Know your audience

There are times people should know you have more money than Satan. And that’s a big deal, because he’s freaking Satan. There are also times you need to look around, and know when to throttle back. I don’t have a ton of gold in my crazy dragon cave. So I have no context and thus can’t help you.

There’s one of the big men at work. He makes a ton of cash. He likes to talk about his custom built boat and fancy castle. Generally you can look past it, if you even care or notice. Still, it can get old when a chap spends a good deal of his day informing others of how much cool stuff he has. I wonder if he realizes he can’t take any of that fancy shit to the next life? I mean, really, his skeleton’s going to look awfully similar to the homeless guy down the road.

At any rate, none of this really bothers me. I’m not dirt poor or even close to poor by any standard. But I’ll never own the fancy kit he’s talking about, and it doesn’t bother me. And even on days like today where he was comparing the virtues of six-figure cars with his buddies who stopped by, well, I kind of get a kick out of hearing about a car that’s so well engineered that if you leave the windows down while you hit top speed, it’ll remove the skin from your bones.

But a lot of people don’t see it that way. I didn’t notice, and I’m sure Mr Bling didn’t either, but after he left, I noticed from the chatter that a lot of people took it the wrong way. I guess it makes sense. When you make many times well north of six-figures, probably best to watch what you say in front of those who make less than half of six-figures solid.

You can make of this what you will. This is either a big deal, or not, or it’s just noise. I go either way really. But I guess it matters to me not because people got pissed off, you can’t blink without somebody getting offended at something these days, but because it influences views of our culture.

Reference my previous post, capitalism’s got a bad reputation these days. As you’ve heard me rant, a lot of this reputation is rightly deserved when it’s been so twisted by bad buys. But I still think it’s the best we’ve got, we’ve got to do better, not trash it entirely.

But it doesn’t help things when those with a lot of diamonds make it a point to rub it in. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t brag about all your neat toys, just know your audience. If you just poisoned a room of twelve people toward your fellow rich guys, I don’t think you’ve helped the system that made you wealthy. It’s not envy from the little guy, rich dude; it’s just common respect, show good form to your neighbor and you’re likely to receive it in return.

Maybe you don’t care rich dude, but I hope you believe that it’s a good thing if people can get as rich as you did down the road with the same level of hard work. Part of that is defending, or at least not poisoning, the system with a lack of class. Know your audience, lest you give one side the ammo and recruits they need to overturn your way of life.

Personally, I like the Japanese & Korean way the best. You could walk past a billionaire on the street there and not know it. They wear their wealth behind closed doors. You’ll get a four figure bottle of joy served to you inside a common shack. They get a kick out of hosting you that way, especially if you’re like me and you showed up wearing clothes worth less than his dog’s leash. Something to think about the next time you tell everybody how big your custom boat is, friend.


At least I’m hi-larious.

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