Bernard, Don't Blow It

I admire Bernard Arnault for his ability to keep a straight face and not burst out in a huge guffaw.

According to Forbes Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has a net worth is $94 billion. He’s the fourth richest person in the world.

Bernie (Bernie, may I call you that? No? Ah, too bad Bernie…) has cornered the market for stuff for people whose sense of self depends largely upon paying ridiculous amounts of money in order to show the world that they’re able to spend ridiculous amounts of money on stupid stuff.

Bernie’s main challenge is to keep distance between his customers and ordinary folks. For one thing, that enhances the feeling of superiority of someone who doesn’t necessarily know squat about anything but whose ex husband made a bundle before he got caught cheating.

But there’s something more essential to keeping that distance. While the near-peers of Bernie’s customers can’t hide their envy at the sight of that Loewe bag, most of us tend to snicker at it. I mean, what idiot would pay thousands of dollars for a handbag?

I’m not talking about the frowns of disapproval of the moral-outragers – that just feeds the superiority. I’m talking about the real amusement in an ordinary person’s own feeling of superiority as they think to themselves: regardless of the dumb things I may have done lately, nothing could be as dumb as paying four grand for that bit of leather. That’s comforting.

That engenders a feeling of superiority in entirely the wrong direction.

The distance must be kept. The bag owner must never see that snicker. And Bernie has been among those who are instrumental in ordering society such that the snickerers and the Loewe baggers tend to not cross paths. They hang out in entirely different places, move in different circles.

Bernie, you’ve done it. Hats off to you.

Now… Bernie, don’t blow it. I see you trying to suppress that grin. Think of something unpleasant. Bite your tongue. Here, look at this picture of Jeff Bezos...