Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 08, 2006
the "coolness theory of value"

Baffler magazine should emerge from its long hiatus, if for no other reason, to devote an essay to the implications of a comment by a Ford motor company representative, as related in a recently published article on the "flash mob" and the company's attempted coopting of same:

Ford was, a spokesman told me by phone, "looking for cool ways to connect with their target audience," at both a "price point" and what he called a "cool point."

The flash concerts idea, he said, had a "spontaneity and a cool factor that was attached to it."

The article is "My Crowd: Or, Phase 5: A Report from the Inventor of the Flash Mob," by Bill Wasik. It appears in the March 2006 Harper's.

The Ford rep's comment suggests the existence of a parallel economy where ownership of commodities, like automobiles, is transferred not with reference to the exchange-ratio of the commodity with the money-commodity (gold), or to the money-name of the labor realised in the commodity, but with reference to (exchange of?)(measurable units of?) "cool."

Disappointingly, while the Ford website offers me information on its cars' cooling systems, cooled and heated seats, and driver's side battery-cooling vents, I can find no instructions on how to pay for one of their cars with my earned, saved or inherited (or borrowed) amount of "cool."