Pity the poor avocado: in spite of its healthy fat, its fifteen minutes appear to be up. / Classic Film
The Baffler,  October 9, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Pity the poor avocado: in spite of its healthy fat, its fifteen minutes appear to be up. / Classic Film


• Fashion mavens rejoice: for all your trend-watching needs, the New Yorker‘s got the lowdown on “achievement beards” (think George Clooney, not ZZ Top.)

The achievement beard—a marker of triumphant lassitude, the victory lap after a long job well done—has been gaining currency in recent years among men who might like to move through the world noticeably unnoticed. It has become standard issue for an entertainer on the comedown from a high-intensity career: Stephen Colbert donned a seaworthy achievement beard during the nine-month hiatus between his first show and his new post in Letterman’s stead, and Jon Stewart has been growing one since stepping down from “The Daily Show,” in August . . . The retired soccer star David Beckham was recently seen sporting an achievement beard. Al Gore famously grew one a while back, apparently to mark the achievement of no longer having to run for office. The beard is a self-presented lifetime-achievement award, a modest way of underscoring what few people would dare to miss.

For more on the evolution of our throwback fashion craze, check out Baffler contributing editor Genie Williamson on the “mom jeans” phenomenon.

• Now girded with the appropriate facial hair, you wouldn’t want to be caught eating unpopular vegetables, so beware—the avocado is now apparently “overcado,” thanks to its ubiquity on Instagram accounts across the land. So far has the poor avocado fallen that it’s now featured in the heartwarming stories of old standby Reader’s Digest.

• The French government is out to convince venture capitalists that the country is so, so fashionable before its economy, too, go the way of avocados and tailored jeans. French president Francois Hollande treated international V.C.’s to a tour of the Versailles chateau and dinner at the presidential palace, hopeful to woo the investors toward their shores.

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Further Reading

 April 4

Official oversight commissions tend to perform all of the trappings of democratic accountability while rarely resulting in lasting reform.