Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Money for nothing...

I just finished watching a documentary called Born Rich. Basically, it was done by Jamie Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, where he interviewed his friends to explore the experience of being born into wealth. To be honest, I was expecting something along the line of the life story of the Hilton sisters - plastic surgery and never ending parties along with record-setting drug and alcohol consumption. I was really surprised by how much I could relate to most of the people interviewed. Now, I can't say I can relate to the part about having more money than I could ever spend in my lifetime. What I DID find quite compelling was their sense of feeling radically different from mainstream society, being treated differently by outsiders because of their wealth (or in many cases, their family's wealth) and trying to find meaning in a life where the "American Dream" of marriage, 2.3 kids, a dog and house in the suburbs just doesn't apply. I also found the level of apprehension and discomfort in approaching the subject to be quite notable. When it comes down to it, in a lot of ways, the experience isn't that far off from being gay -- being part of a small, isolated segment of society that is largely misunderstood and struggling to find meaning in your life when you're not cut out for the cookie cutter ideals of middle class America.


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