Long-Ago Long Island

Του Sir Taki Theodoracopulos

SOUTHAMPTON, L.I.—They’ve honed the skill of attracting attention by building some of the largest and ugliest houses this side of the Russian-owned Riviera ones, yet the luminous little village still retains signs of a bygone civilized era. A few grand houses built a long time ago are proof that not all Americans are nouveaux riches, and some even have good taste in decoration—you know the kind, with wicker chairs, yellow and white umbrellas, and long green lawns. I used to own a house like that, with a swimming pool, tennis court, and cellar full of wine, but sold it because of its proximity to a relative of mine. My daughter was heartbroken at the sale, especially after I bought a large piece of land in northern Connecticut and made plans to build a Yankee palace. She moved to England, and her mother, brother, and reluctant father followed.

As everyone who has not built a glass atrocity on Dune Road knows, artists and writers descended on the land now called the Hamptons around the late 1800s. When people like Walt Whitman praised the place as magical, the rich burst in like gangbusters. The rich back then copied their betters, and their good taste in building their summer “cottages” is evident today. The recent dot-com crowd, alas, believed only in themselves, and ended up constructing monster houses that would scare away Frankenstein. Their imprimatur will one day be seen as proof of why AI decided to do away with humanity.

Never mind. The coup de grâce of the Hamptons took place some time ago, when Paris Hilton, Puff Daddy, Busta Rhymes, Gwyneth Paltrow, and other such rich undesirables (to me, anyway) discovered the place. I now visit once a year, stay at my private club, and rush back to the city after two nights. Even the club has changed, with many famous old WASP names gone to a higher-ranked club above. The only person I knew at breakfast was the president, who came over to say hi and who was asked by a rude me who the hell were all these new members.

This is the type of club that Rod Liddle might well be interested in, its white painted exterior resembling the membership. For a brief moment I contemplated going to Graydon Carter’s party in the Hotel du Cap, but I decided to stay with the memories of my youth and stick to the Hamptons. And I’ve been a bit off Carter for some time. A few years ago Graydon filmed Reinaldo Herrera and I talking about the good old days, when manners were all-important and society dames were not on Twitter discussing their periods. He told me he was happy with the finished product, but then #MeToo began. What we had filmed, however, would have won the Palme D’Or with #MeToo-ers. All we did was praise the gals for their beauty and elegance and so on. When Michael Mailer asked to see it and exhibit it, Carter refused. I’ve never seen it. We spent days filming and I was told everything was hunky-dory. Then silence. I like Graydon’s two wives and all his children, but he’s now on my blacklist until he exhibits the greatest documentary ever made. And anyway, would Leo attend his publisher’s party after War and Peace had been turned down? Would Gustave go for drinks at his agent’s after the latter had convinced him Madame Bovary was a loser? If My Dinner With Andre put some people to sleep, the one I’m in with Reinaldo will make them feel like they’ve been injected with ketamine, whatever that means as I’ve never taken it.

And now for more things that are verboten: Djokovic dared say something about Kosovo and some human rights woman called him a fascist and demanded he be punished. What the hell is this? There is nothing in the rule book that prohibits a player from making political statements. Athletes today might be as thick as polo ponies, but they have the God-given ability to speak—most of them, anyway—so why deprive them of the only advantage they have over dogs and horses? Black athletes and women are always going on about some outrageous prejudice against them, so why can’t little Novak also open his mouth? (Because he’s white, you dummkopf.)

And speaking of sport, here’s some news for some of you Chelsea fans: You’re owned body and soul by an American, Todd Boehly, who also owns an American baseball team called the Los Angeles Dodgers. In order to celebrate Pride Night the Dodgers have some fringe lunatic cross-dressers wearing nuns’ frocks raising hell by ridiculing Catholics and Catholicism in the most public, provocative, and obnoxious manner. Remember this the next time you shell out lotsa moola for a seat in Chelsea. Boehly makes one miss Abramovich. Otherwise it’s time for a hasty migration from the Bagel. Alyssa, whom I recently wrote about, complained that I misspelled her Christian name, but I have complaints of my own: Why, oh why, must she be so attractive and her skin so soft and white? I’ll tell you why, because she’s fifty years younger than me and she’s half Swedish, half Norwegian, that’s why. It’s a well-deserved comeuppance for a serial philanderer, but one never knows. Stranger things have happened, and I remain confident.