Not to be outdone by the New York Times' Ubermenschtastic profile of the Brant Brothers, the New York Observer is doing the world one better and introducing us to the world of... the Gatsbabies, three "preening prepsters" whose flamboyance is taking New York by storm, except that it's not taking New York by storm and I already hate them with the power of a thousand 747 engines.
The girls, so many girls, dressed in pastel-colored wraps that bared shoulders and the swells of their cleavage, clacked their Louboutin heels up a SoHo staircase one muggy May evening... They had entered the penthouse loft of Edward Scott Brady, the boyishly handsome world traveler, former classical cello virtuoso and "retired entrepreneur," who was throwing a "Welcome Back Bash" to honor his return from his seventh trip around the globe.
I fucking hate people who throw parties to celebrate their seventh circumnavigation of the world. You wanna throw a party the first time you get back? Fine. I kinda get that, even if you took a plane and didn't sail 'round the Cape of Good Hope. But by the seventh time, I'm over your travel fetish. Why not Photoshop yourself onto a Ralph Lauren catalog cover while you're at it? I do not like this person.
The place was packed with bros in suit-coats and more babes in slinkier-than-thou dresses, in the appraisal of Justin Ross Lee, than one could shake a stick at.
"Unfortunately for these ladies, I've already shaken my stick at most of them," he added with a wink.
O ho ho! That means he's fucked a lot of them! IF YOU CATCH HIS DRIFT.
Mr. Lee is an entrepreneur and shameless self-promoter.
And who doesn't love a shameless self-promoter? From Tila Tequila to Bill Romanowski, I think it's fair to say that shameless self-promoters are some of the most admired people in America today.
Mr. Lee went over to greet Tabber Benedict...
TABBER! That's a real name! Holy shit. Every time I think I've conceived of every terrible rich white person name, they go and spring TABBER on me. I'm in awe. The ability of high society dipshits to come up with new and terrifyingly obnoxious names for their offspring continues to astound me. I look forward to hearing from Tabber's future children: Presslia, Frencher, and Chippen.
If you squinted, he even resembled a clean shaven Clark Gable, or a more avuncular upgrade of reality TV-rake Scott Disick.
Dude, the gulf between Clark Gable and Scott Disick is so wide you could stuff Denton's head into it. You can't jump from Gable to Disick in the same analogy. He looks like a Greek God... but he also kinda looks like a pile of severed rat tails. You know?
After a long, dire post-Lehman cold snap, during which ostentatious displays of wealth, social bravado and dandyish fashion gambits were put into deep hibernation, something was stirring. Wall Street was no longer occupied. The impassioned battle cries of the stringy-haired sleeping-bag brigade, fulminating about the ample chasm separating the 99 and 1 percents, had faded. A socially ambitious lad no longer had to hide his Cartier cufflinks or Stubbs & Wootton slippers under a bushel. Suddenly it was okay again to venture into the limelight, okay to aspire to notoriety and social prominence.
Everything about this paragraph is awful. God, remember when social bravado and dandyish fashion gambits were REPRESSED? What an awful time. Semi-Jim Crowesque. Thank God, while the rest of the world was waking up to the idea of fiscal responsibility, there were still a few brave, douchey souls who were plotting take back their ascots and restore the prominence of Asshole Social Climbers.
Call them the Gatsbabies:
NO. I WILL NOT DO THAT. I WILL CALL THEM DEATHSPAWN.
...three dandyish gentlemen-but straight, mind you, very, very straight-who seemed to come out of nowhere.
Whoa hey, where did these obnoxious assholes come from? It's as if they were summoned by magic!
"They're products of the zeitgeist right now, and that zeitgeist is one of social media and ability to be your own kind of publicist," said Rachelle Hruska, the founder of Guest of a Guest, which has helped cultivate the personas of both Mr. Lee and Mr. Brady.
No. Nowhere in the Zeitgeist Manifesto was there a demand for Gatsbabies. Those were stricken from the first draft early on. Also... what the fuck? Did these two idiots really need to hire someone as a Persona Cultivator? That's nauseating. "You see, if we plant you in the ground, add a bit of mulch, and factor in two trips to Antarctica, you'll have a fully formed alter ego."
Mr. Brady stood amid the throng, holding a magnum of Cristal in each hand, his long hair slicked-back and his dark tailored suit hugging his athletic form... Like Gatsby, he seemed a little too good to be true.
A rich asshole who throws parties to celebrate his own luxury travel habits? My God, he can't be real. He's like some kind of superbeing.
Surely there was more to this guy than met the eye-or less.
Surely he's interesting, or not. Probably not. But surely probably or probably not. Call it 40% maybe.
A few days after the party, The Observer received a terse text from Mr. Brady asking us to call him... "I guess I have to get comfortable with what this media thing is," he said with a sigh.
AND he humblebrags? He really is too good to be true.
The photos of his travels are sweeping and sensational in composition and tone, which has led some to believe that he hired a photographer to document his adventures.
"Everyone's so curious about who's taking the photographs," he told us with a laugh.
No one is curious about whoever took a picture of you standing next to a pygmy on the outskirts of Lusaka. That's a lie. "Who photog'ed this Brady guy?" is not in the zeitgeist. And why shoot you with a camera? Why not shoot you with a gun? Wouldn't that result in better composition and tone?
Mr. Lee likes to say there are three things he never pays for: "parking, publicity and pussy."
Well now, that saying comes right out of Fitzgerald. And then Gatsby burrowed his head into Daisy's nape and whispered tenderly in her ear, "Let me shake my stick at you, bitch."
His borscht-belt schtick and enormous bravado has brought him infamy (if Page Six still counts), sponsorships, and more publicity for Pretentious Pocket, his line of pocket squares, than might seem reasonable.
• Lucky Fuck
• The Prick
• The Madoff
• The Bateman
And more. If you're the kind of dapper fellow who really enjoys flaunting your raging assholishness, this is YOUR pocket square.
The Gatsbabies are not particularly concerned with how others see them, as long as they're being seen.
What if I see them and hit them with some kind of metal baton? Would that concern them?
"Don't tell (Tabber) he looks like Scott Disick. He hates that," said one female friend. We brought up his resemblance to Clark Gable, and the woman paused. "I don't know what Clark Gable looks like," she said flatly.
Differences aside, all three of them owe a debt of gratitude to Scott Fitzgerald's indelible playboy.
Thank you, Gatsby, for letting us take away all of the superficial elements of your existence and none of the actual character depth.
"That was one of my nicknames," Mr. Brady admitted.
You got me! Sometimes people mistake me for one of the great literary characters of the 20th century! I guess I have to get comfortable with what this Gatbsy thing is!
"We tickle people's curiosity," Mr. Lee said.
I hope you tickle a grizzly bear. Thank God the recession is old enough now that rich pricks feel free to be rich pricks again. Society people are the fucking worst.