Monday, January 03, 2005

Plutocrats: Nation Cruise Update

Speaking of luxury liners, does anyone know how The Nation cruise went? Maybe one of their staffers can weigh anchor with a report.

There seems to be a stark contradiction at that publication: an elephant in the room which Nation employees pretend not to notice. If we live in a plutocracy-- we just might-- then Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel is a plutocrat. She's heiress to the billion-dollar MCA fortune. MCA was one of the first true media monopolies-- the kind of entity one would think The Nation would oppose in its entirety. One might hope they would speak out against the existence of vast pools of wealth-- North Slope oil reserves of plutocratic MONEY which allow individuals like Ms. vanden Heuvel to have an inordinate amount of influence. (What TV program will Katrina be on today?) (Katrina enjoyed interning at The Nation so much that she bought it!)

One wonders at the dilemma faced by the typical Nation employee. It'd be like getting a job at the Jewish Defense Fund and discovering the group's chairman is a Nazi. "Whose office is that?" a new employee asks. "Oh, that's just the Chairman; pay him no mind." The employee glances through an opening in the almost-closed door and sees a figure strongly resembling Adolf Hitler in Nazi uniform, brush moustache twitching, arm outstretched in Nazi salute as he parades with long strides around his office in jackboots.

8 comments:

The Red Roach said...

Hey Karl,

Here's to the ULA's continued success in 2005.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I liked the post until the inevitable (?) Nazi comment. These are just garden variety culture vultures, and hardly up to the level of ethnic liquidators. The analogy cheapens (badly) an otherwise worthy post. And don't forget, Stalin and his thugs murdered 20 million Catholics in his (ignored) "purges" in the Ukraine. Stay on point, Karl, and don't degrade your intelligent essays with nonsensical and insulting analogies.

Noah Cicero said...

hey Mr. Anonymous I see that you're back. I'm not going to write again so don't wait for a reply if you write back. But this must be said.
1. Stalin killed only 6 to 7 million people in the Ukraine during the purges.
2. Why did you even feel the need to write that post about Hilter or Stalin? It was concerning the literary world not world politics.
3. Did you contact Mel Brooks about The Producers and bitch at him for not having Springtime for Stalin.

Jeff Potter said...

Dang, I posted a comment on this yesterday, but nada. Oh well, here goes again...

The Nation employees would notice the contradiction if they weren't plutocrats, kept personages and wannabes themselves. Jobs in literary publishing are notoriously considered on the same level as docents in museums. They're kept artificially low by rich people willing to work for unlivable wages so that their slow-selling demi-stars have more to siphon off. This helps keep the sinking ship afloat a little bit longer. It's also a source of poison and injustice. Having "our people" staff the lit-pub trade is no bother to them. But how about a little diversity, eh?

That would be a fun expose': What are the wages in lit-pub compared to similar trades? Are they kept artificially lower? This would be a fun one.

The thing is that among the wannabes the ULA is likely to find allies in the end. (I hope they don't wait too long.) MFAers who are being supported by their spouses to work a mailroom job at a glam Lit-Pub house are going to get fed up when they see that the rung doesn't lead any higher and they really aren't "one of us." There's going to be friction between the exploited MFAers and the trust-funders working the same jobs. The MFAers won't be able to spring for the cruise. And they might even be sincere: maybe they see the contradiction. The trust-funders are used to fancy cruises AND agitating for the powerless being things that go together in their cloistered world. At least a few MFAers are going to wake up. They'll start keeping us posted as to what goes on upstairs.

King said...

Re: Nazis. I was being hyperbolic. Hitler is simply a more striking figure to use as an analogy-- one of the best ever, let's face it. One can conjure up an immediate image of the dude, because he was so over-the-top dramatic. (A great performer without question. Should've been channelled into doing Shakespeare. Would've made a great Richard III.) Stalin, by contrast, was a very low-key, behind-the-scenes kind of character. Not as useful for the purposes of my post. "Anonymous" will have to do better.

King said...

FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT DEPARTMENT:
I guess my posts should all be reasoned in-proportion undramatic genteel and polite. That's not how the ULA got attention to begin with, my friends. The quiet house with the well-dressed well-behaved quiet and reasonable neighbors is down the block.

Anonymous said...

Um, for what it's worth -- I'm the disciplined gentleman who smacked around Cicero in a previous thread -- and the above post is not from me. I would assume that it's a bit underwhelming for you guys to assume that you have only one non-Blogger account reader.

But to clear up what little confusion there may be in the future, I'll go by the name of Jonah Crassus in any cost I make here. Rest assured: it's my real name.

Noah Cicero said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha lol