My friend Mel and I were discussing our financial woes over coffee the other day when we happened upon an article about Victoria Beckham spending $50,000 on a tree house. Sometimes Mel and I ‘have a bitch through Hello magazine’ as Patsy and Edina did in Absolutely Fabulous but I find that celebrities are increasingly beginning to irritate rather than titillate me. That fifty grand Posh Spice spent on a whim would have wiped both Mel’s and my slate clean. It would have solved a great deal of heartache for many other people as well. I am not naive enough to suggest people like Victoria Beckham should feel any degree of social responsibility towards the plight of the ‘common man’ but what her spending and lifestyle does highlight is the unequal distribution of wealth in our society.
I will admit that sometimes I fantasize about being a celebrity. Who doesn’t? All that driving about in a limo with an entourage, getting the latest Jimmy Choo shoes for free, or an entire wardrobe from Marc Jacobs, as well as washing your hair in Evian or maybe champagne would be kind of cool for a while. Especially if you were married to Brad Pitt or Josh Hartnett or my one and only – Christian Bale. Even calls from Oprah or being hounded by the paparazzi would be bearable for a few days. You might even have time to have lunch with J-Lo or dance in Justin Timberlake’s new video. (Watch out, JT, I can krump, dude!)
Some celebrities have an enviable life. Others make you realise your own life ain’t so bad after all and that the price of fame is in fact, quite high.
Today I am glad I’m not Britney Spears. All that no underpants, shaved head, driving with babies in her lap, gun-toting madness has finally caught up with her. She’s left rehab and is being counselled by Dr. Phil. I hear the Pentagon has appointed him as the new first line of defense against terrorism. His strategy – he talks the terrorists into submission. They call it Operation Foghorn Leghorn. Poor Britney, if she wasn’t mad before she will be after a counselling session with Dr. Bellows.
Then there’s Katie Holmes. Andrew Morton’s yet to be released biography on Tom Cruise claims poor Katie was not impregnated with Tom’s sperm but with the freaky, dead guy sperm of L.Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. I bet when Katie signed on the dotted line she never expected that a turkey baster would show up somewhere on the horizon. I’m sure she also never imagined the background music to her life would be the theme from ‘Close Encounters of The Third Kind.’ Spooky.
I’m glad the turkey baster sitting in my kitchen drawer and I will always remain strangers. I’m glad I don’t need to be counselled by the Pentagon’s new secret weapon. I’m glad I can look in the mirror in the morning and know who I am. I’m glad I feel comfortable in my own skin and do not need the trappings of wealth and celebrity to feel I am of worth. However, if there are any wealthy philanthropists out there looking to offload a bit of cash, please, don’t let me stand in your way. One thing’s for sure, the celebrity life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. They are as enslaved by their excess of money as we sometimes can be by our lack of it.
Stevie Smith, one of my favourite poets, says it so well:
Satin-clad, with many a pearl,
Is this rich and wretched girl.
Does she weep? Her tears are crystal,
And she counts them as they fall.
This stuff on Cruise is such a load of crap, unbelievable. One basic belief of Scientologists is that man is a spirit traveling from body to body and so on. They couldn’t care less about sperms or bodies. So that is just a dirty lie and shows how much “insight” this Morton guy really has.
I’m with you on this whole thing. It would be fun to be a celebrity for a couple days, but that’s about it. Ok, unless I’m a famous writer, because everyone knows we’re an odd bunch and they tend to leave us alone… LOL
Bill and Melinda Gates do so much good with their fortune, but I’d like to hit other areas of need. One of my fantasies is to become filthy wealthy and use lots of it to support services that need the cash. Making sure people get the meds they need, or clothes for that all-important job interview, or a place to live… food on the table. Surprise my friends with debts paid and a tidy sum in savings…
I’m really horrified at the space these ‘famous for being famous’ nobodies take up in our papers and magazines. I mean, Victoria Beckham … guaranteed, her husband plays football rather well (although not well enough to justify his inflated wage) but she’s a talentless nonentity.
Do we ever hear, though, about the off-duty doings of real talent, like Bill Bryson, JK Rowling, André Previn, John Williams et. al?
Rarely, and then, only when they choose to tell us
What an obscene amount of money to spend on a tree house. If I was ridiculously wealthy I would make it my mission that no man, woman or child would ever have to spend another night hungry and on the streets. There are so many people whose lives could be completely turned around with the help of those who already have so much.
I would rather be poor than be a celebrity though. I like to be an anonymous nobody and wouldn’t give that up for any amount of money. Fantastic post Selma. I really enjoyed it.
“I am not naive enough to suggest people like Victoria Beckham should feel any degree of social responsibility towards the plight of the ‘common man’ but what her spending and lifestyle does highlight is the unequal distribution of wealth in our society.”
A young woman sings, a bloke plays soccer and they get paid millions while…
“Many (American) child day care workers become dissatisfied with their jobs stressful conditions, low pay, and lack of benefits and eventually leave” ( It’s the same with Aussie child care workers.)
One thing I’d do if I were filthy rich would be start up two scholarships one for youg writers from poor and working class backgrounds and another for adult writers from the same background. I’d help out my family and friends and I’d spend a lot on charity and research and generally doing good.
But I have to admit I’d treat myself to is a luxurious bathroom with a huge bathtub and a grand throne -like toilet.
I love to travel, so I’d buy myself a jet.
It’s posts like this that make me glad that I am clueless. I don’t even know who most of these people are beyond the fact that they are often tabloid topics of interest.
I, personally, would hate to be famous and rich. It’s difficult enough being known by a thousand folks in our community because I’m “that girl that sings”. People come up to me in Applebee’s or Pizza Hut and want me to serenade them. It’s totally weird. They mean well, but it can be rather intrusive and awkward at times.
I can’t imagine being known by SEVERAL thousands and havingclose-ups of my saggy belly on the front page of a tabloid and having all the deep secrets of my past thrown out to the light of the world.
Lu – thanks for stopping by. I guess the courts will decide that one. Interestingly enough, all the so-called bogus claims Morton made about Princess Diana turned out to be true. I actually have got nothing against Scientologists per se, if you get something from it then more power to you. But I do think that ‘courting’ all of the celebrities as they do they are setting themselves up for intrusive behaviour from the media. High profile = big money for journalists.
Ms Karen – I’ve just had a vision of the future. When you and I become successful writers we will use most of our money to engage in acts of philanthropy. I would love that, seriously. I have an entire list of people and organisations I would help if I ever came into money. I only need a certain amount to get by, so see so need to keep all of it. I guess we’d better get writing…..
Travelrat – Bill Bryson is wonderful. Definitely one of my heroes. If there were more people like him we wouldn’t be in the trouble we are. I agree, too many forests are cut down to print rubbish about celebrities. Veto celebrity gossip mags, save the trees!
Gypsy – I completely agree with you. I do a bit of volunteer work with the homeless and it breaks my heart to hear their stories. I just wish I could afford to re-house them all. I keep hoping I will win the lottery!
David – of course you’d have to treat yourself. I would too, we’re only human! I know what you mean about child care workers. I worked in the industry for years (as a teacher so I got paid more) but became disenchanted with the way my co-workers who worked just as hard as me were treated. I eventually went to High School teaching because I’d had enough of child care. And I adore little kids. I still miss it. But conditions are so poor these days it’s like working in a sweat shop. I love your idea about the scholarships. Maybe one day…..
Groovy – one day I hope to hear you sing. I’m sure you are fantastic. I know what you mean about how intrusive even slight fame can be as I was in a marginally successful band in the late ’80s. We supported a few well known acts and experienced our 15 minutes. I didn’t like it. I just wanted to write songs and be left alone. Fame is definitely not as desirable as some people think!
Jimmy Choo? Marc Jacobs?
I’ve heard of Levi Strauss and plain white tees. Oh yeah, and Lemmy of Motorhead too.
Patsy and Edina did in Absolutely Fabulous…..Oh My God. that is one of my ALL time FAVORITE shows EVER…
Now back to read the post….
>>If there were more people like him we wouldn’t be in the trouble we are.<<
Couldn’t agree more!
According to his books, he walks to the shops, does DIY and gardening and things just like the rest of us. And, he’s talented, and I don’t think exactly poor!
Chris – I knew you were a Levis man. We played Jake some Motorhead the other day and he loved it. That boy is a rocker through and through.
Meleah – I have the AB Fab box set on DVD and watch it regularly. I am an addict. Sweetie darling, sweetie darling. Whenever my friends come over for dinner I still ask them :’Do you want a Bolly or a Stolly?’ I want to be Edina!
Travelrat – now I like him even more!
Hmm, I’d buy a huge house or city, Larry King & Oprah would have to beg me for a 5 minute interview, I’d have jets which I discard as ‘old’ after a month, bath in champagne or vodka, buy MTV & VH1 and make sure that they don’t play crappy music any more and JT & JLO can kiss my BUM, smoke my cigars wrapped in 100 dollar bills, donate to charities by the millions.
Actually a life where money is obsolete and everyone has a good home, plenty of warm food & drink, no illness or death, a loving family or spouse, and every dog & cat has a human or humans to keep them safe (and other animals too), there’s no hunger or thirst or famine or war or fighting or pain and if we all live together for the benefit of mankind and maybe find a few alien civilizations along the way (I know I’m stepping into Star Trek territory here) …that would be so much better!
Roshan – you are speaking my language. If only…..
hahahaha…:) Thanks for making me laugh today–I’m glad that I don’t own a turkey baster because after reading this, I probably wouldn’t look at it the same way. 😉
Being a celebrity just seems like too much work than it’s worth. Sure, it’s probably nice to be financially independent and just show up for a few hours somewhere and make more money than an average person would make in a year…but…everyone in the celebrity world seems so isolated, so fake.
I went to Los Angeles a few years back and it amazed me how EVERYONE in LA is not from LA and how they would probably not hesitate to sell their soul to the devil to get their 15 minutes of fame. Instead of it being entertaining, I found it quite disturbing…!
I was in a shop the other day and they had these enormous turkey basters in a variety of colours. I was laughing so much I had to leave. The sales assistant thought I was mad. I am so with you on the celebrity thing – it’s just not worth it.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Very nice to meet you.