Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Scaling New Heights Of Wedding Absurdity Edition

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OK, before you do anything else today and before we really delve into today’s New York Times, go read the single most terribawesome wedding/celebration article the NYT has ever written. We’ll wait right here. Done? What was your favorite part? Was it the part where she had “Ophelia-like boots” back in the 1990s? (We do not even know what that means.) Was it the fact that the bride will just “hop on a plane to Bahrain or wherever just to visit somebody” LIKE WE ALL DO? Was it the fact that dude loved her from afar for 20 years and asked her to marry him on what was basically their first grown up date? Was it the fact that the bride has a sister who is a milliner in Beijing? How about the part where they spent their wedding night in “a tent lined with Indian saris in a bamboo grove on the Koch property” so they could be close to nature? Naw, it is probably that they believe they are stardust creatures like Woodstock or whatevs. Or maybe the fact that they LITERALLY PUT A BIRD ON IT by having “two interlocked starlings that adorned the bride’s head.”

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No, it was not those things, because the thing you love the most is that the bride’s sister’s actual name is Elisabeth van Lawick van Pabst-Koch because we can’t think of a more pompous-sounding name if we tried. That name is movie villain levels of silly.

The rich people that populate the Sunday NYT are our bread and butter, and they do not disappoint us this week, even though we will never top Sir William Elisabeth van Lawick van Pabst-Koch Sugarplum Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt or whoever. This week, rich people are going to buy a condo that isn’t stuffy at all, and is for “low-maintenance billionaires.”

[T]he small co-op is not awash in intrusive white-glove concierge services — may find themselves right at home, especially if they enjoy table tennis, outdoor showers and high-end cigars. (There is a walnut-and-steel Ping-Pong table in the great room, a Boffi shower on the roof, and a sizable humidor in the wine room; conveniently, the co-op’s anchor tenant is the noted tobacco boutique OK Cigars.)

Only apes and peons play ping-pong on regular tables, you philistines. Also, too, this condo, selling for a cool $32 million, has monthly maintenance fees that are “relatively non-stratospheric” at $5,223. Do not sit and figure out how many times your mortgage this is because you will cry.

It is Luxury edition time over in the Times magazine, which is apparently even more luxurious than every other week. We can’t even begin to untangle how atrociously luxurious these things are except to note that there are $20,000 bikes and some classic no-frills watches that you can score for only $15,000-$30,000.

Now that we’ve got that out of our systems, let’s go roll around in the delicious pile of schadenfreude that is Mr. law-and-order hero Bernard Goetz getting arrested for possession of demon weed. We live for this shit, people. Let’s also go be irritated forever and ever amen about tech people who feel sad about their tech so they have invented an app to make them more reliant on their tech but less sad about it.

The “Disconnect to Connect” meet-up was typical. The audience was mostly young, mostly from the Silicon Valley tech scene and entirely fed up with taking orders from Siri. “There was a time when phones didn’t tell you to do everything,” said Mr. Gordhamer, 45, as the conversation got rolling. “What’s work, what’s not work, it’s all become blurred.”

And yet, the problem may offer a solution. Loïc Le Meur, a French blogger and entrepreneur and the evening’s guest speaker, recommended a meditation app called Get Some Headspace. The program bills itself as the world’s first gym membership for the mind. “It’s a way to have a meditation practice without feeling weird about it,” said Mr. Le Meur. He was wearing Google Glass with only a hint of irony. “You don’t have to sit in a lotus position. You just press ‘play’ and chill out.”

Yes, we’d feel positively weird trying to meditate unless our phone helped us because fuck you we are tired of our phones telling us what to do. Thanks, but no thanks. We are creatures of the stars and we will only listen to what this bottle of bourbon tells us.

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If you’re not feeling enough irritation coursing through your system yet this fine Sunday, trot yourself on over to “SocialQ” where some poor soul bravely answers etiquette questions from some impossibly rotten people. Today’s most terrible question comes from some anonymous monster in human form:

A friend and I went to visit a relative at the retirement home where she lives. As we were eating in the dining hall, we were interrupted about 10 times by other residents who stopped to say hello (and satisfy their curiosity about who we were). Each time, our hostess introduced us and a short chat ensued. After a while, I began to feel annoyed with her for allowing these disruptions. I know she has to live with these people, but couldn’t she have handled the situation better?

How dare the other olds interrupt you! Don’t they know who you are??? How dare your friend not just rebuff them in favor of your no-doubt-sparkling company! SocialQ person handled this with more grace than we would, which is probably why we do not have an etiquette column at the New York Times. Here’s our advice, random anonymous person: eat a bag of dicks. You’re a thoughtless insensitive awful person. Your relative in the retirement home is quite lucky to have people who care about her enough to stop by and chat with the people who visit her and if there is any karma in the world you are rapidly heading towards dying alone. There’s OUR fucking advice column, bitch.

Speaking of columns…After a few weeks where they weren’t all here at the same time, the terrible troika of Friedman-Douthat-Dowd are all in the house this Sunday. Let’s see who wins this race to the bottom, shall we?

Thomas Friedman reminds us that he is one cosmopolitan dude and has lived and worked abroad for many years. Bully for you, Tommy Boy. Friedman engages in some industrial-grade dissembling this week, wondering why we can’t have nice things other countries have.

It’s not just that we can no longer pull together to put a man on the moon. It’s that we can’t even implement proven common-sense solutions that others have long mastered — some form of national health care, gun control, road pricing, a gasoline tax to escape our budget and carbon bind.

Yes, how on earth could we have those things? We mean, it isn’t like there is one party that is actually pushing for things like gun control and health care and carbon reduction and increasing the costs of being a dick who travels alone in your Escalade on the freeway…oh wait yes there is! And that one is in power, but is consistently blocked by people like Rand Paul and his merry band of nihilists. There’s a way to get what you want, Thomas Friedman the world traveler, but it involves actually telling some people to go hang, and you will never do that because you like powerful people far too much.

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Douthat is as predictable as the tides this week, turning in a column he could write in his sleep. Up first: casinos are bad and exploitative.

…casinos, whose consequences for the common good are straightforwardly disastrous. As the Institute for American Values report points out, the alliance of state governments and gambling interests is essentially exploitative, and the tax revenue casinos supply comes at the expense of long-term social welfare.

Take a moment to laugh heartily about Ross Douthat giving an actual fuck about how tax revenue could be used to ensure long-term social welfare even while you agree that gambling does indeed exploit people who cannot afford it. Now that you’ve had to swallow that bitter pill, move on to contorting your brain into figuring out how to get from casinos to pot. Mr. Douthat does not like the pot, no he does not.

Pot is a more complicated issue, given its essential harmlessness for many users and the crying need to lock up fewer Americans for nonviolent offenses. But one can support decriminalizing marijuana possession, as many states have done, while still doubting the prudence of legalizing (and, of course, taxing) its open manufacture and sale.

Whatever benefits legalization brings with it, it will almost certainly increase marijuana use, which has already risen sharply in the last decade. And as purely recreational as a joint may be for casual tokers, steady use isn’t always so harmless: it can limit educational attainment, and with it economic mobility, to an extent that mirrors the impact of growing up in a single-parent home.

So we shouldn’t arrest people for smoking pot, but we shouldn’t legalize it either, because some people smoke too much and get too chill to go to college. Got it. Are we going to leap to lamenting about sluts and their slutty sluttiness? Awww, yeah.

Perhaps these costs are just the price we pay for liberty, in the same way that certain social liberals and libertarians regard the costs of family breakdown as a price worth paying for emancipation from sexual repression.

Oh Ross, shut up and pack a bowl and go get – or give – a blow job, please. Jesus. It will stop you from obsessing so much over other people’s sex life and casual drug use.

You can’t talk about obsessing over other people’s sexytime without getting to MoDo, who is the reigning queen of that shit. This week, she stops worrying about the Clintons long enough to move effortfully from talking about a Pinter play she yammered about weeks earlier to the Murdoch trial, to Johnny Carson, and seems to use all of this affair-having to find someone to explain that affairs used to be easier and therefore way sexier.

Joan Bakewell, the 80-year-old former BBC presenter who had the seven-year “Swinging Sixties” affair with Pinter that inspired “Betrayal,” wonders how people can secretly frolic anymore.[…]

“Absolutely, you couldn’t do it today,” she added, flummoxed about how affairs work when you’re constantly pestered with cell calls and emails with “spouses and partners asking: ‘Where are you?’ You know, it’s impossible. I don’t know how they manage it.”

Yes, gone are the days where you could screw a famous playwright in peace. What has the world come to? Let’s go back to the days where there were no pesky casinos, weed was hard to come by, people conducted affairs on the sly like god intended, and rich people held their insanely pompous weddings in private. Let’s make America great again.

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[NYT]

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