Walmart: hawking irony at Everyday Low Prices (TM) / Mike Mozart
The Baffler,  May 19, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Walmart: hawking irony at Everyday Low Prices (TM) / Mike Mozart
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• Today in apps: IBM has created a new foodie web app, Chef Watson, which uses “cognitive cooking technology” to suggest recipes that are, well . . . innovative. As Rex Huppke opines in the Chicago Tribune, the app generates “recipes that transform perfectly good and normal food into edible abominations that can be prepared only by people with too much time on their hands.”

• The first Bentonville Film Festival ended recently in Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. Forbes reports on “more than a few off notes” in a festival designed by Walmart execs (in collaboration with actress Geena Davis) to promote gender diversity in filmmaking. While ascribing “genuine enthusiasm” to the festival’s organizers, Ellen Killoran writes that

It was easy to be skeptical of Walmart’s intentions for sponsoring a film festival dedicated to cultural values not previously associated with the world’s biggest and most powerful retail chain, which is currently defending the largest gender discrimination class action lawsuit in the country’s history.

No kidding.

• Lifestyle and design magazine Wallpaper heralds the rise of the private museum, assuring readers that they no longer need to rely on public museums like, say, the Met. While Wallpaper does note one caveat, that “sometimes it can be hard to draw the line between vanity and genuine philanthropy, between the whim of one individual, and the greater good,” they leave the last word to Philip Dodd, founder of the Global Private Museum Summit. As Dodd says, “For good or bad, the privatization of museums is a reality.” We’ll leave our last word to Baffler contributor Rhonda Lieberman, who explored the art philanthropy of the one percent in Issue 24.

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Further Reading

 April 18

The truth is that while tech giants act with an authoritarian indifference toward their citizen-consumers, it’s increasingly important they are seen as liberal.

 April 17

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