Paper Celebrates Nightlife—and Cat Marnell Enters the Presidential Race

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Boardman. (Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan)

“I wish there were more neocon blondes involved … Otherwise I’m not registered to vote—because if Andy Warhol didn’t, why do I have to?” Cat Marnell cozied up to The Observer Wednesday night at Paper magazine’s eighth annual nightlife awards, offering us her views on the 2012 presidential race.

Removing a tragic fur coat, Ms. Marnell, a Best Nightlife Social Media Star nominee, revealed the now slightly smudged words “Chinese Democracy” written across her forearms in what we can only assume was black eyeliner.

“My political stance is Chinese Democracy.”

Uncertain, we asked her what this meant.

“I don’t know exactly. I was going to go with ‘manifest destiny’—I don’t know what that means either,” she said, flipping her head of blond hair to the side as she spoke. “I support Guns N’ Roses and I hope they get back together.” (Chinese Democracy is the title of a less-than-successful Guns N’ Roses album, which came out in 2008.)

What did she plan to do with award, should she be so fortunate?

“I’d really like to speak out about [getting the band back together], and I really don’t think young children shouldn’t be prescribed Adderall—so that’s my platform.”

Contemplating this, we grabbed a much-needed drink off a fast-walking cocktail model-waitress.

Disco balls hung by flimsy string from the rafters and cluttered the floor of the Grand Ballroom, while purple and green streamers fluttered in the air with every pulse of the fog machines. The tiny tables splayed out before the stage served poorly to fit the big personalities and bigger costumes meant to be sitting at them. Stray elbows from the impromptu dancing that had broken out at the Westgay table continually ruffled neighbor Kayvon Zand’s feather chest-piece, which extended about a foot above and behind him.

We gravitated towards Girls actor and presenter Alex Karpovsky, who seemed somewhat out of place amid the wigs and rhinestones, wearing a gray suit with his hands held behind his back. He described his nightlife to us as “slow, reflective, dreamy and soporific,” often involving “Sleepytime tea with honey.”

Sounded good to us. So why was he here at a nightlife event?  To catch up with friends and see familiar faces, of course.

Legendary Damon,perhaps?

We felt partial to British singer Rita Ora’s answer to the ubiquitous question: Her favorite part of New York nightlife? The food.

The eclectic mix of presenters, while nice to look at, failed miserably to speak directly into their microphones while delivering their scripted lines, losing the jokes entirely into the abyss of unending chitter-chatter coming from the audience. In what seemed to be an attempt to call attention back to them, an occasional “Go Obama!” was thrown out mid-introduction, continuing the strange, pseudo-political current running mindlessly amok throughout the evening.

When a drunken guest finally climbed onstage to take the mic from birthday boy and editorial director Mickey Boardman, with the cough syrupy aftertaste of our drink still lingering in our mouths, we realized what we had been reminded of all night: a prom, one desperately in need of a Kelly-Kapowski-esque dance committee chairperson. We think someone spiked the punch.

October cover girl Ellie Goulding gave a special performance at the night’s end, but her distinctive voice could only be made out in a few places over the static-y bass tones.

Party aficionado Andrew W.K., a Best Party nominee—true to form in stained pants and shirt—spoke to us about several different types of parties. He was planning to take a break Thursday night, the night voted Best Night to Go Out, not because he is going to be watching the vice presidential debate, but because he has another, less raucous, awards ceremony to attend: his father’s.

“If law professorship was a party, then he is getting an award for that,” he explained.

He did have plans to watch a rerun of the debate—which his wife, Cherie Lily, suggested he make a remix of and play at a club.

“I try to influence live events on TV like [the debate] psychically, but I can do that even if I’m not watching.”

What did he hope to influence on Thursday?

“The partying. I think when times have gotten tough, it seems inappropriate to enjoy yourself. I would look to the leaders of this country, whoever they may end up being, to encourage people to stay close to joy and not remove that from their life,” he said, “because joy can give you energy, and when you have energy you can go out and solve all the world’s problems.”