Jeannine Stein's "Party Politics" (April 15) spotlights the shallow values of the powerful social elite. These Southern Californians make the frivolous, wealthy New Yorkers in Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" look semi-sincere. Even Wolfe's fictional hosts didn't hire plainclothes detectives to keep their esteemed guests from pilfering the jewelry.
The values underlying the lifestyles of the socially correct and powerful leaders in your society section frighten me.
If the poor aspire to the pompous, materialistic lifestyles of these successful trend-setters, the chasm between the two groups will continue growing dangerously more ludicrous.
Perhaps that's why the socialites are hiring security personnel to walk their guests to their cars.