The closest I will ever come to a Marketing department is to have my university office one floor below one, as I do. I was bemused yesterday to hear a story on All Things Considered about the Marketing Department at the University of Illinois at Normal (irony ahead) that describe the department's decision to institute a dress code for its students: business casual is now mandated. I wonder how many other cynical old hippies -- I was sent home from high school one day for failing to wear socks under my sandals -- were chuckling to themselves, having read the lengthy story in the NY Times Magazine the day before on marketing genius Rick Rubin. That picture in the Times, now that's what I call business casual! I became aware of Rick Rubin when he revived the career of my hero Johnny Cash, but I'm not offering him here as a model, just as a contrast to the folks in Normal. In fact, I see Rubin as an almost entirely empty figure, the very American type Harold Bloom describes as "gnostics" in his book The American Religion. (I have my problems with Harold Bloom as well, but I don't want this to become an endless regression . . . ) But I wonder how the marketing profs at Illinois State deal with an obviously successful figure like Rubin. By having their students buy a closet full of chinos & sports coats, apparently. As a way of making them stand out from the crowd.