Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bah humbug, y'all

BEWARE - curmudgeon alert!
I cannot get over this.

Question - In which dimension does the handing out of thousands of dollars of loot to already fabulously wealthy and successful people create harmonic convergences of karma that propel modern culture and knowledge forward toward their apexes (apices?)? What version of "fair" involves throwing glitzy gifts at celebrities while children starve a few blocks away in the projects or a few thousand miles away in the desert, or while academics have to beg for funding, or while people in Mississippi and Louisiana still don't have a home to go to 6 months after watching everything wash away?

Another question - What happens to these thousands of dollars of cutely named "swag" once the stars get home? Do they parse this stuff out to the maids, the cook, the pool boy, the manicurist, the Botox man, and everyone else who helps them navigate the exceedingly arduous path to success? Does the guy who immolates their toenail clippings get the crystal-covered smartphone card, and the woman who massages their aura with hot stones get the Tahitian pearls for future reference?

I quote:
"Among the other bundles of gifts coming their way are laser eye surgery, dog biscuits in the form of Oscar statuettes, anti-ageing cream and jewels that makers hope will pop up on stars the next time they sashay before the cameras.
Gifts -- such as a voucher for 20,000 dollars worth of cosmetic surgery or the set of pearls that has been tailored to the look of South African best actress nominee Charlize Theron
will also be highly visible marketing tools.
Other goodies, such as a 27,000-dollar weekend in a five star hotel in the famed desert gambling hub of Las Vegas, will add glamour and prestige to the hotel when an Oscar-nominated turns up to stay."

Have we gotten so crass as a society that these things really matter?

I'm not knocking the stars, really I'm not. I know that, for the most part, they've worked hard to get where they are and in all likelihood have sold a part of their soul to maintain a presence in the limelight. They are this country's royalty and deserve a little pampering from time to time, I suppose.

It's just that this kind of pampering is, to my mind, much too much too much.

I hope in my heart of hearts that the people who get this stuff DO turn it right around and donate it to charity, or at the very least give the lavish gifts to the pool boy and cook and trainer and whoever else could use it more than they could.

What if the person wearing those fabulous jewels after the Oscars isn't the star, but instead is her dog-walker? Who would want to emulate THAT style, or think it was "hott"? What if the $27K WEEKEND trip is given to the gardener, who takes his family to the posh 5-star resort for a taste of the high life? How would that be for business then, eh?

Really, though, it's the last paragraph of the story that makes me question the basic nature of the denizens of the precious and very small world of cinema and in-your-face gluttonous consumerism. This is from the shiller of an herbal preparation for hangover prevention that is being tucked into a modest basket of goodies worth $52-THOUSAND dollars that will be given to a select few stars:

"Many people tell us they cannot even enjoy a glass or two of champagne or other spirits without suffering the next day, and they thank us for our patented herbal extract because it really does prevent hangovers," the entertainment marketing firm Distinctive Assets boasted."

Ho-lee crow. Ex-cuuuuse me, Mr One-Glass-of-Champagne-Gives-Me-a-Hangover-Who-Works-for-an-"Entertainment-Marketing-Firm"'ve squashing my buzz here! Tell ya what - Go mix this handful of dust in a glass of water (no, don't cut it into lines with your platinum card and sniff it through a rolled-up c-note! It's a buncha herbs, you moron!) and chug it down, then join me out back. Word has it that the cooks and gardeners invited the chi-wranglers and lap-dog pooper scoopers to a party, and man, those folks KNOW how to have a good time. There won't be any diamonds or champagne or red carpets, just so ya know, but if it's anything like LAST year's party there will be cervesas and bourbon and live music and people will actively be crafting a hangover of epic proportion. It gets that wild, man! You shouldn't miss it, it's awesome! Totally real life, right here in El-Ay!


This has gotten entirely out of hand, folks. All that money being thrown around, on what? For what?

Does anybody know?

Care to opine? Help yourself. Especially if you have any clue as to why nobody is showering ME with gifts just for being who I am and doing my job. I mean, really.

[UPDATE: I think part of my brain just imploded. Check this out for sheer dumb-assery. Crikey!]


Erica said...

Amen, sister. Excess ain't rebellion... :-)

Anonymous said...

Amen squared. I only disagree on one thing -- most of these guys have not paid their dues and have NOT worked hard to get where they are. Their publicists, maybe. Them? Not so much.

tiff said...

erica - genius line!
WN - fair point. I've often wondered how these people who are 'celebrities' get to that point, when it seems to me the streets are fairly cluttered with people of equal or superior talent and/or beauty. Must be the publicists doing their job.
(Except, as a general rule, we will not be dissin' on Charlize T. I love that girl and like to think that she's where she is based on talent and luminous good looks.)

rennratt said...

Any actor/actress that exploits 'talent' during times of tragedy should be black balled.

To this day, Steve Buscemi remains one of my favorite actore because, after 9-11, he quietly volunteered in NYC. HE used to be a fireman there, and many of his friends were injured or died. When reporters got hold of it, he expressed horror at the attitude. THAT is a star.

I agree with comments about Charlize Theron. She starred in one of my favorite movies (with Keanu Reeves, who is another of my faves. You know - because he's NICE.)

Anonymous said...

Yep, love Charlize, and love Reese Witherspoon. Glad she won. (Didn't watch -- had to turn it off when 3 6 Mafia got up there.)