The Baffler,  February 27, 2015

Daily Bafflements



• Today in Bespoke: Australian artisan Dan Bolwell charges $3500 to $6000 (AUD) for his handmade penny farthing bikes, just like great-great-(great?)-grandpa used to ride. The prices range because “the purchaser can inject their personality into the design by adding copper coatings, electroplating or gold plating, and choosing a traditional or fluoro colour and the style of handlebars,” according to the Age. “The majority of his customers are men but he would like to see more women climb aboard. Mr. Bolwell has noticed a certain type of personality is drawn to the bike. ‘It tends to be someone who is quite confident and quite creative.'”

• Scott Walker won a standing ovation on Thursday when he told the CPAC audience that “if we can do it in Wisconsin, there’s no doubt we can do it across America.” But maybe he tried to extend that Wisconsin-is-the-world analogy a little too far, when he boasted that he didn’t fear ISIS, because “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” (Meanwhile, back at home, Wisconsin’s Senate has just approved a right-to-work bill.)

• Speaking of protests: after conceding to German demands to win a bailout extension, the backlash among the Greeks against Tsipras’s anti-austerity party has begun, and it’s ugly.

• Today in Tacky: Tobacco giant Altria’s PAC donated $15,000 to the DSCC just two days after the funeral of the DSCC’s longest-serving chairman, Sen. Wendell Ford (D-KY), a heavy smoker who died from lung cancer. (Via the Center for Public Integrity.)

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Further Reading

 January 16

I lined up at MOMA for a close-up view of how the brutal business of global garment-making was to be cleaned up for aesthetic presentation.

 January 11

Enmity, rendered gamelike through this remove into the virtual, is the same as it’s always been, only now maybe even worse.