This, my friends, is 85-year-old Gloria Vanderbilt! Gloria is, of course, not just mommy to the journalistic cipher Anderson Cooper, but also the never-laboring heiress-socialite great granddaughter of railroad robber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the fine figures who helped ensure that rail transport in the USA would be privately owned and widely despised, rather than publicly provided and widely beloved.
I hereby nominate Gloria as the official 21st-century cover-girl for our corporate overclass. She’s just absolutely perfect! Way decrepit and long past any pretense to vigor, she epitomizes the de rigueur look of our times: The dyed, implanted fake hair. The scramble for each and every possible plastic-surgical denial of reality. The vapid self-satisfaction and outdated posings in the face of blatant irrelevance and onrushing death.
Sublime, isn’t it?
And Lady Glo isn’t just the perfect looker. She even seems to be channeling and verbalizing the core thoughts of her social class-mates, young and old alike: “I’m determined to be the best I can be for as long as I can, and when I’m not, I have my plans.”
Well, bravo, hmm, hmm! How true-to-life can one possibly be, hmm, hmm?
One catches the general principle at work (and I use that word “work” ironically) here. It’s a slight adaptation of old Corny’s classic admission about class power and the (non-)rule of law: Reality? What care I about reality? Hain’t I got the money?