How does a jaded New Yorker know when a party is truly chic? Christopher Mason is at the piano, belting out one of his highly original and deeply satirical songs.
It is generally agreed, among the general agreers (you know who you are), that if there is a Noel Coward or a Cole Porter in our midst today, it is Mr. Mason.
Nobody but this Brit wit seizes on a cultural phenomenon, holds it up to the light, examines it through a jeweler’s loupe, memorializes it with deft and un-clichéd lyrics, sets those words to well-known tunes, and performs the trifle with the brio of a high-school band. (Accompanying himself on the piano and slyly grinning all the time.)
Mason can whip up a cutting song about anything that captures his febrile imagination. He deserves to be as wealthy as J.P. Morgan and as publicized as Kim Kardashian. In the meantime, he is dashing off ditties about those two luminaries (as well as anyone else who chooses to commission his couture compositions.)
In November, Christopher wowed the crowd at the annual fund-raiser for the Morgan Library with his clever send-up of Old J.P. himself. It may have been the first time in a century someone found humor in the frosty financier.
Now, just for the heck of it, Mason has turned his attention to the recent hullabaloo about Miss Kardashian’s most important asset, which is in fact her “ass-et”. He did this because he understands that in a world beset by cosmic cataclysms, we gain perspective by focussing on trivialities. Which is not to suggest there is anything trivial about Miss Kim’s tushy–its gargantuan girth is what makes it meaningful, in the eyes of its acolytes.
Mr. Mason’s ode to beauty is called “Bottoms Up: A Cheeky Musical Tribute to Kim Kardashian’s Shapely Derriere”. Here’s a sprinkling of the lyrics. (The full text + photos can be found at houseofspeakeasy.org.)
(to the tune of “I Will Survive”)
“Curvaceous Kim Kardadhian/ In her latest coup de grace/
Has shown the world the splendor of her shapely naked ass!
Emblazoned on the cover/ A sight one can’t forget,
It’s the bubble butt that boasted it could Break the Internet!
If you’re not an ignoramus and you’re culturally aware
It’s been a bumper year for the ample derriere!”
[Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Pippa, J.Lo…….] (then, switching to the chorus–)
“It’s kinda wild/ Cause who’d have thunk?
Such adulation for those girls with extra luggage in their trunk!”
(then, switching to the tune of “If They Could See Me Now”)
“Helen of Troy’s face/ Once launched a thousand ships,
But Kim’s caboose has launched a zillion Twitter clicks!
Though it sure sounds quite deranged,
You best believe it/ Cause the rules of fame have changed!”
There you have it–a semester of sociology in THREE MINUTES.
Anyway, for your holiday pleasure, here’s the YouTube video of Bottoms Up.
It’s the first-ever video link on Orbmagazine (and hopefully it’s also the last. We’re too old-fashioned for this modern technological claptrap.)
Getting back to Christopher Mason, he’s also a great journalist (for The Times, NY mag, etc) and an expert on art. [And he was hilarious as host of Behind Mansion Walls on the ID channel–we’ll talk about that another time.] Check out christopher-mason.com.
In preparation for posting this, we spoke to Mason on the telephone and couldn’t resist asking him about the art market. His sagacious observations: “The two big auction houses recently changed CEOs because although sales are huge, they are not really making money. The upfront exorbitant guarantees Christies was giving to land certain consignments have been financially crippling. The art market is so much vaster than it was when it last collapsed in 1990. The sheer number of collectors today have so much at stake in keeping prices high, that if the bubble bursts again it is unlikely to be as devastating. Nevertheless, for 10 years prices have been absurdly out of control. It is still wildly fashionable to collect contemporary art, so prices spiral absurdly. As Tom Wolfe pointed out long ago, artists are the new religion and museums are the new cathedrals.”
Mason is oxygen in a world of tear gas. He is alive to every minute. When you are conversing with him, it is like acting in a movie, being aware of each line of dialogue–yet simultaneously standing outside the screen and watching the film with the audience. Such sensitivity and intensity are rare and fragile. That’s what has made Christopher Mason a star in this town.