Last Wednesday, a group of celebs gathered at the Bowery Hotel to drink expensive wine, glad-hand each other, and fight the corporate kleptocracy. This was “The Awareness Experiment,” an Occupy-themed celebutante ball — with a few real occupiers thrown in. And it was about as awful as it sounds.
Jeff Smith — a member of the occupation’s press team and a NewsBeast contributor — was on the scene, drowning in the social-climby seas of bourgeois hypocrisy. Some highlights from his excellent dispatch, after the jump:
- Napster/Facebook’s Sean Parker speaking in a “fake British accent” and feeling up a female occupier.
- Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley serving as master of ceremonies.
- Penn Badgley completely misunderstanding the purpose of a “mic check” by using an actual, physical microphone.
- Someone heckling “Your mic checks don’t work here!”
- Only a dozen real occupiers among the 200 socializers.
- A live band playing mid-tempo rock over projected occupation photos.
- Occupiers scoring free liquor, and then leaving in disgust to do some real protesting.
Apparently, actress Zoe Kravitz, director Darren Aronofsky, and singer Sean Lennon were also in attendance, drinking up all the late-stage capitalism they could stomach.
Smith’s own philosophical ruminations are standard-issue Occupy, but his conclusions on “The Awareness Experiment” are hard to deny: it failed, big time.