In the middle of a panic attack or 11th hour deadline, there’s only one thing that helps with that horrible feeling that the abyss is staring back. It’s not Valium, and it’s not a warm cup of tea. It’s Duane Reade. It’s CVS. It’s Rite-Aid.
Don’t ask us why, but walking up and down the aisles of these drugstore chains soothe us in a way that the sanctimonious spirituality of church hasn’t done in years.
Meander past the soap, and the Willy Wonka assortment of cheap makeup and find yourself at the holy grail: the “As Seen on TV” section of the store, where Ped Eggs or Pajama Jeans can finally be yours without ever having to pick up a phone.
We don’t know what it is, but there is magic beaming down from those fluorescent bulbs. And we know we’re not the only ones who feel that temporary reprieve from the world when we walk into a store that caters to our cheap desires. Why else would New Yorkers be in such a tizzy over Westside Market NYC’s creation of a “man aisle”?
Publishers and booksellers are trying to channel mania for PBS melodrama Downton Abbey into book sales for new Edwardian narratives like Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and backlist classics like Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford alike, the New York Times reports.
Over the summer, Steve Stoute, the CEO of the brand-marketing firm Translation, went to Wimbledon with his friend and business partner, the rapper Jay-Z, to cheer on Rafael Nadal during the Spaniard’s fourth-round battle with Juan Martín Del Potro. With the match tied in the third set, BBC cameras spotted them. “The man is still here,” said BBC tennis analyst Boris Becker in his heavy German accent. “The Jigga Man, that’s what they call him—Shawn Carter.”
Where most viewers saw a star-sighting. Mr. Stoute saw a “tanning moment.”
Mr. Stoute, in his recent book The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy (2011, Gotham Books), defined “tanning” as “the catalytic force majeure that went beyond musical boundaries and into the psyche of young America.” That’s a pretty thick slice of marketing-speak, but the gist of it is simple: hip-hop has radically changed culture and corporate America.
And Mr. Stoute has had a central role in the transformation.