Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2012 11:16 AM
Lance Armstrong has beaten cancer. For seven straight years, he beat every top cyclist in the world in the Tour de France. He’s also beaten every drug test he’s ever taken. But he coudn't beat Big Tobacco.
In tandem with the American Cancer Society, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others, Armstrong was a proponent Proposition 29, a proposed $1-a-pack hike in taxes on cigarettes that would have raised millions of dollars for cancer research projects. Except that Californians narrowly voted it down on Tuesday. Naturally, the proposed tax was vigorously opposed by tobacco companies, "who dramatically outspent" supporters of the bill as Forbes notes.
Armstrong leveraged his personal brand and platform as a healthy living advocate (via Livestrong) to help lobby California to hike up its cigarette prices, even changing his Twitter avatar to the "Yes on 29" logo. The Golden State is generally thought of as bastion of liberal politics so it would seem that tobacco would have been a target long ago. But California has lagged behind other states in hiking up the prices that consumers have to pay for their smokes, according to CBS News.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 16, 2011 07:00 PM
Gucci Gucci is a parasitically catchy tune with a (NSFW) video that has already rung up over 3 million views. The track is singlehandedly credited with landing the unknown and largely untested Oakland artist Kreayshawn (the self-styled 21-year-old 'creation' whose real name is Natassia Zolot) a $1 million recording contract with Sony.
And after pop artists Spears, Ke$ha, Lopez and Lady Gaga filled their recent videos with product, the anthem's chorus "Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada" is at once an endorsement, and an indictment, of commercialism in pop.
As Kreayshawn recently told Complex magazine, "It’s not really to say ‘F**k Louis’ [Vuitton] or ‘F**k Gucci.’ I have a Louis belt. Basically, it’s saying don’t let the labels make you who you are. Sprinkle it in there, but have your own style."Continue reading...