Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lululemon and the Coles-Notes of Atlas Shrugged

"If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject."
 (Ayn Rand)

B y now most you of you have already been apprised of the seemingly misinformed Lululemon campaign. While I'm not really one to proselytize, I do find this particular attempt to hijack an idea quite funny. And to be honest, it smacks more of a Coles-notes reading of Rand than of a conspiracy. Oh Lulu when will you learn?? A book ain't just words, it's a whole world...each letter weighing more, meaning more with context. By the time you add up this book's words and calculate all their possible meanings, a single page can deliver quite the load. This 'John Galt' bag does not travel light.


  1. What exactly is the idea that's being hijacked? You don't name it.

    All I see in response to this story are the usual misinformed knee-jerk reactions coming from those who haven't the faintest idea what Ayn Rand really stood for - individual rights and rationality.

    It's very revealing how this can stir up such a strong negative emotional reaction in certain people.

  2. Hi Leslie, good to hear from you!!

    My comments were brief because i'm sitting here writing several papers with impending deadlines. I allowed myself three lines before I forced myself off the site and back to work! (besides I always thought I was pushing the limits of what's readable with my long posts...this, I surmised, was a step in the right direction!)

    But seriously, Leslie, my chatter about what Rand's 'objectivism' is, or signifies would be a thirty page paper. Or is Rand's philosophy really that simple? I remember studying Rand and feeling that everywhere I looked I saw a slippery slope re. the ill, the destitute, the disabled...
    And, you make an assumption that we would all agree to Rand's definition of the individual, and Rand's definition of that individual's rights. I'm personally not big on discourse around the individual.
    But then I belong to that subset of artsy bohemians that hang left. Plus I'm Canadian...quite proud of our Medicare system, decrepit and crumbling as it may be...

    But whatever people may make of Rand's concept of 'self-interest', I completely agree with you, that the emerging divisions are revealing. But I like a good thorny conversation. And I don't expect that everyone should have the same interpretation of this...or anything really. So thank you and keep it coming!

    But there is the nagging issue of Lululemon in all of this. They're the ones doing the pithy sloganeering. Shouldn't we be asking them to explain why they seem to have made a demographic blunder?? Maybe they could do something more useful in the world with their extraordinary visions than proselytize?? Or perhaps if they actually have something to say, they could write that paper on Rand and publish it. Anyway, I've always been of the mind that most slogans are assinine.

    all best and do keep well Leslie. Priya

  3. Regardless of what position you fall regarding Rand, stealing her slogan (or is it mooching) and plastering it on your bag without knowing that it's going to alienate some people is ignorant, and irrational.

    There are only two ways they can spin this.
    1. The next bag has an Immanuel Kant quotes on it.
    2. Say that they have been trying to get consumers to bring their own bags and that this seemed like a great way to have customers not take one from the store.

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