Really. Who gets their name stitched into the breasts of their shirts?
Howard Bloom does, and I’m glad for it. Because sitting across a coffee table, I saw it and googled him. Turns out Howard Bloom isn’t a brand of shirts or an employer; it is indeed the name of the bloke wearing the shirt. Confirmed by google image and wikipedia photo.
Born in 1943 in New York, Howard Bloom is credited (by a wikipedia article) as launching the career of Chaka Khan and Stephanie Mills, and for doing PR for Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bob Marley. OK then.
Howard is also the author of a book called How I Accidentally Started the Sixties – a title so hubristic as to make me suspect he might also be the author of aforementioned wikipedia article and may be editing it on his open laptop as we speak.
Other published works include The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and The Genius of the Beast: A Radical re-Vision of Capitalism. Righto.
“Excuse me mate, but I was really curious so I googled Howard Bloom. Did you happen to start Chaka Khan’s career and write three books about human history, evolution and a radical re-vision of capitalism?”
Yes he did. And it turns out he’s not editing his own wikipedia page but rather writing a feature for the Washington Post, to which he presently returns with a poorly controlled smile of satisfaction.
The world is full of interesting narcissists. I think they should all have their names on their shirts.
Postscript: 'FUCK SUSTAINABILITY'
As the cafe closed and we chatted on the way out Howard stops to put on his layers. Jumper, Parka and Beanie: all emblazoned with his name too.
Conversation with a man who dresses exclusively in his own personal brand is, as you might imagine, something of a one way street. Regardless I found his idea interesting:
Fuck sustainability. Mother Nature does not build everlasting Edens for the eco-conscious. Mother Nature is a bitch. She’s tossed her children a major die-off every 26 million years or so, a total of 148 major die-offs that we’ve been able to count. She’s shocked this planet with six far bigger mass extinctions, six enormous holocausts of species.
Basically, at some point in the future, distant or imminent, we need to move to other planets and hedge our bets on this rock. Howard’s pretty serious about this. He and his mate Buzz Aldrin are trying to convince world leaders to invest in solar space energy (pretty much as it sounds – big solar panels in space) that will help us expand life to asteroids, the moon and beyond. It’ll also be easier to construct buildings in zero gravity apparently. Glad someone’s thinking about the long term.
I bet Howard’s spacesuit will have his name stitched onto the breast.