Origins of “at either end of the social spectrum there lies a leisure class”

Just got this email from a very much alive Eric Beck this morning (May 4th) with the answer to the question in this thread about the origin of his quip. So Veblen does play a part in its genesis:”Hi Bruce;
Very nice to hear from you. Here’s the story. It is raining and many of us are sitting around Yosemite Lodge. Roper is reading Thorstein Veblen, THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS. In my usual smart ass manner, I happen to remark that there is a leisure class at both ends of the social spectrum. That’s it, apparently this caught on with climbers.

We have been in Bishop for 8 years. We go to Tuolumne often in the summer. Some of our favorites remain your old routes, Great Circle and Crying Time.

Eric and Lori Beck”

Bruce Morris

Social climber

Belmont, California


Ownership of the company, founded in 1973 and reportedly valued at about $3 billion, has been transferred to a trust created to protect the firm’s values, as well as a nonprofit organization

By Allyson Chiu

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard announced Wednesday that he is giving away the outdoor-apparel company — an unorthodox moveintended to help combat climate change and the environmental crisis.

In a letter posted to the company’s website, Chouinard wrote that ownership of the company, which was founded in 1973 and reportedly valued at about $3 billion, has been transferred to a trust that was created to protect the company’s values and mission as well as a nonprofit organization.

“Earth is now our only shareholder,” it said. “100% of the company’s voting stock transfers to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of the nonvoting stock had been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.”

In addition, profits that aren’t reinvested back into the business will be distributed by Patagonia as a dividend to the Holdfast Collective to help address climate change, according to a news release. The company projects that it will pay out an annual dividend of about $100 million — an amount that could change depending on the health of the business.

~~~ WATCH ~~~

“I am dead serious about saving this planet,” he added.

The decision, which was first reported by the New York Times, reflects Chouinard’s maverick approach to tying his business to conservation and political activism over his roughly five-decade career. The company lambasted President Donald Trump and members of his administration for scaling back public land protections, and even sued Trump over his move to cut Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent.

Several of Chouinard’s allies said that his move reflected his long-standing approach to environmentalism.

“It’s kind of crazy to say it doesn’t surprise me,” said Josh Ewing, who worked with Patagonia to expand Bears Ears’ boundaries while heading the nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa.

“I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the just unique and unprecedented leadership that the Chouinards, as well as staff at Patagonia, have put into conservation and climate leadership,” said Ewing, who now directs the Rural Climate Partnership.

Valley of the Gods within the Bears Ears National Monument. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

In 2021, Patagonia announced it would no longer sell its merchandise at a popular Wyoming ski resort after one of the owners hosted a fundraiser featuring Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and other Republicans who support Trump.

Patagonia, REI blast national monument rollbacks; ‘The President Stole Your Land’

The company has also pursued more traditional forms of activism. Beyond making products with materials that cause less harm to the environment, for years Patagonia has donated 1 percent of its sales largely to grass-roots environmental nonprofits, and will continue to do so.


Read the letter



HST and Wenner

NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Jann Wenner, whose memoir “Like a Rolling Stone” chronicles his life as the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine.


Jann Wenner Wants to Reveal It All ~ NYT

The Rolling Stone founder talks about LSD, not reading the magazine anymore and how the Stones now look like “Lord of the Rings” characters onstage.


MONTAUK, N.Y. — Rock may be dead, but Jann Wenner is still rolling.

The founder of Rolling Stone magazine always had a baby face, but he was never timid. His own mother told him he was the most difficult child she’d ever encountered. He edited stories with a red pen. He gave out roach clips with subscriptions. He turned a darkroom into an in-house drug-dealing operation called the Capri Lounge, as a perk for staffers.

“More than anyone I know, he’s always just done what he wanted,” said his friend Lorne Michaels, the creator of “Saturday Night Live.”

When it suited him, Mr. Wenner was a tyrant.

“I wasn’t raving around tearing up people’s copy,” he said, looking relaxed in a blue linen shirt and black pants at his Montauk home in August. “But I just would not take less than your really best effort. I was tough, but I was also super-indulgent. I believed in writers.”

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote Mr. Wenner a letter about how working for Rolling Stone was “like being invited into a bonfire and finding out the fire is actually your friend.” He added, “Some people were fried to cinders, as I recall, and some people used the heat to transmogrify themselves into heroes.”

That wild energy is how, in 1967 when he was a 21-year-old enfant terrible, he created a magazine that chronicled a generation, serving up a flambé of music, drugs, alcohol, sex and politics. It was, to use a Wenner phrase, “a king hell spectacle.”

Boomers may be a punchline now, but back then, they were groovy. Ralph Gleason, a founding editor of Rolling Stone, wrote that the magazine was predicated on the idea that great musicians were “the true shamans,” and that music was the glue that kept young people in the 1960s and 1970s from falling apart “in the face of incredible adult blindness, and ignorance and evilness.”

“I’m sorry to see it go,” Mr. Wenner said about rock ’n’ roll. “It’s not coming back. It’ll end up like jazz.”

Now 76, he has written a memoir (“Like a Rolling Stone,” out on Sept. 13) brimming with juicy anecdotes about friendships and feuds with the gods of the golden age of rock. He also dishes on the inimitable writers he nurtured at the magazine, like Mr. Thompson, the avatar of gonzo journalism, and Tom Wolfe, a bespoke wonder in white among the shaggy hippies. Mr. Wenner also provides an intimate — she may think too intimate — look at Annie Leibovitz, the photographer who started her career at Rolling Stone and who took the moody cover shot of Mr. Wenner for the new autobiography.

Credit…Little, Brown and Company

Mr. Wenner almost died in 2017, after he broke his femur in a fall when he was showing his son Noah how to improve his tennis serve and had a heart attack that required open-heart surgery. He had to give up his daredevil habits of skiing, motorcycle riding and chain-smoking Marlboros. He said he had stopped doing coke long before, labeling it the “nefarious drug.”



By Andy Borowitz

August 16, 2022

Sarah Palin speaks enthusiastically during a Save America rally.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s status as Congress’s most ignorant member is at stake in Alaska’s special election, Greene’s aides have acknowledged.

Greene, who has fended off challenges to her crown of dimness from such formidable contenders as Lauren Boebert and Rand Paul, will face her stiffest test to date when Alaskans go to the polls.

An aide to Greene, Harland Dorrinson, said that the congresswoman will be watching the returns from Alaska “nervously.”

“Ignorance is Margie’s brand,” he said. “Obviously, she’s concerned about anything that could jeopardize that.”

In a sign that she does not intend to relinquish her title without a fight, Greene took to the floor of the House of Representatives and accused President Biden of possessing the nuclear codes.

Why Is Ron Johnson Still Competitive Despite, You Know, Everything? NYT

But the bigger, more existential question for Wisconsin voters remains: Do they want to spend another six years being repped by a conspiracy-peddling, vaccine-trashing, climate change-mocking, election-doubting, Social-Security-and-Medicare-threatening MAGA mad dog?

Michelle Cottle of NYT, opinion of Ron Johnson running against Democrat lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes in the Wisconsin Senatorial race.