Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Life’s Really Really Really Rich Pageant Edition
Man, holiday weekends absolutely SUCK in terms of mocking the Sunday New York Times. Everyone is laying low and recovering from the casual racism and Obamacare conspiracy theories that drove Thanksgiving Day. Politicians have, by and large, refrained from causing trouble back in their home districts. Retail businesses reached new heights of excess for Thirsty Thursday, or whatever the hell we call opening stores on Thanksgiving, and then we had Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday and Sunday is probably feeling pretty left out right now, hmmmm, but as terrible as that was, there’s nothing new about it under the sun. So what on earth do we read and talk about this week?
Aw, fuck it. Let’s just eat the rich like we always do at this time. Let’s start by crying some real tears for rich ladies who are still rich enough to employ personal shoppers at an hourly rate that equates to a full day’s wages for many people, yet need those personal shoppers to find them bargains because let’s face it: the rich stay rich by fucking nickel-and-diming plenty of other people.
American women who can afford it are still willing to pay for personal shoppers and stylists who charge anywhere from $200 an hour and up. But even these enthusiastic consumers are watching their pocketbooks more than they once did, private stylists say. As a result, fashion advisers have learned to be more resourceful: shopping in clients’ closets, mixing Prada with H & M and digging out unused store credits.
Other things very rich ladies are doing, according to the people that are paid to shop for very rich ladies: a “ruthless edit” of their closets, which basically involves getting rid of your boring old Chanel that you never wear so you can buy newer things you may or may not wear; having a $25,000 clothing budget and really needing to be more sensible about how they spend that pile of money that is apparently too small a pile; looking at your expensive clothing just like an investment because you are a rich person and you deserve it, or something. So many choices about how to spend your oodles of coin. How do they ever cope?
They probably cope with all that pesky excess money by buying a $25 million “statement condominium.” We have no idea what a “statement condominium” might be, but we are reminded of Fran Lebowitz’ Diary of a New York Apartment Hunter:
“She showed me a room she referred to as the master bath. I asked her where the slaves bathed. She rustled her papers ominously and showed me the living room again. I looked disgruntled. She brightened and showed me something called a fun bathroom. It had been covered in fabric from floor to ceiling by someone who obviously was not afraid to mix patterns. I informed her unceremoniously that I never again wanted to be shown a fun bathroom. I don’t want to have fun in the bathroom; I just want to bathe my slaves.”
We do not need our condominium to make a statement, save for that it is a place that we live, but we are not stupid rich. If one does assemble enough money by wringing it from the bones of the poor, one can buy this statement-y building and get life’s crucial necessities.
The chef’s kitchen is clad in smoked Austrian oak with glacier-white custom Corian counters and lacquer cabinetry. There are two fireplaces, one in the living room and the other in the elaborate master suite overlooking the terrace. The suite has a windowed dressing room and his-and-hers offices, and its master bath is wrapped in custom Corian in the same pattern used on the unusual 22-foot-high sculptural gate that shields the five townhouse gardens from the street.
Well, OUR kitchen is clad in pitted thrice-painted sheetrock walls, which is the same pattern as the rest of the house, so there.
Contrast all this conspicuous consumption with a really depressing story on what it is like to support your family on fast-food wages when you’re in your late 50s and should be able to start mapping out your golden years instead of sweating it out over the deep fryer at McDonalds.
But as a fast-food worker paid the minimum wage — $7.25 an hour in New York — he didn’t have the luxury [to sleep for more than 4 hours]. At 10 p.m., he was up again and back in his car, this time driving to his second job, as a forklift operator at Kennedy International Airport, where he makes $13 an hour. Having worked all day, he was about to work all night: from 11 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. At 3 that afternoon, he would return to his deliveries at the restaurant. Then, at 11, he would once again drive to the airport.
Altogether, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Mr. Shoy would sleep for 13 hours and work for 44.
People, it is seriousfuckingly time to redistribute some wealth up in here. Before we storm the barricades, though, we should probably roll up our sleeves and deal with the opinion columnists. Maureen Dowd is on vacation or busy sticking pins into a Hillary Clinton voodoo doll, or whatever the hell it is she does on her off time. But oh joy, oh frabjous day, Thomas Friedman is still here to explain to us how the world is flat because you can get Twitter in the Middle East and also, too, governments can set up the same meaningless slog of government accountant-ability indicators that mean you spend most of your time worrying about your fucking accountability indicators.
[I]n Dubai, the government has set a strategy for 2021, and each of the 46 ministries and regulatory agencies has three-year Key Performance Indicators, or K.P.I.’s, they have to fulfill to get there, ranging from improving the success of Dubai 15-year-olds in global science, math and reading exams to making it even easier to start a new business. All 3,600 K.P.I.’s are loaded on an iPad dashboard that the ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, follows each week. Maryam al-Hammadi, 48, the director of government performance, strikes fear in the heart of every minister in Dubai because each month she ranks them by who is making the most progress toward achieving their K.P.I.’s, and Sheikh Mohammed gets the list. You don’t want to be at the bottom.
We personally blame Thomas Friedman for this export of the worst American thinking ever. Oh, hey, speaking of worst American thinking ever, what is Ross Douthat up to today? Not much. Just a thousand words or so that represent the sound of Douthat’s smallish brain rattling against the confines of his skull as he seeks to reconcile how he can love NewPope because Catholic, but hate NewPope because NewPope is a filthy liebrul.
Catholic social teaching, properly understood, emphasizes both solidarity and subsidiarity — that is, a small-c conservative preference for local efforts over national ones, voluntarism over bureaucracy. […]
And this is where Francis’s vision should matter to American Catholics who usually cast ballots for Republican politicians. The pope’s words shouldn’t inspire them to convert en masse to liberalism, or to worry that the throne of Peter has been seized by a Marxist anti-pope. But they should encourage a much greater integration of Catholic and conservative ideas than we’ve seen since “compassionate conservatism” collapsed […]
Let us bow our heads in secular humanist atheist god-hating religion-oppressing prayer and shake with barely repressed laughter at the idea that “compassionate conservatism” was anything but a cynical trope from George W and the equivalent of a magic problem-solving unicorn for Douthat. We are sorry not even remotely sorry that NewPope is insufficiently aligned with Ross Douthat’s goals in Ross Douthat’s mind. We’re sure that NewPope is laying awake nights, tossing and turning, rending his garments, hoping to recreate the Church in a fashion that most pleases the perpetually aggrieved and confused Douthat.
You guys, we just realized that it is the holiday season and that means that Ross Douthat will be writing about Jesus and how we do not spend enough time cuddling yet fearing Jesus even more than he usually does. Can someone please come wake us up in mid-January so we can avoid that?