Cartoon by Ed Stein from Colorado published on 16 April 2009.
To bend (irregular verb – bent, bent) to someone or something means that someone or something conforms to the power or influence of someone or something else. When I moved to France, I had to bend to a new set of rules and laws that were often different to those in the United States.
A whim is a sudden feeling of needing or wanting something. It suggest that what you want isn’t really important or necessary. It’s often used in the expressions ‘at someone’s whim’ or ‘on a whim.’
Millions of Soviet citizens were executed at Stalin’s whim.
On a whim, she decided to go away for the weekend.
When the man in the cartoon states that the ‘universe bent itself to his whims,’ he means that he was able to get or obtain whatever he wanted when he wanted it. The economy was such that he had no concerns whatsoever. His needs and wants were always met.
He also says that the consumer economy was tailored to his specifications. If you tailor something to/for someone, who make or change something especially for a particular person. For example, here at Greta Nord Alsace, we try to tailor our English courses to the needs of the students. In order to write this post, I’m using Windows Live Writer, a software that was tailored to edit and create blog posts.