Monday, April 05, 2010

Cognitive Dissonance of the Day

Imagine what you think Rush Limbaugh's house looks like.

Now look at the reality.

Your mind, it is blown, yes?



ogre said...

Not really surprised at all.

Pointless, wasteful, waistless, excessive, hating of those who actually do what my grandparents (business owners and operators) would have called "honest work," and utterly self-righteously confident of obscene and debauched entitlement.


Rush would have been at home in Nero's Rome... cheering lions.

Bill Baar said...

This Faux'coco style common among Chicago's bungalow belt, AA, and hispanic neigborhoods except we put plastic slip covers on the chairs and couches.

Don't like Prol culture? ...well to each his own. Rush just more common than you realize.

Transient and Permanent said...


Joel Monka said...

I've seen Versailles, and this does look like a bad copy- in poorer taste; as bad as Versailles is, it's internally consistent. This is a triumph of ego over bad taste.

On the other hand, at least Rush's monument to ego wasn't built with tax dollars.

Chalicechick said...

Bill, if that's prole to you, I'd be horrified to see what you think of my house. My house lacks a "style." We buy paintings we like and not all of them go together or match the colors of the rooms where they are hung. We have furniture that friends were just giving away and lots of cheap Ikea bookshelves. The overall effect might be termed "Late 20th century thrift shop."

Not having darkened the doorstep of Versailles, the only place I've ever been with remotely that decorating style was the salon of a very wealthy and expensive gay hairdresser in New Orleans who gave me hair that genuinely looked like a movie star's.


Bill Baar said...

LOL... faux rococo is a popular style in Chicago in the blue-color bungalow-elt whether the owners ethnics, AAs, Latins, or Asians. It still is for a lot of people. Rossi Furniture was a classic retailer of this stuff. Check the French Provincial sectoin of their virtual showroom.

Charlie Talbert said...

It appears from looking out the windows that his residence is not in a gated community. That's surprising!

PG said...

Charlie, that's his Park Avenue penthouse. If you are going to live in Manhattan, that's about as close to "gated community" as you can get. The area is heavily patrolled by both police and private security, with almost as many cameras trained on passers-by as you'd see in London.

As for Bill's idea of "Prol culture," I've been in many immigrants' homes and while he's right about the slip covers, I've never seen anyone put gold leaf on the ceiling or who was so immodest as to have massive windows and a chandelier in the bathroom. Moreover, even the slip covers usually go only in the "formal" rooms (usually living and maybe dining), i.e. the areas where the family doesn't actually live 99% of the time, and that the kids aren't supposed to go into unless being shown to guests. I've never seen any working or middle class person's home that consists entirely of the look Limbaugh's penthouse has: that no real human being lives in any of it. I'd let the perfectly-matched and -unread looking books in the library go -- that might have just been done by a realtor prior to putting the place on the market -- but none of that penthouse looks like a place where a person lives. None of it looks comfortable.

I think the first commenter on Gawker is correct: 'When he was first on the scene in NYC, he often plugged his embrace of golf, cigars, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, private planes, the finer things, the quintessential "rich lifestyle" that was often showcased by Robin Leach in the 1980s. With $14mil (or whatever he paid for it), instead of getting something modern and cool in the city, I imagine when he lived in the small shit town in Missouri, this vision we see here of tacky elegance was the embodiment of his idea of fame and fortune.'

Bill Baar said...

Real Proletarians don't take kindly to folks looking around and taking note of their tastes in furniture.

PG said...

Real Proletarians don't take kindly to folks looking around and taking note of their tastes in furniture.

I was wondering when the No True Scotsman argument would come out. Pretty much every human being I have ever encountered does not bother spending a substantial amount of money on stuff that isn't purely functional, unless that stuff can be exhibited to others. This applies to rich people, wealthy people, middle class people, working class people, and poor people. It's sad when folks are convinced that human nature doesn't cross socioeconomic boundaries.

Bill Baar said...

@PG me? A truer student of the now forgotten Veblen, Diggen's Bard of Savagery, can't be found.

What you miss while turning up your noses at Rush's taste is there's very little difference between Rush's diggs and the homes of a great many ordinary Americans save square footage.

In that sense Veblen got something very wrong, and the Veblinite conspicous consumption feeds not invidious comparisons but people simply enjoying whatever it is that makes their boats float.

A purely American (and Emersonian) expression of Freedom and Liberty, while a laugh had at professed arbiters of taste, with their sore backs from the their supposedly functional praire style chairs (recall I grew up in Wright's Oak Park before this stuff became fashionable and we all had it stored away in our basements before the time came we could sell it off to the Wright fans....)

PG said...

A purely American (and Emersonian) expression of Freedom and Liberty, while a laugh had at professed arbiters of taste

Of course, this assumes that there's some universally-recognized "arbiters of taste," when in real life every community and group has its own arbiters of taste. For example, at my Southern public university, the kind of clothing that was considered good taste -- sundresses, khakis with pastel button-downs, sandals -- would have been thought hopelessly preppy and lame by the students at my sister's Northeastern Ivy League private college, who wore a great deal of boots and black.

The folks who buy the French Provincial reproductions are acting on the aesthetic preferences of their own community, and are no less anxious about meeting with that community's approval of their choices than the person buying the Dutch Modernist stuff. You're a poor student of Veblen if you believe he was claiming that conspicuous consumption manifested itself in exactly the same form for all people over all time.

And again, Limbaugh's penthouse looks singularly uncomfortable, without a single room like the "family room" -- distinct from the "living room" that was meant for the viewing of guests -- in which a family truly lives.

Chalicechick said...

To give a quick law school fashion report, I wear boots and black, but the sundress and cardigan look is certianly seen here all the time.

As for the prole house, I'm sad for them if this is what their houses look like. I'm with PG that it doesn't look like it would be a nice place to live.

Contrast with, say, the first movie star house I found on google,Sarah Jessica Parker's house, which I would consider undeniably stylish and beautiful, though not exactly to my taste, except for that awesome egglant-colored sofa. Still, you can imagine yourself crashing out on the chairs and they look comfortable, unlike Rush's. There's obvious storage space and kitchen that you can see yourself making and eating breakfast in.

For now, it's hand-me-downs and Ikea all the way for me, but if I had to pick a house as a goal, I'd much rather be working toward a house like Parker's.


hsofia said...

I find it hard to believe that regular working class AAs in Chicago are so different from regular working class AAs in NYC that they decorate their houses in this style. Yes, I am familiar with the plastic furniture covers, but beyond that ... no. The closest I saw was Ethan Allen (cream colored sofas with dark wood trim) style, but that's a far cry from this.

Is Rush good friends with Donald Trump? I saw photos of one of his penthouses and it was a lot like this, but with MORE gold and MIRRORS.