Saturday, March 29, 2008

Add the half grand to the grand

The New York Times, in what seems like a spectacularly ill-timed travel section for the super-rich with global financial markets in the tank --

Nothing symbolizes the recent transformation of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, better than the Merchant Hotel (35-39 Waring Street; 011-44-28-9023-4888;; doubles from about $430). Besides one-upping the old Europa — once ‘‘Europe’s most bombed hotel’’ — the Merchant sells the world’s most expensive cocktail, a mai tai made with hand-cut Fijian ice and rare Wray & Nephew rum, for £750.

Nothing? No other symbol of the fewer dead people, the dismantled barracks, the mere fact that you can park on the street? Instead this tiresome shite about the "world's most expensive cocktail", a pure PR stunt, the reductio ad absurdum of trickle-down economics: the idea that one is supposed to feel good about drinking in the bar that serves such a cocktail.

The NYT also assumes, perhaps correctly, that readers don't care about the dollar conversion of that £750 price tag. It's $1500, and (with another 9 months of Bush to go) counting.

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