Skip to main content

Two books and one movie about sneakers

Image result for Michael JordanThe September issue of Harper's included a collective review of two books and one recent documentary film about sneakers, under the headline, "Joint Ventures: How sneakers became high fashion." The reviewer, Charles Bock, is described as the author of a forthcoming novel called Alice & Oliver.

The three works are as follows:

Where'd You Get Those? New York City's Sneaker Culture 1960 - 1987. Tenth Anniversary Edition, by Bobbito Garcia;

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture, by Elizabeth Semmelback.

Sneakerheadz 70 min. Directed by David T. Friendly and Mick Partridge.

I'll just offer one brief quote from the review here:

Nobody could know, of course, what was coming. In the Eighties, Reebok was the reigning sneaker king, thanks to a focus on women's aerobics. In 1984, Nike's stock was dropping -- the Oregon-based company had recently closed one of its New England facilities. Ten million dollars hadbeem cit from the company's operating budget, and Phil Knight, Nike's cofounder and CEO, was tryoing to trim his basketball operations. At the urging of Sonny Vaccato, the company's talent scout, Nike set its sights on the college player of the year, a charismatic, six-foot-six talent named Michael Jordan.

Good call, Sonny.

I've got nothing further to say about this. The Reebok/Nike thing simply strikes me as a nugget worth keeping about corporate/marketing history in the mid-80s.  


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…