Anybody remember Dadaism? Founded by Tristan Tzara in 1920s Paris, it was a movement of painters and writers revolting against classical art and literature. These revolutionaries reveled in the absurd.
Sophie Tucker (1887-1966), the last of the Red Hot Mommas, says, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better." What triggered this column was Joe Sharkey's story in The New York Times about "The Residence"—Etihad Airways' three-room suite aboard its new Airbus 380s. The description: "The 125-square-foot suite has a living room with two couches, a 32-inch television set and a refrigerator, a bathroom with a shower, a bedroom with a double bed, and a private butler." Is this marketing insanity?
In 2010, we spent 4 days in Atlantic City. Near where we were staying was a monstrous gleaming glass tower under construction, currently in temporary bankruptcy. This was the Revel hotel and casino with 1,400 rooms. It opened April 2, 2012. Revel is again bankrupt and will close in September along with three other casinos
Why would BMW send me a $3 mailing with a barf bag as the centerpiece?
Peggy and I drive a 10-year-old used Jag. It works fine.
We have no intention of buying another car—ever.
So why would BMW send me this weird, grotesquely expensive mailing?
Retailers around the country are whining because of Amazon. And why not? Jeff Bezos—Amazon's peripatetic founder—has aced the retail business. Amazon's vast inventory selection; ease of ordering; low, low prices; quick delivery; and customer service are marvelous. Consumers and businesses save money, save time and save the world by not having to gas up the car and physically go shopping.
In early July, Peggy and I attended the Bridge Conference in D.C.—a gathering of the world's leading fundraisers. Passionate professionals described how to save children, clean the environment, eradicate disease and feed the hungry. Thrilling! "Save the SS United States!" The following week, The New York Times ran a story:"Keeping a Historic Ship Afloat." For 10 years, the United States—completely gutted—has turned Philadelphia's waterfront into a slum.