I lost my invitation and, besides, the pilot of my private plane was on holiday, so I had to miss the intimate, scaled-back get-together that Barack Obama convened to celebrate his 60th year gracing our planet with his awesomeness.
I didn’t feel too badly, though — no paralyzing waves of ‘FOMO’ — because all my friends in the media made me feel I was almost there. There were all those leaked snaps and videos, for one thing, showing the Prez dance-dance-dancing the night away, nary a mask in sight.
In truth, that was the one thing I liked about this obscene, Gatsby-esque spectacle. The Obamas, and presumably their guests, had been vaccinated. They therefore knew that they were not at any meaningful risk of contracting THE WORST DISEASE SINCE THE BLACK DEATH — I mean, the nasty little respiratory virus bequeathed to a grateful world by the ChiComs. They just weren’t, and neither are you — always assuming you are vaccinated and under the age of, say, 80.
The only thing that would have made this aspect of Obama’s Feast of Trimalchio more delicious would have been a couple of candid snaps of St Anthony Fauci doing the twist with Chrissy Teigen. Maybe the Daily Mail will eventually come through on that.
Let’s just set the record straight on a couple of matters. When it was first revealed that His Highness was planning this illustration of Thorstein Veblen’s thesis about conspicuous consumption, there were some plangent noises among the patter of adulation. Four hundred guests and 200 peons — er, servants? A teensy bit over the top, Barack? So the Obamas said they scaled it back — look it up: it was all over the court press. But it is clear that they didn’t. Possibly, the Cuomo Bros had their invitations yanked, but that was only because — Ecce Cuomo — shares in Cuomo preferred had just taken a sharp dive. This, incidentally, provided a good illustration of the irrationality of this part of the market. Stock in the Cuomo Mafia deserves to be rated a zero — bankruptcy time — but not because Andrew is the Luv Gov and can’t keep his pinky off the pink bits of the ladies. That’s what the media outrage machine would have you believe. But the real reason he deserves to go can be adduced in the number 15,000, approximately the number people whose deaths he caused by forcing nursing homes to take patients suffering from COVID. Anyway, the ‘root cause’ of Cuomo’s defenestration is the threat he poses — make that ‘posed’ — as a possible alternative to the gibbering, geriatric wing of the Democratic party going forward.
The second thing that needs to be corrected is the calumny that the Obamas occupy a pad worth $11-$12 million on Martha’s Vineyard. In fact, that 30-acre estate is worth about three to four times that much, but some lingering sense of propriety (I won’t call it shame) caused them or their PR flaks to lowball the assessment.
All in all, the Obama Odeon was an excellent illustration of Joel Kotkin’s thesis in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. Western societies, above all American society, is lapsing back into a sort of stratified, feudal arrangement with some a tiny hyper-rich elite at the top and a vast pool of ‘deplorables’ kept in check by the police power of the state — what Joe Biden memorably apostrophized as ‘F-15s and some nuclear weapons’. Mediating the two like a layer of fat is a sort of clerisy that is treated to varying crumbs from the table as it explains, flatters, and cajoles.
There is a lot to be repelled by in the Spectacle of Barack Obama’s exercise in brazen self-indulgence, also a lot to be angry at.
I think it is important, though, to look at it as a learning experience. Pretend you were Aesop. What moral would you draw from this exercise in exhibitionism?
Doubtless there are several learning experiences to be had. But I thought that Rep. Jim Jordan perfectly articulated an important lesson in a tweet. Now we know, he wrote, that
‘#COVID19 spreads at:
It doesn’t spread at:
-The southern border
-Democrat wedding receptions
-San Francisco hair salons
-Governor Newsom’s dinner
-President Obama’s birthday party’
Really, I hadn’t know that before and I am grateful for the enlightenment.