A party celebrating a 900-page novel by an 81-year-old…

By Ray LeMoine
From the National Book Awards, held at Cipriani’s Wall St (funny locale, no?) , as reported by the NY Observer’s Leon Neyfak and Jonathan Liu:

“I dunno if they did it consciously but it certainly is a lot more glam than it was last year,” said the 33-year-old agent Jud Laghi, while getting a drink at the open bar on the banquet floor toward the end of dinner. As many others did throughout the evening, Mr. Laghi noted the irony of capping this tumultuous year in book publishing at a regally decorated restaurant in the thick of the Financial District.

Hosting the afterparty at Socialista? Grove/Atlantic boss Morgan Entrekin, famous for his 80s Brat Pack cocaine-ing. The party went late, and the long dispatch ends like this:

…a strange sort of tribal frenzy took over. Upstairs and downstairs, an expertly curated playlist turned a place called Socialista safe for the bookish: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” New Order, “Common People,” “Paper Planes.”

Dancing commenced, on furniture, on bodies, even on the books laid out as party favors by Grove and Weinstein. Things had gotten fun, and as the hour sailed towards 3am, people started talking about how they didn’t want to go home. It wasn’t fiction, but it wasn’t half-bad, either.

You have to hand it to the NBA for choosing Wall St and a club called “Socialista” as their party sites. By unleashing an all-night rager, the book industry basically stuck a big middle finger up bankers’ assholes: “Who’s dancing on tables now bitches?”


By Ray LeMoine

I love the McCain campaign’s attempts to call Obama a socialist. Wait, didn’t Bush just nationalize the mortgage, banking, and insurance industries? But who cares what socialism actually means—or the fact that your party is practicing it—when you can just revisit the 50s! Joe McCarthy would be proud:

When reporters arrived at the rally, one speaker – it was unclear who it was, and he was already midway through his speech — was describing the upcoming presidential election as “a referendum on socialism,’’ echoing a charge that some Republicans have made in recent days suggesting that Mr. Obama’s tax cut plan was quasi-socialist.

Meanwhile, John Updike fears America’s returned to the 50s socially (not socialism) in his latest novel, The Widows of Eastwick, a sequel to the Cher movie The Witches of Eastwick:

And the younger people, the age we were when we were here — ssso tiresome, just from the look of them, toned-up young mothers driving their overweight boys in overweight S.U.V.’s to hockey practice 20 miles away, the young fathers castrated namby-pambies helping itty-bitty wifey with the housekeeping, spending all Saturday fussing around the lovely home. It’s the ’50s all over again, without the Russians as an excuse.

The burbs sure are boring, yes. But fear not, change is on the way. If the iBanker is dead, as NYmag reports today, then the Burb Dude is next. The last class of McMansion bros are already signed up, mortgage arms fixed. Sadly that model—big house, big car, all paid on credit—is over for the moment. Maybe someday we’ll return to our $500k house with nothing down ways. The economic crisis and subsequent nationalization spasm were GOP policy—though admittedly deregulation was Bill Clinton’s policy as well. Nonetheless, Obama is hardly a socialist. His health care plan was to the right of Hillary Clinton, so don’t buy into the GOP Red Scare. To ammend Updike’s quote, It’s the 50s all over again, but with McCain impersonating McCarthy.

But if this is the 50s, it’s good to remember that JFK and the 60s—America’s most revolutionary postwar decade–were next. Still, unlike the 50s we’re in a major economic downturn. Would the hippies have been able to flourish without riches earned by their 50s raised parents?

By Ray LeMoine
The Revolution will be legitimized…

Cuba, the Americas’ pariah state, has discovered a world-changing 20 billion barrels of oil offshore. Just think of the foreign direct investment they will now receive. It’s funny: as the entire planet socializes, Cuba becomes the newest petrostate. America’s next president will surely have to reverse the trade embargo, thus legitimizing Cuba’s 60-year-old revolution. I’m so happy for ordinary Cubans; despite the Castro bros’ authoritarianism, they’ve not been nearly as corrupt as other socialist states, and their version of “socialismo” does trickle down. And when compared to another petrostate, Saudi Arabia—who the US supports, Cuba is a present-day Sweden to the Kingdom’s Nazi Germany.

Cuba’s oil reserves may be substantially larger than originally estimated, according to reports. Cuban energy officials have said that the country may have over 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil in its offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico. If confirmed, such reserves would put Cuba among the world’s top 20 oil-producing nations.