Monday, June 27, 2005

"Sophisticated."--Jerry on "Seinfeld", on sleeping with his maid.

New York Magazine's piece on high school girls who go to nightclubs to pick up older men covers no new ground, and writer David Amsden's interpretation of the phenomenon is way, way off. It's common knowledge that, while normal, well-adjusted Manhattan high school kids do their underage drinking with one another, the screwy ones feel the need to prove themselves by getting into clubs so exclusive that only the schlubbiest of schlubby rich men can enter. This is mainly a private-school phenomenon, because no matter how often the men pay for... whatever it is they're paying for, the girls will inevitably need a certain amount of start-up money for things like clothes, taxis, and entrance to the clubs themselves.

But where Amsden goes wrong is in portraying the club-going girls as wise beyond their years, as the epitome of Manhattan-based worldliness. "The last time any of them looked their age, they were in elementary school. Like so many privileged New York kids, they have been taught, since they were small children, never to act like children." Replace a few not-so-pertinent details--the location of the drinking, the race of the protagonists--and this is the story of the inner-city girl who falls for an exciting older man, gets messed up in one way or another, gets pregnant and dumped, and causes people like, say, the parents of the girls profiled in the NY Mag piece, to tsk tsk. The point is, there's nothing intrinsically sophisticated about teenage girls acting dumb, but apparently put the girls into designer stilettos and give banking jobs to the men and all of a sudden idiocy becomes maturity. The story's the same no matter how much money everyone involved has at their disposal. As for these girls not looking their age, which is what Amsden claims early on, it's clear that they do look their age, and that this is precisely why they appeal to a certain type of man.


Petey said...

Much like with your odd hostility to Williamsburg, you hold a weirdly intense hostility to the entire concept of inter-generational romance.

If you're a high school girl with upwardly mobile maturity aspirations, who the hell else are you going to date? Ever check out high school boys? They're cute in their own way, but not for that target audience.

"...and this is the story of the inner-city girl who falls for an exciting older man, gets messed up in one way or another, gets pregnant and dumped"

Romance is risky, age appropriate or not.

Falling for jerks will get you burnt be they young or old, rich or poor.


But I'll certainly join with you in your completely appropriate disdain for Lotus and Bungalow 8.

Anonymous said...

She's just jealous she never found a sugar daddy of her own.

Petey said...

I thought the most interesting line in the article was from a DJ:

"The more upscale the club, the younger the girls and older the guys."

At the end of the day, the core of the article is about my recurrent theme on this blog - the ugliness of the money tacky.