Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Rich (Girls) are Different From You and Me

If you were just about to spend your hard earned, less-than-a-man-makes-doing the-same-job dough on some sort of musical entertainment type product, STOP. Keep your Vuitton knock-off snapped shut just a little while longer.
Page Six breathlessly reports today that larger than life – though so nutritionally challenged it’s a wonder she has the strength to tote around a Chihuahua in miniature boots and a $7000 Hermes handbag – Hilton heiress Paris, is poised to release her new single titled ‘Screwed’.
Now let’s be clear: there’s no way on God’s green earth – or even in the Bizarro universe - you could ever hope to resemble anyone remotely like Paris Hilton (even with the hair of an entire poverty stricken Third World village transformed into dyed blonde extensions glued to your tiny head) but think - you might be able to own a little of the skinny socialite's mystique by purchasing her pearls of musical wisdom.
But be warned - they’re likely better packaged than they are performed; the worst kept secret of the obscenely wealthy is that with enough family money, the qualities of talent, experience and hard work are unnecessary – the world is already your oyster. (A magical oyster that burps out whole strings of perfectly matched and graded Mikimoto pearls, rather than the lacklustre singles thee and me might hope to prise from a toughened shell.)
So what’s wrong with privilege and plenty? Nothing - so long as you don’t take us not-so privileged plodders on a ride as you glide over us on your relentless (yet short-haul) limo trip to the top.
The rich girls really are different from you and me.
It’s not the same with rich boys – the bad lads tend toward the screw-up, the drug addict or the womanizer. The good ones toward knowing their limitations.
(You won’t catch Ben Mulroney aspiring to a career more challenging than asking Paris Hilton how she feels about being rich and… being Paris. The Trudeau boys have gone the radical route of actually getting themselves educated, getting jobs and working for a living whilst popping up every now and again to lend their names and their efforts to worthy causes.)
It’s the girls who keep their eyes on the prizes.
Scion-ette Belinda Stronach – she of the Magna megabucks – evinces no such restraint. She’s decided to parlay her experience as a highly placed executive (emphasis on the ‘placed’) in her father’s company into a position at the Prime Ministerial pinnacle of Canadian government.
Troubled thoughts of zero experience crease her botoxed brow not at all. According to Belinda, not having experience is really the best experience of all. No need to tread the path of the meanie-pants cynics. She clearly believes if you’ve never done anything at all – not gamely contributed quietly behind the scenes, nor worked to support a fellow pol, nor considered the radical notion of actually running as an MP first – it all adds up to one thing: leadership material.
Don’t know French? No problem. Haven’t spent time with the plebeian grass roots of your organization? Relax. Unable to answer any questions more complex than “What would be the main policy of your administration if you were elected Prime Minister?” (More good, less bad is the strategy I hear.) Don’t worry your pretty head. You’re a rich girl – go for it!
And cheque this out – you don’t have to be born into the ‘no need to ask, you can afford it’ wealthy world to make good on someone else’s money.
Right now in downtown Toronto, Millionaire Canadian fashion designer, and arguable idiot Peter Nygaard is being sued for additional child support payments from one of his various ex-lovers for an increase in payments for one of his various children.
Former flight attendant Kaarina Pakka has dragged the style mogul (or more accurately, his legal advocates) into an increasingly uncivil suit, arguing that her teenaged son deserves to live in a style to which he has yet to become accustomed. After watching an episode of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' (I am not making this up) the child wanted to know why he couldn’t live in a fantasy Bahamian bachelor pad, just like dad – or failing that, why his mother couldn’t set aside the $15,000 a month she was currently receiving from Nygaard, in exchange for an increased $68,000 a month and a further $5.5 million in retroactive payments.
Detailed questioning in court revealed many of the expenses and reasons for this increase. For one, they need a new car.
“A minivan is not appealing to a 16 year old boy,” was the ‘Duh’ explanation Pakka offered. And further she wailed, the child had been forced for reasons of parsimony to wear second hand clothes. After all, a great deal of money was required for renovations on the sprawling $700,000 lakefront Oakville manse she had purchased for the two to hunker down in – and they had yet to build the requisite sauna in the basement.
I’m sure had Nygaard been in court yesterday, he might have become involved in a spirited discussion on the nature of a mother’s choices – and they might have agreed on at least one point: the priorities had ended up somewhere warm and moist.
It’s just a little disheartening - and not a pretty picture.
With so many women working so hard to break into traditionally male-dominated bastions like politics, so many eking out truly diminished lives while they attempt to encourage their deadbeat exes to come up with something approaching a fair share for their genuinely needy children, and so many starving artists (save those on the various Idol extravaganzas) struggling to get just the tiniest minim of recognition for their years of practice and hard work, watching those given so much, do so disingenuously little with it – and expect so much in return from the rest of us - is unattractive in the extreme.
And that's the downside of being a rich girl; nobody works very hard to understand you!
But in the meantime, as we trudge along limo-less in our less than glamourous, decidedly pedestrian lives, it will be interesting to watch the Hilton heiress promote her single; depending on how hard Paris works, quite a few people could get ‘Screwed’.

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