The new Bryant is as meta as ever—more a concept than a human being.
Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live By Jeff Jarvis (Simon & Schuster, 263 pp., $26.99) In 1975, Malcolm Bradbury published The History Man, a piercing satire of the narcissistic pseudo-intellectualism of modern academia. The novel recounts a year in the life of the young radical sociologist Howard Kirk—“a theoretician of sociability”—who is working on a book called The Defeat of Privacy.
Since he joined the Yankees in the latter stages of the 1995 season, a handsome 21-year-old rookie assigned a uniform number (2) that immediately put him in the single-digit company of franchise legends, Derek Jeter has been in the public eye. The most famous player on the most famous team in the hemisphere, front and center in baseball’s marketing campaigns and Nike’s sneaker ads, he has performed day in and day out in New York, New York.
When I first started looking into Wal-Mart as a reporter several years ago, what bothered me the most was the cynicism of the company. Gosh, we didn’t know that our outsourced maintenance people were illegal immigrants. Gosh, we didn’t know that store managers were subtly demanding unpaid overtime. Gosh, we didn’t know that we had a really bad supplier in China that abused its workers. Wal-Mart was always shocked, shocked, shocked.
I posted earlier about Joe Cortright’s interesting work describing the size, structure, and dynamics of Portland, Ore.’s athletic and outdoor cluster--firms that design, develop, manufacture, market, distribute, and sell apparel, footwear, and gear for active outdoor recreation. (Think Nike). Joe’s work shows that far from a crunchy West Coast niche activity the so-called “A&O” cluster now consists of more than 300 firms with a payroll, and employs more than 14,000 Oregonians, at an average wage of more than $80,000 annually.
Fernando Hierro—captain of the national team and Real Madrid, ardent Castillian—is approached by a ten-year old autograph seeker. What’s your name, Hierro asks. Jordi, the boy replies. Jordi? Hierro barks. No, I’m not signing for Jordi. Your name is Jorge. But my parents named me Jordi, the boy apologizes. That fact does nothing to appease: Jorge! Jorge! Your name is Jorge! Jordi is, of course, the Catalan iteration of Jorge. And the incident captures a mindset that too often prevailed on the national team.
Nike's cursed "Write the Future" advert, re-edited Jonathan Wilson: Brazil vs. the Netherlands a potential classic A new book on the darker parts of World Cup history Zonal Marking: a preview of Argentina-Germany Richard Williams: Kaka "could ignite the tournament" Dunga vs. Johann Cruyff Brian Glanville: "England's pitiful debacle" Jon Stewart interviews Bob Bradley and Landon Donovan
Nike's Cup-conquering culture For Lionel Messi, is context all that matters? FIFA's disgraceful "code of ethics" Martin Samuel: "when it comes to football, English players are not very bright" Should England look to youth? Who should Jewish Americans now root for? How Spain's madcap sports media sees their team now