Ok folks. I’m at the airport. JFK with a 10:22 (edit: 22:10, thanks dylexia) flight to CDG. The people watching is choice. Unlike the uninspired domestic travelers that bleed one into another until they become little more than a pasty, doughy, vowel-bending Trump rally, international travelers at JFK are a feast for the eyes and ears.
Hair is coiffed. Couture de rigeur. Athlesureware by Balmain and Moncler. Men in Gucci sneakers. Women in oversized neon yellow beanies and joggers. You don’t know if you’re standing behind some DJ on his way to Dubai or a socialite who’s nursing her broken heart with a vacay getaway to Marrakech. Here, it is the Americans who stick out, with their inflatable neck pillows and sports team hoodies.
Everyone, and I mean eh-vree-one, is eyeing each other here. International travel is the last bastion of gentile travel. Long gone are the days of cross-ocean voyages with silver-plated cutlery. No more are the dining cars on mysterious train journeys where strangers rubbed black tie required elbows.
And I will tell you, without a doubt, I have never seen such assurances of end stage capitalist wealth disparity.
Here, everyone wears their wealth on their chest, and it is obvious who is who and what is what. Americans bristle at the idea of class identification. In America we say that we are all endowed with certain rights and opportunities. Terminal 1 at JFK puts that hypocrisy to shame in a matter of minutes. It’s hard to fool oneself when one is placed in lines and order according to how much one shells out for momentary privilege.
I’m going to put it plainly. When the end times come, we’re all going to eat the rich.
Update: The French national pastime is grumbling under one’s breath. Their disdain for any deviation from their intentions is vociferous. While New Yorkers may bristle at stupidity, the bourgeois French take complaining to new, ridiculous heights. They click their tongues and say passive aggressive things. I’ve only seen it rivaled at independent movie theaters like the Angelika on the LES or The Loft in Tucson.
It feels very, comment on dit, very much like a waste of energy. Enough energy that, collectively, could have been put toward at least one head-choppin’ revolution if not two.