Vogue held its annual Met Gala on Monday night, and the event highlighted the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Members of the elite were able to forgo masks, while the hired help wore required face coverings.
One particularly eyebrow-raising inclusion was the presence of the self-proclaimed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who donned a custom designer gown emblazoned with the phrase “Tax the Rich.”
Tickets to this year’s event cost as much as $35,000 per person — a steep rise after Vogue‘s long-time editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, complained in 2014 that the event wasn’t exclusive enough at a measly $15,000 per ticket.
The Met Gala’s red carpet is said to be “outdoors” even though it is surrounded by tent walls and other structures, and still leaving the question of why workers need to be masked in the same area.Glenn Greenwald, “The Masking of the Servant Class: Ugly COVID Images From the Met Gala Are Now Commonplace”
This instance is just a continuation that starkly highlights the difference in what COVID-19 guidelines you have to follow, seemingly based on your status or tax bracket.
Last November, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) enjoyed a maskless dinner with other state health officials one month after he told the public to “keep your mask on in between bites.”
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held an event for donors in Napa. Tickets ranged from $100 to $29,000. Video of the event shows tables packed with maskless attendees, even though Pelosi and her party routinely push for strict mask mandates.
Similarly, at former President Barack Obama’s birthday party, 400 maskless guests attended his 60th birthday bash at his sprawling $12 million weekend estate on Martha’s Vineyard. Reportedly, only the staff wore masks.
Though some took exception to Obama’s lavish party, New York Times reporter Annie Karni argued that the impositions only applied to ordinary people.
[The controversy] is really being overblown. They’re following all the safety requirements. People are going to sporting events that are bigger than this. This is going to be safe. This is a sophisticated, vaccinated crowd and this is just about optics. It’s not about safety.Annie Karni, CNN
All of this back and forth may leave you wondering which rules you’re meant to follow. The answer seems to depend on one factor alone: your tax bracket.
It is a powerful symbol of the growing rot at the core of America’s cultural and social balkanization: a maskless elite attended to by a permanently faceless servant class. The country’s workers have long been faceless in a figurative sense, and now, thanks to extremely selective application of decisively unscientific COVID restrictions, that condition has become literal.Glenn Greenwald, “The Masking of the Servant Class: Ugly COVID Images From the Met Gala Are Now Commonplace”
Photo by Matt A.J. licensed under CC BY 2.0.