[Marxism] Really flipping out

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 9 11:32:03 MST 2007

August 22, 2007
Flipping Out

On July 31, NY Times TV critic Gina Bellafante looked askance at a new 
reality show called “Flipping Out” on the Bravo cable network, which is 
based on the goings on of a Los Angeles real estate company run by one 
Jeff Lewis. Lewis is a 36 year old gay man with Obsessive Compulsive 
Disorder (OCD) who specializes in “flipping” houses. Bellafante 
concludes her review with the following observation:

     Mr. Lewis’s houses look like the generically upscale ones found in 
House Beautiful. He doesn’t possess style; he copies it. What he does 
have, by his own admission, is obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the 
show’s producers, to their credit, do not treat his O.C.D. as if it were 
a winning asset, the key to whatever success he has had. Like many 
sufferers of the disorder, Mr. Lewis ignores the real mayhem right there 
in front of him, so fixated is he on the idea, say, that all the bottles 
of water in his refrigerator be stocked so that the labels always face 
him. This is a task dispatched to one of three assistants, from whom he 
demands formal, written apologies when they behave insubordinately.

     For years now, the comic detective series ”Monk” has equated O.C.D. 
with intuitive brilliance. We’ve long required a corrective 
interpretation, and ”Flipping Out” is it. Mr. Lewis isn’t a genius of 
anything. He’s just a delusional jerk.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/flipping-out/


NY Times, November 9, 2007
Assistant Arrested in Killing of Real Estate Agent

A Manhattan personal assistant fatally bludgeoned her boss, the 
well-connected real-estate agent Linda Stein, in the woman’s opulent 
Fifth Avenue apartment because Ms. Stein “just kept yelling at her,” a 
law enforcement official said today. The assistant was arrested this 

Officials said the assistant, Natavia Lowery, 26, of Brooklyn, made 
statements implicating herself in the Oct. 30 killing of Ms. Stein after 
detectives interviewed her and re-interviewed her in recent days. 
Criminal charges from the Manhattan district attorney’s office are 
pending. Ms. Lowery was being held at the Seventh Precinct on the Lower 
East Side.

According to the woman’s account, her tempestuous relationship with Ms. 
Stein — a punk-rock pioneer and real estate agent who worked with 
numerous celebrities — built from animosity to violence, the official said.

“It was that Linda just kept yelling at her, over everything” the 
official said. “They fought. It was like a continuous thing, like a 

Another official, Paul J. Browne, who is the Police Department’s chief 
spokesman, said that investigators followed a dual path of combing for 
physical evidence while conducting dozens of interviews with Ms. Stein’s 
friends, acquaintances and family members.

Investigators returned to Ms. Stein’s apartment to examine the door 
frame of the apartment and collect fiber samples from the carpet, while 
detectives from the 19th Precinct in Manhattan and from the Manhattan 
North Homicide Task Force interviewed Ms. Lowery repeatedly.

Ms. Stein, 62, a real estate broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, had a 
varied and storied career. Born in the Bronx, the daughter of a Jewish 
caterer, she was a pioneer on the punk-rock scene and became a manager 
for the Ramones. Later, she turned to real estate, working with 
celebrity clients like Madonna and Billy Joel.

The singer Elton John is preparing a memorial concert in Ms. Stein’s memory.

Citing friends of Ms. Stein, The Daily News reported that the real 
estate broker might have met Ms. Lowery when the younger woman worked as 
a secretary at the Rogers & Cowan public relations agency in Manhattan.

The News, citing unidentified sources, reported that Ms. Lowery had been 
arrested in December on misdemeanor charges of identity theft and petty 
larceny — and that Ms. Stein did not know about the arrest.

According to The News, Ms. Lowery had been accused of stealing a high 
school friend’s identity and using it to open accounts at Target and 
T-Mobile and to make additional purchases in Virginia. The charges 
against Ms. Lowery were eventually dropped and the case was sealed, The 
News reported.

In a phone interview from her home in Dalzell, S.C., Ms. Lowery’s aunt, 
Julia Carrow Lowery, 44, said a detective had called her sister this 
morning to say that Ms. Lowery had been arrested.

Ms. Lowery insisted that her niece enjoyed working for Ms. Stein. 
Natavia Lowery found the job through a temporary employment agency and 
began work for Ms. Stein in July, the aunt said.

“She always talked about the lady, how nice she was,” Julia Lowery said. 
“She was not nice to a lot of other people, but she was nice to Natavia.”

Julia Lowery said her niece grew up in New York, graduated from a 
college in the South and “comes from a good Christian family.”

“My niece is not even capable of doing something like that,” Ms. Lowery 
said. “When she gets mad, she is not capable of going into a rage.”

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