[Marxism] Brilliant dissection of New York Magazine

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 21 14:03:26 MDT 2009

(This is not the New Yorker, a somewhat less awful publication. It is 
instead an extremely vulgar magazine that tells yuppies where to get the 
best chocolate, etc.)

My ill-starred tenure at New York magazine was, among other things, a 
crash course in the staggering unselfawareness of Manhattan class 
privilege. Sure, there was the magazine’s adoring, casual fascination 
with the “money culture”—a term deployed in editorial meetings without 
the faintest whiff of disapproval or critical distance. But more than 
that, there was the sashaying mood of preppy smugness that permeated 
nearly every interaction among the magazine’s editorial directorate—as 
when one majordomo tried to make awkward small talk with me by asking 
what it was like attending an urban public high school, or when another 
scion of the power elite would blithely take the credit for other 
people’s work and comically strategize to be seated prominently at the 
National Magazine Awards luncheon.

Since decamping from that scheming hovel of status, I’ve tried to write 
it off as a ludicrous resume misfire, gnashing my teeth at the odd “Look 
Book” entry or wildly off-key Kurt Andersen column. But as the “money 
culture” collapses into a smoldering ruin, Adam Moss’s weekly catalog of 
plutocratic self-regard has become harder and harder to ignore. Week in 
and week out, New York sends out panicked instructions for scraping by 
when the cash spigots have dried up, and dispatches survival strategies 
for the equally deranging state of affairs where no one believes that 
the social hierarchies founded on the fancies of the paper economy 
command awed reverence—or indeed, should be permitted to continue at 
all. If conservative Middle America greets bailouts and the specter of 
slight marginal tax hikes kicking in two years from now with Tea 
Parties, New York has been hosting its own months-long encounter group 
for the super-rich laid low—the revolt of the “are nots,” if you will, 
protesting a world where they are neither especially elite nor powerful.

full: http://www.theawl.com/2009/04/rich-people-things

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