At the grocery store yesterday I noticed paper copies of September Vogue and Vanity Fair, which were covered by a black model and a black actress respectively. This intrigued me because those issues are usually crammed with fascinating stories about the rich and heedless and suddenly they’ve gone all social justice warrior, which is a strange enough reading of their audience to intrigue me.
I suppose the core audience for Conde Nast is well-heeled bored women, who are presently finding meaning by force-integrating black people. On Instagram the usual suspects, Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Nigella, Gwyneth are promoting black artisans or artists or novelists, and a good 50% of premium tv on any given night is given over to shows about black people, usually suffering, usually at the hands of vicious whites. Hollywood has now announced that their nominations are only open to product that promotes diversity in the right way.
Having trouble watching this stuff and even more trouble reading books like Caste, White Fragility, and the other one I have mercifully forgotten. I plod ahead once in a while, hoping for some wisdom, or insight and what I get is hectoring. Blaming the current generation of white people for the sins of white people even one generation past is something that is built to backfire big time. You can only bully people so far and then, they turn and they snarl. This is not an effective marketing strategy. Every time you try to change the culture through the arts, the arts die.
What I mean to say is that this is another example of the super-culture in its death throes. The centers – New York, LA, San Francisco, London, Paris – are dying. People used to being respected, even feared (Hello Nuclear Wintour) are being ignored, dismissed, even mocked. Their power is fading. People aren’t buying their guff. The locus of interest has shifted to ordinary men and women grappling with the hellscape brought by the last 30 years of elite looting, plundering and offshoring while engaging in disgusting sexual practices (Hello Bill Clinton).
This morning LVMH, the luxury goods cartel weaseled out of buying Tiffany’s. They are seeing the future and consolidating. For 30 years, the clever moved to the centers to compete in the delirious industries (Edmund White’s phrase). Then they decided they were better than their clients among the great unwashed, grew arrogant and decadent. The spotlight began to die and sales fell off a cliff. $250,000 handbags are now seen for what they are – disgusting.
No amount of black-shaming is going to stop it. The King is Dead. The new King is the ordinary man and woman, Marx’s hated bourgeois who is, at last, standing up.