The Upper East Side

Jill Kargman has spent her life on the Upper East Side, and currently raises her kids there. Now, she’s mocking the community mercilessly in Bravo’s new comedy, Odd Mom Out.

“Farm to table, I love it,” Jill Kargman, creator, writer, and star of Bravo’s new—and first—original comedy Odd Mom Out says as she takes a seat at Chelsea’s The Green Table. “Or as I like to call it: seed to anus.”

“Ramps are so trending,” she quips as she peruses the menus, stroking the bow draped from the front of her black dress. “They’re like the hot onion.” Ultimately, she lands on a double order of deviled eggs. “I’m 40 and my hair is falling out so I need protein.”

Consider the prototypical Upper East Side mommy: bleach blonde, whippet thin, perfectly manicured, stay-at-home, chemically preserved. Polite but not warm. Type A. Beautiful, sexless. Multiple houses, expensive preschools. Well educated. Volunteer. Designer handbag. To that list, Wednesday Martin wants to add: Subservient. Retrograde. Self-selecting. Self-segregating. Aggressive.

Those more derisive terms come courtesy of Martin’s new book, Primates of Park Avenue, a memoir-slash-ethnography of a very small group of very thin, very rich people. In it, Martin observes the strange rituals of this particular UES tribe, documenting their behaviors and social hierarchy as if they were a family of bonobos. But she is not just an observer: She becomes one of them, and her induction into their clique forms the narrative of the book. 

Now that there are competing Upper East Side humor writers, you can be rest assured that someone on the fringes will emerge as the dark, indie alternative to everything that sucks.

This is the great trick being played on people in modern America--the arts are reflecting mainly the wants, needs and aspirations of the mega-rich and no one else. The arts have humanized them and made them more important than any other aspect of the American experience. It's as if The Great Gatsby were being rewritten to make horrible people lovable and sympathetic by celebrating their hijinks rather than their car crashes. 

We live in the second Gilded Age and the art that shows us who we are contains nothing of the poor or the struggling people in this country. These are the people being thrown to the ground by cops while others shuffle away, nervously. The poor are roadkill and nothing celebrates commonality or the challenge of living in a country that criminalizes poverty. They are reduced to being bit players in the "hard lives" of the suffering and miserable people who make up the wealthy elite.

This is what we consume now, so get used to it.

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