If I’m not careful, this post will come off as nothing more than a fawning review of Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary The Queen of Versailles. For you Chicagoans, it’s at The Music Box and you should absolutely go see it right now. It’s about the Siegels, a richer-than-God Florida couple who are building the biggest house in American in 2008, right as the market tanks.
Here’s the official trailer:
When was the last time you saw a piece of art or heard a piece of music that stuck with you days later? I can’t shake this movie from my brain; everything else I read or see seems to echo one of its themes, images, lines.
I’m reading Don DeLillo’s White Noise, and each passage about consumer culture, Americana, perceptions of luxury, etc is reverberating extra hard against the backdrop of Versailles. Then, I read this great New Yorker essay (sadly behind a paywall) about Concord, MA, and the town’s weird peccadillos around wealth and showmanship, and the Versailles bells started bellowing again. And then, this finance newsletter I get had a story about the tiny house movement, about a couple that downsized into 128 square feet in pursuit of the things that truly made them happy. Ding ding ding!
I love this feeling; it’s what I felt like I was always pursuing in college. When the reading from one class informed the lecture of another, and both of those added layers of nuance to the novel I was reading, and all of that seemed related to dining hall convo. It’s a rare but magical perfect storm and I feel like I’m right in the middle of one right now. Crossing my fingers that it lasts for a while.
This intersection of material is all about happiness, finding it, affording it, keeping it, sharing it. How do you tell which path or paths will lead there? Can you buy it? Can you buy access to it? Do I have any answers? Of course not, I’m just enjoying the questions.
Related Post: Another perfect storm, Hans Rosling and Cloud Atlas.
Related Post: Another perfect storm, tigers and grandparents.