November 15, 2012 - November 8, 2012
. What's it like to be in the one-percent? Since we're
all pissed off about them these days. And which one-percent are we
talking about anyway? I'm assuming nobody wants to belong to the talented one percent who lead lives
of misery and depression in exchange for producing the great works that
inspire all us lowly 99-percenters. I mean you don't want to be Edgar
Allan Poe expiring in a gutter or Wolfgang Mozart buried in a pauper's
grave or Miles Davis a corpse with a needle in his arm or Leonardo
catatonic because there's literally no one left to talk to or Sylvia
Plath in her glass bell jar or Hemingway alone with his shotgun or
Jackson Pollock dead on his lawn....
You don't envy and hate that one-percent, do you? Do you hate the great industrialists who saw an opportunity and sacrificed everything in their personal lives to seize it? John D. Rockefeller with his oil and his dimes. Henry Ford whose flinty parsimony invented the assembly line and ushered in the age of the automobile. Thomas Edison, who slept in his lab and never bedded a starlet because he was always thinking. Or even Steve Jobs, who refused to bathe and persecuted everyone around him while he was dreaming up the McIntosh, the iPod, and the iPhone. I mean, would you trade with them? Your life for theirs? I doubt it. They were obsessed, and the first word we think of in connection with their lives is not pleasure but work. Far more work than most of us could ever be capable of.
No. That's not your grievance. You don't simmer and seethe about the one-percent who have actually made your life what it is. What you don't like is that they had children just like you, inert parasites who glide into the best schools and yet have trust funds waiting for them even when they fail at everything important. Occupy Wall Street isn't about the founder of Merrill Lynch; it's about too many reality shows starring Paris Hilton. Not right that some people can just clip coupons and live off the fat of a land they know nothing of.
That's the one-percent you camp in smelly tents to protest. The greater fools you. You seek something called 'social justice.' What you fail to observe is that society usually provides it without any federal intervention. As it happens, ordinary life is expert at social justice. No need to deprive your own material wants while you're waiting for it.
Why I've prepared a one-percent list for you to think about on this Thanksgiving Day. To help you offload or drain away your irrational bile. Guess what. If you don't actually have one-percent talent, there's no amount of money that can save your life from ruin. Read about these poor little rich folk. And weep. And then give thanks that their lives are not yours:
The trust fund babies. Part of the price paid by the able for their
success. No way they could have known that their effort and brilliance
would cause their descendants to become victims of murder and psychosis
or perpetrators of same. Or that money can be the world's most utter
prison and an invitation to venial criminality and disgrace.
But what do you want? Is shared mediocrity really the highest virtue? Or is superiority and achievement worth the price it exacts? Should we all stop trying and just resent the alphas among us? You tell me.
Happy Thanksgiving. But this year, think for a moment about what you're giving thanks for and why. Paris Hilton will receive her comeuppance. No need for you to hate and stew and assault Wall Streete drones while you wait. Just, uh, chill. And be patient.
All I ask.
P.S. My wife sent me flowers for Thanksgiving. Nobody ever sent me flowers before.
And I have an iPhone now. Why I'm too busy at the moment to talk. Has
anyone ever sent you flowers?
I'm still trying to figure out who to tell on my iPhone....