quiddities and agonies of the ruling class - a rolling new york times thread

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little orphan annie back there

ultra-generic sub-noize persona (Matt P), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

^yea srsly i didnt even notice that at first

johnny crunch, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

guys do you realize what this means? the economic crisis is even affecting rich people! this means it is really newsworthy!! it's like when straight people started getting hiv!!!

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

what's a quiddity?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

think of the barefoot girls laying on dogs on the porches of brick homes in silver spring, md. x-post

ultra-generic sub-noize persona (Matt P), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

“I feel as if I am finally at home,” she exclaimed as soon as we moved into the house. She could settle down and do the things she had always been best at: making a new home, nurturing her children and loving me.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

But eventually:

The frosted-crystal shade on a beloved Italian floor lamp was cracked. The dog had gnawed the leg on her Biedermeier chair.

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

The Khaki Class

man, i love collages (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thread of ;_;

Dom P's Rusty Nuts (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

I can't really join in on any rich-people schadenfreude here, because it sounds to me like this guy is not of some far-distant social class, and the $4k alimony/child-support + take-home of $2.75k equation actually does sound pretty rough to me -- what's weird about it is to read the contention that this felt like a natural situation to wind up falling into; I suppose at that age and social situation it might, but of the many people I know who take home around that much money a month, I can surely tell you that not that many of them expect homes on it, and I'm not even just talking about the ones in New York.

nabisco, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

I mean, judging by that equation we might estimate an income in the general neighborhood of $100k a year, which is certainly pleasant but not some sort of distant class of wealth and privilege whose travails I might comfortably laugh at.

nabisco, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

On one hand -- ugh, fuck this guy.

On the other hand, I have to give him credit for a little reality check. I just paid off the last of my credit card debt and I have a fixed rate mortgage, so I need to quit waking up at 4 a.m. and worrying about money.

On the 3rd hand, nice work of him to pull his story together and sell it to W.W. Norton.

resistance is feudal (WmC), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

you've got three hands? surely you can swing a book deal out of that.

macaulay culkin's bukkake shocker (bug), Friday, 15 May 2009 00:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's true, nabisco - he never really was that rich, especially by the standards of the new york times - but he sure lives and writes like he is. which is of course where the trouble started. getting a monthly keelhaul from the ex didn't help, either - i wonder if he writes about that in his book? - but i think this man's most basic problem was imagining that a take-home of $2500 monthly was enough to buy a half-mil pile. it's enough to make a casual reader think that the financial crisis really is a result of damn fools like him. in any case, this thread isn't for schadenfreude per se - but don't let that stop you - it's a record of what kinds of voices the new york times tends to lean on.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

i'm struck by his weaselly evasion of responsibility - despite the mea culpa undertones, he makes his wonderful new lady friend sound like a spendthrift bitch and says that his total lack of financial awareness was a symptom of the "same infection" that brought low the titans of industry. fat chance, ed.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

i think this man's most basic problem was imagining that a take-home of $2500 monthly was enough to buy a half-mil pile

not enough OTM in the world for this

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Friday, 15 May 2009 01:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

loooool @ tracer hand: voice of the underclass

(Palm) springs sprungs (Lamp), Friday, 15 May 2009 01:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

I had assumed we would start by renting a house or an apartment, but it quickly became clear that it was almost easier to borrow a half-million dollars and buy something.

languid samuel l. jackson (jim), Friday, 15 May 2009 01:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

n.e.way: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/garden/14aaron.html

ny times does seem to have a thing for pictures of the sprawled daughters of the leisure class in front of their itlianate mansions

(Palm) springs sprungs (Lamp), Friday, 15 May 2009 01:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

sorry Lamp i missed the part where you had a point

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 09:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

my takeaway from this article is that our "elite" journos are often just as ignorant and greedy as the rest of us humps -- not to mention that i feel a bit smug seeing how shitty the media's coverage of the whole real estate/subprime mess was.

Pull Slinky and Make Me Fart (Eisbaer), Friday, 15 May 2009 14:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

The Khaki Class

lol South

"the whale saw her" (gabbneb), Friday, 15 May 2009 14:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't know crap about this guy, nor do i care, BUT

when i was 22 i dated this very cute but not-very-smart guy. it was long distance, so we wrote a lot of letters (this was in the lol 90s). in one letter he told me that being with me made him feel "quidity". i smugly laughed a little because i figured that he meant "tranquility" and wow was this guy adorable for not being able to use a dictionary. then i looked up the word "quidity" and realized that it was real (although not what he meant, i am 100% sure)

this thread is the first time i have ever actually seen anyone use this word. the end.

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 15 May 2009 14:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

maybe he was like "wow she thinks my made-up word means something.. what a dim-bulb"

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 15:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

what do you think he actually meant?

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 15:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

pretty sure he meant tranquility, like comfort (i remember this from context, but really this was a long time ago and i can't remember much about the situation aside from this strange misused word)

figgy pudding (La Lechera), Friday, 15 May 2009 15:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

Megan McArdle on the piece. Judge for yourself.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

Actually I kind of like her points?

But not someone who should be dead anyway (Laurel), Friday, 15 May 2009 16:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

ya i mean... not really sure why this piece is as contempt-worthy as some are making it out to be. it's kind of brutally depressing.

s1ocki, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

It is in a 'there-but-for' sense for sure. Not that I was ever going to try and be an economics reporter for the NY Times, but as time has passed I'm beginning to think the soundest piece of advice I've ever received in regard to writing was something J. D. Considine told me years ago -- 1993 or so -- in response to a random e-mail or two I sent him. He pretty much said, "Freelancing and journalism is very hard work and you should only pursue it on a full-time basis if you are willing to stick to that level." I'm honestly glad I heeded that and I think what you see in both pieces, regardless of whatever else feeds into their respective situations, reflects that.

At the same time, I'm trying to put my finger on what still jars about McArdle's response and it seems to be this sense of keeping up with the Joneses as paramount driving factor/potential excuse. At what point is leisure travelling to Europe, for instance, a 'minimum necessity' -- and I speak as one who's been there a number of times now. Still, I realize it's a sliding scale, says the person who has participated in a CSA thing with a local farmer for some years now.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

Literal translation: quiddity = whatness

anatol_merklich, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ned, I read her response as being more about the foolhardiness of ever thinking ANY of those things are necessities. She seems to be (gently) chiding that whole tendency?

But not someone who should be dead anyway (Laurel), Friday, 15 May 2009 16:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yah... she's just sayin' that you hang with people for whom this is true, you wake up with fleas

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Friday, 15 May 2009 17:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

I think maybe something to add to McArdle's response is that we have this general cultural tendency to view attention as somehow related to money, a connection that really falls apart when it comes to writers of all sorts -- it's very easy to withhold sympathy from people writing about their woes in public, as if they're coming from a position of privilege or just courting attention, but in plenty of cases they don't have much concrete privilege and writing about their experiences is just, you know, work.

he never really was that rich, especially by the standards of the new york times - but he sure lives and writes like he is. which is of course where the trouble started. getting a monthly keelhaul from the ex didn't help, either - i wonder if he writes about that in his book? - but i think this man's most basic problem was imagining that a take-home of $2500 monthly was enough to buy a half-mil pile.

Yeah, exactly -- although if I had to summarize a problem here it would basically be that a middle-aged family-man homeowner with a decent salary expected to continue living like a middle-aged family-man homeowner with a decent salary, even after a divorce that meant the bulk of his income was going to support a family home occupied by other people. This is an unrealistic and dumb expectation to seriously act on -- you'd think that $4k would be a good monthly reminder that situations done changed -- but I can totally have sympathy for the situation itself; that would suck. It would be painful to have to support the family home you used to live in and have to support yourself and your new family on a fraction of what you're earning.

nabisco, Friday, 15 May 2009 17:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

The other thing is that -- while he can't and doesn't come out and say this directly -- his one list of charges makes me suspect a bunch of money was getting borrowed to maintain a certain lifestyle for the kids

nabisco, Friday, 15 May 2009 18:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thought he said that very directly just by listing all those expenses! (I note though that he does seem to say even more directly that his wife did that too.)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 May 2009 18:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

Haha yeah, I guess the unsayable "direct" thing I had in mind was like "these KIDS were bankrupting us (that's right, Alex, I'm talking about you)"

I was going to jump past boggling at the beach house rental and wonder about the $700 at J. Crew, but I guess if you needed, like, one good suit and some decent sweaters for Christmas presents ... the world really does hold you to your socio-economic status, doesn't it -- even beyond nobody wanting to be the guy who gets divorced and suddenly has to start showing up to work in cheap suits, it'd be tough to be the guy making $100k who's like "I got you a candy bar for Christmas!"

nabisco, Friday, 15 May 2009 18:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah the erm narrative here is anyways at least partly "but banking professionals who should be my Friends and Advisors assured us it would be alright!"?

However fishy such blanket blame is in general, I'm not sure it's entirely misplaced re how things rolled out this cycle. At one point around 2006, I momentarily had a crazy amount of money in my account due to family property reorg stuff, and was by phone promptly invited to an "advisement meeting" with a dude at my bank, who tried to convince me he had the correct %ages I should place my assets in (all mediated by said bank, obv). (I still was in net debt though!) I was all very cynical and noncommittal, which is not due to my deep insight or anything, just because my current boss worked in a bank in the early 00s and has spilled much shit on how those outfits operate(d?). (My fave morsel: the guys who construct the deals don't actually inform the salespeople abt all potential downsides and builtin fees, as this may hurt their sales!)

I don't think this guy deserves much point-and-laugh, btw, though it is obv somewhat funny he writes on economics.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 15 May 2009 18:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

I don't know that that's a big surface narrative, given the "I wasn't duped" and the bit about how a banking professional's refinancing maneuvers actually worked to carve down some debt

nabisco, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's about even someone who should have known better made some really dumb mistakes, which is always a story worth telling imo

s1ocki, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

Literal translation: quiddity = whatness

A weird thing about "quiddity" is that the first definition, "essence", seems to be the opposite of the second definition, "a trifling point". So it can either refer to the essence of something or a minor, trifling detail? Confusing. I have a feeling that it's a word that's rarely used correctly.

o. nate, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

my point is that there are hundreds of thousands of people with stories just like this who don't write for the new york times and have six-figure salaries who are perhaps just a leeetle more representative of the mortgage fallout going on right now - my pointing and laughing is at the editors, not this poor schmuck

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

well, they wanted a personal, first-perosn story, so going with a new york times writer... kinda makes sense, no?

s1ocki, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

he will die at some point

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

can't write about that tho

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

That's a fair point, Tracer, but the fact that the Times can be willfully class-blind is hardly news to anyone who's ever read the Style section, for instance.

o. nate, Friday, 15 May 2009 19:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

what is sadder loss or death

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

conceptually, I mean

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

loss is a kind of death, when u think about it??

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

imagine in that picture that the dog is dead but the money is lost

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

(maybe one for the gentrification thread, but it's NYT specific, so...)

sisterhood of the baggering vance (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 3 May 2016 23:15 (seven months ago) Permalink

I read that link at first as "WHY nyt real estate stories..." and was intrigued.

Life is a series of disappointments.

bothan zulu (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 4 May 2016 03:04 (seven months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/a28600/amanda-chantal-bacon-moon-juice-food-diary/

clickhole getting predictable these days tbh

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 20 May 2016 23:17 (six months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

a rare edition of "the hunt" that feels like what hunting for an apartment in new york feels like for most people
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/24/realestate/a-bed-stuy-apartment-well-known-terrain.html

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Friday, 22 July 2016 15:05 (four months ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

my "NY Today" email opens:

Good morning on this meh Friday.

wtf is that supposed to mean?

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Friday, 19 August 2016 16:59 (three months ago) Permalink

"Meh Friday" is traditionally observed in the Hamptons. Tinged with melancholy, it is the 2nd-to-last Friday before Labor Day, and therefore the final weekend before you have to start thinking about packing things up for the summer.

Mike Pence shakes his head and mouths the word ‘no’ (tipsy mothra), Friday, 19 August 2016 17:20 (three months ago) Permalink

Mom and Dad's $400k plus a program meant for people who can't afford homes in NY = success
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/realestate/an-unexpected-route-to-williamsburg.html?_r=0

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Friday, 19 August 2016 17:25 (three months ago) Permalink

v good tipsy

le Histoire du Edgy Miley (difficult listening hour), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:15 (three months ago) Permalink

“Throwing my money away in rent was making me nauseous.”

i have heard this tone deaf mess in conversations w other 20 somethings and in every case it was in a convo about acquisition of real estate via mom & dad, either outright or via "help with a downpayment" a la this profile. not sure if it's meant to be a justification/guilt-driven rationalization for accepting a gift of this size or what.

geometry-stabilized craft (art), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink

also, i mean, come on...

She decided to find out what $400,000 would buy elsewhere in Brooklyn. “I am a person who can make a lot out of nothing,”

geometry-stabilized craft (art), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:25 (three months ago) Permalink

makin' love makin' love
(out of nothing at all)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:25 (three months ago) Permalink

bwahahaha xp

mh, Friday, 19 August 2016 18:27 (three months ago) Permalink

feel like you may not be joking tipsy

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:32 (three months ago) Permalink

400k in nyc might feel like nothing if you grew up scion of the owner of an 8 mil brownstone
but in that hypothetical, said scion is of course fooling themselves.

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Friday, 19 August 2016 18:34 (three months ago) Permalink

the human protags of this article are literally named the Funds.

geometry-stabilized craft (art), Monday, 22 August 2016 15:54 (three months ago) Permalink

candid photo of mr fund:

geometry-stabilized craft (art), Monday, 22 August 2016 15:55 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/movies/nitehawk-to-open-a-second-cinema-in-brooklyn.html
I am the prime demo for this place and even so:

“We had to decide, do we build condos or do we save Brooklyn?” said Mr. Hidary, who is from Midwood. “So we saved Brooklyn.”

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Thursday, 8 September 2016 06:22 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

lol at the punchline. "N. GREGORY MANKIW is a professor of economics at Harvard."

yolo mostly (sleepingbag), Saturday, 22 October 2016 16:14 (one month ago) Permalink

"That is indeed lamentable."

jmm, Saturday, 22 October 2016 16:21 (one month ago) Permalink

In 2009, while the economy was suffering through the Great Recession, Mr. Leno, a car enthusiast, generously performed two free “Comedy Stimulus” shows for unemployed workers near Detroit.

Yet zero is not, as economists put it, the equilibrium price to see a live performance by Jay Leno. Some of the unemployed who received free tickets tried to turn around and sell them on eBay for about $800. When Mr. Leno learned about this, he objected, and eBay agreed to take down offers to resell the tickets.

well this doesn't seem like Leno at all

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 22 October 2016 16:43 (one month ago) Permalink

paying $800 to see Jay Leno makes me think some people are from the alternate universe where that seems like a good idea

mh 😏, Saturday, 22 October 2016 16:55 (one month ago) Permalink

there are many punchlines in that article

rip my mensches (s.clover), Monday, 24 October 2016 08:07 (one month ago) Permalink

His entire career is based on saying "The price is the right price because it's the price someone paid which is good" over and over again.

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Monday, 24 October 2016 14:55 (one month ago) Permalink

"It sucks that you can't afford these tickets. Yet there is another way to view the situation, which is that I can afford them!"

jmm, Monday, 24 October 2016 15:04 (one month ago) Permalink

He has previously written a paper called "Defending the One Percent" and was an adviser to Romney and to Dubya.

curmudgeon, Monday, 24 October 2016 15:40 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah he's a big name in apologetics for the wealthy

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Monday, 24 October 2016 15:41 (one month ago) Permalink

That article points out the astonishing fact that when there's a limited supply of something that lots of people find desirable, then the wealthiest people hog it all for themselves. Which is an extremely fair system, because some people having lots of money when other people have very little money is just the way it is, so like it or lump it.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Monday, 24 October 2016 17:23 (one month ago) Permalink

his big solution is for them to just raise the base prices of tickets. but that would mean the secondhand tickets he bought would be way more expensive as well.

his theory that demand would decrease bc it's expensive is undercut by the fact that he is personally demonstrating people will pay extra for these luxury items and in fact take pleasure in out-wealthing other richies.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 24 October 2016 17:27 (one month ago) Permalink

when i did econ 101 we were taught from this mankiw book. it was very well written and easy to understand. one of the only university textbooks i had that i felt did a good job of explaining the basic concepts of a field of study to the novice. the thing was though, iirc, it had various little bits about how corporate taxes, rent controls, minimum wages, etc. are bad. it was the only general introductory textbook i had in school that had an explicit political agenda, and we studied it as if it were just "the truth" and not just one take.

harold melvin and the bluetones (jim in vancouver), Monday, 24 October 2016 22:11 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

All Karen Hendrickson wanted was the latest pocketbook from Gucci, the Sylvie, with a glittering gold chain down the front.

But she had to explain herself over and over to police officers who stopped and questioned her, and searched her shopping bags as she sought to cross Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. She was trying to reach the Gucci flagship store on the corner of 56th Street, but her shopping trip had an unusual impediment: Gucci is inside Trump Tower. Fifty-eight stories above is the penthouse of President-elect Donald J. Trump, who was engaged in the rocky business of selecting his administration.

qop (crüt), Thursday, 17 November 2016 03:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Well, if this doesn't turn them against him, I don't know what will.

hardcore dilettante, Thursday, 17 November 2016 05:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

via deadspin: this is from a toronto star article but w/e i didn't know where else to put it.

nomar, Friday, 2 December 2016 18:10 (six days ago) Permalink

septum piercing really makes that for me

A big shout out goes to the lamb chops, thos lamb chops (ulysses), Friday, 2 December 2016 18:25 (six days ago) Permalink

Is he going to raise that kale in place of a son?

the last famous person you were surprised to discover was actually (man alive), Friday, 2 December 2016 18:25 (six days ago) Permalink

that is his large green son

mh 😏, Friday, 2 December 2016 19:26 (six days ago) Permalink

His son's name is Kyle.

nickn, Friday, 2 December 2016 19:45 (six days ago) Permalink

I had a vasectomy, but it was for sensible and practical reasons. I 'celebrated' by wearing an ice bag on my scrotum for hours afterward.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Friday, 2 December 2016 19:47 (six days ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/04/business/media/jolly-green-giant-comeback.html

“We’re going to make him more relevant, more socially active with the consumer, and bring him into today’s world” = two tickets to a better reality than this one, please.

A big shout out goes to the lamb chops, thos lamb chops (ulysses), Tuesday, 6 December 2016 19:49 (two days ago) Permalink

Jolly Green died on his way back to his home planet, etc

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 7 December 2016 23:43 (yesterday) Permalink


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