September 2, 2013

The list of the adultress, the unfair headline, the "orgasm of life," the twice-seen movie, the arcane logo, and the corporate cult.

I'm no fan of adultery, but "Google mistress more into sex than 'love' and kids," trashing 26-year-old Amanda Rosenberg (who's linked to Google co-founder Sergey Brin), is an awfully unfair headline.

The NY Post has gathered its information about what Ms. Rosenberg is "into" from a lightweight blog post of hers titled "The 10 Least Inspiring Sentences on This Lululemon Tote." Here's the blog post, which has a picture of the begging-to-be-mocked tote bag. #1 on the list is "1. Children are the orgasm of life." Calling that sentence "uninspiring" — I'd call it a lot worse — is not taking the position that one is not "into" kids. The blog post ends with Rosenberg identifying herself as "a misanthropic Brit who lives in San Francisco and works in Silicon Valley," and "She's currently struggling to come to terms with Californian optimism and cannot believe someone actually wrote the sentence 'children are the orgasm of life.'"

Sounds about right to me.
I was in a Lululemon store the other day — just throwing away time while waiting for my ride after seeing a movie. (I saw "Blue Jasmine" a second time, on the theory that a second viewing would inspire me to write a blog post in the style of this 9-point list I did on "Doubt." But I didn't have that experience of details bursting out and themes connecting up that I'd expected based on loving the movie the first time and getting over an hour's worth of conversation out of it. Instead the movie on second viewing turned out to be exactly what I thought I saw the first time. Knowing the story in advance, I admired the sharp storytelling, done through expert writing and editing, but I didn't uncover any cool listables.)

I didn't know I was in Lululemon, because I didn't see that word anywhere, and I looked. I saw the logo, which I had to look up just now to determine that I was, in fact, inside the store whose handbag Amanda Rosenberg mocked. At the time, seeing the logo on the sign over the door...

... I thought "Omega?" (Ω.) At the Lululemon website now, I see:
The lululemon name was chosen in a survey of 100 people from a list of 20 brand names and 20 logos. The logo is actually a stylized "A" that was made for the first letter in the name "athletically hip", a name which failed to make the grade.
So... it doesn't look like an "A," and the store's name doesn't begin with "A." Is it supposed to feel like a secret club, like you're hip (athletically) if you get the logo? Is it somehow connected the way yoga is (sort of) religion, so replacing the name with a seemingly unrelated symbol — like the fish that means Jesus — delivers the vibe that you're entering a cult? Is it connected to "I am the alpha and the omega"?

I Google "lululemon cult" and get 218,000 results. "Lululemon's Cult Culture: Get Fit or Die Trying""
Lululemon wants you to know it's "elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness" and "creating components for people to live long, healthy and fun lives." But, dig deeper, and you'll learn about Landmark Forum, the ultra-secretive, eerily cultish educational series, which Lululemon employees are "strongly encouraged" to attend. Before you're in line for Landmark, you're bombarded with Brian Tracy motivational CDs and a book club that culminates with Atlas Shrugged.
"12 Utterly Bizarre Facts About The Rise Of Lululemon, The Cult-Like Yoga Brand":
The founder is an Ayn Rand fan and the company takes its values from Atlas Shrugged....
Wilson believes the birth control pill and smoking are responsible for high divorce rates—and the existence of Lululemon itself....
"A rare look at the luon empire of Lululemon/The story of a Vancouver business that inspires cult-like devotion":
Part of the initiation and training in the company, known as “on-boarding,” involves setting your vision and goals, referred to as one unit, “vision-and-goals,” in company parlance....

“You’re a whole brain, a whole body, a wholehearted person. You should be focusing on all these things. When your life is firing on all cylinders – so when home’s working, personal’s working, career’s working, health is working – you’re going to be great at work. It’s just going to happen,” [said  said Margaret Wheeler, senior vice-president of Human Resources (“People Potential”)].
"Lululemon: A Cult, a Phenomenon or Just a Great Brand":
Lululemon promotes its brand, its community and its culture with local events, some quite large in scale. In New York this September, an event entitled, “The Gospel of Sweat” was staged at Riverside Church inviting people to “Come together to build community, engage spirituality, and celebrate fitness!”
It's just a brand. Do you want your comfy clothes made out of cotton or synthetic fibers? It all depends on how much you sweat. Sweating sounds lowly, and there's religion(ishness) to elevate things. The Gospel of Sweat. But it's not religion. It's not religion because they obviously don't care about heresy.

And because Ayn Rand was a big old atheist. What's that "A" for again?

Which reminds me...

... do not commit adultery. It will expose all your old blog posts — and all your new movie scripts — to unsympathetic reinterpretation.


FleetUSA said...

It looks like stylized woman's hair

bpm4532 said...

I always thought "Do no evil" was a low bar for company ethics, not a high bar.

PETER V. BELLA said...

We live in the age of trashing and social media lynch mobs.

ironrailsironweights said...

100% guaranteed she's also into shaving. God damn it.


Mark said...

I'm surprised you don't mention the Lululemon accidental see-through-pants episode this last winter.

That seemed rife for Althousian commentary about the `look at me' brand consciousness and overexposure.

If you've missed it before, Lululemon is filled with potential commentary.

Stoutcat said...

Actually, it looks like a stylized Marlo Thomas hairdo.

Jim said...

I had a Randian counselor who had a very nice embroidered letter "A" on the wall of his office. He told me it was a reference to A equals A from Atlas Shrugged.

Inga said...

How weird. Ayn Rand and Yoga. How was Ayn Rand into children and religion? Cultish, oops now I sound like Crack.

I won't be buying any of their stuff.