They Are What You Eat by Caity Weaver
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past couple weeks in a unique vocational space that I so enjoyed Caity Weaver’s tour through the offices of Focus Brands, the company that specializes in the sort of culinary provides that are a mainstay of malls and airports, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, and Jamba among them. Writing for The New York Times, Weaver does an excellent job of deploying wit without mockery as she explores an evolving corporate culture. The brief consideration of the the fine art of cultivating a genially sassy social media presence for the brand is especially nice.
Springsteen at Seventy by Wesley Stace
And so the Boss approaches a milestone birthday, commemorated in part with a book of new essays, Long Walk Home: Reflections on Bruce Springsteen. This essay is culled and slightly modified from that collection. Wesley Stace, who knows his way around a stage from his time performing under the name John Wesley Harding, extolls the splendid showmanship of Springsteen, the commitment to the full, grand, glorious spectacle of a rock ‘n’ roll show. Springsteen can be easily disparaged by those who associate authenticity with an unpracticed amateurism (a mistake I myself have occasionally made when discussing Springsteen, usually when lamenting that he favors producers who layer on the gloss when I think the starkness found on Nebraska or The Ghost of Tom Joad can be a better showcase for his skillful songwriting), but Stace convincingly argues that one of the most impressive measures of New Jersey’s favorite son is the fierce, tireless approach he employs in service the concertgoers who stream into arenas with his name printed on their tickets.