Don’t have any expertise or experience in something that has a large amount of social traction, but still want to get in on the action? Give grifting a go. The most popular (or at least mediagenic!) 21st century middle-class survival strategy. An age old practice visible in OLD TOWNES (via, e.g., the peddling of “authentic” local trinkets) renewed at scale by such iconic young grifters as Anna Delvey, Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland, and Elizabeth Holmes.
Daniel Keller: Once a week, I could come to some news with like, “the crazy thing that happened in the markets this week.” There was the crypto—I mean not even if you’re just into equity—but like that's what happens when you put trillions of dollars into some system that is essentially for gambling. Grifting has become more and more like the central mechanism for the economy in America in general.
Carly Busta: Anna Delvey should retry her case. She was like the personification of the way things work.
DK: It's not dishonorable in the same way. It's like “Gotta hustle! Can't blame ya!”
CB: The Fyre Festival guys are dicks but to their defense, they were operating completely in the logic of the market.
DK: Certainly by Trump standards, yeah. Like “if you don't manage to get out of a war you’re a sucker.”
CB: “You died in the war? Sucker.”
DK: I think probably a lot of people who support Trump like they obviously know he evades taxes and has done all sorts of shady business stuff. They just think that's smart. That means he's smart. That's what you do. That's true to a certain point, and when you're in a system where that kind of shit is rewarded systematically, you're actually pretty fucking stupid if you, you know, maintain some sort of integrity and don't just try to play by those rules. You're a sucker! If you’re the Kodak CEO and you don't try to get some crazy scam fake deal with the government to start making vaccines, you're a bad CEO and you didn't manage to scam over a bunch of investors!