Thursday, November 24, 2011

This is why we hate the 1%



The Golden Opulence Sundae. A New York Restaurant, Serendipity 3, sells this $1000 dessert, cited in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's most expensive dessert.  $1000 Sundae at Serendipity 3, New York Sure it contains only the finest ingredients: the highest grade of vanilla and chocolate, edible gold leaf, a crystal goblet you can keep. But still. $1000 for dessert. During what could be the worst recession this country has ever seen. Seriously?

One of my dear Facebook friends is responsible for calling my attention to this dessert, denying me the opportunity to happily go to my grave never knowing it existed. He posted on his wall he's going there tonight, with a few friends and he'll be picking up the tab for all of them. $10,000 in total.

Granted, this Facebook friend is Jason Bateman, and he isn't actually my dear friend. I'd just heard he'd friend anyone on Facebook so I sent a request and he accepted. And now I'm repaying his kindness to the little people by taking him down. I'll admit, I'm star struck. The idea I could be "friends," albeit a virtual one, with an actual movie star! And the list of friends he says is accompanying him tonight doesn't disappoint-Paul Rudd, James Franco, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper.

All the comments on his wall post were mostly supportive of his  excursion into culinary decadence, saying things like, Enjoy yourself and Everyone deserves to indulge, which lead me to believe that most of his FB friends are as idiotically starstruck as I was, afraid to take him down for being ridiculous, for eating the emperor's new dessert or something. Although there were a few comments on how many shoes that money could buy for poor people, or how many families it would feed.

At first, I tried not to judge him for it. I thought, sure, he's rich. He's earned it. It's a Hollywood thing. (Think how everyone would have hated on them if they were Wall Street Bankers instead of famous actors!) I tried to understand, putting it in context of my own life. Should I not go out to a nice restaurant with my husband when it's cheaper to go to Denny's? Should the world forgo luxury cars, have everyone start driving Kia's? We spent thousands of dollars to fix our dog's torn ACL (yes, her football career is over) while millions of people in this country can't afford healthcare for themselves. So, aren't I being two-faced? Aren't I being too judgmental? Maybe he gives thousands and thousands to charity. Maybe they all do.

I think I'd like the idea of this sundae a little better if they donated part of the proceeds to a food bank or something, but it doesn't mention anywhere (that I could see, anyway) on Serendipity 3's website that this is the case; although it does say that 10% of the Cookies and Scream Sundae's proceeds will go to WCS  Serendipity 3 Cookies and Scream Sundae.

If someone offered to buy me a $1000 ice cream sundae, would I turn it down? As the husband can attest, probably only after I had, Just a little taste. Regardless, I keep coming back to the same conclusion about the Golden Opulence Sundae, no matter how hard I try to justify it. It's just wrong.

And I'm sorry Jason, you seem like a nice guy, but eating gold? Really?  I suppose my bewilderment serves me right for thinking I could be "friends" with a rich movie star. But wait. I have an idea.
Maybe he could buy Golden Opulence Sundaes for all his Facebook friends! You know, like teacher said, bring enough for everybody. Share. No? Am I unfriended now?

I guess if some folks have enough money to go out and eat gold, who am I to criticize? But it reminds me a little of when Marie Antoinette supposedly said, "Let them eat cake, then," completely oblivious to the French people's struggle to put bread in their mouths. That was right before the French Revolution. I'm not trying to foment revolution here, but with our country's increasingly disparate gap in earnings, it seems the folks who are rich enough to go out to a restaurant to eat gold should at least have the courtesy not to brag about it during a recession.

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