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Latest Blog Posts

by Rob Horning

8 Dec 2009

Image via BoingBoing

Image via BoingBoing

A study by MIT professor Renee Richardson Gosline (via BoingBoing and others) shows that people who buy “fake” handbags—those branded without authorization—sometimes go on to later buy “authentic” ones.

Gosline interviewed hundreds of consumers who knowingly bought fake luxury apparel, many at “purse parties” where such goods are sold. Gosline found that within two years, 46 percent of these buyers subsequently purchased the authentic version of the same product — even though other people could not necessarily tell the difference. Such behavior is another twist on Veblen’s thesis: For some status-seeking people, at least, the social power of luxury goods means that consumption must not just be conspicuous, but real.

That seems somewhat incredible (Felix Salmon calls it “astonishing”), but it fits well with NYT Magazine Consumed columnist Rob Walker’s contention that we are own primary audience for our consumption displays. We can’t fool ourselves with a fake.

by Allison Taich

8 Dec 2009

Twenty-nine years ago today, the world lost one of its greatest influences when Lennon was shot four times in the back at the entrance of his apartment building in New York City. His death came one month after the release of his last album Double Fantasy. The album would go on to win a Grammy Award in 1981 for Album of the Year. A toast to John Lennon, his art, messages, ideas and achievements.

by Matt Paproth

8 Dec 2009

On the first part of the Top Chef finale, which aired on Bravo on Wednesday, December 2 (and which will re-air about fifty times between now and next Wednesday), the final four chef-testants (love it) were narrowed to three, and I for one was sad to see Jennifer depart.  Like many viewers (the show is achieving record-high ratings for the network), I have been captivated by the current season, and I was sorry to see, in an otherwise male-dominated season, the last female contestant eliminated, especially given the misogynist comments of several cast members (Eli and Michael, particularly).

So now it’s time to place your bets… who will take the title of Top Chef?  Who will win the 125K and the… kitchen equipment?  A bunch of stuff from Macy’s?  A photo spread in Glamour?  I usually fast-forward the part where they explain the prizes.

Anyway, here is where I will be putting my money:

by Jennifer Cooke

8 Dec 2009

Taking Back Sunday make music for the mall-going masses and as such, they take their critical lumps. They’re not indie, they’re not obscure, they have a camera-ready lead singer and take up lots of rack space at Hot Topic. Anathema to lots of us PopMatters readers.

But don’t hate them because they’re beautiful. They also made one of the catchiest songs of 2009, the year that marked their tenth anniversary of slogging it out in tour vans and playing their hearts out all over the country and beyond. Give these guys a chance, and the infectious guitars and irresistible handclaps of “Sink Into Me” just might hook you in.

by Angelos Koutsourakis

8 Dec 2009

Winner of the award “Un Certain Regard,” Dogtooth is Yorgos Lanthimos’ second feature film.  Thus far it has received great acclamation and has won awards at film festivals in Toronto, Munich, Catalonia, and, most recently, Stockholm.  Dark, provocative, humoristic and twisted are some of the words that best describe Lanthimos’ film, which will be the subject of long discussions when officially released in the UK and US.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Discusses 'Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2'

// Moving Pixels

"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.

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