High Society: Socialites With No Class


The cast of Tinsley Mortimer‘s reality show are like a social disease—irritating and gross. Jules Kirby, for one, brags that her friends aren’t gay, fat, Jewish or black and that the n-word “really should be okay to say.”

I don’t really understand a lot of the culture of being a “socialite” (like the criteria or why it matters) but I was under the impression that in order to be socially prominent, one had to be social, or at the very least, skilled at personal PR. Jules Kirby doesn’t seem to have a handle on either of those things. What’s weirder is that none of the people on this show are exactly fresh-faced, meaning that their poor choices (particularly the choice to participate in this show) can’t be written off by the inexperience and ignorance of youth. For a primer on this cast of assholes, you can go here.

Jules’ nemesis is Paul Johnson Calderon, whose claim to fame has been a series of unflattering mentions in the NY Post‘s gossip column Page Six, one of which chronicled his theft of a woman’s handbag. He doesn’t seem to have a job, he lives in a hotel, and he begs his mother to give him money from his trust fund, which he blows on clothing, hotel rooms, and booze. (He just got out of rehab.) On the show, he’s frequently seen riding in other people’s limos while drinking Pabst. Christ, talk about Champagne taste and beer money. (And domestic beer money at that!)

The beef between Jules and PJC stems from a stolen BlackBerry incident. In this clip, the gang meets up at an AIDS benefit, where Jules insults PJC (and AIDS patients, for that matter) saying that he’s there because he has AIDS. Yeah, real grown up. The thing is, if she wants to bring out the claws, she’s gonna need to sharpen them. PJC is way better at cutting her down to size:

People need to know that you were arrested in the Hamptons, you burned your parents’ house down, and you pretended to have cancer!

She puts the “crust” in “upper-crust.”

The fight between Jules and PJC escalates until he throws his cocktail at her, and she tries to go after him. The cops are then called. Here’s the thing: You can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear, and these people are straight-up pigs. It’s really hard to grasp how these people think that they’re better than anybody else—and they really do—when they’re not even better than the cast of the Bad Girls Club, throwing insults and drinks. They don’t have jobs, they’re crude, and they’re criminals. Literally.

I also don’t understand why Tinsley Mortimer (along with her mother and sister) signed on to do this show and be associated with such trash. The poor little rich girl in search of notoriety is all very Warholian, but in this instance, Mortimer is not an unemployed junkie cut off from her trust fund and killing time in her 20s. She’s well-educated (she graduated from Columbia, and got her Masters from Cooper-Hewitt), comes from money, married more money, and is middle-aged. (She’s recently shaved a few years off to create her stage-age.) Moritmer married her high school sweetheart (they eloped when they were 18, but their parents forced them to annul the marriage; they then married for real several years later) from whom she recently separated. Apparently her lust for fame and media attention became in issue for him and particularly for his parents. Tinsley’s mother, Dale Mercer, is not happy about the divorce, and says, “She’s making a terrible mistake in her life and she’s risking her reputation,” a sentiment that’s equally applicable to Tinsley’s participation in this train-wreck of a reality show.

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