I would like to start this post off by mentioning the passing of a true titan amongst men, a man who defied all the odds to lead his people from the dark shadow of apartheid and oppression, a man who was branded a terrorist in his lifetime and praised by the same people when he proved them all wrong, a man truly worthy of memory. R.I.P. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Now to the actual post, and I actually have something to be angry at this week, Rich kids. They are ubiquitous in our society, and though I concede that I do have my moments (hitting up Selfridges, buying £400 guitars etc.), there is a new wave of entitled teenagers who put 90210, the OC and every spoilt brat in Chelsea to shame.
I had forgotten about this microcosm of society until this morning, when during my regular Guardian trawl I came across an article detailing the worst self-publishers on the internet. Amongst the obligatory hatred of Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog (I still love her for being in the MCU) and some other vacuous airhead, there was a reference to a Tumblr account called “Rich Kids of Instagram.” (Look at it if you dare here: http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/)
First off the fact that they’re on Tumblr should alert you to the sheer twee narcissism of the whole affair, but it’s the content that’s the most disturbing. A teenager sat in front of a huge bottle of Belvedere vodka, a receipt for the return of a purple Bentley for repairs, a bed covered in bags from Hermes and a complete douchebag posing in front of an original Klimt. The excess on show isn’t humbling or majestic, as it is when a Rolls Royce whooshes regally past you on the motorway, but rather vulgar, ostentatious, and frankly a bit disgusting.
In a world where approximately 3 billion people live off less than $2.50 per day (http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats) the sheer audacity of these entitled rich kids publicising their vapid obsession with wealth is vile. As I stated earlier, I, and many people that I know, can not claim to have completely clear consciences. But I do wonder, and it’s time for some more pseudo-psychology, if there is a deeper motivation behind this shamelessly public money-fellating.
It is a fairly standard fact that as humans we crave validation. We want the approval of our parents, our peers, our friends and perhaps even our enemies. It is a natural and blameless desire, to be appreciated for a great or skilful act, or to be complimented on how sextastic one looks in a blazer. But these needs should never become all consuming, they should never be a necessary part of our lives. I won’t stop writing this blog because no one compliments me on it, it’s my outlet, and people shouldn’t give up doing things they love because they aren’t being praised for them.
Now we come on to the “Rich Kids,” the only explanation I can think of for their brazen excess is that they are one of the 1%. Not just the wealthiest 1%, but that thankfully tiny proportion of our race who live purely for praise and adulation. But they just don’t want to be admired for their wealth, they want to see the jealousy in the eyes of the ordinary folk. They want to look down at the peasants from their private jets, these self appointed Kings and Queens of the teenage empire, and laugh as the fame hungry Instagram generation fight over the scraps they leave behind and rave about The Hills or Made in Chelsea in a desperate cry for attention.
So what’s the answer? It is an impossible task to separate the legions of hardcore tweeters, instagramers, tumblrs and facebookers from their umbilical cords of celeb news. There is a clear subtext, the aspirational nature of our society somewhat encourages people to seize whatever chances they can to peek into the small windows of the elite, and that is a societal problem that will perhaps never go away. Celebrity culture is obsessed with brandishing its wealth, be it the 19 year old with a Ferrari or Jay Z spitting about Tom Ford, but they only do so because of their legions of teen “fans” who worship the ground they walk on.
Those who have worked for their success, who have risen above their meagre upbringings through hard work and talent, they are the ones who have any modicum of a right to display their status, those who have earned the right to say, “here I am, I made it, and so can you.” But these self-entitled little shits? The jet set inhabitants of Miami, Dubai, Chelsea, and Monaco? They deserve to be forgotten, discarded on the heap along with all the other celebrity (if they can be called that) fads that have fallen along the wayside. Our society moves at lightning speed, and one can only hope that we move past this too, because lord knows that the elite need to be told at every opportunity that they are outnumbered, and that some day we will take the power back.
“Our masters have not heard the people’s voice for generations and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.”
― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
Peace out, The Angry Indian.