Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Monday, February 28, 2005


How to Waste a Billion Dollars

Steve Fawcett, a rich guy who doesn't like sitting around his house, is going to try flying a plane around the world. Before this, he flew around the world in a hot-air balloon. Before that, he flew around his living room with a couple of feathers shoved up his ass.

What is it with billionaires that they feel driven to do shit like this? Is the same ennui that pushed men in the 19th century to take big guns to Africa what's behind the schmuck who paid to spend time on the international space station? I suppose these guys are thinking something along the line of "Hey, I've proved myself superior at everything I've done in the world of business and finance. I need something that would challenge even someone as perfect as me."

I guess I'm not that bugged by the mere fact that these guys do what they do. What really chars my marshmallow is the attention paid to these assholes by the press. I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. The papers are all owned and run by other billionaire crotch lice, so it's only natural that they're going to want to give props to their peeps, as it were.

But we're expected to be awed by it. We're supposed to see these putzes as heroes of some sort. To set our children upon our knee, point and say, "You see, Timmy? That brave, brave crew piloting the yacht in quest for the America's Cup? He's the best our country's got, Timmy, and I want you to kneel down in your rat-infested room before you go to sleep starving and give thanks. Give thanks that America's got men with fabulous wealth to defend our yachting honor."

I call bullshit. These guys want me to think they're heroes? Fine. Let 'em heroically figure out how to get adequate funding for the New York City school system. I'd applaud that. Let 'em put all the money they're pissing away on hot air balloons into something that's actually going to help people, like medical research that the pharmaceutical companies claim can only be funded by jacking up prices on medicines they've already invented. Hell, let these billionaire playboys dress up like a flying rodent and fight crime in the shadows of a major city. I'd have no problem with the hero label then.

The men and women who've gotten wealthy off of the American people owe more to them than commercial space flights that only other billionaires will be able to afford. You want me to get behind your dream of civilian space flight? Okay. Take Bush up on the maiden voyage and drop him. That'd be heroic.