocking an older woman who didn’t get her hair colored in a timely manner, and disparaging a pregnant employee for simply being pregnant. None of these comments are crimes, per se, but they’re indicative of a general disdain and lack of respect for women. And while he doesn’t belong in jail for what he’s said, he does not belong in consideration for the White House. So please consider that the next time somebody’s telling you that Bloomberg seems like the “sensible” candidate.
Think about how you don’t want this guy to be president. And then apply that to Michael Bloomberg.
P.S. Here’s an explanation of how much money Bloomberg is spending on ads. It could top 3.5 billion by the end of this campaign cycle.
P.P.S. This part of the article is particularly illuminating:
In a 1998 filing, Mary Ann Olszewski reported that “male employees from Mr. Bloomberg on down” routinely belittled women at the company—a pattern of harassment, she said, that culminated in her being raped in a Chicago hotel room by a Bloomberg executive who was also her direct superior… in a deposition relating to the suit, Bloomberg testified that he wouldn’t consider Olszewski’s rape allegation to be genuine unless there were “an unimpeachable third-party witness” to corroborate her claims. (Asked by a lawyer how such a person might happen to witness a rape, Bloomberg replied, “There are times when three people are together.”)
A Celebrity Thinger (Girls Just Wanna Produce Movies)
Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie crash landed into Hollywood by playing Leo DiCaprio’s smokin’ hot wife in Wolf of Wall Street. She was the talk of the town, putting substance into a Long Island sex symbol. Then she decided she didn’t want to be put in a box.
Anne Helen Petersen describes Margot Robbie’s transition from sex symbol to one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. Her production company is responsible for a slew of recent and upcoming films, including DC’s Birds of Prey and the upcoming Promising Young Woman, along with Hulu’s female-centric TV series Dollface. Most incredibly, her production company brought the Oscar-nominated I, Tonya to life, a film for which Robbie earned a Best Actress nomination, playing someone very far from a sex symbol. Robbie’s interest in producing all stems from her own desire for meaty roles, and the article is a fascinating examination of what she did to get here and why.
Would You Rather? (Horoscopes & Nanny Posts)
Would you rather have your milk preference horoscope read to you or be publicly shamed for your nanny job posting when all you wanted was a person who likes to swim in rivers?
A (Few) Recommendation(s) (Valentine’s Day Themes Abound)
Related to me coming up with 3 incredibly hack rom com names for that Modern Love article, here are 3 rom com/rom drams available to stream on a streaming service near you:
The To All The Boys I Loved Before sequel, which is called PS I Still Love You, is now streaming on Netflix. If you were yearning for a next chapter in shy Lara Jean and jocky Peter Kavinsky’s romance, you’ve got one! The first installment was sweet as hell (shy girl and hot guy fake date for some reason but then they fall in REAL love) & the second one is supposed to be a pretty-darn-good follow up considering how little territory has been tread in terms of rom-com sequels.
All out divorced-woman-moves-to-Tuscany BANGER Under the Tuscan Sun is available to stream on Hulu. One of the most relaxing films I’ve ever seen, Diane Lane is doing her darned-tootingest as she fixes up a Tuscan villa and tries to change her whole damn life.
Diane x Tuscany. We literally LOVE to see it.
I get a lot of flack for genuinely loving the Sarah Jessica Parker/Matthew McConaughey flick Failure to Launch but I consider it to be a genuinely well-exectued rom com. It’s got everything: a totally convoluted reason the main couple has to spend time together, completely ridiculous supporting characters (Bradley Cooper? The laptop guy from National Treasure? What are you DOING here?), and two big-name stars acting their toned little butts off. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
The Interactive Bits (Interact with me!)
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