The 1980s brought with them a new social type, a sub-Nietzschean popinjay we’ll call Finance Guy. A bantam alpha, gut sucked into his chest, shoulders padded out like a linebacker, hair center-parted and pomaded back; the little creep who makes nothing but takes a fee on it anyway. The Reagan revolution had handed power — real power, the power to shape our collective fate — back to the bankers, who’d been laid low since 1929; and this, in turn, unleashed an epidemic of ridiculous self-importance for which Spy magazine was the perfect antidote.
A lampoon founded in 1986, Spy immediately took its place within ’80s New York, a city giving itself over to the rackety energies of the vulgar and profane. (Along