Filthy Lucre

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When I was a boy growing up in Louisiana, our youth group at church had us do an enlightening exercise: we all fasted for a day.

Now, not eating anything for 24 hours isn’t a huge deal. No one is going to die from hunger. But for suburban kids accustomed to eating three meals a day, plus snacks, it’s a big change, and having access to only water quickly gave us a small sliver of empathy about what it would be like to actually not have a choice about being hungry.

When we met at the church the following night, we had all been fasting 24 hours. At that point, the minister picked about six kids at random, had them walk up to the stage, and he gave each of them a McDonald’s bag with a meal inside of it. They joyfully ate their meal, while all the rest of us watched on with true envy. It was the first time I knew what it was like to be jealous of someone who had something to eat when I was hungry. That is a memory that has stuck with me my entire life.

I will now tell you another story from the past to lead in to my general point.

Although I will not go into details, the family I married into was once one of the wealthiest in China. In the first part of the 20th century, the old man made a staggering fortune, and he enjoyed one of the privileges of wealth at the time, which was multiple wives. He had many, many children, and he had vast financial holdings.

Once the Communists seized power, all of that wealth disappeared. The descendants scattered to various parts of the world. China, of course, had varying degrees of passion about its communist ethos, and during the late 1960s anyone who wasn’t basically an uneducated peasant was subjected to terrible abuse.

China today, of course, has a somewhat similar situation as Russia: that is, a formerly Communist state whose deeply corrupt culture now masquerades as a quasi-capitalist society, 0415-cunthaving sold off former state assets to businesspeople who were required to line the pockets of those in a position of power to hand over those assets in the first place. In my opinion, anyone rich from Russia or China has almost certainly garnered their fortune through corrupt means, and one glance at the air or water of Beijing will tell you just how much the businessmen care about the environment or the people who have to wallow around in it.

The offspring of these crooks strike me as especially vile, not only because their wealth is ill-gotten, but they didn’t even have the industrious character to steal it in the first place. They simply have access to it as an accident of birth. And, of course, given the voyeuristic society we inhabit, they’ve run off and made a television show:

Because of my deep love for Slope, I held my stomach and actually watched the above. I was reminded of a term that I heard on occasion in the deep south where I grew up. Forgive me as I type the term out bluntly, but we’re all adults here: “nigger rich.” Now, to my ears, this actually has nothing to do with race. It has to do with a person who happens to have access to money, but they have absolutely no class. The aforementioned term suggests a person who needs to be flashy, garish, and flaunty, but lacks substance. It’s an offensive term, I admit, but it really has nothing to do with skin color. It has to do with attitude.

Watching the girls in the video, who seem to be pretty much in their early 20s, the politically incorrect term I’ve mentioned fits them to a “T”. This garrulous group of tittering twats strikes me as vain, insipid, and supremely dull. Very early on in the program, they order an expensive red wine, which these nitwits drink with straws. A biblical phrase leaps to mind: pearls before swine.

I’ve written about money many times before, and I have no problem with someone having millions or billions of dollars. However, if they didn’t either (a) earn it through their own honest efforts or (b) inherit it and apply themselves to use the assets in a creative, positive way, then they have none of my respect. As a youngster, I couldn’t understand why the Communists would want to kill the rich. Now, I am beginning to understand.

If, in years to come, the majority of Chinese people begin to genuinely suffer, you can be assured they’re going to want to chop girls like this into the “Wagyu Beef” which one of them describes herself as being.

As for my own reaction, it obviously doesn’t matter to me one way or another if these girls live or die. I have pondered, however, what it is I find unsettling about their very existence. As is so often the case, Mr. Spock provides the answer I need. Here I quote him from Squire of Gothos, in which he responds to Trelane, who is wondering why Spock doesn’t like him:

I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline; I object to power without constructive purpose.

Right as always, Spock. These tasteless, witless leeches will have a life of existential despair if, in their later years, they actually take a good, hard look at themselves. In the meantime, there are plenty of vendors and service providers who will be perfectly happy to distract them with Lamborghinis, Gucci handbags, and countless other knickknacks from the Western world, just to keep their collective minds off of how utterly pointless their lives are.