Now begins that awful time of year when the air is full of “What’s Hot in the Hamptons?” buzz wherever one looks, and the Instagram Idiots are out in full force. My six children, now aged thirty to sixty, were raised out there in the ’60s through the ’80s, and it might as well have been a different geologic era. Houses were affordable, which among other things meant that people who worked there lived there; traffic was negligible (Southampton to East Hampton was a fifteen-minute drive; today it’s likely to be over an hour) and one didn’t have to go grocery shopping at 7AM to be sure of finding a parking spot. The tables at Shippy’s and Bobby Van’s weren’t booked a month in advance, and the bar crowd at the American Hotel didn’t make one fear for the future of mankind. The place and the people were altogether quieter. There were open fields. Still, when someone like me reflects on “duh Hamptons” as was, I bear in mind the observation of a wise friend over lunch a few weeks ago: “It’s not the way Southampton has changed that I hate,” she said, “it’s the way I’ve changed. I’ve grown old….” And her voice trailed off, and I could guess what her mind’s eye was seeing. Housman once again got it right: “It is the land of lost content/I see it shining plain/The happy highways where I went/And cannot go again.”
And then there’s this kind of piece, sent to me by my son Michael, written by a fellow who’s a 1990s Hamptons nouveau, which in his world counts as old money. As I recall, the author is a chubby little fellow who had – may still have – a Main St. shop that sold rather ordinary “resortwear.” http://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a9874648/southampton-new-york-history/ One correction, I knew hardly anyone who went to Herb McCarthy’s. The place we went was Dick “Enjoy your steaks, kids!” Ridgeley’s joint out on the highway.
This site is likely to be inactive starting now, because we’re going to London for a week: T to see her mum and family, me to see old (in several senses) friends whom, aa a glance at the actuarial tables suggests, I feel I better see now because…well, you get the point.
And then when we return, we’ll be in that special hell known as moving. Thanks to considerate landlords, it’ll only be down the hall, but I’m a bit of a packrat and the prospect of dealing with all this stuff – the books alone, the books! – terrifies me. Funny, when I moved here over 17 years ago, I failed to include in my game plan an element that’s proving to crucial: getting old. Just like the rest of us. See you in a week or so.
And while I’m away, ponder this: https://baselinescenario.com/2017/05/31/economism-and-arbitration-clauses/#more-16618
Or this. De mortuis…. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/john-helmer-presidents-inferiority-complex-zbigniew-brzezinskis-russia-hating-obsession-putsch-plotter-itchy-trigger-finger.html View image on Twitter
Finally, given my jaundiced view of social media (I’ve disconnected from FB and Twitter, and on Instagram I follow a very few people,mainly family, and seldom if ever post): http://dealbreaker.com/2017/05/trolls-real-time-crowd-sourced-stock-trading-online-game-buy-tesla/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=52590753&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_egDLWwSWzvkzQiyn4_xM6fjFA2pZghM6zJPZC6HO36O9RaBodSRqMmM2-GLkSEAbPsx5oAwCb6AmvNVk16-QNtSJKWg&_hsmi=52590753
In today’s NYT, the paper’s spinner of digital metaphysics, Farhad Manjoo, refers to Twitter as “his daily addiction.” Further down in the piece, Manjoo lists the properties that make Twitter so addictive: “It’s where political messaging and disinformation get digested, packaged and widely distributed for mass distribution to cable, Facebook and the res of the world.” Funny: I find this hardly an incentive to addiction, but then I never got crack, either.
Then there’s this: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-01/meal-kit-company-blue-apron-files-for-initial-public-offering Excerpt from the article: “The company’s net loss widened to $54.9 million in 2016 from $46.9 million a year earlier, despite net revenue climbing to $795 million from $340.8 million in the same period, according to the prospectus. Among risk factors listed in the filing, Blue Apron warned that it may never make a profit.” Where do I sign up!
And…finally… New York has a long expose of Uber. The piece incorporates a striking photo of Ubermensch Travis Kalanick standing next to Super Bowl hero Tom Brady at the Kentucky Derby. The difference in height is considerable, and given Kalanick’s reputation, brings to mind one of my happier coinages of years past, to wit: that most of the world’s problems can be traced to three sources: sex, money and short men.
A bientot, mes chers.