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Sunday, 25 November 2012

The cringeworthyness of extreme wealth

We were talking at our meal tonight with our visitors on the cringeworthyness of extreme new wealth. Our friend, an airline engineer told us about a couple who had their private jet decorated to the tune of £2 000 000 - exquisitely - and unused, sold it on to another couple. As they entered it to view their new purchase, a gift to his wife from the husband, The wife put her hands to her face and exclaimed "Oh God, the decor is dreadful. We must re-decorate! I couldn't fly in this!"

Well what a load of bollocks - of course she could fly in it! What an indiscriminate waste of money.  How vain glorious!

Then, the newly extremely wealthy have the new bother of "the servants" fawning, obsequious, bowing and scraping, trying to please - grovelling really. Their friends and acquaintances, doing the same. It must feel uncomfortable, deeply, inside them. They must suffer a dreadful suspicion of whether someone is being nice, because of their wealth.

The newly extremely wealthy have the problem of money - where to put it, how to spend it, how to get more, and who should inherit it.

Extreme new wealth demands extreme detail. The detail is added by others at the demand of the wealthy. They get paid well for it if they are artists, jewelers, craftsmen, designers but not enough if they are servants enduring the burden of another's delusion of their own importance. Extreme wealth can manipulate, extort, influence and corrupt - an extreme power.

Extreme new wealth seems to place the extremely newly wealthy outside our reality. To me, they seem to be badly behaved,  ill mannered, spoiled and lonely members of humanity expelled from the freedom of being happy with the simple things, like gratitude for the mundane, like security in relationships, like appreciation of utility without glamourisation, like enjoying the lightheartedness of less, like simply dreaming of better things.

How sad to live in such a gilded cage.