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 (5 years ago) Permalink

^yea srsly i didnt even notice that at first

johnny crunch, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:05 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

what's a quiddity?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:36 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

The Khaki Class

man, i love collages (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:44 (5 years ago) Permalink

Thread of ;_;

Dom P's Rusty Nuts (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:46 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

loooool @ tracer hand: voice of the underclass

(Palm) springs sprungs (Lamp), Friday, 15 May 2009 01:26 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

sorry Lamp i missed the part where you had a point

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 09:16 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

The Khaki Class

lol South

"the whale saw her" (gabbneb), Friday, 15 May 2009 14:45 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

what do you think he actually meant?

Tracer Hand, Friday, 15 May 2009 15:09 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

Megan McArdle on the piece. Judge for yourself.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:19 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

Literal translation: quiddity = whatness

anatol_merklich, Friday, 15 May 2009 16:43 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

he will die at some point

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

can't write about that tho

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:22 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

what is sadder loss or death

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

conceptually, I mean

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 May 2009 19:23 (5 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 (5 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 (5 years ago) Permalink

sorry that was a little harsh, i don't know anything about these guys apart from skimming a slate article. those two posts could easily be in the some hellhole comments section. i kind of dig living a simpler life but i found it a little obnoxious the way it was presented, like thse two rich gurus who bought everything and then start telling people not to buy everytyhing

marcos, Wednesday, 28 May 2014 21:02 (3 months ago) Permalink

Maybe they should shed their ego a bit and instead of touring the country as self-aggrandising self help hype men they could actually help the poor or something.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 28 May 2014 21:02 (3 months ago) Permalink

Not sure how writing a book about yourself is a step toward minimalism.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 28 May 2014 21:03 (3 months ago) Permalink

so they're making a self-help career out of advocating for what is basically an eating disorder for straight white rich males. this world is fukd up and god is the crul ringmaster.

mattresslessness, Wednesday, 28 May 2014 21:14 (3 months ago) Permalink

Maybe they should shed their ego a bit and instead of touring the country as self-aggrandising self help hype men they could actually help the poor or something.

― ▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:02 PM (6 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

or just be minimal and chill

lag∞n, Wednesday, 4 June 2014 00:01 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Ms. Roney and Mr. Liu and their children, Havana, 16, Cairo, 10, and Dublin, 6, live in Dumbo

i can't even

zombie formalist (m coleman), Sunday, 22 June 2014 15:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

I’m a parent with three kids, and a big job — always I’m supposed to be somewhere, and always I’m late for something

don't worry, the people you keep waiting understand. they feel lucky to be squeezed in!

zombie formalist (m coleman), Sunday, 22 June 2014 15:14 (2 months ago) Permalink

i wasn't sure just how irate to be until i found the phrase,

'on social'

j., Sunday, 22 June 2014 15:34 (2 months ago) Permalink

this selective voyeurism combined with humblebrags about busy lives, jobs, anxieties, is like a city-diary-ized version of nymag's old sex diaries with all the good bits cut out.

everybody loves lana del raymond (s.clover), Sunday, 22 June 2014 15:51 (2 months ago) Permalink

Cairo is an awesome name fwiw.

©Oz Quiz© (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 22 June 2014 15:56 (2 months ago) Permalink

hoping these names commemorate the sites of conception

j., Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

did i tell you guys that i know someone named Dalston?

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:09 (2 months ago) Permalink

i also met two siblings in London Fields the other day named Odin and Perseus

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

shut up

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:18 (2 months ago) Permalink

that is great

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:18 (2 months ago) Permalink

can you imagine how difficult it must be to raise gods from different theological traditions

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:27 (2 months ago) Permalink

perseus was only half god u should know better.

everybody loves lana del raymond (s.clover), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:35 (2 months ago) Permalink

xpost Perseus not even a god, will surely complain about this to therapist for years.

resulting post (rogermexico.), Sunday, 22 June 2014 16:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

close friend of mine has kids named Indr@ and 0rion; both cool names imo

Dan I., Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:35 (2 months ago) Permalink

ah, but I just realized one of those isn't a god

Dan I., Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:37 (2 months ago) Permalink

naming your boy odin is on a par with naming your daughter Medusa; prob not a great idea

Look at this joke I've recognised, do you recognise it as well? (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:43 (2 months ago) Permalink

you'll shoot your eye out, kid!

resulting post (rogermexico.), Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:49 (2 months ago) Permalink

BREAKFAST NO. 2 I always buy a loaf of bread at Almondine and croissants for the kids, our second breakfast. Then I stand at the kitchen counter and read The New York Times. I read the front page first, and then the Styles section, the Business section and then I read the magazine.

calstars, Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

"and croissants for my son, Tubal-cain"

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

SHIIIIIIIIIVAAAAAA dinner's ready

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 June 2014 19:08 (2 months ago) Permalink

see, you laugh but

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 22 June 2014 19:11 (2 months ago) Permalink

There were a pair of twins (male and female) in my year at school called Thor and Blaize

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Sunday, 22 June 2014 23:27 (2 months ago) Permalink

heeeee

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 June 2014 23:37 (2 months ago) Permalink

I was in a department store many years ago and I swear I heard a mother call her son Shiva. And I'm pretty sure it was a Target, so not ruling class.

nickn, Monday, 23 June 2014 17:04 (2 months ago) Permalink

perseus was only half god u should know better.

― everybody loves lana del raymond (s.clover)

Harry Hamlin was all god.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 23 June 2014 17:05 (2 months ago) Permalink

I went to school with a guy named Thor - og Scandinavian silent h pronunciation though, which is cooler

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 23 June 2014 17:06 (2 months ago) Permalink

I once worshiped a guy named Jesus.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 23 June 2014 17:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

Had a professor named Pericles once

, Monday, 23 June 2014 17:08 (2 months ago) Permalink

Has someone ever gone all out and just named their son or daughter Yahweh or Allah?

silverfish, Monday, 23 June 2014 17:13 (2 months ago) Permalink

Ms. Roney and Mr. Liu and their children, Havana, 16, Cairo, 10, and Dublin, 6, live in Dumbo

i can't even

― zombie formalist (m coleman), Sunday, June 22, 2014 10:10 AM (4 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

jaymc's wife read this and said: it'd be better if they lived in any of those places and their kid was named Dumbo

Je55e, Thursday, 26 June 2014 21:13 (2 months ago) Permalink

That reads like the famous misunderstanding dialogue in White Noise

'arry Goldman (Hurting 2), Thursday, 26 June 2014 21:39 (2 months ago) Permalink

lol

socki (s1ocki), Friday, 27 June 2014 00:33 (2 months ago) Permalink

anytime i read one of these and i can't tell if it's a new york times article or a gwyneth paltrow lifestyle blogpost, i know i'm getting the good stuff.

building a desert (art), Friday, 27 June 2014 01:33 (2 months ago) Permalink

a++

johnny crunch, Friday, 27 June 2014 01:54 (2 months ago) Permalink

i also met two siblings in London Fields the other day named Odin and Perseus

There are kids named Odin and Auden (not siblings) in my kid's 2nd grade class here in the Midwest, I think you overestimate how quid/ag this kind of naming practice is

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 27 June 2014 02:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

lol

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 27 June 2014 02:05 (2 months ago) Permalink

j., Friday, 27 June 2014 02:12 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

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