The rich have always felt a vague guilt about being rich, which is what the charity-party circuit is all about. But it's incredibly annoying to have them jumping on the cutting back/scrimping n' saving bandwagon even though they don't have to—these are the people who benefitted so hugely when we were in boom times. And their children are even worse: listen to Bee Shaffer, daughter of Vogue editrix Anna Wintour's, fake-whine about how she doesn't think she'll be able to find a media job after graduating from Columbia: "I finish in May, and I'm really nervous about the fact nobody's hiring right now," she told New York mag at the fancy CFDA Fashion Awards, presumably while fluttering her hands and wearing an obscenely expensive designer dress. Being "responsible" is the new trend!
Of course Thomas Friedman has to chime in via his NYT column, as he does with every trend. He's stopped yapping about "going green" and instead:
"So, I have a confession and a suggestion. The confession: I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: "You don't know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn't be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home."
So you're allowed to be there and we're not? Not even if we're on a date or treating ourselves to a night out? Hey, Friedman: please put your thoughts and ideas in a doggy bag and take them home. Meanwhile, Womens Wear Daily asked celebs what they're not ready to go without in these recessionary times. Sample answers: both Hilary Swank and Rosanna Arquette can't go without facials, Jessica Biel needs "first-class travel," Amy Smart cannot live without organic foodstuffs, and Kim Raver sagely suggested, "Instead of buying 10 extravagant items, you maybe buy one or two extravagant items and mix it up with the Gap." Mind-jarring. Of course, there was last month's "recession chic" piece in the Times Styles section to help us out and suggest that buying Hermes purses is now considered tacky. Remember that "going green" media-trend from a while back? This is sort of like that. It was so comical to watch fashion magazine editors with six-figure salaries pace around their offices in $500 dresses freaking out about "doing something green with this issue" when producing a fashion magazine is the most wasteful process ever. We imagine the same scene is playing itself out in the offices of Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time Inc right this minute, only with the word "recession" replacing "green." Same song, different name.