ROLL OUT THE GUILLOTINE

Posted in Quick Hits on June 5th, 2013 by Ed

I don't believe I've ever done a post before directing you to Reddit – if you want to read Reddit, you'd read it – but this Ask Reddit thread is too good to pass up. Entitled, "What's the most WTF way you've seen someone brag about being rich?", it compiles readers' examples of hilariously ostentatious displays of wealth. Basically it is a narrative version of the semi-popular Rich Kids of Instagram tumblr.

As some of the comments point out, reading these stories gives me a much clearer understanding of why human history is filled with examples of poor people rising up and slaughtering their economic betters. I'm not saying I agree with it, but I understand it.

An interesting aspect of this use of the internet as a new platform for showing off one's (parental) wealth is the sharp divide it exposes between new and old money. Of the truly wealthy people I've known, people with family traditions of wealth have been raised (for the most part) with the understanding that such behavior is unacceptable. It is people with more recent, and potentially more transient, types of wealth that feel the need to turn their lives into a cheesy rap video. Look at the numerous posed photos of expensive champagne bottles and tacky, enormous gold accessories – visible "look how rich I am" symbols lifted directly from MTV. Some people look at Rich Kids of Instagram and see The 1% indulging in privileges unique to their station in life. I see modern Beverly Hillbillies, garishly appointed rubes acting out a cartoon-inspired vision of what wealth looks like.

That said, I'm pretty sure that if The Revolution ever comes the Rich Kids of Instagram are going to be first up for the Patriotic Shortener.