Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to be rich and out of touch.

I always found the term "out of touch" to be so delicious. To be "out of touch" seemed like the ultimate destination -- going shopping, relaxing in your gorgeous condo, reading books in a foreign language, because you're just so "out of touch." What people think, do, or achieve doesn't bother you, because you're in your own little cocoon of untouchableness.

When I hear that term being tossed around nowadays, it's been in regard to people who aren't bothered by what's going on economically, because even though they probably studied economics at some highly-ranked institution, it doesn't bother them in the least. While newscasters [who are still wearing designer suits, with perfect hair and makeup] are telling us what horrible downturn just happened and how many people were just fired in some plant town, the "out of touch" person is lost in their own world, probably dreaming up some screenplay they want to write, some story idea they want to make into a novel, or planning how they can sell their arts and crafts so they can buy a new condo with higher ceilings.

Maybe we're offended by those that are "out of touch" because they refuse to let even the worst news into their little life. And what bothers us even more is that nothing bad really ever happens to them. We never hear about their setbacks because they either refuse to acknowledge them as bad or just don't discuss them. Or they pretend to be bothered by them, because popular sentiment obligates them to a little public shame, but in reality they aren't phased in the least.

Being "out of touch" is simply being out of touch with the lesser elements of life -- poverty, disease, self-hate and self-pity. When you're "out of touch" with those things, you're able to be in touch with that which is wonderful on Planet Earth -- sexy people, amazing coincidences, money, jet-set, spending when there's a depression.

What's wrong with that? Why do we feel like we have an obligation to take part in all these tragedies? I hear sob stories about people losing their jobs, begging, "It's all because of the recession," we want our factory jobs back, please, anyone, bail us out! But instead, the rich "out of touch" bankers get paid for failing miserably. Yes, it's completely unfair. No, it doesn't make sense.

But if we're "out of touch," will people yield to our demands because they know there's no way they can convert us to their way of thinking? If we demand millions of dollars for bonuses from the Federal Government, and are so "out of touch" that we think we're obligated to be paid it, will we get it?

Do you want to be "out of touch"? What do you gain from being "in touch" with thoughts of scarcity, of limits, of sacrifice, of struggle, bad news, loss, and so on?

I'd rather be that person vacationing in a tropical place, staying in a gorgeous condo, laying on the sofa typing up my next screenplay while the breeze circulates around the chic, clutter-free room, totally oblivious to what's going on in the outside world.

Does that make me a bad person? Probably.

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