City of Narcissists and Art

I. I’m Breaking Up with New York

New York is suffering an epidemic of narcissism. Maybe I’m just old and naïve and don’t recognize a new wave when I see one. Perhaps what I consider to be socially abhorrent behavior is, in reality, the new normal. I’ve always has a jolly laugh at the sight of geezers wrestling with new technologies. The way they fumble with mobile phones or botch their DVR programming. Who’s laughing now?

A few weeks ago, there was a disruption at the evening performance of Hand to God on Broadway. After taking his orchestra seat, just before the show began, a stupid boy noticed his mobile phone battery was about to die. He saw an outlet on the set, (a PRETEND outlet) jumped up on stage and plugged his phone in. He was immediately descended upon by the ushers. He later explained, “I saw the outlet and ran for it. That was the only outlet I saw, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ Girls were calling all day. What would you do?”

Shortly after that, at an evening performance of Shows for Days at Lincoln Center starring Patti LuPone, a young girl sitting near the front was texting throughout Act One. She was so disengaged from the performance that she shared her texts with her date sitting next to her. While walking off stage at the conclusion of Act One, LuPone walked over and grabbed the phone out of her hand mid-text and walked off stage with it. It was returned after the show.

Later, in a statement, LuPone said, “I am so defeated by this issue.”

But if you really want to take the pulse of the self-absorbed narcissists in this town, look no further than the Style section of The New York Times. Last weekend, they featured an article about women (wealthy, of course, because, apparently, money makes you insane) who are so worried about their appearance in their Instagram/Facebook photo taken immediately following childbirth, they hire hairstylists and makeup artists to come to their hospital room for a postpartum grooming. These services cost upwards of $700.

This is the photo that accompanied the article. She’s a lawyer who lives in the Financial District. (That figures.) The unintentionally hilarious aspect is that you CAN’T SEE THE BABY. She might just as well be cradling a loaf of pumpernickel or a bag of cash.

hospital selfie1Those are surgical instruments on the right and tools of the beauty trade on the left.hospital selfie2I’ve had it with these New York idiots who are incapable of living outside their own heads. To paraphrase, I don’t want to be a part of it, New York, New York. I’ll go back to Cleveland. The people out there are real.

II. I Love New York

Currently at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea is an exhibit by DeWain Valentine. I grabbed a cab on my lunch hour and ran down to see it. Valentine was part of the Light and Space movement in the 60’s and 70’s. The work focuses on using light, transparency, reflection and texture.

These four magnificent disks are made of polyester resin. They’re about 6′ tall. Crossing the threshold into the bright, airy gallery provided a genuine thrill.

Valentine1

Valentine3I was lucky enough to have the galleries all to myself. People are okay to drink and hang out with, but I don’t want anyone around when I’m enjoying the art.

Valentine6

Valentine4

The urge to reach out and touch them was overpowering, but since each piece was free standing, a monitor was on hand in each gallery to discourage close encounters. I like when you can see the room’s architecture through the piece.

Valentine7

Valentine8

They’re several inches thick at the bottom but taper towards the top.

Valentine2

Valentine5

This translucent wall reminded me of Richard Serra’s iron oxidized sculptures. I stood in this room for a long time, not realizing until afterwards that I’d completely forgotten what was bothering me that day. Art can take you someplace else.

valentine002

Valentine11

The gallery monitors weren’t Zwirner employees. They were employed by the artist to answer questions and provide insight into his process. They were knowledgeable and lacked pretense. They also instinctively knew when I wanted to be alone with the art and faded into the background.

Valentine12

Valentine13

These more modest, but still fetching, pieces were in a side gallery.

Valentine10

valentine001

An even more spectacular example of the Light and Space movement (and one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen) was two years ago when James Turrell turned the rotunda of the Guggenheim into a hallucinatory spectrum of light.


Being able to enjoy this sort of frivolity on my lunch hour is a privilege. It’s a lucky break I fell into—none of this happened by design. Who am I trying to kid? You guys or myself? I can’t leave New York! I guess I’m stuck here. I just wish people would learn to disengage. They’d see some interesting things if they’d stop spending so much time gazing lovingly into the mirror.

105 thoughts on “City of Narcissists and Art

  1. Oh what a double edged sword! Answer: You love New York but you detest some of the fuckwits who reside there.
    Vanity has got to a level beyond insanity; beauty is perceived as artificial, carved caricatures of such perfection that they are grotesque.
    Engaging is done behind a protective screen to a mass, unidentified audience.
    The future is a lie 🙂

    Oh, BTW, love that black disk – it’s gorgeous. Too big too drop in your man bag?

    • But isn’t that what the worth of a city is?! A collection of its fuckwits? I wonder if I’ll get sucked in and turn into a fuckwit without ever realizing it. That’s how zombies are created, I hear.

      All of those disks are pretty astonishing to behold. My pics don’t do them justice. Nice to see you again, dear. My feeder says you’ve finally posted. About time.

      • I won’t allow you to turn into a fuckwit. If I ever notice this happening, I’ll fly you over and stick you in a little cottage in the Cotswolds until you’ve either got over it or turned into a village idiot. You’re safe with me.

  2. I took a certain delight in looking like I had been dragged through hell right after the births of my kids. I need leverage for later, something to hold over their heads. I don’t want my kids thinking I just sneezed and out they came. Oh, no. It was WORK, man. Pain and suffering. There I am looking like shit, but smiling because now I have you in my arms… Maybe that is a bit narcissistic, too, though. :-/

    • I would think that’d be the case. If you’ve been through a rough ordeal, don’t you kind of want the battle scars to prove it? I would.

      Have you ever seen such a thing where you work? I hope not but we seem to export all of our crap, so hold on.

      • I have had women refuse to have their photo taken right after birth because of being self conscious about how they look but I have never had a hairdresser or make-up artist show up to a delivery. That being said, it has been a few years since I last did hospital work or delivered a baby, so who knows?

  3. I’m like you often flabergasted by the ridiculous actions of those around me… long story short we have issues on the ferry link between Kent and Calais – this leads to 6,000 lorries parking on a main highway, traffic chaos ensues for miles around – I live 40 miles from the dock and 15 miles from the lorry park and a 15 min journey can take me 1 hour…. it is a right pain. But not the “biggest crisis to hit our county for a generation”… sorry!?!?! I think when the govt shut the dockyard my Dad, Aunt, Sister and Mother all worked in with 10,000 other people … now that was a crisis!
    Then I see something else and I’m like – Man I’m so lucky to live here…. dichotomy personified perhaps

    • I think there’s a mathematical calculation somewhere that proves the more money you get, the more detached you become from what’s ‘real’ and the more petty your concerns are. I promise, here and now, that if I ever fall into wealth (admittedly, highly unlikely at this point) I’ll not let it distort my view of what constitutes genuine suffering. A little perspective, please. An ounce of perception. A pound of obscure

    • And now they’re going to put them in Manston, possibly from tonight, and I want to take my old car to the scrap heap near there in a day or two, and I’m wondering if I’ll be fit for the scrap heap myself by the time I get there! Hello fellow Kentian 🙂

  4. Those self-absorbed twats are not restricted to New York City. They might have started there, but they’re spreading. Taking cabs, airplanes, minivans. I saw one in Toronto the other day; one in Montreal. And then I saw one in Moose Jaw and figured that the world was ending, it’s just a matter of time. We need a name for these people. We have to give them a category. Otherwise, there will be no way to understand them, and we’ll just end up being like them. I figure this is a fight. A moral impulse. Have to resist. But of course I check my bloody blog way too often, not to mention my devices as a whole, because someone somewhere might be thinking of me and paying me oodles of attention that I badly pretend not to crave. The world’s reached the status of bugnuts, but like you and NYC, I’m not leaving anytime soon. This is the place to be. The alternate is what, Pluto? The inside of a vodka bottle? Enmeshed in some long fabric made of US politics that I could watch night and day and feel like I’ve penetrated human existence, all its parts? Bah. I love your city. And I love this world, and all the flawed people who exactly as imperfect as I am.

    And crike those art pieces… I’m speechless. I won’t bother explaining again how jealous I am of your existence. You, sir, are possibly living the dream. Whether you know it or not… well, that’s just coffee cream and ant-hills.

    • Are you trying to tell me that if I break up with New York, there’s a chance I might find the same miserable souls elsewhere? I hadn’t thought of that. If Moose Jaw isn’t safe, then nobody is. I was only looking for escape. But there does seem to be quite a concentration here. Like this town is a douche bag magnet.

      Look who’s calling that manicured, made-up woman a narcissist. Me. From my BLOG. The one that brings me joy in direct proportion to the number of folks who visit. I’d like to sell my feed as being more of an intellectual pursuit than Facebook or Instagram postings, but is it really any different? Not so much.

      Here’s what’s going to happen. I learned this lesson from reading my journals. Years from now, I’m going to read these posts and realize I was having a pretty decent time of it. That I was lucky. But I’ll have spent so much time complaining while in the thick of it, that I won’t enjoy it while it’s here. Just in retrospect. It’s the same lesson OVER and OVER. The sculptures really were overwhelming when I turned a corner. Wish my pics could capture it.

      • I think you’re just inhumanely human. And it always sounds to me like you’re having a blast, even when you’re talking about stuff that’s not necessarily cheery. I’d take your life – not that I’d give up mine, though.

        Now… bring me views! Lather me with attention! There’s just no denying that we’re not meant to be alone, that we like attention, and that’s totally okay. Just like it’s good to call the douche bags for their douchebaggery.

        Now as to Moose Jaw… don’t go there. You might be disappointed.

      • Isn’t that what a curmudgeon is? Crabby but having a good time about it? That’s a recipe for a long life.

        I complain about views/readers, but if I really cared that much, I’d open Facebook and Twitter accounts and get this shit out there. But I’m so lazy and so wrapped up in other stuff that it’ll never happen. I used to cut through one book after another and now it take forever to finish one. It’s because of this idiot blog. Can you imagine if I tried to maintain a FB account on top of it. I just don’t have the time. Or, worse, the ambition.

  5. Disrespectful idiots, shallow & talented people all in one post. You never cease to amaze me with the many emotions that may show up in any one post all at the same time.

    • That’s what the gallery monitor explained to me. There’s a small amount of epoxy on the base and they’re quite heavy, but a big enough shove and they’d come down. I didn’t want to do THAT, but I did want to caress the edges to see how sharp they were.

  6. Yeah, the vanity’s always been there. Technology just makes everything easier, more convenient, seemingly magical (but it’s a ruse, I think). All you need is a pond with a still surface.

  7. Hmmm, I really like those resin pieces Mark – and the translucency is awesome. Those were funny stories about the guy using the fake plug and the actor absconding with the iphone. People are so predictable. They live in their little world and see only how all else relates to them not what it really is. It was inevitable – Socrates says that in a democracy it is the individual who is championed and we are all taught to be more and more individual. Also money is exclusive and extrinsic – if I have it you can’t or if you have it I can’t – and the more we monetize, the more we pick up that quality: we are in constant competition to possess money and can only get it by taking it from someone else. As opposed to. say, love which is inclusive and intrinsic – the more I have the more you get. Inclusive characteristics increase when one person has more, others get more. Exclusive characteristics decrease, when one person has more the others get less.

    Anyway, I digress – people are getting more selfish as time progresses. At least you have a sometimes enjoyable arts and theater environment in which to enjoy your time as the world goes to hell in a handbasket. 😀 By the way, I personally think it was designed to do that – the world that is – and we are all ultimately only responsible for our own actions. So as long as you grow in understanding and don’t become selfish yourself you are winning.

    • I only wish those stories were untrue but that’s what it’s come to. We (and by “we” I’m including myself) are so badly addicted to these devices that we can’t imagine being disconnected—even for a two-hour show.

      Let’s face it—money is vital. It’s a sad fact. But they did a study and found the sweet spot for earning is generally between $80K-120K. Less than that and you might be watching your budget constantly. More than that and the money itself can start to create problems. It seems to me wealthy folks lose their moorings and start to think in abstract, unreal ways. How best to stay grounded? Church? A crisis? Meditation?

      • I think we each find our own ways to be grounded. That said I think it has to have an ethical and moral core and include the concept that we are but a small part of something larger. Any world view that puts humans at the top inevitably leads to a bad end. that’s one of the reasons why I so enjoy the art you so selflessly share with us – it makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger. 😀

      • I appreciate that, Paul. Thanks. Sometimes the art impacts me negatively. Sometimes, it makes me feel like I’m just an outsider and never a participant. I feel like I’m standing on the corner watching this really great parade march by, but I’m not allowed to participate in it because I lack the talent. I’m glad I’ve developed an appreciation for this stuff and am happy to pass along these pics, but they occasionally make me feel artistically lonely.

      • Mmmm, I know what you mean Mark. And yet your writing is art, your daughters are art, your relationships are art, I’m sure your work is sometimes art, just the way you move and think and enjoy is art. I’m not sure it is even possible for you to NOT create art Mark. You do it in your own way and each of us is unique. And yet each of us has as much to contribute as every other has.

    • I’ve often said that this idiot blog is the only thing I’ve ever done that can be considered artistically participatory. Other than this, I’m always the audience. Sometimes, it’s not enough. There are millions of blogs and this one is just a spit in the ocean. I want MORE but am too lazy to do anything about it. Sad face.

  8. Interesting resin art. I imagine the feeling is different in person than via pics.

    The overly engaged idiots are everywhere … Yes, even in Cincinnati theaters … but going for an outlet on the stage is a sign of cluelessness. Reminds me of this fab headline from The Onion. http://tinyurl.com/olkcroy

    • God knows I’m guilty of being addicted. But recognizing the problem is the first step. Isn’t this what they say? I try to keep it from controlling my life as much as possible. I can certainly see a movie or play without glancing at my phone!

      The art usually is much more impressive in person. I do my best to try and convey the spirit through my shitty photography.

      Thanks for the link. Those guys hit one home run after another. I’ll never be that clever.

  9. Those polyester discs remind me of giant tiddlywinks. They should have allowed you to touch them. Nothing would have happened if you’d gently stroked them with your fingertips.

    I knew you couldn’t really be breaking up with New York. A city of millions is bound to have a lot of idiots – it’s a law of statistics.

    • So funny! That’s EXACTLY what they reminded me of. Tiddleywinks. If they allowed one person to touch them, then they have to allow everyone to touch them. And you know what that can lead to…more than just some messy fingerprints compromising the look. It could lead to their destruction.

      I tried breaking up with New York in my 20’s. I had an 18-month affair with Phoenix. It was a mistake and she took me back, thank God. I learned my lesson.

  10. Good for LuPone. I thought texters in movies were bad. But live performances, especially so close up? Beyond rude. As for the post-partum pics, when I rounded on babies in the hospital, I’d go talk to the parents afterward. I was always taken aback when I’d discover a photographer setting up shop in the mom’s room, the mother herself primping to prepare for the photo shoot. And this was in Iowa and Ohio. So I guess it’s a thing. Certainly not a thing I ever did. The fewer cameras in my own delivery room, the better…

    • Are you serious? I’d love to see a cell phone snatched out of someone’s hand. I saw a great YouTube vid where a professor was in the middle of teaching a class, walked up to a texting student, grabbed the phone and smashed it on the floor. Throughout the whole incident, he never stopped lecturing. Fantastic.

      • Totally serious. The texter, who was in his 70’s at least, tried to explain that he was just texting to tell someone how good the comic was, but the comic, of the angry Lewis Black-like style, didn’t buy it and kept the guy’s phone on a chair on the stage, and then milked that through the entire show. But the theater actors or professors have much less liberty in going off script and don’t have that advantage.

  11. I think a lot of major cities have this problem. I have the same feelings much of the time about San Francisco, which has plenty of enclaves of sanity but so very many narcissist fuckwits it’s hard to walk down the street without a life-altering encounter with stupidity.

    Oh, great cities: I can’t hate you for long!

    • Do you guys have selfie sticks? I’m happy to see there’s been a major backlash against them. Museums here in NY won’t allow their use anymore. It’s enough to give you hope for the human race.

      I love living in a city that people visit on there vacation. It makes me feel like I did something right for once. But there’s definitely a price to be paid for the honor.

      • Selfie sticks, OMG. I just ran into a flock of ’em in SF last weekend. Clearly they’re the devil’s plaything and they’re going to destroy civilization.

      • Don’t worry. They’re on their way out. Remember Google glasses? Another product that died because of backlash. (And deservedly so.) If only a Facebook backlash would come about. The world would be a better place.

  12. As far as I’m concerned, that time just after you’ve given birth is a wonderful, and rare, opportunity to look a complete mess without anyone expecting anything different from you – make the most of that moment ladies I say!

    Even just looking at your pictures from the exhibit I have a really strong urge to push one of the round ones to see how it rolls, what with the thickness on one side and the tapering on the other. Come on, give me a hand…

    • Apparently, in some cultures, the time immediately following childbirth is the perfect time for self-promotion and preening. How did this happen to us?

      Those disks really are calling to be rolled around or pushed over. Some art just screams *touch me*. I’m sure that’s why the gallery police were on hand.

  13. This just confirms for me how much I hate people.
    How DARE people text during live theater? I’d like the punishment for that to be lighting them on fire.

    I do wish I’d primped a LITTLE after birthing Little Dude. The pictures are horrendous. That being said, paying for the services of a professional is absurd.

    I’m in a mean mood. Can I say that in the case of the woman you posted, it didn’t help much?

    • In that statement I mention, LuPone wrote about how the actors can see the blue screen lights from the stage. It shows an audience who doesn’t give a damn what’s being done on stage. Walk out, if you must, but let the actors do their job.

      Hard to belive anyone could think about how they look just after giving birth. I’ve witness two and I can tell you that my Bride didn’t give a damn what she looked like. She was just glad it was all over.

      You are free to say whatever you want here. You have carte blanche. You can even put me in my place when necessary.

      • My God it’s live theater! Not a movie! Doesn’t anyone care about disturbing the actors?

        You could never break up with New York. Nor could I. It’s one addiction I’m never quitting.

      • No, they don’t care about disturbing the actors. Texting is more important to them. Fuckwits.

        I don’t know if you read it above but I had an illicit affair with Phoenix for 18 months. Manhattan took me back but only after I apologized and promised never to do it again.

  14. I blame Kate Middleton for starting the “I must look perfect just after experiencing the most serious pain I have ever felt.” But there are assholes and narcicists everywhere. Even here in DC. (OK, I nearly choked myself on my lunch typing that line because I couldn’t stop laughing. But it’s OK — I am eating in my corner office with the door shut …)

    I loved the tiddlywinks, too.

    • Did you read the article?!?! That’s EXACTLY who they lay the blame on. She started it. But she’s a princess. Doesn’t she HAVE TO look like that as part of her job description?

      Assholes in DC? You don’t say? Speaking of DC…my man Kasich made it to the debate. Next stop: The White House!

      • I skimmed the article before tossing it in disgust. I figured that was where the blame should go. Of course, nobody forces anybody to go anywhere like that…

        Yes, I saw that your man — and I thought of you. He’s not my man, though. I think Jeb! might have shot himself in not just his foot but in several more vital organs with his “spending on women’s healthcare” comment. What a dolt. Dumb and Dumber …

      • This is NOT going to be a boring debate or campaign season. I’m also glad to see some Dems in the mix. Biden might run. That’s healthy. My vote is still up for grabs.

  15. Clearly, I am in the wrong business. Instead of being a birth doula–who helps parents with the emotional and physical challenges of giving birth–I ought to be helping them prepare for their post-birth presentation to the world. Wow. I wouldn’t be surprised if the San Francisco Bay area has some of those same moms… but I probably wouldn’t encounter, them, because they wouldn’t be the ones hiring birth doulas.

    Thanks, too, for the virtual peek into the NY art world.

    • Hey! You’re new! Welcome. How’d you find this place? I had to Google doula. New word for me. New reader brings new word. Nice.

      My wife seemed pretty wrecked—physically and emotionally after it was all over. I can’t imagine anyone worrying about their appearance that much. Do you know whose fault this is, don’t you? That idiot Zuckerberg and his evil Facebook. It turned everyone into zombies.

      • I think our mutual follower Carrie Rubin may have let me here.

        Now it will be even worse because Zuckerberg and his wife are expecting. I’m sure the entire public aspect of the experience will be well-curated, leading poor mortal women to be even more disappointed in their own real emotions.

      • I can assure you we won’t hear a word about their sprog. The founder of Facebook is militantly guarded about his privacy. He bought the properties surrounding his home to insure seclusion. Ironic, ain’t it?

  16. Anyone who creates art for public consumption could be deemed a narcissist, i’d say the difference is the creator is trying to relay some sort of meaning or relevance of their existence to an audience (unless of course you keep posting on a blog no one reads (like mine) for the sheer act of creating) double parentheses? that was a bit David Foster Wallace now wasn’t it? of course posting endless selfies of yourself eating, riding your bike, standing in front of whatever or just of yourself cuz you love yourself that much is nothing more than the jacking off of the ego, the kids do it cuz they’re growing up with it and in some cases their fucking parents do it, but i have friends who endlessly post pics of themselves and are usually then harassed by a tall smart ass with a razor sharp wit (if i do say so myself in keeping with the narcissist thing), so yes fuck ’em, of course i’d rather have them texting in the theater than when they are driving in front of me or towards me but that’s just me… us curmudgeon’s will curmudgeon on…

    • Anyone who creates for public consumption has a vague desire for fame and publicity. Even folks who do it primarily for the sheer act of creating. If that’s not a key component in being a narcissist, then I don’t know what is. The volume certainly has been turned up, hasn’t it? There was no “Publish” button back in lovely Clevo. You are correct to point out the distinctions. Photos of yourself and your fantastic life isn’t the same as trying to write a halfway interesting post. I’d like to imagine I’m above all that but I have been known to include a pic of my face on occasion. No one is immune with the exception of you. Do you even own a camera?

      • Including a photo every now and then is completely different than posting one every time or using it as your avatar? is that what they call those things? people do like to see who wrote the things they’ve read or they wouldn’t include those snazzy photos on dust jackets… and oddly enough i do own a camera, well on my phone i do and i do take pictures with it, i’ve graduated to a fancy phone with a posh camera, mostly i take the boyos or some dumb shit i see while walking around, besides by the time Wilderness Years are done you’ll understand why there’s no photos, i don’t care if the statutes of limitation are up or not…

  17. Hi Mark! When I gave birth, which was actually a surgical procedure both times, because I had to have C-sections, the last thing on my mind was what I looked like. Don’t let any of those narcissists bug you – just focus on art’s influence in your life. Whenever I visit your blog it lifts my spirits by seeing what you get to see at all those wonderful exhibits. Oh, and Trump just arrived here in the CLE – I know you’ll be watching!

    • Nice to see you. I’d always imagined that giving birth was an overwhelming experience filled with joy and violence. I can’t imagine being concerned about your appearance. I guess some people are good at multi-tasking. Why do I care? It’s their life. Live and let live has always been a tough concept for me. I have opinions.

      There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight. I’m going to pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the fireworks. It’ll be like a professional wrestling match. I heard they’re thinking of using the shot-clock buzzer instead of a gentle tone when they take too much time. God, I sure hope so.

  18. I was in a small but very good theatrical group and one night we had two women chattering all through the first act.At the interval, the producer gave them their money and told them to leave.I was disappointed that they got their money back!

    • Now, THERE’S a concept worth exploring. Except I like your idea of not issuing a refund. My 13-year old daughter had a party and my wife made them all put their mobile phones in a bag and pay attention to one another. Pretty smart woman I married.

  19. You’re breaking up with New York!! I couldn’t believe I read that. I knew it was only a momentary lapse. Art will keep you in that city and grounded. One thing I know, you won’t experience that level of artistry in some hick town, but you very well may still see the narcissism. I don’t think it’s limited to just New York. It’s everywhere! That article about the mom is too much! I always appreciate the glow of a new mom. That is totally destroyed in that picture, which you’re right is not about the little baby at all. I find that very sad. People can be so shallow. I have moments when I lose hope, too.

    • I’m a blow-hard. Of course I can’t break up with New York. New York could break up with me pretty easily, though. Curses. I hate these one-way love affairs. It’s not my first, I can tell you that much.

      Apparently, a new mom can glow a lot brighter with the help of a cosmetologist, a blow-out and $700 bucks. Do you know how many shows I could see for $700 bucks?! I’d work the discount machine and it’d carry me to the end of the fall.

  20. Damn, that was trenchant. Small towns (I live in one) aren’t much different, except that the narcissism gets codified. Lawns. Houses. Churches. Clothing. Drives me nuts. So, my lawn is a little longer than it should be. I have a wood pile out back. My house, despite being assessed much too high, is very comfortable to live in. We put our feet up, without shoes, sometimes. I attend church, but wear my “Kiss my Astro” t-shirt. Denims from the farm store suit me just fine. Crap. That’s all pretty narcissistic, isn’t it. Gotta find some good art…
    Looking forward to your next entry.

  21. The phone thing knows no city/country distinction. I live in Mayberry, practically, and the same thing goes on here as well.
    I guess rude is universal. Sigh.

  22. I think the postpartum grooming is a great idea. Who wants to see a droopy eyed, exhausted face, deflated body on Instagram/Facebook page. Enough with the stupid baby pictures anyway.
    Taking away someone’s cell phone is denying them their right to free speech. Keeping your phone charged up is a basic life necessity. You people need to get with the new culture. It’s not all about politeness and common courtesy anymore.

    • A voice of dissent! (I think.) At long last! You make good arguments but I still find cell phones distressing from an aesthetic standpoint. The addictions are real. And it’s NEVER good to be addicted to anything.

      [No more baby picture is right. And selfies. Enough of those, too.]

      • I am no rebel or hipster by far, but I love sarcasm humor because I know somewhere there is someone who seriously thinks that way about my obtuse vent. Yes, this addiction is not good and there are concessions in society being made right now for this. It can only get worse. Thanks for getting it.

  23. Sorry, I’m so late coming around to this post, but these are very busy times for me so I’ve fallen way behind on my blog reading and commenting.

    What you wrote struck quite a chord with me. I glanced at that NYT article and I immediately thought, “I don’t have time for this horse shit.” So, I thank you for taking the time to read it for me and for confirming that my first impression, that it was horse shit or as you more accurately refereed to it as narcissism, was correct. That’s just a mockery of the birthing experience. True, we can’t see the baby in the shot, but that bow stuck on her head that’s the size of Delaware, is color coordinated with Mom’s frock. What a vanity case! And that’s a person who spawns! I hope that her daughter didn’t inherit her shallow mother’s asshole gene.

    People who are compelled to text in the theater should be kicked out. That’s just the height of rude. If you’re a doctor communicating life-saving advice, I’ll cut you slack, but a bimbo who clearly has no clue who Patti Lupone is got exactly what she deserved. She was probably texting, “This show sucks!” Milton and I saw it. We thought that Patti and Michael Urie were good, but what a mediocre play! I’ve already deleted most of it from my memory.

    At times, I also have love-hate feelings for the Big Apple, but now that I’ve entered contract on owning the tiniest of slices, I love it a lot more than I hate it.

    • Pish-posh. You owe no apology. You owe nothing. That’s the darkest part of blogging. When you suddenly find yourself obligated to read someone or comment. If you don’t have time or don’t want to read every post, you feel you’ve let someone down. I do it too. It’s dumb.

      I wonder why I got sucked into reading that article? It’s got nothing to do with my world. Was I looking for a reason to hate? How dark is that?

      Did you see the article in the Times yesterday about Benedict Cumberbatch BEGGING people to stop using their phones during ‘Hamlet?’ He had to re-set during the “To be or not to be…’ soliloquy. Christ, I hate people sometimes.

      Speaking of babies…congrats on your new arrival. Glad it’s official. Did you see Annie Baker’s ‘John’ at the Signature? It’s fantastic. Get a ticket if you can. $25 and $35 tix still out there but after today’s rave in the Times, they’ll disappear quick.

      • It’s impossible for me to read and comment on all the bloggers that follow me. But, there’s a core group I try to read regularly simply because what they write resonates , like this post of yours. Also, you don’t post a million times a week and your writing and images are all top notch. But still, it’s been impossible for me to even keep up with that group right now. My sister and niece were also visiting last week and my company is in the midst of relocating from Tribeca to Long Island City. I’m pretty sleep-deprived these days! Under normal, more slacker circumstances though, I would have read that NYT article, probably because the picture intrigued me. I can easily fall down that rabbit hole. I didn’t read the BC article, but I agree with him. Shut off the phone and hit the brakes on texting during showtime! Why is that so hard for some fucktoads? They have no respect to get Rodney Dangerfield about these inconsiderate jerks.

        Wow you saw ‘John’ and liked it! I haven’t read the review, but Milton and I dud score great $25 tickets to see it later this month. Have you seen ‘The Flick’ yet? That’s a masterpiece. I saw it twice, first when I ushered it at Playwrights Horizons and when it was revived at BST.

      • Thanks for the congrats! Being in contract is more hell, but I’m glad the hunting part of this process is over. I even bought a suit to wear to my interview with the Board. I don’t want to come this far and screw that up dressed like my usual slob self. But that interview is months down the road. If all goes well and I get it, i then have to gut renovate it. After that, I move. It’s a lot.

  24. I did recently see Hand to God and I remember looking out at the audience and thinking the overwhelming majority were tourists. The majority were wearing shorts and t-shirts and I saw a few baseball caps. Broadway has worked so hard to appeal to tourists that I don’t know if they can be surprised when these people don’t know how to act because they’ve never been to the theater before.

    • Hey! You’re new! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I owe you $1.

      The kid at Hand to God actually had a press conference where he apologized to the actors, but still. You don’t have to be a genius or a seasoned theater-goer to know there’s something inherently wrong with plugging your phone into a set. Common sense fail.

      How’d you like Hand to God? I thought it had some genuine laughs and it was an enjoyable Thursday night out but I don’t know what the big stink was all about. Best play Tony nom? Methinks not.

      • To be honest I disliked it immensely. Maybe my expectations were too high based on all the fuss but it didn’t seem to be about anything. It just kind of bounced back and forth between religious issue buzzwords and Middle America apathy. I had just seen Book of Mormon a few days earlier and perhaps anything dealing with similar themes was doomed to pale by comparison.

  25. I betcha that level of self-absorbed has spread outside the boundaries of the Big Apple, Mark. Maybe even to the city on the shores of Lake Erie.

    Love that art exhibit, too. And the artist hiring his own people to talk for him is a great touch, wise and taking self-aware to a much better plane.

  26. I had my iPad with me on vacation but rarely used it, mostly because Internet was so scarce in the places we were — places desirable for that very reason. Everyone needs a break from this nonsense to realize it’s nonsense.
    I’m back to work tomorrow; I have a first work cell phone waiting for me. In two months, remind me I said the above, would ya?

  27. I think of NYC as a bag of gorp. I love some, some is OK, and some could go away and I wouldn’t miss it at all. Your current bag of gorp just seems to have an unreasonable number of unpalatable nuts.

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