Oh the seething hate! Oh the raspy guttersnipe squorking in the wabe! Release the snarkhounds, because Chris O’Shea of Mediabistro has taken on a Vogue article about a family who turned their Brooklyn brownstone into a pastoral paradise. Entitled How Many Times Does this Vogue Piece Make You Want to Vomit?, it goes scorched-earth on the first and third sentences, and never lets up from there.
I think one’s experience of the Vogue article really depends on which you read first: the original, or the invective. Perusing the Vogue piece, you find yourself envious, and then wondering why there’s a fucking pony in the daughter’s playroom – but if you read Mediabistro first, you might come away saying “yes, but you have to admit, the horse-chestnut wallpaper really is sort of fabulous.”
It’s a funny highwire act, extrapolating to the world at large: on one hand you’ve got a well-off designer family with impeccable taste being publically flogged by a caffeine-fueled hatescriber using the easiest of all tropes: incandescent snark.
On the other, well, the perfection of this Vogue family is just so easy to despise, especially given the layout of the slideshow, impeccably curated to make the 99% feel like hopeless, luckless schlubs. It plays into the idea that a few impossibly-blessed Americans have inherited their way into eternal largesse, while everyone else watches rats eat rodenticide beneath the tracks of the F train.
It doesn’t help that the article was written by Chloe Malle, the daughter of Candice Bergen and the late filmmaker Louis Malle, only adding to the whiff of entitlement. So yes, hate hate hate, roll your eyes at the twee, and think of other asinine shit white people can’t help loving.
But when do we get to sneak away and just enjoy something for the sheer bubblegum of it? Maybe VOGUE is fair game for nihilism, but where can we go to look at bedrooms we would have loved, and gardens designed for your Lewis Carroll subconscious? God knows I can spew acid with the best of them, and have allergies to preciousness, but I wonder if our generation’s Puritanical bullshit isn’t robbing us of our last great anti-depressant: the guilty pleasure.
And fuck if I don’t love the master bathroom: