Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Any club that won't have me... : I was surprised to learn that there were special VIP areas at several otherwise extremely enjoyable pre-inaugural parties. Talk about a violation of social equality: how can a party claim to want all Americans treated equally if, you know, the party doesn't treat them equally ? Why aren't these things stigmatized like skyboxes at ballparks? These events weren't even fundraisers, for the most part--it wasn't as if the VIPs had paid extra for exclusive first class seats. It was pure status rank--i.e., social inequality.
I see three possible policy initiatives that might restore American values to debauched celebrations:
1. Heap opprobrium on those who go to VIP areas in otherwise perfectly good parties. (It would be unfair to single anyone out. Like Jon Alter!) This might involve turning status striving on itself by suggesting VIP sections are where the losers go. Girls won't make passes at men who have passes, etc.
2. Create a second, tiny glass-walled V-VIP area within the regular VIP area--reserved for special VIPs who are above mingling with mere Alter-level VIPs. This would be a bit of performance art designed to emphasis the self-defeating, infinite-regress quality of mindless status differentiation.
3. Give an award--a sort of Social Egalitarian Oscar**--to celebrities who go to events but don't go to the designated "VIP" areas. ...
Pursuing option 3, kf honors ... Forest Whitaker and Natalie Portman!*** Also Jerry Yang, if he counts. ... I'm sure there are others. ... P.S.: I don't blame the organizers of these events. I assume it's some of the celebrities themselves who demand protection from annoyingly non-famous invitees. The system is to blame, I tell you. ... [ If they'd let you in, would you have written this?--ed What makes you think they didn't let me in? You really think they didn't let me in?] ....
**--Suggestions for names gratefully accepted. The Velvet Scissor? ...
***-- These distinguished celebs were spotted mingling harmlessly with mere attendees. Of course, it's always possible they snuck off to the VIP areas to talk to Alter when I wasn't looking! ...
Update: There apparently actually was a glass-walled V-VIP area for J.Lo. and Marc Anthony at ... Cafe Milano. It kept them from Jake Tapper. ... 5:34 P.M.
Good label! May it outlast the Israel-Hamas confilct. ...
For its use in context, see this
Marty Peretz post