How the wealthy and pampered conceive of remote


This morning while perusing The Times, I came across an article entitled “A Third Party Names Their Split“, ostensibly about Gwyneth Paltrow’s somewhat goofy use of the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe her divorce from Chris Martin.  Since I had been enjoying watching the internet make fun of it for the last few days, I clicked through to read the article. It ended up being about the psychotherapist who had invented the term, which was interesting, but the description of how the news got back to her had me laughing:

At the time, the person who coined the phrase, Katherine Woodward Thomas, had no idea what was happening. Off at a spa and yoga retreat overlooking Costa Rica’s central valley, Ms. Thomas was safely removed from Twitter and TMZ as the expression was lighting up social media (and garnering plenty of eye rolls in the process).

I came to the remotest part of Costa Rica that I could find to completely withdraw from the world,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.

That did not work.

Ms. Thomas recounted that, dressed in her yoga clothes, she wandered outside on a balmy and breezy evening, opened her laptop and found several emails alerting her to the news.

[emphasis mine]

There is nothing remote about a spa and yoga retreat where one can open one’s laptop and check emails. The idea is laughable, but tells us something about how the wealthy and pampered conceive of being remote or cutoff from the world. Namely, that it follows a certain aesthetic for them, not a reality. Because at any moment, one could suddenly not be remote, checking emails in between deluxe spa treatments.