Monday, January 5, 2009

Shallow Al (yssa)

I bought the last issue of "Vanity Fair" (a magazine I almost never read, let alone buy) because there was a cover story on one of my girl-crushes, Tina Fey. And an interesting thing happened: I actually read some of the other, non-entertainment-related articles! And learned a few things!
One of the most interesting is about Wall St. The jobs lost, the money gone down the toilet, the huge investment firms that have lost everything.
When I lived in New York I avoided Wall St. like the plague. In my earnest, early 20's, oh-so-artistic-I-don't-need-anything-but-my-acting way of thinking, the folks on Wall St. represented everything I hated. Greed, snobbery, one-upmanship. (Not realizing that, HELLO!, the acting profession is THE EXACT SAME WAY!!!!!!!)
Then I got older. And (hopefully) a bit wiser. And while I still despise the conspicuous consumption that has defined the past few years, there have been benefits to those of us who are among the not-so-rich.
Because part of that consumption DID trickle down to us. The workers. Caterers, florists, (ahem) personal trainers, hairstylists, and on and on. It wasn't exactly trickle-down economics (we certainly didn't make TONS of money), but at least we got SOMETHIN'.
Now? Not so much. Everyone is cutting back on spending (which I think is a good thing), but the first people to suffer, as always, are the worker bees. Those of us who weren't making 6 figures. Who didn't get huge year-end (or any) bonuses. We're the first ones to be "let go." Our services either no longer needed or, at the very least, scaled back considerably.
Which sucks.
But then I read something like what I read in that VF article, and have to wonder; WTF?!?!?! Here ya go:
"Ordering that $1,950 Cabernet Sauvignon or the $26-per-ounce Wagyu beef was a way of life. 'The culture was that if you didn't spend extravagantly you'd be ridiculed at work,' says a former (Lehman Brothers employee)."
Y'know, most of us graduated from high school at the age of about 18. I guess some people never get over that mentality.
There has GOT to be some kind of middle ground here! Something between look-how-rich-I-am overspending and sorry-but-I'm-too poor-to-give-to-charity-let-alone-get -a-haircut saving, right?


Charlotte said...

I dunno - I think most of us live that middle ground. It's just boring so it doesn't get a lot of media attention. Seriously, I know you love Cali but you should really try living in "the flyover states." Living in the midwest has really shown me that there is a beautiful side to America I never knew existed before. I love it here so much I can't even tell you:)

azusmom said...

That is sooooo true! I haven't spent much time between the coasts. But I can't live anywhere else, 'cause I don't do winter anymore, lol!
Living in both New York and Los Angeles has severely skewed my interpretation of events!