virginia postrel quotes


European nations began World War I with a glamorous vision of war, only to be psychologically shattered by the realities of the trenches. The experience changed the way people referred to the glamour of battle; they treated it no longer as a positive quality but as a dangerous illusion.


When 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' premiered on the WB Network in 1996, American culture was in trouble. Americans were bowling alone, pursuing individual interests to the detriment of the communal good. Business leaders were celebrating creativity and neglecting discipline. Nike's 'Just do it' ads were teaching young people to break the rules.


Rich people in poor places want to show off their wealth. And their less affluent counterparts feel pressure to fake it, at least in public. Nobody wants the stigma of being thought poor.


A lot of consumers actively enjoy advertising, especially fashion print ads and clever TV commercials. The nostalgic cable channel TVLand features not only vintage shows but also vintage commercials.


Although people often equate them, glamour is not the same as beauty, stylishness, luxury, celebrity, or sex appeal. It is not limited to fashion or film; nor is it intrinsically feminine. It is not a collection of aesthetic markers - a style, as fashion and design use the word.


Like the skyscraper, the automobile, and the motion-picture palace, neon signs once symbolized popular hopes for a new era of technological achievement and commercial abundance. From the 1920s to the 1950s, neon-lit streets pulsed with visual excitement from Vancouver to Miami.


Glamour is an imaginative process that creates a specific emotional response: a sharp mixture of projection, longing, admiration, and aspiration. It evokes an audience's hopes and dreams and makes them seem attainable, all the while maintaining enough distance to sustain the fantasy.


Apple doesn't need to maximize book sales. It simply needs to keep publishers happy enough to maintain an impressive-sounding inventory of titles while waiting for entirely new forms of publishing to develop.


Scientists appear most often in horror movies. Through childlike curiosity or God-defying hubris, they unleash destructive forces they can't control - 'Forbidden Planet's Monsters of the Id.


The SAT is not perfect. We all know smart, knowledgeable people who do badly on standardized tests. But neither is it useless. SAT scores do measure both specific knowledge and valuable thinking skills.


There's a popular saying that the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. Desire and innovation will trump policy, the argument goes, as clever programmers circumvent controls.


In Shakespeare's world, characters cannot trust their senses. Is the ghost in Hamlet true and truthful, or is it a demon, tempting young Hamlet into murderous sin? Is Juliet dead or merely sleeping? Does Lear really stand at the edge of a great cliff? Or has the Fool deceived him to save his life?


Like the rest of the genetic lottery, beauty is unfair. Everyone falls short of perfection, but some are luckier than others. Real confidence requires self-knowledge, which includes recognizing one's shortcomings as well as one's strengths.


The elements that create glamour are not specific styles - bias-cut gowns or lacquered furniture - but more general qualities: grace, mystery, transcendence. To the right audience, Halle Berry is more glamorous commanding the elements as Storm in the X-Men movies than she is walking the red carpet in a designer gown.


Cosmetics makers have always sold 'hope in a jar' - creams and potions that promise youth, beauty, sex appeal, and even love for the women who use them.


We know we need bosses and deadlines to help us get work done. But sometimes we can also use an external push to make us have a good time. In both cases, our future self will appreciate the help.


'The Matrix' is a movie that is all about glamour. I could do a whole talk on 'The Matrix' and glamour. It was criticized for glamorizing violence, because, look - sunglasses and those long coats, and, of course, they could walk up walls and do all these kinds of things that are impossible in the real world.


Barack Obama has brought glamour back to American politics - not the faux glamour-by-association of campaigning with movie stars or sailing with the Kennedys, but the real thing. The candidate himself is glamorous. Audiences project onto him the personal qualities and political positions they want in a president.


On the Net, the bell curve reclaims its tails. The uncommon is as accessible as the common. The very fragmentation of the Internet allows us to find ourselves in other people - and to know that we are not alone.


The Dallas model, prominent in the South and Southwest, sees a growing population as a sign of urban health. Cities liberally permit housing construction to accommodate new residents. The Los Angeles model, common on the West Coast and in the Northeast Corridor, discourages growth by limiting new housing.


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