Friday, March 4, 2011

The Native Society

So a couple of days ago the New York Times had this article in the Fashion section about The Native Society, some New Yorker exclusive club for the young, connected (and, apparently, disillusioned with the world) trust-fund kids of the Upper West Side. Now, I'm not sure whether this was done on purpose or not, but it was as if the quotes that were chosen were done specifically to mock the party-goers and illustrate the ridiculousness that is the idea of an elite networking party for kids in their early to mid-twenties. First of all, nothing that they said made them look good, or smart (which makes you wonder what the money that they have has been used on, if not the best education available) or even 'international' as they claim they are.
          The most the article does is make all New Yorkers with even the tiniest amount of privilege or wealth look ignorant, stuck up and extremely close minded about anything off this little island. I mean, seriously, what the hell is the 'native sensibility' to begin with? I didn't realize that there was a particular way of thinking and acting that automatically made you a native New Yorker, but that just may be my fault...after all I wasn't born here, and even when I lived here it wasn't in the lush, super-mind-developing environment of the 10021 ZIP code so I was not automatically privy to the fact that in order to act like a native New Yorker, I needed to put down anything west of the city.

[Sidebar: I'm just going to take a moment here and point out how offensive saying  “When you grow up in New York City, our minds develop faster. ...You’re not from Wisconsin, you’re not from the middle of America. We’re international, we’re focused, we’re driven.” is]


          It doesn't matter if you've been to Norway or Italy or if you've travelled to every country in the world, if all you do is go there to sit on the beach and sip fruity cocktails or enjoy a nice hot chocolate in your mink fur earmuffs, you've gotten nothing from that place and you're not international. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with beaches, I love the beach and I love sitting on it and reading and enjoying the feeling of the sun gently warming my skin. I love how blue the water can get in the Mediterranean and the way that the sand changes colour, from pure white to a bronze depending where you are in th world. But I also love exploring (not alone, I freak out about being lost if I'm alone) and trying to absorb some knowledge of the language, and eating local food, and attending 'cultural' events (football matches, for instance, are fantastic), actually visiting the country I'm in, beyond the hotel and beach and night clubs.
          I don't know, I just think that if you can't even go to a college in your own country and make friends just because people get more drunk for less money (Jello shots) while simultaneously enjoying themselves and you want nothing more than to spend hundreds of dollars on French champagne that you'll sip at for the rest of the night while you and your fellow associates (because calling them 'friends' would be too mass) discuss whether God really is dead, there's something wrong. Okay, I'm sure a 'pimps and hos' themed party would be a little scary, but I highly doubt that's all that anyone ever did in that college. Find someone who shares your interest beyond just being rich and from New York, talk to them, find out where they're from and how they got there and where they've been. Have friends from more than just your city (charitably extending your social circle to include SoHo does not count), learn from them, and then maybe you can claim that you're international.
          Otherwise, you're just another group of kids with too much money and too much time.


P.S.

  1. If you think so contemptuously of Facebook, why did you take the time to create one for your dog
  2. You can hardly be considered driven/focused if at the first sign of difference/not everything being done how you want it,  you ran away from the change that you experienced in college to the sameness of your upbringing, especially if that sameness is one that endorses not showing that you're doing work
  3. If  by 'doing something with their lives' you meant getting together and talking about doing something while looking fancy, then yeah, you're right, you're totally different from those "Upper East Side snobs" characterized in the movie Metropolitan
/endrant
I'm done now, I promise. I'm not even sure if most of my issues were addressed or even coherent. But, that's wot I get for stream of conscious responses to articles I read.