Friday, September 25, 2015

God is My Co-Brander

What a week:  September 23;  the annual Yom Kippur day parade took over  Manhattan. Thousands of atoning Jewish men and women wearing their heaviest, and scratchiest wool suits,  shod in their least comfortable, but fashionable shoes,  marched down Fifth Avenue, fanning themselves with pledge cards in a demonstration of virtual self-flagellation, while keening to the heavens "Oy vay, my feet.  My feet!"

The march, led this year by Woody Allen, passed the Guggenheim, the Neue Galerie (bowing ever so slightly to the lost glory of dem Deutschen Juden), the Met, and finished at Bergdorf's where the penitents, or rather those who completed fully the walk of pain, where awarded a gift card entitling them to a 10 percent discount valid on any day other than a high holy day.  Rosie Ruiz was denied a card on the grounds that she was wearing Nikes, and took the subway.

September 24:  The New York Philharmonic opened its season at Avery Fisher Hall, I mean David Geffen Hall.  Back in the day, when Lincoln Center opened, it was simply known as Philharmonic Hall, but since Phil hadn't dropped a big chunk of change for the honor of having his name attached to the columns, the rights to naming the hall was put up for bid, and Avery Fisher won with a bid of a little more than ten million dollars in 1973. 

Well, that was a significant amount in those days, but now... ten million and a metrocard will get you a ride on the subway, provided it isn't shut down for some sort of security threat, or programmed maintenance or police shooting of a dark-skinned individual wielding  loose cigarettes in a threatening manner.

So... up for bid again goes the name, and this time we want 21st century amounts of money, and Dutch Schultz's last words are the auctioneer's chant:  "Come on get some money in that treasury. We need it.  Come on please get it."

Guess who won? David? Right. Koch? Wrong.  He already has a theater named after him in Lincoln
Center, proving that owning companies convicted of felonies, of stealing resources from Native American and public lands, doesn't mean you're not a gentleman.

Different David.  Geffen.  Hooray for Hollywood.  One hundred million dollars and he gets his name up there....well not forever, but probably for 40 years or so.

This gala event was highlighted by the Philharmonic's performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in A major, Opus 92.  In honor of Beethoven, the rich and famous attending the concert renamed themselves, adding the German von to their surnames, as in David von Koch, David von Geffen, Barbara von Walters, Calvin von Klein, Oprah von Winfrey, Barry von Diller.  Diane von Furstenberg did not change her name.

The New York Philharmonic, taking its cue from Lincoln Center, then auctioned off the rights to rename it. After the concert, the musical director of the orchestra, Alan Gilbert announced that the orchestra would henceforth be known as the Dreamworks Blackstone Starbucks Philharmonic Orchestra and Barista School.  Mr. Gilbert announced he had changed his name to David.

The string section was auctioned off to Uber, and the musicians have been reclassified as "consultants."

The brass was sold to Rio Tinto and has been scrapped.

September 25: Your show of shows:  The Pope's in the house.  I say the Pope's representin'.   The Pope raises the roof.  Actually, the Pope is here to restore the roof-- Michaelangelo's paintings of the book of Genesis requiring extensive, and expensive restoration.   The Pope, after meeting with Schwarzman, Geffen, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Eli Zabar announced that the chapel will be renamed the Sistine Chapel Investment Bank and Delicatessen.   Pope Francis  announced he too has a new name: Zayde

September 25, 2015 

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