It's not difficult to see why Jimmy Buffett, erstwhile yacht rocker and eternal lifestyle marketer, is suddenly riding back into the public consciousness on a wave of mixed drinks and nervous irony. Scan last year's best-of lists and you'll find, for the most part, that pop music has pulled the duvet over its own head and started to daydream lately. (Or, at least, that's the music that critics and streamers are turning to in droves). The world is increasingly full of horrors, all of which we'd rather ignore. And who ignored this world's problems more completely than Buffett, who drifted into Key West, Florida, in 1971, around the time the Pentagon Papers were excerpted, and got nice and buzzed?
The New York Times ran Taffy Brodesser-Akner's profile on Buffett this morning. Built around his new Broadway musical, "Escape to Margaritaville, it's a funny and insightful deconstruction of the singer's business enterprises (anything that might fall under Margaritaville®, basically). It paints Buffett as the ultimate escape artist, a man who asked us:
What if your ambition was not for success or money but for the in-betweens: the vacations, the frozen cocktail and joint in the evening? His emphasis was on the essentially Buffettian notion that we’d all spend our lives on the beach splayed out on a towel, our lips caked with salt, if we could.
It's also a slightly melancholy look at the way that authenticity erodes, and the way that Buffett doesn't see it going:
The more successful you become at selling the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle, the less you are seen as believably living the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle.
But, buried among all that, is this Noble Truth:
He doesn’t smoke pot anymore, either. Now he vapes oils, only sometimes after work.
Yes, there's a sadness to this, because Jimmy Buffett should vape all day, and perhaps that sunset has started to fade beneath the horizon. But don't succumb to that. Instead, consider: Jimmy Buffett vapes, and the world is a little less awful now.
Alex Robert Ross is wasted away again on Twitter.