Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« September 2007 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
A sad story.
Topic: Misc.

Is it a contradiction to be a staunch believer in capitalism and the right of individuals to spend their money as they please and yet still be disgusted by nonsense like this? 

The basic story - a rich kid goes with an even richer friend and some assorted hangers-on to an expensive nightclub. They notice a famous basketball player. They order the most expensive champagne in the house, at $1,500 a bottle, and it is brought to them with some fanfare. The basketball player orders three bottles. The rich kids order six, the basketball player orders ten and the rich kids order the remaining stock of twenty-six bottles.

Rich kid says: "I cannot even begin to explain the energy going off at our table at this moment in time. Most of us were standing on top of the cushions, jumping out of control, and screaming at the top of our lungs."

Really? Did nobody point out how sad and empty this all was?

Conspicuous consumption has long struck me as the hallmark of the truly pitiful. Am I the only person who looks at footballers wives blowing quarter of a million on clothes and feel sorry for them that their lives are so empty that they have to waste money in order to be happy?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 2:02 AM BST

Name: "James Feeny"

This reminds me of an article I read in the newspaper sometime earlier this year (think it was the London paper). Rich kid goes in the top clubs and bars in London. He wants to know what the most amount of money ever spent by a single person on champagne is. Whatever it is he has to beat it and end up spending something like 30k.  I am 100% for people spending their money as they wish. This though, sounds like a silly waste.

ps Did you get my email? 

Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 4:53 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

This is a very sensible post.

Would you have said the same in the 80s or is there a certain climate now that you are subconsciously aware of?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 5:21 PM BST

Name: "David Young"

There was certainly a lot of conspicuos consumption in the 1980s. I admired people for making money, but wasn't much interested in how they spent it. I remember watching the opening credits of 'Miami Vice' on TV with my mother once and she looked in horror at the shots of the lavish living and shouted 'Flash Cash Trash' in disgust.  I basically agreed with her. One of my grandfathers accumulated a decent wedge of money but looked like a pauper if you met him. He refused to buy big cars and always tried to get the car with the best fuel consumption. He often said that it was selfish of old people to consume petrol and deny it for later generations. It was he who decided to 'invest' in about 30 Solex moped after the price of oil went up in the early 70s. He was convinced that people would beat a path to his door to save money. This fear of a 'peak oil' crisis was a rare misjudgement in his investment career.

He was a doctor at the time of the creation of the NHS in 1948. He was bitter about it as he said it crippled his income. It made him be a miser with money. Anyway, I digress.

I'm not sure whether the 'climate' is what matters rather than one's age and maturity. The young people in this story may feel rather embarrassed in ten years time. If they don't then they are even sadder.

I was a bit more materialistic in my teens and early 20s than I am today, but I still recall telling someone that I wanted riches to separate me from the pavement rather than to separate me from other people. My definition of success includes not spending time doing things I don't want to do and having the time and resources to devote to things that will improve me physically and mentally. Hence the decision to study at night classes at university and my recent hiring of a personal trainer at the local gym (£27 per hour).


View Latest Entries