A private cigar lounge is a must. / Photo by Alex Brown
The Baffler,  January 30, 2015

Daily Bafflements

A private cigar lounge is a must. / Photo by Alex Brown


• Today in Billionaires: Unfortunately for the Qatari royal family, a city councilman in London has denied their proposal to knock down houses in order to combine two mansions into a “super-mansion” with “17 bedrooms, 14 lounges, four dining rooms, a swimming pool, a cigar lounge, a cinema and a juice bar.” A spokesman for Westminster explained that “Houses containing a number of flats or homes shouldn’t be knocked through…. We need as many homes in central London as we can possibly get.”

• Today in Upward Mobility: A new study by sociologists at Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell University asks, “Is this the year you join the 1 percent?” Apparently “there’s a 1 in 9 chance that a typical American will hit the jackpot and join the wealthiest 1 percent for at least one year in her or his working life.” But, on the other hand, “very few get to stay among the ranks of the super rich for very long.”

• Lydia DePillis at the Washington Post asks, Why don’t Internet journalists unionize? And then answers it pretty thoroughly: “One [reason] is the loss of leverage, with more aspiring journalists than there are jobs and an environment in which content is becoming increasingly commoditized. The other is a shift in identity, with a generation of younger workers less familiar with unions who’ve built personal brands that they can transfer to other media companies.”

• A Bafflements Update: the ship-your-enemies-glitter guy played the media, played it well. Did he even ever have any glitter? We are shaking our heads with a mixture of disappointment and respect.

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Further Reading

 November 6

As the old refrain goes, at Gothamist and DNAinfo the union made us strong---not Joe Ricketts, not his money, not his decisions and certainly not his “direction.”

 August 3

I was wandering in a smoldering landscape, knowing that nothing could be done. The decisions had been made.