Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Peter Stuyvesant ... a cigarette brand by British American Tobacco

True entrepreneurs have skin in the game. WE TAKE RISKS. There’s no safety net, no comfy paycheck, and there’s rarely a backup plan

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves. “The researchers said their experimental system could provide clues about the underlying physics of rogue waves—100-foot walls of water that are the stuff of sailing lore but were only confirmed scientifically within the past two decades. Recent research has found rogue waves, which can severely damage and sink even the largest ships, may be more common than previously believed.”
“Lord, make me pure. But not yet!”

It was some day for the little colony of New Amsterdam, that May morning in the year 1647, when a one-legged man landed at the lower part of the island, and stumped his way up the path that led to the fort. Not only everyone that lived in the town gathered there, but everyone on the island, and many from more distant parts. There were Indians, too, who walked sedately, their quiet serenity in strange contrast to the colonists, who yelled and shouted for joy, and clapped their hands at every salute from the guns. And when the fort was reached (it was only a few steps from the river-bank) the man with the wooden leg turned to those who followed him. The guns were silent, and the people stood still.

 "I shall govern you," said he, "as a father does his children."
Peter Stuyvesant "West Indische Compagnie"

Oh, that Peter Stuyvesant. He was all about luxury, high class athletic sport and international travel. The Concorde! Monte Carlo! Caviar!

Less than three centuries after the iconic Dutch director-general of New Amsterdam died at his palatial farm in today’s East Village, his name was employed to sell a brand of stylish, premium cigarette, still enjoyed today by smokers in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other counties, most being places Peter Stuyvesant had no idea existed.

The cigarette was developed by a German company in the 1950s and soon became associated with an international sensibility due to its ‘American blend’ of various tobaccos from different countries. “The smell of the large far world: Peter Stuyvesant” went the slogan in 1958. It was test marketed in New York in 1957. Stuyvesant was not the only Dutch historical figure to make his cigarette debut that year; Rembrandt cigarettes also hit the streets of New York that year.

“Stuyvesant people having fun!” went the jingle, accompanied by rigorous activity that might prove challenging for those enjoying one too many of their advertised product Dreaming of international passports and smoking ...

Dreaming the Beatles via Marginal Revolution: The author is Rob Sheffield and the subtitle is The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World.  So far this year this is my favorite book, in part because it stretches genres in a creative way.  In addition to being a study of fandom, celebrity, 1960s history, “how boys think about girls,” and of course the music itself, it is most of all a splendid take on small group cooperation, management, and the dynamic between John and Paul.  I enjoyed every page of this book, and learned a great deal, despite having read many other books on the Beatles.  Here is a typical passage”
The Beatles invented most of what rock stars do…They invented breaking up. They invented drugs. They invented long hair, going to India, having a guru, round glasses, solo careers, beards, press conferences, divisive girlfriends, writing your own songs, funny drummers. They invented the idea of assembling a global mass audience and then challenging, disappointing, confusing this audience. As far as the rest of the planet is concerned, they invented England.
A few of the more specific things I learned were:
1. For a while Stanley Kubrick was planning on making a movie version of Lord of the Rings with Paul as Frodo, Ringo as Sam, and John as Gollum.  George was to be Gandalf.
2. When the cops raided Keith Richards’s mansion in 1967 and found cocaine, they threw it away because they had never seen it before and didn’t know what it was.
3. When Paul McCartney played an acetate of “Tomorrow Never Knows” for Bob Dylan, Dylan’s response was “Oh, I get it.  You don’t want to be cute anymore.”
4. The French title for “A Hard Day’s Night” was Quatre Garcons Dans Le Vent, which translates roughly as “Four Boys in the Wind.”
The book is funny too:
I always loved this sentence in Our Bodies, Ourselves, the Eighties edition I had in college: “The previous edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves included a brief section on astrological birth control, which just doesn’t work.”  So much going on in that sentence, dispatched with no drama.  Maybe a shade of irony, but no hand-wringing — just a change of mind announced as efficiently and discreetly and decisively as possible.
Paul has a compulsive need to feed his enemies all the ammunition they could want.  The software of “don’t take the bait” was never installed in his system.  No celebrity has ever been easier to goad into gaffes.  I love that.
As Lennon snapped in 1980, after getting asked one too many times if they [he and Paul] still spoke, “He’s got 25 kids and about 20,000,000 records out.  How can he spend time talking?  He’s always working.”
On the revisionist upswing in this book are Rubber Soul, “I’m so Tired,” “It Won’t Be Long,” and John Lennon’s “God.”  On the revisionist downswing is Let It Be and Paul McCartney’s “My Love.”
Not for the unconverted, but I’m glad to see people writing books with me as the intended audience.  Here is a quite insightful review, in which Chris Taylor writes: “…it may be the first book to encompass the entire Beatlegeist. If aliens land tomorrow, and demand to know why we keep on pumping this particular brand of music into space, this is the first book you would hand them.”