You’re on your own for the next few hours. I’ve got bit of freelance work to do and then I’m sitting down (actually lying in the bed) with Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. I always meant to read the book back in the 1980s when it caused such a ruckus and opened up a conversation about race and class issues in the United States. (I was an annoyingly well-read teen, yes.)
However, the book, set in the newly yuppified Manhattan of the 1980s, holds up frighteningly well. With shows like Gossip Girl and The Hills popular with the teen set, Real Housewives for the wannabe glamorous, and modern day icons like rich bitch Paris Hilton, American culture has come full circle again.
What’s important nowadays? The right address. A bigger, better cell phone. (Thanks, Apple!) Clothes with the right labels behind your neck. For awhile, in the 1990s, we renounced that stuff (or at least kept our material lust a private matter). But, status and elitism are back and more fashionable than ever. Even WASPiness is in vogue again. Nowadays rappers dress like preppies. Speaking of preppies, 1980s bad boy Robert Chambers aka “The Preppy Murderer” is back in the news after all these years by getting himself arrested on drug charges.
All of it makes the book – which might have been passe’ a few short years ago – all the more interesting to read.