This Gay Talese thing does make for a bizarre story–a man famous for his bulletproof sartorial style and glamorous townhouse parties takes to the streets with font-laded laserprinted signs bearing the legend “Please Support Pres. Obama’s Stimulus Plan, and begin right here … at the bottom … Thank you.” Talese then distributed his handmade signs to panhandlers as replacements for their own, more personally anguished cardboard pleas for help. By way of farewell, the writer recorded phone numbers for follow up, which begs the question of who exactly he was talking to. Then again, embedded a justly-mocked class comedy is a kind of basic empathy:
Is it too wide-eyed for the internet to point out that Talese’s intentions here were somewhat admirable? Bankers get lobbyists to keep them out of jail; why shouldn’t the city’s homeless population be represented by Talese if both parties are consenting? Or am I just defending in vain a writer I happen to otherwise admire…?