The faux Leonardo that sold for 400 million greenbacks — plus a 50 million fee for Christie’s — was a subject dissected again and again by the glitterati at two rather splendid dinners given in the Bagel by George Livanos and Mick Flick. My fellow guests were not the types to be outraged or shocked at the obscenity of the amount of moolah involved, but it beat talking about the weather or why the media hate Trump as much as they do.
For any of you who might have missed it, the Leonardo — originally thought to have been painted by Leo’s pupil Giovanni Boltraffio — was partly painted over, then scrubbed. It is now thought to have been by the master, after all. But not everyone (me, for one) is convinced. Anyway, it looks like it was bought by — who else? — those people who have ruined football, the hooker market, yacht sales and everything else they touch — the camel drivers from Abu Dhabi and their so-called Louvre museum.
Enough said about an unpleasant subject controlled by extremely unpleasant people. When the bubble bursts, some of us who actually appreciate art and are not in it for the money will be cheering, but not yet. The next New York outrage is a column by a female journalist in that unspeakable old bag of a newspaper and I quote: ‘The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white. This is not taking something away unfairly — it is restoring opportunities that have been historically withheld.’ Gee whiz, I thought that had already been tried with affirmative action, and it was a real disaster. Now the girls over this side of the ocean want to try it again, with cutie-pies getting the nod. Nurse, help! The power imbalance between men and women is about to change for ever, with some hairy American lesbians leading from the front. Don’t hold your breath.
Everyone around these parts — except for people who are well born — seems to be doing a mea culpa nowadays. Harvey Weinstein got the ball rolling, and some moron who used to edit the New Republic has just written a self-flagellating meditation pouring ashes on his dumb head for being white and well educated and for having enjoyed ‘undeserved advantage’ that serves to exclude others. Nurse, please, this is a real emergency. This guy is writing that bullshit in order to impress his peers about how anguished he feels on account of the free ride he’s had as a hack. All he has to do is quit his writer’s job and go out and start digging ditches, instead of showing off in such an absurd manner. Better yet, ditch the ditches and head for some leper colony, asshole.
Funny, but I’ve yet to feel guilty about being white and having had an education. That’s because I skipped the latter and thought only of girls and sports — in that order. And I don’t think that inheriting money is anything to feel guilty about either. Lefties airbrush the past because they cannot tolerate truth. But the more they try to hide the past, the clearer it becomes. At least to those of us that don’t fall for PC bullshit.
Towards the end of a very hectic week, I met up with my buddy Bob Geldof. He and I disagree on most subjects, yet we consider each other very good friends. The first thing Michael Mailer asked Bob was when they are going to go after the rock-and-roll crowd for sexual harassment. Bobsie, as we call him, laughed out loud. ‘What they’ll say is yeah, we did, fuck you.’ I love Bob because he says it as it is and although he had two beautiful redheads coming on to him, he mentioned ‘Frogette’ — his wife — and that put a damper on their nocturnal dreams. At one point Bobsie said that I always take the side of the dictators, which I do, because there’s less hypocrisy involved. The left is as dictatorial as the right, if not more so, but it hides that fact with virtue signalling. The left conceals its desire to stop free thought and free expression behind the pose of holding the right views. Maduro in Venezuela is a perfect example. Millennials who will not allow anyone they disagree with to speak at their universities is another. Give me old-fashioned dictators with beautiful flaring breeches and boots any day.
Finally, a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will not win any Oscars this year. What I am most proud of is that for 25 years Graydon Carter has very kindly invited me to the Vanity Fair Oscars party. I have never attended because I loathe Hollywood and the people that lurk there. My children once went when they were very small. Now that he’s no longer editor, there will be no more invites and no temptation to go.
This year the Oscars promise to be a funeral. Of men. The speeches will slide into absurdity and irrelevance and will be all about how big ugly men have been mistreating cutie-pies these past couple of thousand years. Make that 3,000. Hollywood has been lecturing us for far too long. Its sanctimony makes even old salts throw up. Cancel the Oscars. Bring on the Harveys.