Radical chic: The beautiful people throw a party for OWS

These actors, models, artists, publicity flunkies and those young and well-dressed enough to make their way past the bouncers have spent most of their professional lives learning how to half-listen until it’s their turn to half-speak. “My boss just told me to show up,” says one of the P.R. girls. It’s as good a reason as any to learn about a new people’s movement.

Badgley, Daniel Pinchbeck, Zoe Kravitz and others organized this event in order to raise awareness about the Occupy movement among those in New York society who spend their trust funds in private clubs. A self-consciously scratchy recording of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” plays over an exquisite invisible sound system as you walk in, through a forest of helium balloons, to a low-lit hall where people like Alexa Chung and Olivia Wilde make the scene. The room is full of people who won’t speak to you until their handlers approve, all of them trying earnestly to understand the profound change that has taken place in the zeitgeist that provides their income…

“This is like being at a Hollywood party,” says Richard Muhammed, 45, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street. “I appreciate what they’re trying to do, but it really shows you that artists today lack any kind of self-awareness – culturally they’re very vain. If you’re an artist, you should be revolutionary – we just don’t have revolutionary artists anymore.”…

Sincerity is not a valued commodity in a culture that has responded to politics with an ironic shrug since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A woman in her 40s takes the stage to tell a personal story of growing up in poverty in America. She speaks with a visceral honesty that has the audience of actors, models and artists rapt as they sit cross-legged on the floor sipping import beer. Then, after 15 minutes of hearing about how it feels to grow up without health insurance, some of the big-name guests start to get twitchy, wanting the music turned back on so the hamsters in their heads have something to dance to. “This is just so long,” says a terribly famous model and presenter, brushing past me. “It’s really not OK, is it?” Then she notices me writing down what she’s just said. “Don’t write that down,” she says, a note of worry in a voice used to getting its own way.