Monday, May 12, 2014

Finding Wall Street Funny

Humor Of the Moneyed, By the Moneyed, For the Rest of Us

I've had this Wall Street Journal Magazine sitting on my desk for three weeks. (No, that's not the funny part.) On the cover Scarlett Johansson looks back with an expression somewhere between sultry and amnesic. My wife doesn't like it one bit. Probably because she is not amnesic and thus has a hard time being sultry for me.

The topic of this issue is The State of Taste; below this a teaser that invites us readers in a very upper-class font to find out how Scarlett 'does it her way'. Titillating words, meant to induce the reptilian part of my brain to make me flip through, looking for a flesh-heavy photo spread if not a pull-out centerfold.

I was quite disappointed.

As consolation I know that our esteemed financiers are not letting leggy fantasies of Scarlett Johansson distract them from their main and very real purpose of screwing all of us equally.

I enjoy flipping through magazines that fill the first several pages with advertisements by entities selling expensive things. I do not have an affinity for expensive things (maybe because I can not afford them but that is for my psychiatrist to figure out). What I do have an affinity for is humor, and magazines with ads for expensive things are usually pretty damn funny. And the funniest part is, the people who put them together aren't trying to be funny. Reminds me of Vanilla Ice.

Then there is the idea that there are a lot of people out there taking this magazine seriously, which is not so much funny as socially funereal.

The April 2014 edition of WSJ Magazine is a fairly hefty piece of work - due mainly to the glossy laminate which serves, we can assume, to lend a sense of import to the laughably droll haught slathered on each of its 104 pages.

Wait, back up. I shouldn't say that. There are, we can see with a little effort once we wipe the laughter-induced tears from our eyes, that there are some bits and pieces about some cool people doing some cool things - like Kate Orff on page 42. We need more people like her - and fewer people thinking they are actually saving a hundred bucks by signing up for the convenient recurring espresso capsule deliveries advertised on page 43. Yes folks, save a C-note on your Francis Francis espresso machine and claim your membership in the espresso capsule club, complete with 'exclusive benefits'.

What? The name of the espresso maker is Francis Francis? What the hell is that? The only two famous figures I know with repeating names are Sirhan Sirhan and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I don't want either of them associated with anything in my kitchen, thank you.
What rhymes with 'illy'?

But hey, to each his own buying habits, even if the all-important frother is sold separately, suckers. I'm not one to judge people's preferences.

I'm just the guy making fun of them.

The good editors at the WSJ provide us with so much fodder for fun in this one issue that I can not in good consciousness lay it all out in one spectacular and uproarious post, lest I run the risk of being sued by the many who will suffer a hernia or a fell-out-of-my-chair concussion from the hysterics. Therefore I'll hew the hilarity into a series of brief posts, offering this delectable smorgasbord of lunacy piecemeal. This will allow everyone to get on with the day without incident or injury.

No need to thank me directly. A share or a tweet will do.