Keep it at arm's length. / Photo by Yvette Ilagan.
The Baffler,  October 14, 2014

Daily Bafflements

Keep it at arm's length. / Photo by Yvette Ilagan.


• Customers who have recently bought the iconic Hermès “Birkin” bags (for $20,000 or more) are returning them with complaints that they smell like marijuana, or skunks. The New York Post reports that Hermès is blaming a “badly tanned” batch of leather from one of its suppliers, which causes the stinky smell whenever the bag is exposed to heat or direct sunlight.

• This one’s a few days old, but we can’t resist returning to the story of the “Dropbox Dudes” who tried to kick children off of a soccer field so they could play their corporate rivals AirBnb in San Francisco. (Via ValleyWag.)

• French economist Jean Tirole was awarded the Nobel prize in economics on Monday, for his work explaining “asymmetric information, game theory, and contract theory,” which regulators everywhere use to develop their policies. Unfortunately, James K. Galbraith didn’t get the prize, despite his work explaining the factors that led to the crash of 2008. Speaking of which, here’s economist Robert Frank in 2006 on why Galbraith’s famous father, John Kenneth Galbraith, never got the Nobel, either, despite being one of the most widely read and influential economists of the twentieth century.

• Last week in London, Artangel hosted a long and wide-ranging conversation between Baffler contributing editor David Graeber and composer Brian Eno. If you missed it, the video is now online.

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Further Reading

 October 11

The clowns are not only fundamental to our social institutions; they're literally in charge of them.

 October 10

A masterful narrative of the Greek debt crisis, Varoufakis's Adults in the Room makes a case for the revival of a humane internationalism.