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A miscellany of Tuesday morning infamy


A Portrait of the Agent as a Young Man

(1) Donna Adelson, leading contender for the title of World’s Worst Mother-in-Law, was arrested by the FBI at the Miami International Airport last night. The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow for the rich and well-born, but it’s good to see they haven’t yet come to a complete halt. Whether they will ever operate upon her daughter — who we almost hired at CU Law School because we’re just open-minded like that — remains to be seen.

ETA: Probable cause affidavit for arrest of Donna Adelson.

(2) Speaking of the mysterious workings of social privilege, I found this detail from the lede in the NYT’s portrait of literary agent Andrew Wylie worth mulling over:

I wonder if any of the many literary greats represented by Andrew Wylie ever considered using his story. The raw material is certainly worthy: Wylie, whose father was a high-level editor at Houghton Mifflin, grew up a privileged young scalawag, attending St. Paul’s School, from which he was dismissed, and Harvard, where he insulted one of his thesis advisers, and eventually moved to New York in the 1970s to become a poet and interviewer. Once there, he fell in with Andy Warhol’s crowd, behaved in various ways like a wild man and then, in 1980 and in need of steadier work, began transforming himself into a hugely successful literary agent. 

Wylie was born at the beginning of the baby boom (1947), which meant that 17 years later you could pull a stunt like getting expelled from St. Grottlesex, and yet still enroll in Harvard College the following year (Don’t try this at home Gen Z slackers!). Of course it helps if your backstory looks like this:

Wylie is the son of Craig Wylie (1908–1976), one-time editor-in-chief at Houghton Mifflin, and Angela (1915–1989), daughter of the landscape architect and artist Robert Ludlow Fowler, Jr, of Oatlands, New York[1][2][3][4] (son of judge Robert Ludlow Fowler, author of many legal texts).[5][6][7][8] His grandfather, Yale-educated lawyer Horace Wylie, left his wife and children to marry the poet and novelist Elinor (née Hoyt), then Mrs Philip Simmons Hichborn, 17 years his junior, causing a scandal; Horace was son of the federal judge Andrew Wylie and grandson of Rev. Andrew Wylie, first President of Indiana University.[9]

How very piquant, or, OK Boomer: A Novel of Manners.

(3) Positions and salaries of now-former Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University football coach Jimbo Fisher:

My favorite detail in re the final figure is that it includes no offset for future employment. In other words, the liquidated damages Texas A&M will be paying Fisher will not be reduced when he starts pulling in another million or two a year at his next somewhat less but still incredibly lucrative employment molding student athletes into Leaders ™.

My second favorite detail is that, over the next eight years, Texas A&M will pay Fisher more per day for not coaching than the total sum Samford paid Fisher in his first year of employment as a football coach in 1991-92 ($20,000) to be the school’s offensive coordinator.

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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