Today comes The Junket: A Journey of Seduction, Celebrity, Swag and Stupidity, by one Mr. Mike Albo. You may not remember, but Albo was essentially banned from the New York Times — he was a freelancer who, among other duties, wrote the Critical Shopper column every other week — after participating in a JetBlue junket (with a Mystery Destination!) with a lot of “internet people.” (We documented this junket in harrowing detail.) And now… Albo has told all. It’s good. Here are two favorite early bits!
If you haven’t been to Manhattan in the last ten years, you should know that it no longer trades in durable, fungible goods except for artisanal cheese and celebrity cupcakes. These days, the city is a marketplace of intangible ideas and the internet efforts that promulgate them. Now people make millions by crowd-sourcing, aggregating and hedging funds.
Mmm hmm. And!
There were a handful of older Mystery guests (guys my age who were making lots of money and owned branding firms and were here on a folly), but most every Mystery guest was much younger than me: twenty-five-year-olds just starting out on the fresh, leafy pathway of their career aspirations. A lot of them worked at sites that had names I pretended to know. A short, tense girl who worked at some place called BuzzWarp seemed to be very important to everyone. A tall, gaunt, definitely-gay guy worked at Triceratops and announced it to me confidently. Some girl named Starlie had a blog about travel called GirlTrip that has, she boasted at the buffet dinner, a million subscribers. They were younger and making respectable incomes and all talked using hip-hop terms and references to 90s TV shows they watched in their adolescence barely ten years ago.