Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Badvertising: Make the Evening News Tonight!


This posting in Craigslist is as simple as it gets. If you answer this ad: you will die. This isn't about a bad boss. This is about a bad serial killer.

Words to watch out for in any advertisement: "seeking young attractive," "open minded," and "send a photo." When you hear any of these phrases, know that you are just an e-mail click away from rubbing the lotion on its skin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet The New Crosswalk...Same As The Old Crosswalk


So according to the East Hampton Patch, a new local venture by the way, (welcome to the show, and prepare to be mocked), the village of East Hampton is proposing to install new lighted crosswalks at certain points along Main Street. The goal is to increase safety for pedestrians who can't decide if they want to celebrity-gawk along the west side of the road, or drink their $30 latte at a park bench on the east side.


According to Amy Tangel's article, the system will run off the old street light system, a system by which the pedestrians step out into the crosswalk without warning and assume their sense of entitlement will be enough to cause motorists to hit their brakes before Coco, the lapdog in a pink Gucci sweater, winds up under the wheel base.


(Photo Courtesy: East Hampton Patch. Meaning, we copy/pasted off their site.)

Breaking News: Bored People Hate Everything


Especially art. Especially when it's not tucked away out of sight. This bit of local color made its way to the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Apparently some blue-hairs from Sag Harbor are screaming "code violation" over a 16-foot sculpture by the late Larry Rivers. The sculpture is a pair of long, white, shapely woman's legs with garters at the thigh. Which begs the question: who's Larry Rivers?

I guess we're a bunch of troglodytes here at Hamptonyte, because we didn't know he's sort of a big deal. He moved out to the Hamptons with the rest of the crew: DeKooning, Pollack, et al. And now he's dead. Which, in the art world, means he's finally starting to make money.

In either event, the 16-foot legs, which are nothing more than a naked pair of out-of-scale mannequin legs, is perched up alongside the "temporary home" (whatever that means) of two art dealers: Janet Lehr and (the very pretentiously one-named) Vered. Together, they run the Vered Gallery out of an old Baptist church in the village.

So the neighbors are predictably pissed. We say predictably because, after all, this is a nation that doesn't know how to handle a woman and her naughty bits. What if school children see it? Or the elderly? Now they're trying to sweep the leg, by claiming it violates some building code about structures maintaining a certain height. Basically they're trying to nail Al Capone for tax evasion. It's sort of like when Mayor Giuliani lost all his hair because an artist painted the virgin Mary with elephant dung. He couldn't execute the artist, so he went after the funding at the Brooklyn Museum.

Hey, credit the WSJ for finally putting to bed the proper spelling of "whack" in "whack job!" As in:
"I heard this guy is a whack job," says Charles McCarron, who owns the house next door to the one with the big legs outside. "This is not Greenwich Village."

Actually, Greenwich Village is no longer Greenwich Village, probably because of douchebags like McCarron. So in short: villagers in Sag Harbor are outraged by a sculpture created by a well-known artist, but they aren't outraged that there's someone living in their village who only goes by the name Vered?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anatomy of a Phony

If this isn't already a saying, I'm officially entering it into the lexicon: "Hollywood is where you go to become famous. The Hamptons is where you go to pretend you already are."

One doesn't need to spend an incredible amount of time in the Hamptons to realize that everybody out here seems to spend half their life creating their own legends, and the other half convincing others it's true. Here's a test. Drive out to East Hampton. Throw a stick. Whomever it hits, approach. Ask them who they are or what they do. Gauranteed they will tell you they're an "artist" or a "writer" or a "something to the stars." Just check out this article in Hamptons.com, the essentially useless online publication that still tries to pretend real hard that the Hamptons are still teeming with self-importance after Labor Day.

This item takes the cake, though. Meet Hy Abady. Yeah we're not sure how to pronounce that either. Although according to him, we should already know who he is. A former NYC ad man from the 60s and 70s who bounced around from agency to agency, he finally amassed enough upper-middle class wealth to purchase a home on Further Lane in East Hampton, back when houses on Further Lane were called "duck blinds." Once he got there, he went right to the task of pretending he was more important to the world than he was. Crashing parties, oozing his way into peoples' confidences, and in some cases, sleazily eavesdropping from the cozy cushion of a bar stool, he started submitting a column for the East Hampton Star every week. Now he's taken those articles, threw in a few more that never made it to print, and has put together a slim volume of his work he's calling "Are You Gonna Eat That?: How I Scored Billy Joel's Pizza Crust." (It's called something else, but this title is a little more apt.)

The "book" is published by Antinuous Press, and if you've never heard of this imprint, it's because you're straight. The house publishes "art books" and the like, which amount to a catalogue of nothing more than male gay erotica. Just peep the home page's photo montage. With your hands over your eyes. Squinting through your fingers.

Props have to go out to the East Hampton Star reviewer of this nonsense for keeping a straight face and managing to insert a little objective integrity in the review. But the fact that he even got a review for this gives our friend one more card in the house of cards people of his ilk build for themselves in the Hamptons. A perfectly phony life. A life made possible because he met the right people, schmoozed at the right parties, and exagerrated his own importance whenever those people he schmoozed gave him a platform to do so.

Too harsh? Ask yourself: if I wrote this book of gossip about the town I lived in and pitched it to a publishing house, but didn't know anybody who worked there, would it get published? If I didn't contribute to the East Hampton Star would it have gotten reviewed there? If I found a small, obscure publishing house to actually take my book, would I be modest about it? Or would I pretend it was the headlining title at Simon & Schuster?

If you answered no to most of those questions, you're not doing it right, according to the culture of the Hamptons, because Abady is just one of a whole score of folks out there who have drafted up this fake playbook. And by playbook we mean plop yourself down at the bar at the Maidstone Arms, obsessively scan the crowd for celebrities and then eavesdrop on their private conversations so you can write an article about it as though you know them personally.

Particularly galling is the fact that Abady's celebrity-addled brain distinguishes people in categories like "famous" "faux-famous," and "nobodies," considering the smoke and mirrors people like him create to rise themselves above the dreaded "nobody" category. He's perfectly alright with "faux-famous." This is why writing...name-dropping celebrity writing in particular...is often so poorly done. The writer is too soft-headed to realize that all people are interesting.

So look through the Matrix. What you'll see is a guy who worked for an ad agency and made enough money to buy himself geographic proximity to celebrities. The ad agency was run by another guy with connections in the local newspapers of the Hamptons. Because of this, the first guy, for years, uses his proximity to celebrities to publish his dim-witted celebrity musings in the East Hampton Star. Then he takes these musings and, through his gay contacts, places them with an obscure gay erotica publishing house. The book then gets reviewed by the very newspaper that published his column, which he didn't earn in the first place. Call it "incestuous legitimacy." In fact, that's a new Hamptonyte category from now on.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Weakonomy: Everyone's Too Poor to Bang

It's exactly like rap group Three 6 Mafia said it was: "It's Hard Out Here for a Person who brokers business transactions for services rendered between an experienced woman and a lonely man.

Wow, the economy sucks so bad that nobody wants to get sucked so bad? According to this article in Business Insider, who took its cue from the Daily News, the swinger "industry" (industry? Really?) is taking a beating in this economic climate, as attendance is way down and membership to exclusive swinger clubs is getting a little too prohibitive.

Especially in East Hampton, where, according to the article, swinger clubs are still charging about $300 for you to get your freak on with a whole crew of sweaty people. Memberships further west including New York City cost about $150.

Damn zone pricing. Still. We can't just skip the cable bill? Or cut up a credit card?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Badvertising: The Job Search


The headline of this ad reads "ABC Always Be Closing!" A bad move. This is a classic "proceed-with-caution" job application. They might be a nightmare, or they might just be movie buffs.

For the record "A-B-C, Always be closing" is the rallying cry from a senior executive at a real estate firm in the film "Glengarry Glen Ross," a brilliant drama written by David Mamet that captures the dog-eat-dog world of sales. Alec Baldwin plays the ball-breaking executive sent down by "Mitch & Murray" to rattle the office of slackers who haven't been selling at the pace desired at corporate HQ. Baldwin's character is abusive, he's rude, he's crass, and he's unintentionally hilarious. When told by Jack Lemmon's character that the sales leads are weak, he says: "The leads are weak? Fucken leads are weak? You're weak!"

When Ed Harris' character asks what his name is:

"Fuck. You. That's my name! Because you drove a Hyundai to get here; I drove an $80,000 BMW; THAT'S my name!"

When Alan Arkin says absolutely nothing, Baldwin's character says:

"You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse you cocksucker, if you can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get out on a sit!"

Alright, enough. Always Be Closing is a nod to a great movie, but an otherwise completely douchey thing to say in any other context. Leave this to Alec Baldwin's dickhead character; don't put it in an ad you're presumably trying to reach out to strangers with. You know what it takes to respond to this Craigslisting? It takes brass balls to respond to this Craigslisting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Badvertising: Hamptonyte's Guide to Nightmare Jobs


A new feature here on Hamptonyte will highlight job openings whose language in the advertisement should send up a red flag to anyone who might still have the luxury of picking and choosing what they wish to do for a living (if such people still exist.) From Craigslist, to MediaBistro, to CareerBuilders, we'll decode the language so you don't have to.

First up: This ad, which posted on Craigslist on October 27 for a "PR (public relations) Intern." What got our attention first? The word "whining." Kids...whenever a potential boss says he/she doesn't want "whining," RUN. Run far away. Because whining probably means you can't tell him about any obstacle that prevented you from performing your job. This could mean anything from a broken-down subway car, to accidental amputation. Ie: "stop whining about your arm getting chopped off, you totally have another one. Get back to work!"

"We would prefer to have someone from the Brooklyn area (Williamsburg/Greenpoint) as we don't want to have to deal with anyone whining about the incredible journey it was for them to travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn, late arrivals, etc. If you can handle the commute and don't think you need a passport to get here feel free to apply."

As if this isn't douchey enough, peep the other warnings to steer clear from this agency:

"This is not a job for someone who is going into PR for the parties, free gifts, chance to be on a reality show or to gawk at celebrities. If you're capable and a good representative of our team we'll bring you along to events, tapings etc. but don't expect it solely because you work with the agency."

Here's why you need to ignore this post. PR jobs are almost ALWAYS centered on parties, free gifts, and the chance to gawk at celebrities...it's what CREATED the industry in the first place. Any PR agency that pretends to divorce itself from that culture is LYING. They want to gawk at celebrities just as much as you do; they just don't have enough passes to get you into the joint. Next please.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why We Hate (cough,cough Love) The French


Because they spend two days in a "luxury" rental house in the Hamptons and then dash out of there before paying.

According to Reuters, Real Estate Pimps Kandinksy Escape LLC is suing a senior executive at Lazard Ltd. for allegedly pulling a two-day dine & dash on the house they rented out to him.

French citizen, Matthieu Pigasse (pronounced "Pig-Ass," we're pretty unsure) is accused of leaving the Southampton premises (without paying a deposit or security) only two days into a three-week agreement to rent the place . The way it went down is, apparently, Pimp Kandinsky pimped out the property to lesser pimps Prudential Douglas Elliman, who then turned the keys over to Pigasse without asking for a dime. Sure, they figured he was good for it; he's Lazard's Vice Chairman for Europe for God's sake.

But such is the state of the way we live now: even the rich have to crash on couches and keep moving to the next opportunity.

Apparently Pigasse left the house because he claimed the house didn't look like it did in the pictures. Duh! Of course it didn't, they're real estate pictures! My house looked like a doll house with a football field in the back yard until I pulled up to it and thought I'd reached the set of the Addams Family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The People We Listen To: Patrick McLaughlin


This week in toolbaggery (or should we say last week?) we listen to trendsetting, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-hamptons guru Patrick McLaughlin as he posts, not one, but two blog entries warning the rest of us (who are not as fabulous as him) what we better not wear for Halloween.

His first post was a digression about a tree he couldn't stop molesting. Then he wrote this:

By the way, the costumes that you don't want to be wearing this year include... LADY GA GA, ANYBODY FROM "AVATAR", STEPHEN SLATER OF JET BLUE FAME OR A CHILEAN MINER! All of these are hackneyed and overdone. Think of something original... be more like my dog Boo. Superdog! Im so shocked she's never bitten me!

So are we. Honestly, there is nothing more obnoxious than Halloween costume-nazis who think they're so innovative, so inspired, and so cutting edge that they need to dish out warnings to the rest of us snoozos. And for the record, what could be more hackneyed and overdone than dressing up your dog? Two days later, he kept it going.

Please if I see you there... No Lady Ga-Ga or anyone from the JOISEY SHORE!

And please, Patrick, if I see you there, keep your SuperMutt away from me, because he's probably pissing on my leg and making my blue Avatar paint run!