Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thoughts on Rich People (like you didn’t know how I feel)

I ran in to a friend of mine a couple weeks ago at a bar near my house. I know, what am I doing in a bar? It was hard to believe I was there. Anyway, we had tossed down a few beers and were talking. He is a good guy and I have known him for long time. So he is asking me what I have been doing and if I was shooting anything. I told him that mostly I was on the road and writing. I have been shooting some documentary stuff and I was trying to find time to edit it together but time is my enemy right now. Never enough.

He started telling me that I had a lot of fans here in Portland especially among the production crews. He said that all the crews he had ever talked to had lots of respect for me and my work. That's great, I feel really good about that. You all know that I have always respected my crews, without them I am nothing. These are the people that do the heavy lifting on any shoot, and the ones who deserve respect.

Then he starts telling me that the only negative thing he ever hears about me is my "hatred for the rich!" He says I gotta cool that down. A "lot of people" respect my work" but I need to lay off showing wealthy people in a bad light. I don't write nice things about them.

Say what?

I show wealthy people in a bad light? I have a bone to pick with them? I am not nice when I write about them?

Let's set the record straight. I don't hate ALL wealthy people. In fact I respect people who have made money through honest hard work. I can't stand people who come from money and feel like things are owed to them. What the fuck is up with that? Nobody owes you anything! Especially if you didn't earn it yourself. You have a fucking trust fund!

I don't hate anybody actually. I look at the "inherited" wealthy with disdain. It is not worth my time or energy to hate them. They're not worth it. And while we are on the subject, I am sick of reading articles about people who have worked really hard, paid their dues, and really suffered for their art, music, movies, whatever, until they FINALLY break through and are successful at the grand old age of 22, 23, 24...

Give me a break! What about the people in the 40's and 50's who have worked their asses off for 20 or 30 years and refuse to compromise! What about success for them? Well success has nothing to do with money my friends. If you do good work and are happy with your work, then you are a success. I am so tired of, as my friend Tim likes to say, "Gucci to Riches stories". Those people who come from money and do something "on their own" just like Mom and Dad (usually in the same business) and they become famous in their own right. They worked hard and had family money and connections to fall back on. It's not so easy for the rest of us.

Sorry, I can't stop bashing some rich people. Why? Because I still remember how they can treat others who don't come from such a background. And that's something I hope always stays with me. I want to remember where I come from.

Besides, if wealthy people are bothered by what I have to say ... What does that say about them?


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