links for 2010-01-28

  • "I became curious about the dark side – racial images used in food advertising – and it seems I'm not the only one.  But what's more amazing is that all three of these icons are still found on packaging today.

    "It's just in the larger historical context – slavery, lynchings, beat-downs in Birmingham – that the enduring trend seems, uh, tasteless. "

  • "The Avatar influence was evident in the models' plaited hair. Set to mariachi music, the show opened with a denim jacket, moved into dark suits, then exploded into a couture rain forest of clothes. Models that didn't wear amazing, intricately crafted couture sombreros had palm fronds sticking out of their heads. With Gaultier's typical sass, a few models strode onto the runway with cigars in hand."
  • "That claim was impossible to verify. When asked, police in the area shrugged and said they knew nothing. "It's not like it's easy keeping track of bodies," said one sergeant. Osam insisted his daughter was no looter, that she set out with $70 (£43) – the family's entire cash reserve – to buy chairs, having estimated she could sell them for $75. The framed pictures must have been a spontaneous purchase. If so she would have been a lone shopper amid a tumult of scavengers."
    (tags: haiti news)
  • "Particular attention is paid to art dealer Axelle Liautaud, who has made it her mission to try to salvage bits of Haitian culture from the rubble (she is working with UNESCO). At the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, Liautaud sifted through wreckage in the hopes that the church’s murals, executed in the 1950s by some of Haiti’s best artists, might be pieced back together. The lost works include a famous crucifixion of a mulatto Christ and a Last Supper by Philomé Obin, a piece by Castera Bazile depicting Christ’s ascension over a field of soccer-playing youth, as well as murals by Haitian artists Wilson Bigaud, Rigaud Benoit and others. "
    (tags: haiti art culture)
  • "The reason is simple: being expensive is part of the point. A Macbook Pro is just as much of a status marker as a Louis Vuitton purse or a BMW. Being more expensive than another product of similar capability isn't a bug, it's a feature. But unlike that purse or that car, Apple products come with a kind of built-in deniability about the fact that they are purchased in part because of their class signals. Look, people love to demonstrate wealth; it is one of our culture's more singular obsessions. But a lot of people, for reasons of politics and decorum (and this extends to conservatives and liberals alike), feel guilty about flashing their class. So while they look down at, say, black urban youth for wearing expensive jewelry, they make sure you know where they went to college. Both are signaling, and both have everything to do with money, but one allows you to deny that you are so signaling."