Of course, aristocrats on balconies have been amused by peasants in the streets since time immemorial. Or at least since 1789......
|Marie Antoinette & Co Ogled at Their Peril|
Or as recently as last May, when the same plutopods at the Cipriani Club at 55 Wall Street peered and sneered at another protest march. (Yes, there have been protest marches, demonstrations, rallies and sleep-ins galore in lower Manhattan this whole year. But they have not been covered by the mainstream media, apparently because the participants were not bused in by the Koch Brothers. And although there were a few arrests this summer, they lacked the drama of pepper spray and other assaults. In other words, since they didn't bleed, they didn't lead.)
|(photo by Christopher Robbins)|
Remember all those horror movies from the 50s and 60s where critters ran amok and attacked out of the blue for no apparent reason, and we come to find out it's because humans have been so vile and corrupt for so long that nature finally has enough and retaliates? (Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" comes to mind, along with "Them" and other giant insect films made in the wake of The Bomb).
Well, it just so happens that a swarm of 20,000 angry bees did attack the original Stock Exchange building in 2010. They must have been pissed off about the TARP bailouts, the trillions of dollars in secret Fed loans to the multinationals and banks, the foreclosures, the foreclosure robosigning scandals, the CEO bonuses, the impunity, the fact that the current owners are convicted tax evaders, fraudsters, alleged mobsters, bribers of government officials -- and yet, in the fine corrupt Wall Street tradition, the Cipriani clan still manages to maintain possession of its property and get richer by the minute.
Were the bees harbingers of things to come? Let's hope. But let us also pray that the "OccupyWallStreet" resistance movement does not meet the same fate as the bees. The NYPD sucked them up with a giant vacuum cleaner and shipped them out to a farm in Connecticut. So for those who plan to march on One Police Plaza this afternoon to protest the Inspector Bologna brutality, be careful out there! Remember -- New York's finest also have weapons designed to shoot planes out of the sky.
The Cipriani Club, for those of you not in the know (and I was among the unknowing myself until earlier today) was constructed during the Gilded Age of Wall Street's glorious heyday and comprises an entire city block. (the better to view the hoi polloi). It now houses restaurants, condos selling in the mid to high seven figures, spas, bars. The restaurant has the dubious distinction of being home to a $32 hamburger. It's gotten many a lousy review in the New York Times, for its terrible food, tiny chairs and conspicuous consumption. As far as I know, the Cipriani is not among the financial district eateries donating food to the Zuccotti Park campers. But we can always call and ask! Here is their number: 212-699-4096.
And speaking of reviews: Ginia Bellafante, the Times columnist who made fun of the Wall Street protesters and their regalia last weekend, should have gone into Cipriani instead. According to the Indagare travel site, the uber-wealthy Cipriani crowd " truly verges on Fellini-esque with extreme hairdos, face-lifts and implants on parade." And all Bellafante could come up with was a topless dancer and some cheap masks? What has journalism come to?
|The Decline and Fall of the Wall Street Empire (Fellini "Amarcord" Poster)|