John Dee occultist as Ziggy Stardust

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Male Image as Otherness

He exists as an embodiment of an almost pure ideal. He is partly (in Christian terminology) Christ and partly Anti-Christ. He embodies the ideals of society to such an extent…

Black Crown: The Mysterious Elitism of Budweiser’s Beer Ad

Budweiser’s new “Black Crown” beer is for connoisseurs, the chic, and the style conscious. That’s the real message behind a new ad and information campaign by a brand associated with…

Zen by Design: How One Spiritual Idea Informs Brands From Muji to Apple

Simplicity — in the particular sense that we’re going to be talking about — has deep roots in traditional Japanese culture, especially related to Zen Buddhism. Yet it has also…

Conformism and Crowd Violence: When the Majority is Really a Mob

In the final weeks of the fall semester 2013 I asked the students in my “Introduction to Literary Criticism” course to read René Girard’s I See Satan Fall like Lightning…

An Alternative Economy: Michael Johnson, Co-Founder of SolidarityNYC, in Interview

Do we need to radically rethink economics, in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash? Or are their already working models of how to do business more ethically; businesses…

Strength, Spirituality, and Masculinity Against Materialism

“Make your nerves strong,” said Swami Vivekananda, “What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and…

corporate karma, an article on capitalism and ethics

Corporate Karma: Better Values Means Bigger Rewards

There’s a tendency to believe that values are an obstacle to “making money.” And certainly we can all think of companies that have no problem with behaving unethically for an extra…

How Some Creatives are Surviving (and Growing) in the Internet Era

We recently looked at how the internet, though a serious tool for promoting the work of artists, musicians, and so on, is, at the same time, undermining the incomes of…

Is the Internet Making Us Poor?

There are more opportunities than ever before for doing things on our own, whether its being an independent author or artist or setting up a company. Much of that is…