Monday, July 12, 2010

When Good Fameballing Goes Bad

A Hamptons cautionary tale has reached the pages of the NY Post. In the world of Hamptons real estate, one can only imagine the amount of fameballing and namewhoring that goes on between one agent and the next, or between an agent and the press corps, as each one battles it out to achieve the completely made-up title of "guru." Sure, if you can say you sold 50 acres to Madonna, or helped Lady Gaga pick her estate in Bridgehampton, you can achieve something of a god status among your ilk. Be invited to the hottest parties. Get photographed by that Patrick McMullan dude, arm wrapped around the slender waist of the latest starlet or reality show diva. Not to mention the commission is no kick in the jabumbas either. The motivation is intoxicating and high-end luxury service providers everywhere succumb to the need to be as large in personality as the celebrities they're trying to namewhore.

This can be dangerous. Just ask Jay Flagg. Oh, how he was seduced by the power of power. How he dared to out-personality personality. Lulled by sycophancy into the notion that he, a Prudential Douglas Elliman, Southampton broker had somehow become bigger than his office, nay, bigger than Prudential Douglas Elliman! Bigger than God! In his Faustian arrogance he took out an ad in Hamptons Magazine whereby his name was in bold red lettering, while the name of his employer/agency appeared at the bottom in smaller print! Why not? After all, he's Jay Flagg, real estate guru!

But the hand of God can be heavy, and when it falls...

According to this NY Post article, PDE Chairman Howard Lorber smote his ruins by the mountainside. Yup. Shitcanned him for this bit of hubris. Now Flagg's camp is saying this is all because of some personal beef between Flagg and Lorber, and an anonymous source seems to back that theory. Is there a lesson we can take from this?

Beware of masturbatory self-promotion in your ads. Be humble before your creator. Remember that heavy is the head that wears the crown. Oh and...don't have personal beef with your boss. It will not end well for you.

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