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Triangle of Sadness: The Captain’s Dinner Is Coming Up

<em>Triangle of Sadness: </em>The Captain’s Dinner Is Coming Up

The only three things rich people talk about anymore are the houses they own, how to avoid permanent residency so they won’t have to pay taxes, and the exotic vacations they take to get away from it all. These are people on the move, settling nowhere, staying one step ahead of the rest of society, which gets sicker of them every day.

If you live in New York City, you are surrounded by their conversations, because in New York there are two things no one can avoid: seeing wealthy people and hearing strangers talk. Sitting in a restaurant in Brooklyn not long ago, I overheard from the booth behind me a foursome loudly discussing their recent trip to the Norwegian fjords. I could tell they’d had a great time because they were laughing so much. Of course they made me think of the ski vacation in Ruben Östlund’s movie Force Majeure (2014), even though that’s in the Alps. Along with fjord, another word kept leaping out at me as they laughed: McKinsey, the name of their employer, the management-consulting behemoth known for its work with authoritarian regimes and opioid manufacturers.

These four weren’t laughing for any particular reason, not really. Their cackling reminded me of something the comedian Don Rickles once said about Merv Griffin, the sleek talk-show host and media mogul. While Griffin was chuckling over one of the comic’s signature put-downs, Rickles turned to the audience and said, “Merv’s laughing because he’s so rich.”

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