Property Grunt

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Self Awareness

This week Peter and Billy Getty, heirs to the Getty fortune thought it would be a good idea to write a self deprecating blog about being rich.

What The Butler Didn't See

I am sure that Paul and Billy are very nice guys but this was a grave miscalculation on their part.

And you can see this from their blog.

Not to sound patronizing, but if you watch the Giants on TV — well, ideally HDTV — you partake equally in the most satisfying indulgence we know. We share a private box at Pac Bell or whatever the hell they're calling it these days, and it's actually kind of a hassle, to tell the truth. You can easily make far better hot dogs at home than they give you in the luxury boxes.

Right now there are a lot of people out there people out there who can’t afford to eat a hot dog, let alone a private box at Pacbell

So it would be an understatement to say that the response was critical.

Rich Guys Blog, To Make You Mad

Reading This Post Will Make You Want to Kill a Getty (Except Vanessa, That Is)

3 years ago this type of self deprecating humor was acceptable however that environment no longer exists. We live in a environment where the rich are hated and shunned.

This situation reminds me of a story about Bob Hope and a comedy writer. Bob Hope was preparing for one of his comedy specials and had a problem with a joke that one of his writers who tirelessly defended it. Finally it was resolved through the following exchange.

Bob Hope: “You think this is funny?”

Comedy Writer: “Yes. I think this is funny.”

Bob Hope: “Ok. Then use it for your own act. Not mine.”

The comedy writer got shot down because he did not understand his audience which was Bob Hope. If he curtailed his humor to Bob Hope’s wants and needs then his words would be uttered by Hope himself.

The Paul and Peter Getty f**ked up severely because they did not properly curtail their words to their audience. What they should have done is done some online research, watch the news and they would figure out they would look like complete a$$holes for writing this. In fact I firmly believe that if they had done their due diligence they would have never dared to go forward with this blog.

So how does someone like Paris Hilton get away with being the poor little rich girl in this day and age? Because despite the fact she has more money than most people will ever see in their lifetimes, she is quite approachable due to her media exposure. First there was the sex tape, then her numerous embarrassing trysts, her enormous man hands and being hauled off to jail.

We mock her, talk about her and we focus on her faults instead of her money. And we begin to empathize with her. Yeah she is loaded, but she has f**ked up just like the rest of us. And even in this down economy, the masses will still welcome her with open arms.

As for the Paul and Billy, what do they do after receiving their online beatdown? Do they stage a tactical retreat? F**k no. They decide to play Kamikaze.

Peter Getty Responds to SFist's Getty Death Wish

If you are rich, especially in this economy, the last thing you want to do is go toe to toe with a bunch of bloggers, because they will eat you alive, shat you out and then eat you again.

I do not have any sympathy for Peter and Billy Getty. They brought this on themselves and should have known better than to expose themselves in this manner. It is not just a lack of common sense that is displayed but the lack of self awareness. And their angry responses show they have no desire to understand why they have incurred the wrath of others.

Remember, just because you didn’t know doesn’t mean you can do what you want. In fact when you don't know, is when you should tread very carefully.

Which brings me to my next topic.

The Recessionwire mob which features a lovable crew of writers that includes Joe the trader. Joe Trader writes about his current life as a laid off member of Wall Street. Recently he wrote about a job interview that became an opportunity of smugness for an interviewer

Out on the Street: Smart or Lucky?

Yuri made $30 million for the firm last year, his second year of trading, a fact he succeeded in mentioning within the first five minutes of our interview and at least twice more. If you extrapolate the astronomical growth rate of his investment return, he’s sure to make 300 billion gazillion dollars by the time he reaches my age. Just ask him— he’ll tell you.

Other than his periodic reminders of his success, the interview progressed with the familiar series of questions. He started with the soft “tell me about yourself” and moved on to my current views on markets. I had rehearsed my talking points and was sailing through until Yuri went off on a tangent.

“It’s funny, but you are not the usual type First White Shoe would hire. Usually we hire extremely smart young grads and MBAs and weed them out, keeping the stars,” he said, clearly seeing himself in his own constellation. “You are…ummm…very experienced.”

Did he just call me old? Was he suggesting that I’m not smart?? I guess if I was smart I would know whether I was being insulted.

Unfortunately, Joe the Trader does not reach over and wrap his hands around the douchebag’s throat. However he does make a very interesting observation about luck and how it is an unpredictable mistress.

I think it can be summed up best by Funky Winkerbean.

Humble yourself. And if you can't or don't want to. Don't worry. Eventually, you will be humbled.