I’ve always perversely enjoyed reading the Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report, and I give the paper credit for explicitly pandering to a base rather than swathing elitist stories in cashmere and letting them sit pretty in a “style” or “life” section for unassuming (or assuming) readers to consume. There should really be a newspaper with sections labeled for corresponding social classes. It could be called The Caste-anet, and it would have a rich section, a poor section, a working poor section, a middle-class section and special editions for students, single parents and the elderly. Yes, most newspapers already cover these bases, but none with such brave categorical absoluteness. Until The Caste-anet exists, though, I’ve taken to reading fiction which is so bizarre because I hate imaginary things. But Lolita is good and the degeneration of Humbert Humbert’s feelings for Valeria remind me of the demise of the newspaper industry:
But reality soon asserted itself. The bleached curl revealed its melanic root; the down turned to prickles on a shaved shin; the mobile moist mouth, no matter how I stuffed it with love, disclosed ignominiously its resemblance to the corresponding part in a treasured portrait of her toadlike dead mama; and presently, instead of a pale little gutter girl, Humbert Humbert had on his hands a large, puffy, short-legged, big-breasted and practically brainless baba.
Something that seems to hold great beauty or meaning does not; up close, it’s absolutely empty — and it’s an ugly emptiness — beneath a bloated facade. Poor Valeria. Poor media. Ah, well. It’ll be ok because I’m fairly certain that the demise of civilization is actually golf on Youtube. Society sure has a lot of fish to fry.