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I’m John Galt. No– I’M John Galt.



Question: Would John Galt wear Lululemon.

Answer: Yes– because it expresses the highest level of vacuous, self-fellating thinking for people who were born into the kind of cosmic good fortune God would laugh at, if A. it wasn’t so implausible and B. there actually was a God.

What does she…

…have to do with this









What’s happening here is that Lululemon decided to label their bags with ‘Who is John Galt’ as both a marketing ploy and, I think, a sincere belief on the part of LL’s creator that what he thinks matters to anyone but his automatons. Actually, that last bit was a disingenuous snipe. I’m sure his sophomoric musings on the meaning of existence and our place in it probably strike a chord with some people.

Here’s a snippet from a Globe and Mail article:

‘A post on the official Lululemon blog explains that the company’s founder Chip Wilson, who read Atlas Shrugged at 18, was inspired by its encouragement to “elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness.”

Read the post and you’ll have a good idea of what I’m on about. And this would be the crux of my discontent. It seems that most of us have lost the capacity to differentiate between wisdom and banal aphorisms, branding and actual existence. Lululemon isn’t a lifestyle– it’s a simulacrum of one. And in related news Rand’s ‘Objectivism’ isn’t a philosophy but a simulacrum of one as well.

Rand held that Romanticism was the highest school of literary art, noting that Romanticism was “based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition…”

If you can undermine a whole philosophical worldview with half-sentence quote from the author of that worldview then chances are she (or he) is someone you could probably ignore, right? And I’m not sure what I ‘object’ to more: Rand’s ‘philosophy’ or what it elicits from the Anne Coulter’s and Sean Hannity’s of the world

Just for clarity’s sake– it’s not at all a given that ‘man possesses the faculty of volition’ in the sense that Rand meant. And without getting all Brainiac about it Rand seems to have jumped the gun about all sorts of fundamental aspects of human cognition. Altruism for one, which she identifies essentially as a race poison and completely non-productive is generally accepted as being hard-wired into our psyches and seems to have had a great deal to do with our success as a species.

Interestingly enough, Rand hinted at some profound truths and in some ways was ahead of her time. She was, for lack of a better term, a proto-feminist and she viewed herself as an atheist– although she seemed to have a tendency towards a kind of self-elevating godhood. Man ascendant as it were.  The echoes of some of Nietzsche’s more distasteful and syphilitic conclusions about the nature of man run throughout her work– at least the stuff I’ve looked at.

But Rand and her erratic conclusions about the nature of man are beside the point. What this is really about, for me, is moderation.

I know, weird eh?

Clothes and what they transmit to yourself and others matters– I know this as a truth. But the same truth cuts both ways. What you wear and why you wear it is definitely worth considering and it has consequences as well. If you’re wearing Lululemon or Nike or DKNY or any number of other brands because you actually believe those brands enhance or raise your intrinsic value you are actively engaged in the kind of self-deception that makes ‘Who is John Galt’ a viable marketing ploy.

If ‘Chip’ (and tell me that doesn’t win ‘The Most Morbidly Cliched Name for the Creator of Lululemon Award) were actually concerned about elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness he would probably have moved along from his teenage crush on Ayn Rand and her simplistic fantasy-world populated by white, demigod architects into a world shaded by nuance and that aggravating tendency to resist linear, one dimensional solutions.

Shit with names on it doesn’t make you one iota better, it’s neither nature or nurture, man is both devil and saint and trickle-down economics are an excuse for rich fuckers to screw the poor.

Thank you and good night.



Posted on by tim in Fashion Bad, Links, Read

2 Responses to I’m John Galt. No– I’M John Galt.

  1. jess

    I’m going to be the first to admit that this post hurt my brain a little. Not your fault really, I just haven’t read Atlas Shrugged and it’s 3:45 on a Friday and I am braindead. Seriously, I’m yawning while drinking coffee.
    I feel like this “Who is John Galt” advertising is going to be lost on most of Lululemon’s customers. What 13 year old girl (lover of ridiculously expensive headbands and hoodies) even knows who Galt is? Seriously, they HAVE NOT read the book. Unfortunately, Chip is not elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness with some yoga pants…now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Marc Jacobs bag to admire that may one day make me feel like a better person (I’m kidding about the last bit) :)
    PS I once bought a Lululemon headband and I use it to hold my hair back while I wash my face…no one ever sees it

  2. Smashy the Aardvark

    It’s Lululeotarded.

    I find that ad campaign to be cynically ironic somehow. Distasteful, condescending, self aggrandizing, and hilariously pretentious. People who shop at Lululemon are too distracted texting angry messages to the people who “un-friended” them on Facebook to ever take on a huge book like that. Much less understand what “Who is John Galt” means. I bet they sometimes find themselves having some uncomfortable conversations on the bus.

    Poor yuppies….The irony of Chip’s “message” is that buying clothes with a branded identity attached is a glaring example of supreme mediocrity. Pretending to do yoga and advertising it by wearing stupid pants isn’t the path towards greatness.

    Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” struck me as naive. In her world of awe-inspiring, stoic industrialists, there’s no corporatism or built-in obsolescence of product, oligarchy or corruption.

    Anyway, hi there and I like your observations about this. This is the most attention I’ve ever paid to Lululemon in my life.

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