The CrackBerry Chronicles
With Elaine Santore
May 14, 2007
Socialiterank.com: Fast, Cheap, and Grammatically Loose
In one short year, the now-defunct Socialiterank.com successfully
turned the New York Society set on its ear, and captured the imagination
of conspiracy theorists nationwide.
Featuring a weekly "NY Social Elite Power Ranking"
of top socialites, the mysterious webmasters dished out gossip,
fashion reviews, and Mean
Girls-esque barbs to Manhattan's elite. The real stars of
the site were the scathing, anonymous comments.
When SR went blank on April 29, there was further speculation
that the SR editors were threatened
by lawsuits from SR's various targets, and forced to shut
the site down.
On May 7, New York Magazine revealed
that the "masterminds" behind Socialite Rank were Valentine
and Olga Rei, step-siblings and self-described Russian socialites.
The Reis are reportedly working on a tell-all book titled "The
Year of the Rank."
Caption: Socialite Rank's Valentine and Olga Rei.
Photo by Phillip Toledano
I became addicted to Socialite Rank because I like my blogs trashy,
catty and shameless. On SFist.com, I linked to SR articles about
San Francisco socialites, including Victoria
Traina, and Vanessa Getty. Secretly, I wished someone would
start a local version of SR about the Swells, to the offset the
plethora of brown-nosing columns dedicated to SF's finest Australian
An Australian's nightmare,
and Queen Bee, Anne Getty.
The story of Socialite Rank proves that, if you don't have anything
nice to say, start a blog.
Dame for Sale
The people of Great Britain are much better at honoring the
aging process than Americans. Whereas, prominent Americans of
a certain age are simply banished to "I Love the '70s/'80s/'90s"
specials on VH1, E! True Hollywood Story and reality shows, the
Brits at least give old people a title. For example, Elton John
is now Sir Elton John.
Recently, Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, Chief of Protocol for California
and San Francisco, was awarded Honorary
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. My first reaction:
"Do they just hand out those titles at the door?" Joking
aside, (Honorary) Dame
Charlotte joins the ranks some of my favorite dames: actors
Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, and, of course, Dame
Chief of Protocol, (Honorary) Dame Charlotte Smith Mailliard Swig
Shultz (2nd from left)
with hubby George Shultz, Marcia Goldman and San Francisco Symphony
President John Goldman.
As with all Cinderella stories, Dame Charlotte came from humble
beginnings, as a mere pleb in the small town of Borger, Texas.
A true underdog, the then-Charlotte Smith went on to marry John
Ward Mailliard III, hotelier Mel Swig, and former Secretary of
Shultz. May we all aspire to such noble pursuits.
CrackBerry Blind Item
Here's a golden oldie: this song is dedicated to everybody's
incumbent. Maybe if he went back on the yay,
he'd shed those rehab pounds and stop being boring.