Episode 352: Axel Foley Waits on No Man’s Pleasure

The Overthinkers and guest Jordan Harbinger from “The Art of Charm” discuss success, authority, and Coach.

otip-logo-podcastonePeter Fenzel and Matthew Wrather are joined by guest Jordan Harbinger of The Art of Charm website and podcast to discuss success, authority, masculinity, and the return of Coach and The X-Files.


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Your Panel

Our Guest: Jordan Harbinger

Further Reading

13 Comments on “Episode 352: Axel Foley Waits on No Man’s Pleasure”

  1. Redem #

    I keep thinking that X-files captured so much of the 90’s zeitgeist it will at odd in the 2010’s


    • clayschuldt #

      Possible. The Comics do an okay of keeping things in the current times.


  2. clayschuldt #

    I watched Beverly Hills Cop on Friday for the first time in years. I did it on impulse, but every day since then I have seen references to the film in every corner of the internet. Now I am doubting that my decision to watch was truly random. Is there something happening in society this week that is inspiring people to watch Beverly Hills Cop? Or is this a coincidence.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      Or is it data-driven, with Netflix and their algorithms deciding what we see and what we like?


      • clayschuldt #

        That is probably the most likely answer. Still, I wonder why now? These films have been on Netflix for a while. What pushed them into the forefront this weekend?


        • fenzel OTI Staff #

          In the northern hemisphere, at least, we’ve past the point in the axial tilt cycle of the median angle of light from the sun. 90% of the human population lives in the Northern hemisphere, which means many of us are experiencing the shifting seasonal climate together, which in turn means for 9 out of 10 humans the cold is off, and the heat is on. The heat is on, on. The heat is on, burnin’, burnin’, burnin’. It’s on the street. The heat is.



          • clayschuldt #

            I accept that logic.

          • fenzel OTI Staff #

            I know we’ve all been caught up in the action, but I’ve been looking out for you.

  3. Liz #

    Once in a blue moon, I listen to one of these shows. I’ve listened to a handful and I think they are wonderful. The exchange of ideas and the creative way you guys express your thoughts about everything make the show enjoyable. One of my favorite movies with Craig T. Nelson is The Family Stone. His role in this movie highlights maybe what a person does when he isn’t consciously trying to build or leave a legacy. Jordan was saying something along the lines of people who should probably be role models who neglect their unofficial duties to do it being more inspired in a way to lead. The character in this movie is building a legacy while simultaneously guiding as a role model. It’s so subtle, though, that you wouldn’t really notice with such an all-star cast. Thank you for providing these shows. I am really thankful to be able to listen occasionally to this type of entertainment.


  4. Andrew #

    Pete, I loved that you got in a mention of Jordan’s Furniture! I’ve never understood their business model. Why am I more likely to buy furniture after watching Imax movies and liquid fireworks? And if there’s a good reason for it, why doesn’t any other retailer do business that way?


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      I know! A few ideas:

      – It’s competitive. They are not only interested in you coming to their store, they are interested in you _not_ going to a competitor’s store. And they are willing to eat some cost to make that happen.

      – It’s like breakfast cereal: they are marketing to the kids, so that the kids will want to go there. Then the parents go there to make the kids happy. Or rather the parents will dread bringing the kids to a furniture store and don’t want to pay for a babysitter, so they go to Jordan’s because it has a play area at least it won’t be actively terrible, even if the amenities don’t affect their own desire to purchase all that much.

      – The side businesses themselves must cover at least some of their costs. Like, maybe the ice cream shop inside the store turns a profit, or maybe the trapeze lessons are profitable. Maybe the movie theater is good business.

      – Jordan’s has a ton of floor space in its locations. Maybe they are able to offer floor space at a competitive cost? The way the furniture departments are arranged almost like mall stores inside Jordan’s means that maybe there’s an overall accounting for space that is kind of modular – like if you don’t have enough furniture to use all the space you can slot in something else.

      – A furniture store is a pretty capital-intensive kind of store, with large amounts of money changing hands in one building. It might be one of the bigger kinds of businesses that can still be run enough by one person that the eccentricities of that person have a bigger impact on a larger amount of resources than on a store that is less capital-intensive or proprietary.

      – Jordan’s furnitures are all in suburban areas that are still pretty densely populated, but also dispersed (like, they’re in Warwick and Nashua, not in Providence and Manchester – or even in a place like Portsmouth. These are places where there is pretty good population density, but not a huge density of commercial activity in any one place commensurate with that. So there’s the Wal-Mart strategy that they’re kind of a destination in places that are a little bit boring.

      – And finally, maybe it has something to do with the number of times a person visits a furniture store versus the number of times a person actually buys furniture. Maybe the margins on furniture are such that it’s okay to serve 10 or 20 or even 100 customers for every sale you make – and it would be okay for one person to go to the store 10 times, but only buy one sectional, and it’s still a profitable relationship for you.

      Really when you put so much non-core activity into a store, you’re saying “I’m okay if people come here and don’t buy anything. I just want them in the door.” For what kinds of businesses does that work?

      But yeah, it smacks of a certain old-fashioned local eccentricity. I’m amazed its doing as well as it is in this era of brick-and-mortal retail deterioration. But I also love going there, even though I don’t buy much furntiure there.


      • fenzel OTI Staff #

        Also, maybe there are a larger number of customers who want to actually sit on a bed or a chair before they buy it, so they benefit from those people not wanting to go online. For now.

        I gotta think they absolutely slay on brand favorability. It’s hard to think of a business I’ve ever dealt with in my life that inspires the kind of fondness Jordan’s Furniture inspires. And that’s counting things like amusement parks and charities. Pretty much just ice cream companies.


        • Andrew #

          Thank you for helping me understand business. I think that last sentence on your first response is exactly the perception they’re trying to cultivate: “But I also love going there, even though I don’t buy much furntiure there.” Like you said, you don’t need to buy *much* furniture there.

          When I was growing up, it confounded more than it inspired, because I lived too far away to ever go there, but I always saw the ads on TV. I could never fathom how that made sense, but all the reasons you gave (which could very well all be true) made a lot of sense. If I ever learn the trapeze, it will definitely be at Jordan’s.

          Also, “shoppertainment” is apparently a term of art.


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