The light, cute little appositive in the middle of this paragraph (We ain’t got time for that now! “That” being cultural production of significance) is just an extra twist of the knife.
Once, this kind of nerve might have gotten his plate-glass windows smashed. (We ain’t got time for that now.) These days it brings middle-aged Bouluddites in town cars and sportswear to eat and drink beer, to talk gaily of the market, the Galliano show in Paris, the Astor verdict, Letterman.