Potato, pot-ah-to. / Wally Hartshorn
The Baffler,  February 3, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Potato, pot-ah-to. / Wally Hartshorn
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• Yesterday, Yahoo announced it intends to lay off 15 percent of its workforce—or approximately 1,700 employees. It’ll also be closing several offices, including those in Dubai, Mexico City, Milan, Madrid, and more. The company’s woes don’t end there; it’s also facing a lawsuit from a former employee over its controversial (i.e., bullshit) quarterly employee review process. Morale, unsurprisingly, is rapidly on the decline, and given Marissa Mayer’s track record (not to mention the company’s current financial situation), we’ll likely see even more cuts down the line. It looks like the company won’t be able to fall back on its usual strategy, which as Chris Lehmann reflected last year, consists of “pumping cash through its purple maw as its senior managers tried to figure out what the company was there for.” 

• With Al Jazeera America tragically on the way out (RIP), its digital team has put together a pretty fantastic collective portfolio showcasing their best work. Props for the excellent coverage—not to mention a creative, collaborative way of dealing with the trauma of mass layoffs. 

• Potatoes—once known for being one of the more cost-efficient ways of consuming calories—now play a central role in the weird art glut supported by the one-percent. Yes, that’s right—this picture of a spud sold for 1 million dollars. Here, Rhonda Lieberman’s words in issue no. 24 still ring true: “As the art world adapts to the neo-Gilded Age by recasting itself as luxury retail, the power of the purse has effectively vanquished the last vestiges of the old art world: criticism, and the aesthetic judgment that informs it.”

• Jeb! Bush wants to be your first

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Further Reading

 April 17

Or, put it this way: Paul Ryan went out onto the tightrope. The crowd, so long adoring their golden child, cheered. But a jester got the best of Ryan.