Sunday, September 29, 2013

WEALTH PORN


Excerpts from three articles, all of which appeared in The New York Times, September 26, 2013

--From "If a Picasso Had Buttons," by Stephen Heyman
"Secreted away in a nondescript warehouse in Long Island city, Queens, may be one of the most valuable collections of contemporary fashion in the world. Few know of its existence. There are no signs on the building. To get there, you take an elevator to the second floor and enter an unmarked door.

Inside is 15,000 square feet of air-purified, temperature-controlled closet space filled floor to ceiling with identical polypropylene garment bags...

These are the headquarters of Garde Robe, a wardrobe storage service for the rich, the famous, and the fashion-obsessed. Security is tight...

Garde Robe has about 300 members, including a billionaire real estate magnate and his wife, who stroe 3,000 pieces at a cost of more than $150,000 a year."

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--From "Roll Over? Fat Chance," by Stacey Stowe:
"She has been in at least three fitness programs. She runs on the treadmill. She swims in a lap pool. Her trainers shout encouragement. And although her target weight still eludes her, Lolita remains optimistic, smiling gamely during her workout and snacking on carrots.

If only her legs weren't so short."

Lolita is a 4-year-old dachshund"...

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--From "New Beauty Goal: Plumper Cheeks," by Sally Wadyka:
"Like many people, Christina Conti, 44, a personal assistant from Wantagh, N.Y., was seeking a more youthful appearance. "I have a very thin face, and with that signs of aging come faster and faster," she said. "I lost volume in my face over the years."

Ms. Conti tried fillers in her nasolabial folds, the so-called marionette lines that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth.

"I helped with those wrinkles but didn't give me back volume," she said. "Doing the folds wasn't enough."

Then her dermatologist at Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown, N.Y., Dr. Marina I. Paredo, suggested injecting filler not into Ms. Conti's wrinkles but into the flesh of her cheeks...

Round, plump cheeks look young. Saggy, sunken ones look old...

In the United States, the tool of choice for recreating natural looking cheeks is a hyaluronic acid filler like Restyalane or Perlane. Radiesse, which is made from calcium hydroxide (a synthetic substance similar to that found naturally in bones) is another option."

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--From Put Down Your Sword; Answering the Gospel Call to Creative Nonviolence, by John Dear, SJ

"'The land is sacred,' one of the leaders said. 'It makes us human, so we have decided not to leave the land. We will live in permanent assemblies in permanent nonviolent resistance to the war. We try to promote life, accompaniment, sharing with one another, and solidarity with other communities. Our projects help us to live. We seek self-determination. Neither the extreme right--the government and its militaries--nor the extreme left--the guerillas--accept us. We are an obstacle to their plans. So our people are threatened and killed by both sides. We need the international community to witness and tell the world what the Colombian government is doing to its own people. In effect, the U.S. government as well has declared that indigenous people ar a threat to their power.'

'Daily life for the struggling people means being harassed, questioned, and perhaps kidnapped or killed by the army, the paramilitaries, or the guerillas,' he continued. 'Our people try to grow crops, but thy can't transport them down the mountain, so they have to use mules, which takes days and costs a fortune. We can't organize big protests because we are working full-time just to survive--to get water, food, and medicine. Meanwhile, the multinationals are moving in and taking our land.' "


10 comments:

  1. It would seem to me these days that you are nailing it and nailing it and nailing it. Keeping speaking the truth of what you are being called to write about it. I need to hear it as much as any millionaire who reads your blog. (Surely they are out there!) Of course, it is not about HAVING the money or the nice things or the good health, but how we steward them, but- your words sure resonate with me today. God bless you, dear Heather!

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  2. Thanks, dear Mary Beth! I am deeply inspired by Pope Francis. War will end when poverty ends when love prevails, et cetera. Let it begin with me! Love to you, your own work, and your family...

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  3. yes, Brad, just happened to read the newspaper and the book on the same day...

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  4. Your message is a thoughtful and contemporary meditation on yesterday's Gospel reading about the rich man and Lazarus. I always feel uncomfortable when I listen to or read it as I wonder about justice. I'm thinking it begins with gratitude for what we are given and awareness of others and their needs. Lord, open our eyes and hearts.

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  5. Also in the NYTimes, same day, Paul Krugman's column, referencing Robert Benmosche, AIG chairman, speaking to the Wall Street Journal bemoaning negative reaction to large post bailout executive bonus payments, "He compared the uproar over bonuses to lynchings in the Deep South — the real kind, involving murder — and declared that the bonus backlash was “just as bad and just as wrong.” Really? Wow. Now that is obscene.

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  6. Happy St. Therese's Feast Day, Heather! I love how her feast day leads into a power house of saints and angels this month.
    Today I am remembering two occasions when I visited St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC and visited the side altar/chapel of St. Therese. The first time was on the occasion of her centenary in 1997, and there was a special display of photos of her. I had never seen *photos* of her as a young child, and one of them was of Therese at age 7, exactly the age of my own son. The emotions that struck me as I looked upon that determined little face struck me so deeply that it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. The second time, about twelve years later, I was walking through St. Patrick's late in the afternoon. I had stopped at St. Therese's chapel again, hoping for a some new insight or experience similar to my last visit. I was mildly disappointed at the ordinariness I felt while kneeling there. I continued my walk through St. Patrick's, and was waiting at the back of the church for my Mom and sister to catch up with me. While standing there, I caught a glimpse of a familiar red-headed woman. My mother-in-law had passed away a few years before, and this woman I was watching could have been her twin. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. As my Mom and sister walked over to me, I drew their attention to the red-headed lady. They both were as astonished as I was. They both said, "She looks just like Rose!" Thank you, St. Therese! And once again, thanks, Heather, for your SHIRT OF FLAME. I love that St. Therese continues to amaze, surprise, and confound us with the enormity of her love for God.

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  7. Pope Benedict had some lovely words on St. Therese back in 2011.

    These seem particularly apropos in light of all that "wealth porn":

    “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her.

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  8. Hi Heather, do you know of this book? It is very pertinent to your posting today. http://www.amazon.com/Plutocrats-Rise-Global-Super-Rich-Everyone/dp/1594204098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380738835&sr=8-1&keywords=New+Plutocrats

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  9. "...give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
    Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
    Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God"
    Prov 30:8

    And everywhere in between... we are all so broken and in need of Christ!

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I WELCOME your comments!!!