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"My Gucci Addiction"
March 26, 2013 6:28 AM   Subscribe

"My name is Buzz Bissinger. I am 58 years old, the best-selling author of 'Friday Night Lights,' father of three, husband. And I am a shopaholic." Link to single page printer format.
I began to buy, as silly an understatement as somebody drinking a quart of vodka a day and insisting that he or she is not an alcoholic. Clothing became my shot glass, another round, Net-a-Porter. But too often hits wear off, and the laws of supply and demand for an addict are pretty simple: You replenish. And replenish. And replenish. You fool yourself at certain times into thinking that's it and you have quenched the beast. But the beast is never conquered, and you don't really want to conquer the beast anyway, until there is disaster.
posted by gladly (132 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's one of those addictions that happily will go away once he's bankrupted his family. I got as far as page 2, which just seemed like an endless recapping of what he likes and what those things cost.

It's great that he has the means to feed this addiction, but it's not exactly a big problem for anyone but him. Buy what you can afford. Eventually, something will stop you.
posted by xingcat at 6:41 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow. That was so much more information about Buzz Bissinger than I needed.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:44 AM on March 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


I should add, I don't say that to be dismissive. It's a fascinating piece that ranges well beyond the shopping addiction, but I don't think I'll ever be able to watch Friday Night Lights the same way again.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:45 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was just coming here to post this. That article made me feel all kinds of icky.
posted by something something at 6:46 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remember when he said he was going to vote for Romney because Obama was an entitled snob?

LOLOLOL oh Buzz, you are too much.

Also: "Job Creators."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:54 AM on March 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Interesting article. I've never read anything by "Buzz" before and I can't say that I'd like to know the guy. And also, ewww.
posted by item at 6:57 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's one of those addictions that happily will go away once he's bankrupted his family.

And they say that alcoholics are always alcoholics
Even when they're as dry as my lips for years
Even when they're stranded on a small desert island
With no place within 2,000 miles to buy beer
And I wonder
Is he different?
Is he different?
Has he changed? what's he about?
Or is he just a liar with nothing to lie about compulsive shopper with no money to shop?

It's great that he has the means to feed this addiction, but it's not exactly a big problem for anyone but him.

And his family, unless his wife makes enough to support them all, and keeps her finances separate from his.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


item: And also, ewww.

I find it hard to imagine that there has ever been a less successful combination of backdrop, fashion and pose in the history of photography.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2013 [19 favorites]


I've considered him contemptible before (he's a minor Philly celebrity), but I think that's shifted to pitiable. (The picture that item linked is heavily involved there.)

I'm not sure which is worse.
posted by supercres at 7:03 AM on March 26, 2013


I find it hard to imagine that there has ever been a less successful combination of backdrop, fashion and pose in the history of photography.

Here he is at home with his family.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:04 AM on March 26, 2013 [35 favorites]


Alternate lede: "My name is Buzz Bissinger, and HOLY SHIT, am I going to ask a lot of my wife and kids by publishing all of this."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:04 AM on March 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


This is a joke, right?
posted by mochapickle at 7:07 AM on March 26, 2013


Oh, for fuck's sake.
posted by sutt at 7:08 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Um, I'm looking for something that says, 'Dad likes leather.'"
"Something that says... 'leather daddy?'"
"Oh, is there such a thing?"
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:10 AM on March 26, 2013 [20 favorites]


I bought dozens of boots, some with a flat or low heel that any man can wear, some with five-inch heels that only a man with real balls could wear.

I'm absolutely loathe to pigeonhole anyone's gender expression, but somehow I don't think this is just about shopping.
posted by supercres at 7:11 AM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I heard him on Hang Up And Listen and he didn't sound like a bad guy. That said, dude, those boot-things are ghastly. You may not have a shopping addiction, but you DO have a boot problem.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:11 AM on March 26, 2013


This story reminds of Bleeding Gums Murphy and his Faberge Egg problem.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:11 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


So now that he's broken up with Gucci, who or what is going to get all the money he's too ashamed to hold on to?
posted by Scram at 7:13 AM on March 26, 2013


Quote from the article:

The approximate amount I spent on the four-day trip is $51,000. That is equivalent to roughly a full year's tuition at my son's college, Kenyon. I think about that. The self-indulgence is obvious. But it is my money, and I have paid his tuition for four years so he will not be saddled with any loans when he graduates this spring.

I've never even made 51K in one year. How can writing a book about high school football pay this well?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:13 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


somehow I don't think this is just about shopping.

No, he's definitely frank about exploring his submissiveness and his sexuality, but it doesn't sound like either of those things brings him the pleasure of clothing. He kind of throws in at the end that his therapist and his wife have insisted that he seek treatment for the shopping addiction and sex addiction, so he may have kept some facets of his addiction out of the piece.
posted by gladly at 7:14 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Uh, yeah, April Fool and all that.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:15 AM on March 26, 2013


"I was spending enormous amounts of money, but because I make a good living and received a generous inheritance from my parents, there was no threat of going broke."

Never mind, question answered right there.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:15 AM on March 26, 2013


I think it's fascinating to read something like this from a middle-aged straight male - yes, he seems like a laughable and pitiable character and I wonder how I'd feel if I was in college and all my friends were reading something like this from my dad - but there is some pretty interesting stuff in there about the relationship between fashion, sexuality and acceptance.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:16 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm absolutely loathe to pigeonhole anyone's gender expression, but somehow I don't think this is just about shopping.

Never mind. That'll teach me to post before finishing TFA (namely, page 5).
posted by supercres at 7:16 AM on March 26, 2013


If you were on the fence about whether to find him contemptuous, this article for The Telegraph should set your mind at ease. It starts off tugging the heart a bit, as he explains about his son who is brain damaged.

Then there's the road trip where he has this conversation with his son:

-Did the divorce make you sad?
-A little yeah.
-Was it hard not being with both parents?
-A little hard yeah.
-That makes me sad. I’m so sorry. You know why I think we got divorced?
-No.
-Because you guys were so sick.
-Yeah.
-The marriage changed. There was a lot of tension. You came home on oxygen. You were really sick and it was so hard. You should have died, Zach. Do you know that?
-I didn’t.
I pause here. Should I go further?
-Do you know what brain damage is?
-No.
-What do you think it is?
-When your brain isn’t right?
-Do you know your brain is a little not right?
-Yeah.
-How do you know that?
-I just know from my brain.
-Does it make you sad?
-Yeah a little.
-How does it make you sad?
-Because I’m not sure how.
-Is it because of certain things you can’t do?
-Yeah.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:17 AM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Kitty Stardust: I've never even made 51K in one year. How can writing a book about high school football pay this well?

It was a bestseller that was eventually turned into a movie and a TV series. That's a pretty hefty payday, even barring the inheritance.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:19 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"How can writing a book about high school football pay this well?"

when you sell it to television or film. even if that's not a hit. I should say, not when you sell the option, but when the option gets exercised.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:20 AM on March 26, 2013


It's like Indiana Jones finally finding the Holy Grail...

Has Buzz actually seen that movie? Ugh.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2013


Well sure. And he also wrote Shattered Glass (an essay which became a feature film), a bunch of stuff for Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast, The New York Times, he was a longtime radio show host...

Friday Night Lights is what he's known for, but it's hardly all he's ever done. He has a Pulitzer.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Buzz's mother was Eleanor Lebenthal, daughter of these Lebenthals. He ain't going broke anytime soon.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is he really broken up with Gucci? I skimmed the article, because good god DAMN, that's some self indulgent tripe, but on page 5, it looked like he was going to start limiting himself, not cut out high fashion/cost clothing completely.

But I completely understand his addition. One line rang true for me:
My most anticipated sound became the ringing of the doorbell. It meant the UPS man was here, or the FedEx man, or the DHL man, bringing the goods.
For a while, I was quite taken with digging through discount CDs on eBay. One cent CDs? Great! Wait, you have FIFTEEN PAGES of such CDs? Sure, most is dreck, but dig long enough, and you'll find gems, or possible gems. And then there was my twin devil, the Discogs Completist. See, if something was posted onto Discogs with limited information, I felt it was a wise purchase to get that CD and fill in the details. So I'd check through the auctions that were about to end, and I had a cap on how much I'd spend on a single CD that I didn't really know about. But I would buy between 5 and 15 CDs at a time.

That was years ago now, and I have enough music that there are still CDs wrapped in shrinkwrap. Why? Because I want to scan the covers with the advertisement stickers in place, and if I unwrapped them, the stickers would likely get lost in my mess, or wouldn't be true to their original location, even though there was no set location. Addictions and fixations are strange like that.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Waitaminnit. A patent leather trenchcoat? This must be an April Fool's joke.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:23 AM on March 26, 2013


"During the Gucci trip a fellow invitee said I looked like "Bon Jovi," a compliment that at this point in my life means more to me than any piece of writing."

I hate to be one of those people that gets all judgmental about what people choose to wear, but, seriously, ewww.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:25 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man, 81 leather jackets not to look like a sad sack middle age guy - thereby becoming the ultimate middle age cliche, the guy trying WAY TOO FUCKING HARD.

Also, I'd love to see him take this wardrobe back down to Oil Country Texas and see how that goes down.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:25 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The TL;DR for the bit of dialogue I posted above is: he explains to his mentally challenged son that he's the reason he and the boy's mother got divorced, then asks him how he feels about his brain damage.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:29 AM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


He lost all my sympathy with that conversation with his son. You do not tell a child it is their fault that their parents' marriage fell apart. Asking someone about their brain damage is just awful and cruel. He has talent, he has money, doesn't mean he isn't a jerk. This essay is a pure narcissistic act that is all about his pleasure, pains and rationalizations for public consumption and his personal needs. Whatever happened to battling your personal demons without public, collateral damage? I hate the term, but he needs to pull up his damn Gucci socks and suck it up.
posted by jadepearl at 7:50 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


When you read the GQ article, his son seems to have little to nothing to do with his divorce
posted by C.A.S. at 7:50 AM on March 26, 2013


I seem to remember a self-pitying bit of stuff in a free e-book I stumbled into which was a follow-up of sorts about Friday Night Lights. It was there I learned about his son being "special needs," but I don't think it went into detail. I remember something he said about how he'd always have to be careful about money, even with his FNL income, because of his son.

Nice to know he's gotten on with the business of looking out after Number One. Everyone's got their problems, and I try not to be judgy, but he makes it difficult.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:51 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Epic brag-plaining
posted by jmccw at 7:59 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Man, 81 leather jackets not to look like a sad sack middle age guy - thereby becoming the ultimate middle age cliche, the guy trying WAY TOO FUCKING HARD.

I dunno, man, it's like he's almost passed through it to some other fucking level, you know? Like Emperor Norton or Quentin Crisp. Or at least that he could get there if he kept trying hard enough. Actually, I take that back; Quentin Crisp had self awareness and a sense of irony.

But no, for those who haven't finished it, he has not given up his addiction. He ends the piece in the VIP Lounge of some club in Milan, chugging the dregs of a fifth of Patron from the bottle with his fellow addicts, having added another $80 G's to his overall tab, $21K of that on a single jacket.

That was jaw-dropping. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Diablevert at 8:14 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ, what an asshole.
posted by bardic at 8:19 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


His "after" pic--a la 'rocker dude'--is sad sad sad. Trying so hard and achieving so little.
posted by Sassenach at 8:19 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


"No wonder male heterosexual whites are aimed toward obsolescence, boring the rest of us to death."

Son, if you think people are boring because of what they happen to be wearing you might just be projecting.

What an asshole.
posted by chronkite at 8:23 AM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, is there a word for the phenomena of the more expensive clothing gets the cheaper it appears? His after picture looks like he covered himself in glue and rolled through the discount section of K Mart.
posted by chronkite at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2013 [23 favorites]


Men be shoppin'.
posted by discopolo at 8:31 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gucci, Mayne.
posted by hellojed at 8:33 AM on March 26, 2013


Well, the first step is admitting that you have a problem...
posted by marimeko at 8:39 AM on March 26, 2013


Yes, that really was a jaw-dropping article. If you stopped reading on page 2, you really need to return to it and finish the story, because it takes a hard left turn around page 4 and really gets lost in the wilderness.

Hey, I'm a middle-aged guy and I understand the need for something, anything, to help transcend the quotidian routine. But when I get itchy or bored or stressed, I fix myself a cup of tea. Or, in the afternoon, a glass of beer.

And if I want to live it up, baby, and feel like a rock star, I'll drink an import. Because that's just how I roll.
posted by math at 8:42 AM on March 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


So glad to learn of a problem I don't have.
posted by homerica at 8:50 AM on March 26, 2013


I was wondering when this would hit the newscycle—I read the article in the magazine a few days ago as my jaw dropped further and further. As of yesterday or Sunday, the only Google hit about this was a forum that linked to this photo:

Presented without comment.

The full gallery.

Warning: mostly naked Buzz.
posted by The Michael The at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2013


Also, is there a word for the phenomena of the more expensive clothing gets the cheaper it appears? His after picture looks like he covered himself in glue and rolled through the discount section of K Mart.

Previously: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes
posted by wenestvedt at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Michael The: The full gallery.

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH! The second image in that collection contains a high dose of Buzz lounging about in skimpy underdrawers. You have been warned.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:58 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Michael The, he looks like some kind of giddy, goofy red satyr!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:59 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's weird what people get judgy about on mefi. If this were a 20 year old guy wearing leggings and studded leather jackets and stillettos as an alternative gender expression or leather fetish, I doubt anyone would bat an eye, and if they did, most of mefi would quickly defend him. But because the author is 58, it's okay to judge his "ridiculous" outfits.

He says his family is well provided for, and he's seeking help for his addiction, so I don't see where the judgment comes in. If you think he's smug or self-pitying or whatever, just say that, there's no reason to critique what he wears. No one implied that Margaret Cho was a jerk just for having tattoos in the recent thread about her (well, one person, who took it back).
posted by desjardins at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


I meant to add, it's okay not to like what he wears, to find it ugly, but to judge him as a person for it is weird.
posted by desjardins at 9:02 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


desjardins: I meant to add, it's okay not to like what he wears, to find it ugly, but to judge him as a person for it is weird.

I think most of the folks calling him a bad person are doing so in addition to, not as a result of, judging him sartorially.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:04 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


The merging of "Gucci" and "I" in his mind is all it's really about, isn't it?

Isn't this just low self esteem?
posted by absentian at 9:06 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I think it's A-OK to judge him as a person for this. Kids starving, misery and poverty everywhere and this dickbag with a muffin top spends more than I make in a year on some horrible looking shoes? Screw him, and screw anyone that approves of him. He represents the worst we have to offer as a species.
posted by chronkite at 9:07 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's weird what people get judgy about on mefi.

I agree. But the author frames this as his addiction yet takes no meaningful steps to address his 'addiction'. It comes across as a rambling humble-brag begging to be ridiculed.
posted by marimeko at 9:10 AM on March 26, 2013


He represents the worst we have to offer as a species.

You've never met anyone with no self reflection have you? Buzz has it. The people that don't are far, far, worse.
posted by josher71 at 9:11 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm more upset about it because of how fucking incredible I'd look if I spent $500,000 on clothes. It's like that guy who built the most expensive house in America spending $100 million on a super-sized McMansion in goddamn Orlando instead of like, a crystal sphere inside a volcano.
posted by theodolite at 9:15 AM on March 26, 2013 [17 favorites]


I wouldn't call this self-reflection. It's bragging disguised as self-reflection.

I don't think he's the worst we have to offer as a species (I'll reserve that honor for Jerry Sandusky and Donald Rumsfeld), but he does *represent* the worst.

Loudly and shamelessly.
posted by chronkite at 9:16 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


How does he get women's boots to fit him? I'm a woman with man-size feet and there are about four places which cater for my shoe size, one of which produces footwear that looks like someone rolled them in glue and bowled them through Harajuku, and one which I can't afford. Plus, men's legs are in general a bit more muscular around the calf.

But because the author is 58, it's okay to judge his "ridiculous" outfits.

A couple of weeks ago I found a forum dedicated to snarking on 'lifestyle blogs' - blogs where people, generally young women, post their outfits, their burgers and their coffee dates, rather like a women's magazine version of someone's life. One of the criticisms which came up again and again was about materialism - one blogger, and I wish I could remember who so I could find the pic, posted up a picture of about 40 Hermes boxes together, collectively containing merchandise that would cover my rent for the next five years. There is a certain element of conspicuous consumption in lifestyle journalism and blogging, and while those criticising it are sat in warm rooms on comfortable chairs tapping away their snark on a £1800 Macbook, it does get to people.
posted by mippy at 9:19 AM on March 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


He....he really likes high-heeled boots, doesn't he?

o.0
posted by Kitteh at 9:22 AM on March 26, 2013


I wouldn't call this self-reflection. It's bragging disguised as self-reflection

Fair enough. I guess I've run into plenty of people who say things like "Look at what I bought! It was expensive! Awesome!!!" and that is literally the end of it. No, "I've got a problem and I don't care" or "This has something to do with my feelings about sexuality and self image" but just "Look at this and how rich I am!!!".

I'm not saying Buzz would be my best bud, but I also don't think he's a total nimrod.
posted by josher71 at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2013


I figured out *why* I dislike this article so much... it's because he's reveling in his addiction and he wants us to think, wow, he's an addict, but his clothes are sooooo coooool. He wants his readers to simultaneously admire him for his fantastic taste in clothes and feel sorry for him (oh, poor me, I'm an addict. I simply can't help it!). To desjardins' point, I think we'd all be appalled by this attitude even if he were a skinny twenty-something dude.
posted by tuesdayschild at 9:27 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wonder if something happened? This guy wrote Friday Night Lights and Shattered Glass, both pieces that seemed to understand their very different subjects. You would think the author would have to be kind of ego-less, or at least very outward facing, to pull that off.

I wonder what John McPhee is wearing?
posted by rtimmel at 9:28 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll admit that part of me is jealous. He seems to really enjoy being rich.
posted by josher71 at 9:33 AM on March 26, 2013


I had never really heard of this guy before, and now I see he is a well-known jerk, but I still find the piece fascinating. The "after" picture of him is kind of like the after pictures of meth addicts, no one wants to be that guy.

None of us have that kind of money to throw away... but I've known people with very little money who spent it all on clothes on ebay or whatever in order to get that same sort of thrill.

And I think maybe the reason the article didn't bother me was I don't see how someone could say the things he said and not know they sounded and looked like a complete loser.
posted by maggiemaggie at 9:34 AM on March 26, 2013


I wonder what John McPhee is wearing?

If I had to guess? Duck boots, khakis, an LL Bean flannel shirt and a 40 year old Abercrombie and Fitch field vest with an extra deep side pocket for binoculars.

Now I have to go google image search John McPhee to see how wrong I was...
posted by Diablevert at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


>No, "I've got a problem and I don't care" or "This has something to do with my feelings about sexuality and self image"

You really need to get to the bottom of page 4. It goes there with even more creepy bragplaining and a random shout out to sex tourism.

>I think we'd all be appalled by this attitude even if he were a skinny twenty-something dude.

I think we'd give that person a break because they are still young. This guy is 60 and ends the tale of his "shopping addiction" bragging his awesome threads got him seated in VIP at some club where he partied all night. I won't credit him with being "all that's wrong with humanity" but I will echo the "ugh".

on preview: "It's a perfect storm of awfulness."
posted by anti social order at 9:37 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to figure out who is the bigger idiot, Buzz Bissinger or Jay Horowitz.
posted by sfts2 at 9:40 AM on March 26, 2013


I've liked the other comments that say this, but I'm going to say it again: Christ, what an asshole.
posted by norm at 9:45 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly, he reeked of douche even before admitting to having been a frequent sex tourist in Asia.

Yeah, fuck this guy.
posted by bardic at 9:46 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's weird what people get judgy about on mefi. If this were a 20 year old guy wearing leggings and studded leather jackets and stillettos as an alternative gender expression or leather fetish, I doubt anyone would bat an eye, and if they did, most of mefi would quickly defend him. But because the author is 58, it's okay to judge his "ridiculous" outfits.

I see what you're saying, and I think people on Metafilter can be strange about clothes. For example, there was a recent discussion said you could tell a lot about somebody by their shoes, and many people were all "Pfft, I just buy shoes that are cheap and comfortable and I wear them into the ground! I am unjudge-able!" And of course an important thing to take away from that is that the message we send with our clothes may not be the message that we're trying to send.

In this specific case, I think this fellow is trying to send the message "Look at how sexy I look in my very expensive clothes, I am like a sexy sexy rock star; I was even compared to Bon Jovi!"

And I think many of us are looking at photos and thinking "Gosh, you've spent half a million dollars on clothes that are not incredibly flattering."

Out of pure curiosity, how would you feel if he'd spent a huge amount of money on clothes that made him look really good? (And, because this is metafilter, how would you have felt if he'd spent half a million dollars on fedoras?)
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:52 AM on March 26, 2013


> But the beast is never conquered...

My poison is very different and much cheaper, but I can relate to that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:53 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I was the only one who sort of liked the story he was telling about himself? The guy was not wrong about the puritanical leanings of America at least, where you can be a rich bastard as long as you obviously don't enjoy it in any way other than making more money, I like the whole gender bending, all the cool kids (women and gays and African-Americans oh my) like my outfits, not a sad old git narrative he has constructed for himself and at least he's wasting his money buying relatively innocent shit and helping prop up Italy's economy. His lack of taste can't be held against him, coming from the colonies...
posted by MartinWisse at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


"half a million dollars on fedoras?"

"We're not a house full of Cubans man, we're white dudes. . . . We gotta be careful."
posted by bardic at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


footwear that looks like someone rolled them in glue and bowled them through Harajuku

This thread was worth it just for that.
posted by desjardins at 9:57 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I was the only one who sort of liked the story he was telling about himself?

God I hope so.
posted by chronkite at 9:58 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does it say about me that I look at the "before" picture, of him in a suit, and think he's not looking too shabby for a middle age writer? I'll take that look and be happy.

But he saw that, and thought a bottle of Cristal and a half-million dollars of pimp leather would be the way to go.
posted by C.A.S. at 10:03 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just want to note that I am not defending the guy - I don't think I'd want to have dinner with him, our interests and values are way too different. But I see a lot of catty "zomg she's wearing UGG boots" and "leggings are NOT PANTS" kinds of comments online (especially Twitter) and it's just weird judginess from people who aren't normally judgy. I have an allergic reaction to it.
posted by desjardins at 10:05 AM on March 26, 2013


You think I'm joking. I'm not joking.
posted by mippy at 10:06 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


My friend bought a few Dockers pants online (maybe 10, max), and because he lives near San Francisco, he received an invite to the Dockers Alpha Khaki Launch Party. He declined, because who really goes to such a ridiculous "party"? Biz Markie, that's who (but because he was paid to be there).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:08 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many people who are indignant of the judginess read the entire article.

He talks shit about his marriage, admits to sex tourism, and ends the whole "What am I going to do about my addiction?" piece gloating about another $80,000 he just spent.

I think we can all feel free to call this guy an asshole, without reservation.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:25 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I read the article as a lot of bragging, disguised as something else. Then it got weird. Then he talks about indulging in sex tourism. So, all in all it seems like he can't stop bragging, about anything. I think that, rather than a shopping addiction (which, to play amateur psychologist for a second, might be a symptom) might be his actual problem and then he goes on to suggest: "Maybe what I really am is an extreme narcissist." Ding-ding, we have a winner.
posted by ob at 10:26 AM on March 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


Listening to "Gucci Gucci" while reading the article (and this comment thread) is a trip. Highly recommended.
posted by raihan_ at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am disturbed that, for a very brief period, this dipshit was a fellow columnist at my newspaper. A newspaper that is known as the People Paper. A newspaper whose readers could feed a family of four for a year for the price of one of his stinking jackets.

I blame this on a dumbass editor.
posted by sixpack at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Holy shit sixpack is THAT Sixpack and has been a MeFite since 2002 I love this place.
posted by The Michael The at 10:48 AM on March 26, 2013


he goes on to suggest: "Maybe what I really am is an extreme narcissist." Ding-ding, we have a winner.

Oh, word, but the thing I wonder is, was he like this the whole time? And if he did how did he manage to write well, with imaginative sympathy? Or did he really, as he says, just go out of his goddamn mind exactly three years ago? It's bizarre.

As for the more serious issues raised by the piece...for me to, my first and instinctive reaction was contempt. But I found myself questioning that, after a while; flamboyance is a valid sartorial choice, one I've admired in others. Celebrated even, when it seemed like someone was using it to successfully construct an identity that they found themselves comfortable in. Yet I can't quite bring myself to do that here. I think part of me feels like there's something contemptible in reaching the age of 5-goddam-8 and still being so focused on your own identity crisis, you know? You have a wife, kids, a life. In still managing to think somehow that if you just wear the right pants that everyone in the room will want to fuck you. Because, no. Just no. Part of being an adult is accepting that you gotta make choices and the choices have costs. There is a time and a season for all things. The time to pretend to be Jim Morrison in not your late 50s.
posted by Diablevert at 10:54 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


P.S. a friend of mine in publishing informs me that Bissinger's memoir about raising his special needs child is due to come out in paperback, just in time for Father's Day. So, that's happening.
posted by Diablevert at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This strikes me as a true American portrait of the last 20 odd years. Man goes from being a Pulitzer Prize reporter to a has been writing an exhalted facebook wall post about his latest haul. Everything just dumbed down by consumerism and self absorption. Way gross, dude.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:08 AM on March 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Kinda surprised no one's pointed this out yet. He wrote (parens in the original): "(I am on medication for mild bipolarity.)"

I'd say it's more than mild, and I'd say he's either not taking his meds or needs to switch them.
posted by old_growler at 11:17 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love fancy clothes -- I read fashion blogs and follow designers' runway collections and send snapshots to my friends. I don't OWN any fancy clothes, because I am short and fat and broke. But I love them, and I see no problem with someone loving them and buying them and owning them.

This guy isn't a douchebag because of the clothes. He's a douchebag because he's a DOUCHEBAG, exactly as he would be if he was spending his money on cocaine, or cars, or people to follow him around and fawn over him.

"Maybe what I really am is an extreme narcissist." Ain't no maybe about it, dude.
posted by KathrynT at 11:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Also, I'd love to see him take this wardrobe back down to Oil Country Texas and see how that goes down.

I'd actually be interested to know more about oil field country in the south-west US, because after stopping in a number of gas station/mini-mega marts, I've seen a lot of "Oil Field Princess" type sparkly bumper stickers. From that quick glance, it seems like there is a lot of money there, not only for oil execs, but also people who live and work in those areas. How are people spending their money? Does some of that turn people into middle-aged rock-star types? To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised. Like the aforementioned a super-sized McMansion in goddamn Orlando, having lots of money doesn't mean your sense of fashion is something to be appreciated by all.

Who knows, he might start new fashion trends.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read the first page of the article before I saw the pictures, and I'm pretty sure that I didn't think he was a jerk because he looks ridiculous. It's more that I think he looks ridiculous because he's a jerk. If I saw someone who was less narcissitic and clueless wearing the same outfit (admittedly an unlikely occurrence), I'd have little reaction at all because I typically just don't care what someone wears. But when he's puffed himself up so much because he spends obscene amounts on clothing, I look at the picture, and I'm repulsed.
posted by anapestic at 11:27 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


The time to pretend to be Jim Morrison in not your late 50s.

you hit the nail on the head. The reason we can go beyond the aesthetic critique of his clothing is that he's explaining his thought process. And his thought process is totally bankrupt; everything from the brand obsession to what he thinks these clothes make him look like. Even when he realizes he's in a place filled with the native players of this game he's just learned learned to play, his thought process goes like this:

"I hope they hate me, chattering chipmunks trying to figure out who the fuck is this poseur, or however it's said in Fashion Italian. Then again, I don't see them dressed to kill, in an $8,000 Gucci pony-hair jacket that no one else in the U.S. has and wax-coated black jeans, shiny and sheeny and sizzling."

Shiny, Sheeny, Sizzling—but still a poseur.
posted by the mad poster! at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Narcissism is a helluva drug!
posted by vonstadler at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Warning: mostly naked Buzz.

You're not kidding. And my browser froze twice on the shot of him in his zebra knickers, which is an image that will haunt me for a long, long time.

I don't hate this guy because I'm a a puritan, in fact, I don't hate him at all because this would be a sad, sad reaction to what it is a depressing narrative of narcissism and a desire to be loved back by expensive labels. But I find it creepy to read anyone who has grown to any mature age at all celebrate being a favoured consumer with that much graphic detail and delight that he has become special because he has managed the feat of spending a lot of money with a particular label. You've spent a lot of money! It's not hard! And it doesn't matter whether it's on high heeled boots or hookers or blow, it is not exactly a talent worth celebrating with excruciating paeans to yourself.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:43 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


To me, he looks like he should be the road manager for the band Scorpions.
posted by joseppi7 at 11:53 AM on March 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's weird what people get judgy about on mefi. ...
He says his family is well provided for, and he's seeking help for his addiction, so I don't see where the judgment comes in.


It's the money. There are more people on the Earth than just his family. It's the money.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:55 AM on March 26, 2013


He's like Karl Welzein, but real and with money.

Also, there's no way everything he buys is tailored and broken in properly, it is kind of a shame for such fine products to go to waste.
posted by nowoutside at 12:02 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


He says his family is well provided for, and he's seeking help for his addiction, so I don't see where the judgment comes in.

The sex tourism? The fact he pisses away money on things he never even uses while other people in the world starve? The fact that he spends all that money just to feed his own ego?

Waste is offensive. Deliberate, systematized waste over decades is particularly offensive.

To me, he exemplifies the worst things of our wasteful, extravagant, self-centered culture.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:19 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think it's worth looking at this guy as a product of a system more than as an individual.

If you have a lot of money and few social constraints, you get weird and your norms get weird. It's not because of you; it's because of the distancing effect of the situation and the fact that you have nothing at all to guide you but your own wants. On a smaller, scale, I realized this when I worked in Shanghai and Beijing - I wasn't rich by local or foreigner standards, but I had quite literally all the money I could spend (since my wants were pretty simple - Cui Jian cassettes, pomelos and cream horns pretty much took care of it - and my contract forbade me from converting more than a relatively small percentage of my salary back into dollars). It was really weird and it put me in a weird relationship to everyone else (except the couple of other foreigners I knew). Nothing that I actually wanted seemed "too expensive"; I had a local tailor make me a big heap of [admittedly, ordinary - just pants and button-fronts and so on] clothes and I didn't even haggle because there seemed to be no point; I had exactly what I wanted to eat whenever I wanted it; if I saw something I liked, I bought it without a second thought. In a true science fictional post-scarcity society it wouldn't have mattered, since everyone else had the same freedoms; but it was really disorienting in a society where I was almost the only person who did, and it wasn't especially good for me. It really weakened my self-discipline and even though I'm a fairly social-justice oriented person and didn't just forget that most people didn't live like me, my sense of "ordinary" life grew weak.

I bet if you're really, truly rich in a US-dollar sense and you're just some kind of semi-celebrity - so you don't even have to be a politician or get photographed by paparazzi - it really, really messes with your head. And you lose a sense of how regular people view your spending and social habits.

It also occurs to me that this is where cultural assimilation happens - in another generation or two, rich white assholes will be absolutely free to talk up any kind of sexual behavior and no one will blink - it will be absolutely okay to be, like, a rich gay dude who talks about his creepy sex tourism and various fetish practices, because those are completely assimilable into white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Rich white assholes will be lauded for being all vulnerable and feelings-y (stars! they're just like us!) where once rich white people at least had to keep a lid on it to be in good WASP style. Basically, this type of article - which would have been charmingly, almost queerly vulnerable (except for the size of the sums of money involved and the sex tourism) a decade ago will just be the ordinary performance of rich white dude ego in ten years - the LiveJournalish assumption that everything you have to say is fascinating and your least emotional quivering has deep meaning.

"Idea for a movie in which aliens invade the Earth and fix the economy. I haven’t decided how they’re going to do it yet. Maybe they’ll practice capitalism with an inhuman face: turn up at the meetings of the G8, the ECB and the Federal Reserve wielding powerful lasers; seize control of the banking system, start printing money and erase all debt. Or else they’ll introduce Marsism and collectivise everything. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Or you’re all going to die.""
posted by Frowner at 12:33 PM on March 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


Wow, money really does make everything easier. If he were some working class guy with a raging QVC addiction and a tendency to go Sex Touristing over to the Landing Strip bar behind the airport, he'd be derided as a degenerate hoarder.

The most persistently distressing thing in this piece is how Bissinger seems to have crossed into a place where he views people as things.

He blames their autonomy on triggering his problems (his child goes to college, his wife takes a once-in-a-lifetime post), he dismisses them as outmoded (the passage on him no longer wanting to have sex with his wife because she's old and boring), he sees them as commodities to be bought and sold (the sex tourism), he sees social identities as something to appropriate and consume when he wants (the rockstar identification, the pay-to-party business with Gucci, the fact that historical Others -- i.e. female, gay, black -- give approval when he shops his way into their signifiers).

It's a horrible way to live, because it suggests that fundamentally, Bissenger has no regard for himself and his own innate humanity. That's a special kind of hell.
posted by sobell at 1:06 PM on March 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


What I can't figure out is, how do you drop the kind of money this guy does, and still look like a middle aged schlub in unattractive and ill-fitting crap? Bad colors, bad fit, just bad bad bad.


I think he could hire a stylist and spend about a tenth of what he does, and look a helluva lot better, but then again, maybe there are some douches that are so douchey, the douche just seeps through, like trying to paint over a grease spot...
posted by stenseng at 1:25 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


And now he's checked himself into rehab.
posted by old_growler at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Funny. Wouldn't have heard, "you don't give a fuck" as a compliment. I would have taken it as a sign.

I don't see any of this as any worse than the stupid things other rich people do. The reason Gucci and Lamborghini and Rolex exist is so rich people can masturbate in public. We're just hacking this guy down because he looks funny, but in the ways that matter he's no different than the rest of them.
posted by klanawa at 2:15 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think he could hire a stylist and spend about a tenth of what he does, and look a helluva lot better

I'm not sure that you get that this is an addiction; it's like saying that an alcoholic could spend a tenth of what they usually do on booze and get to try some really top-shelf single malts.

how would you have felt if he'd spent half a million dollars on fedoras?

That would be kind of awesome, assuming that you didn't just buy up entire lots of identical hats. That would be a regular Fedora Museum.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2013


It's a lot more than an addiction,and it is not douchebaggery. It's mental illness. He admits to being "on medication for mild bipolarity." He really needs help beyond his therapist. Glad he's checked himself into rehab. It's just sad.
posted by old_growler at 2:38 PM on March 26, 2013


I think some of the "pfft, that guy" reaction comes from people who have seen him, over time, as a scold who presents himself as a throwback and a lone defender of decency. I don't think the women's clothes are indecent at all -- heck, that's probably healthy to write about that -- but the spending and the, yes, slightly braggy tone about his Gucci stuff? They're not in keeping with, for instance, his very famous anti-blogger rampage with Bob Costas, where there was a certain, "AM I THE ONLY REAL MAN IN AMERICA?" anger to him.

I feel for him; I think he's got a lot going on, and I'm sure writing this was difficult. He's obviously conflicted about a lot of stuff. But I do understand why there might be a wee little tiny bit of schadenfreude in it, for some people.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 2:50 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I bet if you're really, truly rich in a US-dollar sense and you're just some kind of semi-celebrity - so you don't even have to be a politician or get photographed by paparazzi - it really, really messes with your head. And you lose a sense of how regular people view your spending and social habits.

Premier League players being a good example of this. If you're a promising youth player and get signed at 16/17, in the years between your face appearing on the first Panini sticker and your girlfriend ending up in Heat magazine, you are earning in a week what your friends earn in a year. Once you've bought your mum a house and a fancy car, what are you going to end up doing with all that money if not taking on a bizarre or foolish habit?
posted by mippy at 2:51 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that you get that this is an addiction; it's like saying that an alcoholic could spend a tenth of what they usually do on booze and get to try some really top-shelf single malts.

Yeah, it's not so much that I don't *get* it, as that I don't exactly *buy* it, or *care.*

Maybe guy has an addictive or compulsive personality, and if so, that's a bummer, but a half-million dollar Gucci habit? Sorry if I'm struggling to play a tiny violin over here.
posted by stenseng at 3:34 PM on March 26, 2013


"During the Gucci trip a fellow invitee said I looked like "Bon Jovi," a compliment that at this point in my life means more to me than any piece of writing."

Is he sure that was a compliment?
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:21 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I could afford to spend $50K at Gucci I sure as shit wouldn't be spending it at Gucci, y'know? Shit's fucking lame. If my only choice was spending fifty grand at Gucci and spending fifty grand on a new car to crash into my own face, well, shit.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 4:22 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What made me wrinkle my nose is the hopeless vulgarity of it all. No doubt that says more about me than it does the author.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:43 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are we entirely sure this isn't an unused Patrick Bateman monologue from American Psycho?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:30 PM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


He says his family is well provided for, and he's seeking help for his addiction, so I don't see where the judgment comes in.

I think it is because he doesn't really seem like he wants help. His entire article is basically a list of all the expensive things he has acquired over the years. It seems like he added that part about it being an addiction for sympathy. However, it doesn't fly because it's difficult to sympathize with someone that has $22 000 to throw on a jacket.
posted by cyml at 7:04 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, metafilter, you have shocked me with your level of hate. He has checked himself into rehab to try to fix this, exactly what more should he do? There are a lot more rich people doing the same thing (and a lot worse) that won't ever consider something like rehab.

We sure love when authors write about interesting topics, but heaven forbid an author write about something aberrant in their own life, they'll be crucified even when they are obviously trying to get help for it.
posted by roquetuen at 11:06 PM on March 26, 2013


We understand that assholes exist, though, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:20 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jeez, this has been a strange thread to read, because I actually really liked this article. I would probably not want to know the guy in person, but I think he made a pretty damn good essay out of where his life has gone. For one thing, he sounds 100% aware of everything people are pointing out and criticizing. He knows he does this because it taps into way, way deeper-rooted concerns with confidence and sexiness. (He probably knows that other people do not necessarily interpret the way he looks as sexy, and that he is disregarding that in the service of his interior drive.) He knows he's paying for an identity to try to confirm that confidence and sexiness. He knows Gucci is only conferring the Mantle of Cool on him because he spends stupid amounts of money with them and they think they can get him to spend more.*

And, too, I think it's pretty brave how open he is with the pleasure he takes in all this. That doesn't mean that that pleasure is a good thing, but when was the last time you heard a (largely) straight man talk openly about how he wants to feel sexy -- not have a lot of sex, not have women find him attractive, but feel sexy? That's as taboo for a man in mainstream American culture as five-inch heels. Using clothing to feel sexy: even more taboo. Men are not supposed to care about that stuff, and if they do it should be within the general framework of "looking sharp" and "taking care of yourself," not anything sensual. In fact, pretty much all the sensual pleasures he describes in this essay are huge taboos for men -- but not women -- to acknowledge and discuss, and that forbiddenness seems like a big part of the relish with which he discusses them, and the article was worth it to me just for making me think about that.

Also, all this criticism about spending money on luxuries while orphans are starving is a bit strange. For one thing, if he'd used the $500,000 to buy a lake house in Wisconsin with cash on the table, nobody would have batted an eye, even though that's just as superfluous; there's some weird lifestyle (and, I think, gender) policing surrounding what luxuries it is and is not OK to spend money on. More importantly, I don't know about Gucci specifically, but a lot of luxury companies employ skilled craftsmen in high-GDP countries and pay them well. Sure, there's a ridiculous markup that goes straight into executives' pockets, but if he wasn't going to give his fortune to charity anyways, better his money should circulate to a reasonably ethical company than that it should sit in his bank account.



*Incidentally, I bet some or all of the other four Gucci high rollers on this trip have similar compulsive-spending issues. Even at Gucci prices, you can't spend that much money on clothes and still be wearing everything.
posted by ostro at 12:00 AM on March 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


Basic bitches wear that stuff so I don't even bother.
posted by telstar at 12:50 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


It sounds like mania, from the shopping addiction to the sex addiction to the weirdly complete list of purchases to the delusions of cool sexyness to the fact that he thought it would be a good idea to post all this stuff to the internet. I'm glad he's in rehab.
posted by subdee at 1:10 AM on March 27, 2013


I wouldn't call this self-reflection. It's bragging disguised as self-reflection.

Well put. And I quote it to hopefully move this thread on to the most pressing issue, which is that the GQ/Esquire War of the Overly Muscular Guy Prose has now escalated to the point where apparently they'll print 5,000 words of pretty much anything under certain bylines, provided the tone does that so-emphatic-it-seems-self-effacing thing with enough preening come-at-me-bro snarl.

I can only assume Esquire's already assigned Tom Wolfe to write a zanily punctuated diary of his online porn surfing habits in retaliation. This can only end badly.
posted by gompa at 1:46 AM on March 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


My name is Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:46 AM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


For one thing, he sounds 100% aware of everything people are pointing out and criticizing.

This I disagree with. The article reads like he's acknowledging a problem with buying clothing and bragging at the same time—as others have pointed out above—while but mistaking a sympton for a problem and hand-waving away the far, far deeper-seated issues that are the true problem. He completely, and I believe unintentionally, buried the lede on this. Maybe he's too close to the subject.
posted by The Michael The at 6:56 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've purchased pants that cost $5,000.

Joe Hallenbeck: Leather pants.
Jimmy Dix: Yeah.
Joe Hallenbeck: What's something like that run?
Jimmy Dix: Six-fifty.
Joe Hallenbeck: Six hundred and fifty dollars?
Jimmy Dix: Yeah.
Joe Hallenbeck: They're pants.
Jimmy Dix: Yeah.
Joe Hallenbeck: You wear them?
Jimmy Dix: YES.
Joe Hallenbeck: They don't, like, have a TV in them or something?
Jimmy Dix: Nope.
Joe Hallenbeck: I am very old.
posted by disconnect at 7:34 AM on March 27, 2013


Having read this the other day, I think the takeaway is that he is a guy who is in some stage of a psychological or psychiatric crisis. I'm not expert on mental health, but I saw repeated references to things that suggest this is much more than an addiction on spending, such as the admission of a bipolarity, evidence of extreme narcissism, the localization of this to a breaking point a few years back when his life dramatically changed, some indications of a repressed issues growing up, etc. I don't know enough to know what this all indicates or what the clinical terms for this is, but it all strikes me as a guy who has cracked at some level and what he is describing is just some surface manifestation of a much deeper issue. As such, reacting to the surface issue by criticizing his choices or chalking this up to him being "an asshole" strikes me as callous. If this article replaced shopping with meth or some other drug addiction but otherwise included the rest of the bullshit, I wonder if it would be easier to see this as a man who is losing control over this world because of some issue that needs professional attention.
posted by dios at 9:02 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm betting that if he didn't have access to half a million dollars, he'd be addicted to something that might be a lot more relatable to the general metafilter population.
posted by desjardins at 9:42 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tom Scharpling coined the term "scumblebrag" to describe the itchy look-I-have-a-problem-but-let-me-describe-it-in-great-slathering-detail-as-vicarious-pleasure-and-continued-experience-of-the-problem here.

And I like the few commenters who have kind of addressed the whole sexual expression issue at hand. Because yeah, the midlife male crisis thing is so common as to be cliche, but that commonness is worth looking at, I think. There's surely more going on here than "just" that--the mental unwellness makes it hard to read for me personally, and he totally loses me at sex tourism ugh--but the thing he mentions early on, of feeling there must be more to it than the way you're "supposed" to be sexually settled down and whatnot once married and past your 30s I totally sympathize with.
posted by ifjuly at 2:42 PM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do to some degree sympathize with him for not having had the opportunity or maybe self awareness to get some of this self exploration done when he was younger and for having the courage to do it at his age when it seems weird and "other" to his friends and family and, possibly, us. I agree that it is an obscene amount of money and ugh the sex trip, but I also agree with others that maybe he is in some sort of psychic distress and something more is going on here.

I think it is interesting that I have never read anything by a woman that talks so openly about the confidence and feeling of sexiness that an expensive brand gives them, though I think in many or most cases that is what is going on. So I thought that was interesting.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:57 AM on March 31, 2013


"A Gucci-Fueled Pursuit of a New Sense of Identity" from the New York Times.
posted by purpleclover at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013


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