Code-X (5)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Codebreaking, Semiotics


Call this market/cultural category code: To the Victor Belong the Spoils. Call the category: Premium-ness.

Definition: To the Victor Belong the Spoils coding is about power. You’ve earned the best, and nobody can take it away from you. Brand a means to radiate authority — render your position at the top of the heap unquestionable.


Notes on this code: Authoritative, Powerful (“100% wool. Because the sheep have always done your bidding.”) Use of powerful figures like Gorbachev. Men half-reclining like Roman emperors; alluring women shown wearing jewels presumably given them by their wealthy lovers.

harleys wool



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Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based semiotic culture and brand analyst. He is editor/publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age science fiction imprint HILOBOOKS. In addition, Josh is co-author of several books, including (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) the family activities guides UNBORED, UNBORED GAMES, and the forthcoming UNBORED ADVENTURE. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT.