It is winter break where I work, which as given me a little time off, and an opportunity to catch up on a little TV and pop culture.
The latter half of 2011 was dominated by #occupywallstreet and its various spinoffs throughout the U.S. Anger as a result of stagnating wages, growing income inequality, and an uneven playing field resulted in many rising up in protest. However, those under attack have had enough. A fascinating piece by Max Abelson in Bloomberg highlights the perspective of the more economically fortunate:
Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus says “Who gives a crap about some imbecile?” “Are you kidding me?”
Tom Golisano, the billionaire owner of the billing firm Paychex, offered his wisdom while his half-his-age former tennis champion girlfriend, Monica Seles, hung on his arm: “If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit.”
One would believe based on these comments that America hates the rich. However, a smattering of TV viewing actually demonstrates the opposite perspective.
In the 1980s, audiences were kept rapt by the wealthy inhabitants of "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "Falcon Crest." Robin Leach signed off each episode of the syndicated "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" wishing each viewer "champagne wishes and cavier dreams."
In the 2000s, MTV introduced America to "Cribs," featuring tours of the homes of wealthy celebrities.
Today, in the midst of a housing crisis and underwater mortgages, HGTV has "hits" such as "House Hunters," "Selling L.A." and "Selling New York," which aren't exactly showing a 700 square foot studio apartment in West Hollywood or the Village.
People still love and want to be rich. Which brings us to...
A&E's "Storage Wars." "Storage Wars" features four sets of auction hunters who scour foreclosed storage units in search of items left behind that could potentially valuable. A unit becomes available, interested buyers have 5 minutes to peer into the locker (they can't go in!), and then the highest bidder gets the rights to the contents found within. Will they discover someone's trash, or will there be antiquities worth thousand of dollars?
With 3% salary increases and limited career growth opportunities, "Storage Wars," perfectly captures today's times...millions losing their assets, while others finding the only way to get ahead is the luck of the draw.
Happy New Year everyone.
Happy New Year everyone.