In the opening anecdote, John Cloud relates a scene of hand-washing his designer jeans on the beach in Fire Island. Beachcombers are walking by aghast! Can you believe I was trying to make a $145 pair of jeans look like they were more than $300? The wild and crazy things a (poor) writer must do!
Problem is: the designer jeans anecdote comes off as privileged instead of ironic.
The Advocate‘s editors seem to head off criticism by including an apology before the article even gets going: we all have different spending habits, what I consider necessary you consider extravagant, blah blah blah. This seems like a cop out; if you’re going to run an article with such a shallow theme, take ownership of it. Don’t try to claim impartiality with a disclaimer that’s equivalent to “The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily the publisher.”
Hmm. I’m a gay man who buys his jeans at a local thrift store. What does this say about me?