Bonfire Of The Vanities

We’re still eight weeks away from McKinsey actually handing out down recommendations for whatever painful cuts they devise to help boost the publisher’s bottom line. But it’s clear, from interviews with Condé Nast employees-from editors to executives to editorial staffers to ad sales slaves-that the enchanting, mystical era of Condé Nast is pretty much over. Small perks-the mani-pedis for clients, the flower deliveries, the sodas in the fridge-disappeared a while ago. Some changes, such as the emergence of Vanity Fair editor and restaurateur Graydon Carter eyeing reasonably priced stir fry, are worrisome on a psychological level. A culture of paranoia has taken over.

The McKinsey Summing
(After Yeats)

Kerning and kerning in the widening spire
The editor cannot spurn the consultant;
Things fall apart; Balthazar is on hold;
Mere sandwiches are loosed upon the world,
The Orangina-dimmed tide is lost, and everywhere
The ceremony of heated basalt stone massage is disallowed;
The best lack all subscriptions, while the worst
Are full of fashionate intensity.

Surely some termination is at hand;
Surely the McKinsey Summing is at hand.
The McKinsey Summing! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Edwin Coaster
Troubles my sight: a cramped and crowded Gehry-land;
A shape with doughy body and a coif beyond grand,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sunglasses of Anna Wintour,
Is buying its stir-fry, while all about it
Unmanicured nails of the indignant Glamour girls.
The darkness drops again but now I know
The fault was not just with Portfolio
No, fifty years of charging it to Si
Have ended gift bags and the car service guy,
And what daily beast, its Nobu dinners in the past,
Slouches towards 1166 Sixth Avenue to be born?