The Rich are different from the rest of us. Always have been.
A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of producing and directing a TV pilot partially shot at Vieux le Vicomte, the magnificent French castle pictured above at Christmas.
The place was overwhelming in its opulence, with expansive gardens, fountains and statuary. More overwhelming when you learned that it had been built for a family of three.
Vieux le Vicomte was the blueprint for the Palace of Versailles that stands just a few clicks down the road, with mansions of similar stature dotting the landscape as you travel between one and the other.
Each of these places required thousands of docile peasants to finance, maintain and service, people who lived lives of poverty and desperation.
Well, nobody says life is fair. But being amid those stately homes sure made it easy to understand how the French Revolution finally came along.
These days, we pride ourselves on being more thoughtful, empathetic and aware.
But we’re not.
With millions losing their jobs and homes or living under crushing austerity measures imposed to protect banks and financial institutions who either manufactured or were too dumb to predict the economic crisis, Porsche has designed a unique gift for those who still have a little cash left to spend on bling.
For only $1 Million, the automaker will supply you with a 6 foot tall aluminum “Advent Calendar” which, unlike the dollar store ones which dispense a single chocolate each day before Christmas, has something else inside its little windows.
Stuff like a Porsche Stopwatch, a full Porsche Kitchen and motor launch with a 525 HP Mercury engine.
Pity the Porsche designers didn’t consider that anybody who’d spring for one of these likely isn’t much of an Advent observing Christian.
Meanwhile, all those Canadian politicians either screaming about or claiming they’d done all they should for the slowly freezing to death and sewage drinking people of Attawapiskat this week will all be bellying up to the sumptuous seasonal cocktail buffets in the days to come, as they enjoy the hospitality of various government departments and foreign embassies.
I’m told the spread laid out by the Freedom of Speech, Votes for Women and Gay rights supporting nation of Saudi Arabia is one no MP misses –- none.
And hey, maybe they’re just hoping to change some minds, maybe convince somebody to spring for a gift for our hungry and homeless.
Maybe they could kill those two birds with one stone and purchase the Neiman Marcus Edible Gingerbread House – only $15,000.
Said house measures over 20 square feet with a six foot ceiling and is constructed of 381 lbs. of gourmet gingerbread and 517 lbs. of royal icing, not to mention giant cookies, lollipops, mints, gumdrops and the like.
No word on whether Gingerbread improves the taste of raw sewage.
I’m not saying people shouldn’t enjoy Christmas or spend their money in the way they want. But sometimes the wilful blindness to the what’s going on in the rest of the world just beggars belief.
Let me know your own “Most Inappropriate Christmas Gift”. Email, Tweet or add a comment. It will be added to an update of this post on Monday.