March 13th, 2017



No, I don't get yachts.

I've been on boats; they're cramped and constricting; even big boats are. I like to be able to step out the front door and go for walks; and you can't do that with a boat.  Living on a luxury yacht must be like being confined to a luxury hotel- one that, furthermore, is liable to roll from side to side and bump up and down.

And yet yachts are seen as the ultimate status symbol...


Another thing I don't really get are entourages.

To be followed everywhere you go by people who aren't doing it because they like you but because you're paying them to be at your beck and call- and never to have a moment to yourself- that would drive me crazy. Listen, I don't need someone to fetch me a cup of tea or file my nails for me; I can do those things for myself; it's even good for me; it's exercise...

Rich people spend their money on the weirdest things.


And then there's gold.

I don't hate gold. I can see why it's mythical and mysterious and special. Used in conjuction with other materials it can be very beautiful. I love medieval miniatures with their complement of gold leaf, and high status Anglo-Saxon metal work with its combination of gold and garnet but a little goes a long way. By itself its a hard, unnuanced, inhuman substance- shiny with no depth to it- even a little repulsive. There's nothing particularly lovely about a bar of the stuff. Artefacts like Tutankhamen's death mask seem excessive to me. And I loathe Versailles.

As for the propensity of the modern plutocrat to stick it on everything, on taps, toilets, the insides of lifts...words fail me...